The prominence of cash payments is rapidly receding into obscurity, usurped by the convenience of credit and debit card transactions. However, paying with good old-fashioned paper isn’t wholly antiquated just yet.
Sometimes, we need those dollar bills to help us get by in sticky situations.
Say, for example, your car breaks down, and the only folks in town that can fix it don’t accept card payments — No cash, no repair!
But if you know how to liquidate your credit cards, it gives you an emergency cash lifeline to dip into when the going gets tough.
We discuss how to liquidate credit cards into cash!
A cash advance is a service credit card providers offer, allowing holders to withdraw physical money using their credit card. To get a cash advance, all you need to do is…
- Head to your nearest ATM.
- Insert your credit card and pin.
- Choose the “Cash Advance” option in the menu.
- Select “Credit”.
- Enter the amount you need.
Alternatively, you can visit the bank and have the teller take care of business in place of the ATM.
The amount withdrawn is borrowed against the credit line, and different issuers will enforce different cash advance limits and interest rates.
It sounds like a pretty good lifeline, right? Well… perhaps not. As convenient as cash advances are, there are some significant drawbacks to the service…
- The expense — Cash advances are not offered out of the goodness in the card issuer’s heart; they’re offered because it’s another money-making opportunity for the issuer.
When you withdraw a cash advance, there will be an instantaneous transaction fee, and speaking of instantaneous, there is no grace period when it comes to interest.
As soon as that cash is in your hands, the interest is stacking up, and it’s often a more aggressive rate than the standard APRs.
- Caps — Card issuers won’t let you liquidate the entire line of credit available to you when paying with the card itself. For cash advances, you will be capped at a certain percentage of the agreed line of credit.
That said, if you contact your creditor and give a good enough reason, they may grant you a temporary increased limit.
- Risk — Increased interest rates can get on top of you in a flash if you’re not incredibly careful, and once you’re behind, your credit score will take some big hits.
Should You Use Cash Advance?
Due to the issues mentioned above, generally speaking, you should avoid liquidating your credit cards using the cash advance method.
It should only be used in emergencies or if you’re going to invest it in a quick return project with a guaranteed ROI that will cover the debt and leave you with some profit.
If you’re sure that a cash advance loan is the best move for you, contact the issuer about the terms of such a loan, or at least do some research on the issuer’s website before heading to the ATM.
Some credit card companies don’t allow cash advancements at all, so if you don’t need to liquidate right now but you think it might be a lifesaver at some point in the future, choose a card provider that does offer the service.
What About Cash Advances On Business Credit Cards?
If you have them, liquidating business cards is generally a much better option, as they…
- Have higher limits — Even with the cap in place; you’ll still have access to large sums of cash.
- Don’t affect your personal credit — Many don’t realize it. Still, business accounts are largely dislocated from personal accounts, so if you do run into some trouble paying back the credit card loan, your personal credit is acceptable for the time being.
- Lower interest rates — Because there is usually more money wrapped up in business accounts and business credit, card issuers will offer much better APRs, and these benefits almost always extend to peripheral services such as cash advances.
Alternatives To Cash Advances
Don’t worry if we’ve spooked you a little thus far, as there are other ways to liquidate credit cards that are much less risky.
The Transfer Method
In our opinion, the best alternative to using a cash advance to add liquidity to your credit card involves using a merchant account on platforms such as PayPal or Square to transfer the funds you need from a credit account to a current account.
This way, it’s less of a loan and more of a simple transaction.
Of course, there will still be fees involved, but they won’t be anywhere near as steep as the transaction fees and interest of a cash advance credit card loan.
The Check Method
Sometimes when you’re issued a credit card, the creditor will also provide you with a corresponding checkbook, and – a little-known fact – you can make these checks out to yourself and then pay them into your liquid bank account.
What’s more, they often have a 0% interest grace period!
If you didn’t receive a checkbook with your credit card, give your creditor a call and request one. More often than not, you’ll be sent a couple of post-haste.
Obviously, this isn’t the quickest solution, so it’s not the best one to go for in an emergency, but it’s effective and affordable.
The Peer-To-Peer Method
If you know somebody who’s about to make a big purchase with cash, ask if you can cover the cost with your credit card in exchange for their physical money — Simple, affordable, and effective!
The Resale Method
Don’t know anybody making a purchase? Why not purchase with your credit card yourself and then sell the product for cash?
You can also do this with gift cards if someone close to you wouldn’t mind making the trade.
Pay Bills With Credit Cards
If you’re often short of liquid cash, perhaps you should consider reassessing how you pay your bills.
Covering some with your credit cards will leave you with more money in your current account.
Remember, though, that many service providers will expect you to pay a convenience fee before accepting credit instead of cash.
There you have it — There are several easy ways to liquidate credit cards if you need cash in a pinch, but there will always be a price to pay, so although you may need the cash fast, don’t act hastily,
Consider everything we’ve discussed today, weigh up the options against your needs and financial situation, and choose the liquidation method that works best for you.