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How to get a cash advance with American Express

Like other credit card issuers, Amex offers an option to get a cash advance – but consider other ways to access the necessary funds first

Summary

You can get a cash advance from your American Express card from an ATM. Here’s what you need to know.

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When you’re strapped for cash, reaching for your plastic to take out cash against your credit line may seem like an attractive idea. It’s convenient, and you can quickly get access to money you need for a transaction that can’t be completed using a credit card.

Yet, because of its high costs, a cash advance can be a dangerous kind of debt. It’s generally recommended to avoid cash advances, as they can be terrible news for your financial health.

Still, sometimes a cash advance can be the only option you have. If that’s the case, and you’re an American Express cardholder, here’s how you can get a cash advance from your Amex card.

What is a cash advance?

A cash advance is a type of transaction that allows you to borrow cash from your credit card, usually up to the credit limit. You could compare it to taking out money from your debit card; but with a cash advance, you’re borrowing it, which makes it a subject to interest and fees.

Cash advance terms aren’t cardmember-friendly. They include their own APR, and interest starts accruing right away, all of which makes a cash advance more of a last resort option.

If you urgently need cash, consider other ways you might be able to get it. For instance, a personal loan may provide much better terms, or you may ask your family or friends for help. Even overdrafting your checking account might turn out to be a better option in certain situations.

How to get a cash advance with American Express

If your credit card is the only way you can access cash, American Express allows you to request a cash advance.

Unlike other credit card issuers, Amex doesn’t offer that many ways to get a cash advance – you can only withdraw cash from a participating ATM.

To do that, you’re going to need a PIN. Some cardmembers can view and change their PIN in their online account in the Card Management section. If you don’t see the option in your online account, you can request a PIN by calling Amex at 1-800-227-4669.

American Express cards don’t have a set credit limit like other credit cards, but it doesn’t mean you can get any amount of cash with a cash advance.

For instance, here are cash advance limits on some of the Amex credit cards:

What to consider before getting a cash advance

A cash advance should be seen as a last resort solution due to terms that make them extremely costly and create the potential for dangerous debt.

The interest rate you pay on cash advances is different from your regular purchase APR and is typically much higher. Not to mention, there are other fees you’ll need to pay on top of that.

See related: How do credit card APRs work?

Cash advance fee

When you take out a cash advance on your Amex credit card, you’re required to pay $10 or 5% of the amount, whichever is greater. Note that there might also be an ATM fee for withdrawal, making the transaction even more costly.

Higher interest rate

Currently, the cash advance APR on Amex cards is 25.24%, but it varies based on the prime rate.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that there’s no grace period when you get a cash advance, meaning interest is charged and begins accruing immediately. This is the main reason to avoid using the cash advance option. Unless you pay it off right away, it can turn into snowballing debt that’s detrimental to your financial health.

Bottom line

A cash advance can be a helpful option when you’re in an urgent need of cash and credit cards aren’t accepted. If you have an Amex credit card, you can get a cash advance from a participating ATM using your PIN. But think twice before you do so: A cash advance can quickly turn into extremely expensive debt if you don’t pay it off quickly.

*All information about the American Express Green Card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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