Regretting your recent cash advance? You're not alone

56% of people who take out a cash advance regret it, national poll shows

More than half of those who have taken a cash advance on a credit card say they have regretted that decision, according to a new poll.

Cash advances can come in handy in emergencies and when money is tight, but they come with high interest rates and fees. In a national telephone poll conducted in early November, slightly more than half (56 percent) of respondents who had used a credit card for a cash advance said they later wished they hadn't.

The survey also reported that one in five (19 percent) surveyed said they had used a credit card to obtain a cash advance at least once in their lives.

Survey respondents placed accepting cash advances in good company with other potentially regrettable behaviors. About 43 percent of all respondents said they were very or somewhat likely to regret taking a cash advance. That's only slightly lower than those who said they were likely to regret texting while driving (48 percent), spending a weekend binge-watching TV (48 percent), tattooing a boyfriend's or girlfriend's name on their bodies (48 percent) or having an affair with another person's spouse (46 percent).

The poll was conducted as part of a look at the cash advance policies of 100 general-purpose credit cards, which revealed that the median cash-advance interest rate on 100 of the most popular cards was 24 percent -- some 6 percentage points higher than the rate for purchases. 

Regretting your recent cash advance? You're not alone

The findings are a result of a national Omnibus telephone poll of 1,006 people, conducted by GfK Custom Research North America on behalf of on Nov. 1-3, 2013. The poll was conducted using a dual frame methodology, which consists of a blend of landline and cellphones to provide a more representative sample. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.

See related: A quick guide to credit card cash advances: No! Don't!

Join the discussion
We encourage an active and insightful conversation among our users. Please help us keep our community civil and respectful. For your safety, do not disclose confidential or personal information such as bank account numbers or social security numbers. Anything you post may be disclosed, published, transmitted or reused.

If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the 'Post to Facebook' box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.

The editorial content on is not sponsored by any bank or credit card issuer. The journalists in the editorial department are separate from the company's business operations. The comments posted below are not provided, reviewed or approved by any company mentioned in our editorial content. Additionally, any companies mentioned in the content do not assume responsibility to ensure that all posts and/or questions are answered.

Weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, advice, articles and tips delivered to your inbox. It's FREE.

Updated: 03-23-2019