Research and Statistics

Regretting your recent cash advance? You’re not alone


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

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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!

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