It’s easy to get a cash advance with a Chase credit card. But because of how much such advances cost, doing so is rarely a smart financial move.
If you have a Chase credit card, it’s easy to get access to a cash advance. And if you are short on money and have bills to pay, a cash advance can seem like a blessing.
But cash advances aren’t usually a smart financial move. They’re expensive – with most credit card providers charging a cash advance fee of 3% to 5% of however much you withdraw. To boot, the interest rates attached to cash advances are high – and as high as 25.24% on a Chase credit card.
Even worse? Chase will begin charging interest on your cash advance as soon as you make it. With regular credit card purchases, you can avoid paying any interest if you completely pay off your purchases by your card’s next due date.
The message? Don’t turn to cash advances unless you truly have no other options.
What is a cash advance?
A cash advance is a short-term loan from your credit card provider. It’s similar to getting cash from your debit card, but instead of getting money from your checking account, you’re borrowing it against your credit line.
The main difference is that since a cash advance is a loan, you’ll owe fees and interest – and at a rather high rate compared to your credit card’s regular purchase APR.
For that reason, it’s generally recommended to avoid using your credit card to obtain cash. If you need funds for a transaction where credit cards aren’t accepted, consider all other possible options before you turn to a cash advance. There are cheaper ways to borrow cash. You can, for example, try personal loans, which usually come with far lower interest rates.
How to get a cash advance with Chase
If you’ve decided to get a cash advance from your Chase credit card, even while knowing that this is an expensive way to borrow money, you have a couple of options.
Go to a Chase branch
You can visit your nearest Chase branch and request a cash advance. Make sure to have your credit card and a government-issued photo ID that the bank can use to verify your identity.
Use an ATM
If you have a PIN, you can also get a cash advance from an ATM. Note, however, that you might have to pay an ATM fee.
If you don’t currently have a PIN on your credit card, call Chase at 1-800-297-4970 and follow the instructions to create one.
Tip: Many credit card issuers allow you to get a cash advance by writing a convenience check that can be used just like a regular personal check (except for all the terms that come with cash advances). However, reports vary on whether Chase offers this option. Call the number on the back of your card to see if you can receive convenience checks from Chase.
The cost of a Chase cash advance
Before you borrow cash against your credit line, it’s important to be aware of how this move will impact your budget.
Cash advance fee
Getting cash from your credit card isn’t free, and not only because of interest. Chase charges a cash advance fee, which is either 3% to 5% of what you are borrowing or $10 – whichever figure is greater. If you’re borrowing $300, a 5% fee would come out to $15.
Higher interest rate
The main reason cash advances are so costly, though, is their high APRs. Currently, the cash advance APR on Chase credit cards ranges from 19.49% to 25.24%. This rate could change, though: Chase says that its cash advance APR might vary based on the prime rate.
You also don’t get a grace period when you’re taking out a cash advance. The interest kicks in as soon as you complete a cash advance transaction. If you don’t pay off the balance right away, the amount you owe can snowball quickly due to the high interest rate charged for these loans. This can turn your cash advance into a dangerous kind of debt.
If you don’t have any other options and a cash advance is your last resort, it may be wise to consider a credit card that comes with a lower APR on cash advances. For example, the Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature® Card only charges a 17.99% APR on cash advances. That’s still high, but it’s much lower than what other credit cards charge.
Plus, the Power Cash Rewards Visa Signature has no cash advance fee. It also has a solid rewards program: You’ll earn 1.5% cash back on all purchases or 2% for current or former military members (or those with an Access America checking account). The card also charges no annual fee.
While Chase allows cardmembers to borrow cash against their credit lines, this is an extremely expensive way to borrow money. We recommend using a cash advance only as a last resort. A better move is to build an emergency fund worth three to six months of daily living expenses. This financial cushion can help you avoid the need for a quick – but expensive – infusion of cash in the future.