I just got my first credit card. I haven't spent anything on it but I see that the Cash Advance APR is 27.5%.
Can someone tell me in layman terms what this means?
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A "cash advance" is when you use your credit card in such a way that you receive cash. For example, if you use your credit card in an ATM machine and receive cash.
You should never ever use your credit card for a cash advance.
A cash advance from a credit card is either using the card to get cash from an ATM, or sometimes you get checks that you can use. Any outstanding balance on these transactions will accrue interest at 27.5% annually.
The big downsides with these cash advances they begin accruing interest immediately, not after balance due date like normal credit card purchases. So there's no avoiding interest with a cash advance.
Best to avoid cash advances. Also, ideally you always pay off your statement balance each month to avoid any interest payments.
Edit: Removed out-dated info regarding cash advance portion being paid after regular credit card purchases, Credit Card Accountability Responsibility and Disclosure Act of 2009 eliminated this practice in 2010, and now payment in excess of minimum gets applied to highest interest rate first.
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