Let's assume that I have two credit cards and get a massive bill for the first one. When I need to pay it, I just use the second card. When the bill for the second one comes, I use the first. I can carry this on indefinitely, until one of the cards fails for some reason.

Is there any way for banks or other financial institutions can prevent this? On the contrary, since I'm spending more, are they incentivised not to do anything?

  • 1
    Have you tried to pay your credit card with another credit card?
    – D Stanley
    Dec 21 '20 at 17:03
  • I'm pretty sure that this same question was asked a couple of years ago (by a different person). Otherwise, I'd VTC-Duplicate.
    – RonJohn
    Dec 21 '20 at 19:20
  • If it were really that easy, everyone would be doing it. But they aren't, so obviously there's something wrong.
    – RonJohn
    Dec 21 '20 at 19:22
  • Even if the credit card companies allowed this, you can do it indefinitely only if you infinite credit limits which don't exist in the real world. And a person paying a credit card with another is NOT the kind of spender that the credit card companies love - you are a risky borrower who doesn't seem to be having money and they have an incentive to block you ASAP! Dec 21 '20 at 20:04

AFAIK, you can't simply pay one card with another card. You would have to take out a cash advance from card #2, put the money in your bank account, and use it to pay card #1.

The catch is that cash advances are charged interest (at a high rate!) from the time you take them, instead of having the usual 30-45 day grace period of ordinary charges. So the $1000 you charged to pay card #1 today means you need $1100 to pay card #2 next month, and the month after than you will need $1210 to pay card #1 again... Eventually, you will exceed your credit limit on one of the cards, and your whole house of cards comes tumbling down.

  • It's a lot like check kiting, which is what I first thought of.
    – RonJohn
    Dec 21 '20 at 19:21

Typically, this is not allowed.

You can instead do one-off balance transfers or get cash advances (but these may cost large fees).


Credit card companies do not allow you to pay off an existing balance with another credit card.

You can move the debit balance from one card to another with a balance transfer but that typically costs 3-5%.

  • Your first sentence is completely untrue. Many credit card companies attract new business with balance transfers.
    – Peter K.
    Dec 21 '20 at 19:21
  • Did you somehow fail to read the second sentence that I wrote? Dec 21 '20 at 20:27
  • That doesn't negate the wrongness of your first sentence.
    – Peter K.
    Dec 21 '20 at 22:36
  • See if you can figure out the intent of the OP's question. If you can, you might then understand my answer. This was also addressed in the other two answers by respondents who understood the question as well. Dec 21 '20 at 22:58
  • 1
    @Peter K.: A balance transfer is not the same as making a credit card payment, even if the effect is the same (at least temporarily). If nothing else, they will go through different processes on the issuer's web site.
    – jamesqf
    Dec 22 '20 at 3:53

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