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Does a cash advance hurt your credit or (official) reputation in any way? Does it appear in records at all, and would it be frowned upon if it did? What if the cash advance were taken at a casino?


I know seeing the words "cash advance" and "casino" in one question are going to set off some alarms—and while I personally don't feel compelled to defend—I should probably offer some explanation before concerned citizens of Money.SE begin their intervention :-)

My friend and I were in Vegas and had two hours to kill before catching our flights. We decided to indulge in some Blackjack—we figured $100 each, playing at min-bet tables, would entertain us for most of that time. But alas, our ATM cards were buried in our suitcases at the valet—and we decided it wasn't worth the effort and time retrieving them. But, I said why not a cash advance, and we decided it was worth the fee (which turned out to be 5%, minimum $10) to take a modest cash advance (again, $200), for the fun we'd have for two more hours. Still, we were a bit freaked out by the idea of gambling-on-credit. It was only the fact that we had commited to playing $100 each, before reaching into our pockets and realizing we didn't have our ATM cards, that convinced us we weren't gambling irresponsibly in this case—only paying a fee for convenience. Yes, one could argue it's a slippery slope, but we feel we're introspective enough to know not to do that again. I hope this post doesn't ever encourage anyone to gamble on credit—you can't beat the house advantage—and if you're smart enough to, then you can surely find some other way to raise "capital" before you try(—and if you can't, then you might want to reconsider whether you really are smart enough to beat the house advantage ;-)


Anyway, if a cash advance could hurt a person's credit, it definitely wouldn't have been worth it!

I don't see a logical reason that cash advances should be held against anyone, any more than spending on credit (in general) should, especially if the balance is paid in full each month. I feel like either way, you're offered flexibility (whether electronic or cash) according to your credit history, and you've agreed to pay high interest rates if you were to carry that advantage across more than a billing cycle.

So, what does Money.SE think? Does anyone have any personal experience? Thanks in advance.

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Some time back, I wrote an article Credit Card Big Brother which addresses how where you have a card transaction can affect your card.

While 'cash advances' appears on the list of highlighted risk items, I've still not seen this implemented. My sources for the article claimed that your [FICO] score would get affected, but the card issuer takes these things into consideration when extending further credit or choosing which cards to cancel.

$200? I wouldn't lose sleep over this.

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    Where would it report to the credit bureau to show up in a FICO score?? There's nothing in your credit report about what was charged. It's not going to hurt your reputation beyond the company itself. – Loren Pechtel Sep 3 '17 at 5:32
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The only thing a cash advance does is reduce the amount you have left to charge on your credit card account. It frequently comes with a fee, but then so do some ATM transactions.

Yes it does appear on your monthly statement. The exact words that will appear are unknown. Some will be very straightforward regarding the exact location of the transaction, others will be very coy and cryptic.

Only your significant other would question the location. Or if you were supposed to stay away from casinos because of a gambling addiction, but then why would you even go to Vegas.

We also assume it wasn't the corporate card, which could then cause an issue with your employer. Especially if the trip wasn't work related.

  • Ah, my fault for being ambiguous. I did not mean "reputation" as in social reputation, but as in, what lenders (or anyone official who could get a hold of your credit report or other financial statements) would think of your fiscal responsibility. Good point about the corporate card though. – Andrew Cheong Jun 5 '13 at 11:45
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I took a cash advance of $250 and my Fico score went from the mid 630s to 564. I don't have anything else that would be effecting my score and pay my bill on time every month, all but a few times in full and always well more than the minimum payment. So, yes, I'd say it does, but it may depends on your bank or credit union.

  • What did it do to your utilization, though? – Loren Pechtel Sep 3 '17 at 5:33
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AIUI at least for UK cards cash advances are reported on your credit report. What lenders do with that information is up to them.

They can be viewed as a negative because while sometimes people do use them for perfectly innocent reasons (better deals on foreign transactions, lost cards, debit cards incompatible with foreign ATMs etc) they are also used by desperate people as a way to get cash to pay rent/bills/other debts that cannot be paid directly by card.

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Does a cash advance hurt your credit or reputation in any way?

Don't think so. But reputation is a relative thing.

Does it appear in records at all, and would it be frowned upon if it did?

It appears on your monthly statements. Frowned upon? See my response to the previous question.

What if the cash advance were taken at a casino?

My wild guess would be that most in fact are. I worked in the financial industry once, and I don't remember encountering a cash advance which was not at a casino during my time there (another common case would be lost cards while traveling, but I don't think I saw that actually happening).

What's wrong with playing in a casino? As long as you're responsible and disciplined - its fine. Well, relatively speaking. There are smoking, drinking, eating too much, and many other ways to be self-destructive (and hurt others by the way) which are perfectly legal and are not frown upon. Would you ask this question about using your credit card in a liquor store?

  • My fault for being ambiguous: I guess I meant "reputation" in a more official sense, like a lender's perception of your level of fiscal responsibility. And hm, no, I wouldn't ask the same about using a credit card in a liquor store, but that's because I'm pretty sure lenders can't discriminate (so specifically) against what you buy (if they can even see that). But I can see lenders concocting some rule into some FICO-like scoring system, assuming that a cash advance must mean you're strapped on cash. Not likely, and stupid in my opinion, but I don't know. – Andrew Cheong Jun 5 '13 at 11:51
  • @littleadv - The article I cited in my response lists things you'd never imagine to be an issue. There's some scary profiling going on. – JoeTaxpayer Jun 5 '13 at 16:50

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