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I just received an invoice for more cash than I have on hand. I have enough available credit to pay the invoice, however the company that invoiced me does not accept credit cards.

Is there any way for me to pay the invoice with my credit card and not have it marked as a cash advance? I checked PayPal, they won't let me send the company money on a credit card.

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  • What country are you in?
    – littleadv
    May 4, 2014 at 7:01
  • @littleadv USA. I have credit card accounts at Wells Fargo and Capital One. May 4, 2014 at 7:10
  • How many days from now is the invoice due? May 4, 2014 at 11:53
  • @mhoran_psprep 8 days May 4, 2014 at 15:22

2 Answers 2

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I have a CapitalOne credit card, and every two or three weeks, CapitalOne Bank sends me checks that can be used almost anywhere (including a deposit into my own checking account if I wish, or to pay taxes or utility bills etc)). The amount thus borrowed is counted as a balance transfer (as if I were paying off another credit-card balance) and it will be charged 0% interest for a year. The catch is that unless I pay off the next monthly statement in full by the due date, I will be charged interest on all new purchases from the day that they post to the account till the day they are paid off. No more grace period etc. All this will continue until that loan amount is paid off in full. So, I either would have to (i) pay off all the purchases made this month plus the minimum monthly payment shown on the next monthly statement and give up use of the card till that 0% balance is all repaid, or (ii) pay interest on new purchases.

It might be worth checking on the CapitalOne Credit Card site if such an offer is available to you. If so, get a check from them, pay off the invoice using that check (actually, I would strongly recommend depositing the money in your local bank and writing them your personal check for the amount to be paid), and then pay off next month's bill in full, etc.

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  • +1 forgot about the balance transfer checks, good idea. They don't always have these promotions, but even without a promotion it would still be lower APR than cash advance. Keep in mind that there's usually a one-time balance transfer fee of 3-5% of the amount, even if 0% APR.
    – littleadv
    May 5, 2014 at 0:25
  • The terms on such checks vary widely. I used such a check to buy my daughter a used car a few years ago, rather than getting a car loan. The credit card company was running a deal with no upfront fee and a modest interest rate. In that case I knew I could pay it off in a few months, so it was cheaper and easier than getting a car loan.
    – Jay
    May 5, 2014 at 3:31
  • Why would you deposit the money in a local bank account first? May 5, 2014 at 4:16
  • @just.another.programmer your card number is usually printed as the account number on these checks.
    – littleadv
    May 5, 2014 at 4:19
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    @just.another.programmer There is a time-limit on such checks. If they are cashed after a certain date, it is no longer counted as a balance transfer at 0% APR but a cash advance. So if the payee delays in depositing the check (or misplaces it), there could be problems. Depositing the money into your local bank gives more assurance that the check will be cashed in timely fashion, and it does not matter if the payee dilly-dallies in cashing your personal check. May 5, 2014 at 11:33
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You should check if your card issuer provides a "Bill Pay" service. I have a CapitalOne card, and I know they don't. But Wells Fargo may, I don't know.

However, for that to work your biller must accept credit cards as payments, at least that's the restriction I have with such a feature on my USBank card. That means, that if the company doesn't accept credit cards directly - they're likely not to participate in the credit cards' bill-pay system as well.

Some credit cards are actually mailing these balance transfer checks quite frequently trying to "seduce" you into taking advantage of your available credit. Unless you really don't have any other choice - you shouldn't. But if that's the only way you have of paying - go for it. That willwill not be treated as a cash advance but rather as balance transfer. You can call the customer service and have them a check mailed to you.

You may want to consider talking to your bank and checking if they can give you a line of credit. That would be similar to the credit card (i.e.: revolving credit line) from your credit report/score perspective, but may have lower interest rates.

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  • Edited the balance transfer checks, Dilip is right, they're not considered cash advances.
    – littleadv
    May 5, 2014 at 0:32

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