13

I currently: Pay with a credit card, get my 3% cashback, and then pay off the credit card with my debit card.

What I would like to do is: Use a credit card (to get my 3% Cash back) to withdraw cash, then spend the cash, then pay off the credit card with my debit card.

Is there any way to do this without paying a cash advance fee (or any fees in general)?

  • 2
    Same Question, but I believe the answer is outdated since I am not aware of any store I can get cash back from with a credit card: money.stackexchange.com/questions/16935/… – Joe S Jul 18 '17 at 15:21
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    I would be interested to know which bank or credit card company is foolish enough to give you cashback for withdrawing cash on credit. – Masked Man Jul 19 '17 at 4:14
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    The question marked as a duplicate relates to a merchant self dealing, not about a consumer receiving CC rewards on cash transactions. – quid Jul 19 '17 at 16:55
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    @Zaibis "different question with the exact same answer -> valid duplicate." I disagree. The questions are asking completely different questions with completely different intentions, I do not think I would have gotten the answers about points churning if I had asked the question marked as duplicate. – Joe S Jul 21 '17 at 11:16
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    @Zaibis, No. That would be a duplicate answer, not a duplicate question. Additionally, this question relates to CC points on cash transactions, which is left out of the answers entirely in the "duplicate." In 500 more points, I'll reopen it myself. – quid Jul 21 '17 at 15:20
42

Nope. Or at least, if it were possible the company offering such a credit card would quickly go out of business. Credit card companies make money off of fees from the merchants the user is buying from and from the users themselves. If they charged no fees to the user on cash advances and, in fact, gave a 3% back on cash advances, then it would be possible for a user to:

  1. Max out their line of credit on cash advances
  2. Use cash to pay off credit card
  3. Profit

The company would lose money until they stopped the loophole or went out of business.

  • 17
    In addition, I would read the Terms and Conditions on your credit card. All mine have a line that states cash advances and withdrawals don't qualify for rewards. – Michael Jul 18 '17 at 17:27
  • As a possible alternative (I have 0 references), you could use the card to buy rechargeable gift cards of whatever denomination. This is called point churning, and is generally ill-advised even still. – Anoplexian - Reinstate Monica Jul 18 '17 at 20:56
  • FWIW, I have seen occasional cards that have no cash-advance fees on a small amount per year, often with stipulations e.g. has to be done in a foreign country. I don't remember what cards they were but I do recall they were 'travel' oriented and also had fairly substantial yearly membership fees. – whatsisname Jul 18 '17 at 22:09
  • In the UK these charges are going to get worse for retailers because as of January 2018 they will no longer be allowed to pass the charge onto the customer: a.msn.com/r/2/AAopKrp?m=en-gb – Kallum Tanton Jul 19 '17 at 12:36
12

While I think this is generally inadvisable, there are sites and communities dedicated to "points churning" credit card reward programs. In general, no there is no easy way to get cash from a credit card, and receive the spending rewards, and not pay fees well in excess of your rewards value.

However, there are people who figure out ways to do this kind of thing. Like buying prepaid Visa cards $500 at a time from drug stores on a 5% bonus rewards month. Or buying rolls of $1 coins from the US treasury with free shipping.

The issue is the source of the fees. When you spend money on your card the merchant pays a fee. When you get cash from an ATM not only is there no merchant remitting a fee there is an ATM operator and a network both charging fees.

  • Why would you say it is inadvisable? The reason I need cash is I live in a poor area and most local businesses do not take cards as payment. – Joe S Jul 18 '17 at 17:13
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    It's inadvisable to churn CC points primarily because it goes against your cardmember agreement, and in the case of the US treasury $1 coins, it also went against the terms of the treasury program and a delayed shipment could result in interest charges. It's not uncommon for CC issuers to rescind points and close accounts on points churners. – quid Jul 18 '17 at 17:18
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    @JoeS You can't get cash with your debit card? – Ross Ridge Jul 18 '17 at 19:29
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    Note that if your reason for buying treasury $1 coins is to spend them at local businesses, that is (was?) within the terms and purpose of the treasury program. – stannius Jul 18 '17 at 19:29
  • @RossRidge I can, I just wanted to know if there was a way to do it and still use the credit card for the rewards program. – Joe S Jul 19 '17 at 11:27
6

You said:

Use a credit card (to get my 3% Cash back) to withdraw cash ...

Then you said:

Is there any way to do this without paying a cash advance fee (or any fees in general)?

Right there you have stated the inconsistency. Withdrawing cash using a credit card is a cash advance. You may or may not be charged a fee for doing the cash advance, but no credit card will offer you cash back on a cash advance, so you can't earn your 3% by using cash advances.

As others have mentioned, you can sometimes get close by using the card to purchase things that are almost like cash, such as gift cards. But you have to make a purchase.

  • 1
    This is the right answer. – jwg Jul 19 '17 at 11:19
3

This was actually (sort of) possible a few years ago. The US Mint, trying to encourage use of dollar coins, would sell the coins to customers for face value and no shipping. Many people did exactly what you are proposing: bought hundreds/thousands of dollars worth of coins with credit cards, reaped the rewards, deposited the coins in the bank, and paid off the credit cards. See here, for example.

Yeah, they don't have that program any more.

Of course, this sort of behavior was completely predictable and painfully obvious to the credit card companies, who, as far as I know, never let users net rewards on cash advances. They're trying to make money after all, unlike the Mint, which, uh, well...

protected by NL - Apologize to Monica Jul 19 '17 at 15:40

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