12

I'd like to know if this scenario is legal:

  • Walk in a casino and buy chips with a credit card for the maximum limit on that credit card.
  • Change back all those chips in cash money.
  • Deposit the cash into the bank account.
  • Pay back the credit card bill at the end of the month.

This would allow to use the cash as an interest free loan for the whole month and to gain the bonus points/reward given by that credit card.

5
  • 3
    I can't say yes or no, but if it were that easy don't you think they'd have closed the loophole by now? My guess is that you'll pay a cash advance fee or something similar when buying the chips.
    – bstpierre
    May 20 '11 at 3:13
  • It does seem to good to be true, but I think that the loophole is there. I know an online poker site from which you can cash in with credit card and cash out to bank account without fees. My concern is if this will be flagged as inappropriate usage and could lead to a revocation of the credit card.
    – user3722
    May 20 '11 at 3:32
  • 6
    Are you sure the chips won't be reported to the credit card company as a cash advance? If they are, the card company will add a percentage fee and also charge interest immediately. May 20 '11 at 5:20
  • Even if it is a cash advance, it could well be worth it depending on the nature of the bonus points (miles etc)
    – warren
    May 20 '11 at 23:31
  • 6
    @warren - that's very unlikely, because the card companies will set their cash advance fees above the level of any rewards they offer. If they didn't, you might as well just visit an ATM instead of a casino. May 21 '11 at 16:48
14

I don't know personally, but a few minutes spent on Google seem to indicate that such transactions are considered cash advances.

I found a thread at fatwallet which states that buying chips on a credit card is considered a cash advance.

If you want to research it yourself, I used the following search terms: casino chips credit card cash advance. You could probably narrow down the search results by using casino chips "credit card" "cash advance" as the query.

1
  • 2
    Buying anything gambling related, including lottery tickets, are considered a cash advance. As you mentioned, the user will also be hit with interest charges immediately and fees (as mentioned in the card holder agreement). May 20 '11 at 18:18
10

When I was young, stupid, and drunk, I bought chips on a credit card and I recall when the bill came in there was a cash advance fee, and interest.

5

If you want to farm credit card benefits, there are a few low-cost ways to do so:

  • Buy wrapped US dollar coins from the US Mint
  • Buy and resell giftcards from places with high giftcard liquidity (Home Depot is good for this)
  • If you have time on your hands and like sitting and waiting around, Find a bulletin board where airline mileage nuts hang out and learn how to do mileage runs. You basically take advantage of fare rules to fly in circles and generate frequent flyer miles. I had a friend who did this to pay for a vacation after getting laid off -- he analyzed flight delay stats and picked routes with high cancellation rates and bad weather to get free flights, credits, etc.
1
  • 9
    The US mint knows about people abusing the $1 coin direct-ship program (which isn't designed to give you free miles, after all, it's designed to increase the circulation of $1 coins with the ultimate goal of replacing fewer $1 bills and saving money, or something like that). You can probably get away with doing it for a few miles here and there, but if you try to go large-scale with it they are watching for you. Also, please don't waste my tax dollars; the government is already doing a perfectly good job of that, kthxbye ;)
    – user296
    May 22 '11 at 22:42
2

After digging around a bit on sites like Foxwood's and Harrahs, it looks like you can't purchase casino chips with a credit card. You must use cash, an ATM, or an in-house credit mechanism such as a pre-purchased card with a line-of-credit (featuring hefty fees per transaction).