Cheap cash advance credit cards

A credit card cash advance can be handy, but many cards have high interest rates on cash advances. Compare these low cost options.

By   |   Verified by David Boyd   |   Updated 1st March 2022

Comparing cash advance credit cards

Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

On Bendigo Bank's website

New offerApply by 31 July 2022

Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

Balance transfer

20 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

20 months at 0% p.a.

Annual fee

$45.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months on purchases (reverts to 11.99% p.a.).
  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months in Balance Transfers (reverts to 11.99% p.a.).
  • Save with its low annual fee of $45 p.a. ongoing.
  • No fees for additional cardholders.

Pros

  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months on purchases.
  • 0% p.a. up to 20 months on Balance Transfers.
  • Low annual fee of $45 p.a.
  • No fees for additional cardholders.

Cons

  • There is a 2% Balance Transfer fee.
  • You can't earn credit card rewards.
  • No complimentary insurances.
Bank Australia Low Rate Visa Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

9.39% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$59.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Low 9.39% p.a. interest rate on purchases and cash advances.
  • Annual fee of $59 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit of $1,000.

Pros

  • Low 9.39% p.a. interest rate on purchases.
  • Cash advances are also charged at the competitively low rate of 9.39% p.a.
  • Annual fee of $59 p.a.
  • Minimum credit limit of $1,000.

Cons

  • No interest-free days at all.
  • No balance transfer offer as of the moment.
Bank Australia Visa Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

12.39% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • No annual fee for life.
  • 12.39% p.a interest for both purchases and cash advances.
  • Up to 55 days interest-free.

Pros

  • No annual fee.
  • A competitive 12.39% p.a interest rate on purchases.
  • Low 12.39% p.a. rate also applies to cash advances.
  • Up to 55 days interest free.
  • Works with Apple Pay, Google Pay, and other digital wallets.

Cons

  • No balance transfer offer available.
  • Doesn't earn rewards or have a welcome bonus.
Community First CU Low Rate Visa Credit Card

Community First CU Low Rate Visa Credit Card

Balance transfer

6 months at 0% p.a.

Purchase rate

8.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$40.00 for 1st year

Highlights

  • A low annual fee of $40 p.a.
  • Up to 55 interest free days.
  • Limits are available from $500 to $15,000.
Newcastle Permanent Value+ Credit Card

Newcastle Permanent Value+ Credit Card

Balance transfer

N/A

Purchase rate

11.99% p.a. ongoing

Annual fee

$49.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • Get a low interest rate of 11.99% p.a. on purchases, cash advances and balance transfers.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days interest free on purchases.
  • Add up to 3 additional cards at no extra charge


Pros

  • The low interest rate of 11.99% p.a.
  • Enjoy up to 55 days interest free on purchases.
  • Add up to 3 additional cards at no extra charge

Cons

  • There is Foreign Currency Conversion Fee of 3%.
Qudos Bank Lifestyle Credit Card

Qudos Bank Lifestyle Credit Card

Balance transfer

5 months at 4.99% p.a.

Purchase rate

5 months at 4.99% p.a.

Annual fee

$0.00 p.a. ongoing

Highlights

  • $0 annual fee as long as you have the card.
  • Enjoy 4.99% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 5 months (12.34% p.a. thereafter).
  • $0 fee on additional cards.

Pros

  • $0 annual fee.
  • The introductory rate of 4.99% for 5 months on purchases and balance transfers.
  • $0 fee on additional cards.

Cons

  • There are no rewards program on this card.

Overview

The majority of credit cards allow cash advances, giving you easy access to cash. But there are trade-offs to be aware of.

Here's more about the costs and how they work.

What is a cash advance?

A cash advance is when you withdraw cash from your credit card rather than using it to pay for goods and services. In effect, a cash advance can be thought of as a small loan.

Several types of transactions are classified as being a cash advance:

  • ATM cash withdrawals, even from an ATM on the same bank's network;
  • Buying gift cards or prepaid cards, since these are the equivalent of cash;
  • Gambling related transactions, like funding an account on a betting website;
  • Money transfers, such as sending money to overseas family;
  • Purchasing traveller's cheques or foreign currency;
  • Sending money from your credit card to a bank account.

What exactly is classified as a cash advance may vary between banks. If in doubt, check the terms and conditions where it will be defined clearly.

How do credit card cash advances work?

Most people consider withdrawing cash from an ATM as a cash advance, which works like a debit card cash withdrawal.

  1. Find an ATM, preferably one in your card's network to avoid more fees.
  2. Insert your credit card and enter your PIN.
  3. When prompted, select "Withdraw cash" and select how much you want.
  4. If approved, the ATM will dispense your cash.

Withdrawing cash in this manner will be classified as a cash advance. Interest at the cash advance rate will begin to accrue immediately. Additionally, a cash advance fee will be charged. This might be a flat dollar amount or a percentage of the amount withdrawn.

The same costing applies to other transactions classified as a cash advance.

How much does a credit card cash advance cost?

There are two costs to be aware of: the interest rate and a one-off fee.

  • Cash advance rate. This interest rate is not to be confused with the purchase rate, which it is often higher than. The cash advance rate will be applied daily from the date the transaction was posted with no interest-free period.
  • Cash advance fee. In addition to interest, a fee will typically be charged. Known as the cash advance fee, this is either a flat dollar amount or a percentage of the amount advanced. Some banks charge the higher of the two, some the lower.

What can cash advances be used for?

There are legitimate reasons why someone might need a cash advance, and they aren't all negative. Used responsibly, cash advances can be convenient, though costly.

  • You may have forgotten your debit card and need to pay someone cash.
  • You may be running low on money before your next payday.
  • You might need to pay a bill but don't have enough to pay it in your bank account.

In summary, cash withdrawn from an ATM can be used for practically anything.

What is the best credit card for cash advances?

To choose the best cash advance credit card for you, compare these features before making your decision.

  • Cash advance rate. Usually the interest on cash advances is as much as what's charged for purchases, if not higher. Given that there are no interest-free days on cash advances, the lower the rate, the better.
  • Cash advance fee. The majority of cards charge a fee in addition to interest. Look for one that's as low as possible, especially if you think you might use a cash advance regularly.
  • What's classified as a cash advance. Check what the bank will classify as a cash advance. Ideally you'll find that what you want to use the card for is classified as a normal purchase.
  • Purchase rate. Because cards with very low purchase rates — especially those from credit unions and challenger banks — sometimes have lower cash advance rates.
  • Non cash advance fees. Apart from the cash advance fee, is there an annual fee to pay?

Pros and cons

Credit card cash advances might be convenient, but there are important downsides to be aware of.

Pros

  • Useful in an emergency. A cash advance can be useful in an emergency or if you've run out of money and know you can quickly pay it off in full.

Cons

  • They're expensive. Often the interest charged on cash advances is even higher than what's charged for purchases, especially on cards from the big banks.
  • No interest-free period. Cash advance interest is usually charged on a daily basis, starting from the day of the transaction.

Alternative options

If you need money quickly, there are some other options that may be cheaper and easier.

  • Set up a credit card instalment plan. Some cards let you convert some of your available credit into cash and repay it in interest-free instalments. Check your card's online banking for what's available. Learn more about credit card instalment plans.
  • Pay on demand. Several new services allow you to access your pay in advance of payday. Examples include Beforepay and MyPayNow. These services typically charge a flat dollar amount as their fee instead of interest, so they may be a cheaper alternative to a cash advance.
  • Centrelink advance payment. If you are on Centrelink, you may be able to get an advance from them. You'll have to apply though, making it is a less accessible option. More details available on their website.

Learn more about credit card cash advances

Clear answers to questions often asked about using cash advances.

  • FAQs

Are credit card cash advances taxable?

Cash withdrawn from your personal credit card and used to pay for things related to you personally is not taxable (because you've already paid income tax). An employee paid with cash withdrawn from a business credit card would have to declare their income and pay tax on it. Consult an accountant if you are in doubt.

Can credit card cash advance fees be avoided?

The only way to avoid the cash advance fee is to not use a credit card's cash advance facility at all.

Do credit card cash advances affect your credit score?

Banks do not report individual transactions to the credit reporting bureaus. Therefore, a credit card cash advance will not appear in your credit report or affect your score.

Do you need a PIN for a credit card cash advance?

If you are planning on withdrawing cash from an ATM with your credit card, you will need to know its PIN.