If you’ve ever wondered “can you pay a credit card with a credit card?” — whether to earn extra rewards or simply because you can’t afford to make a payment this month — the short answer is no. Credit card issuers typically won’t let you pay that bill with another credit card number. But there are some workarounds that can potentially help you out, particularly if yours is a cashflow issue. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering alternate ways of how to pay down your credit card debt.
Looking to Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card?
If your reason for wanting to pay a credit card with another credit card is to earn more rewards, sorry, you’re going to have a tough time doing so — card issuers simply don’t want you to do this (understandably so). Here’s why: If you could pay a credit card with another credit card, you could easily make big purchases using one rewards card, then pay it off with another rewards card, essentially earning double the points or rewards for just one purchase. Sure, that sounds great for you, but it would be costly to the card issuers.
Low on Funds? Consider a Cash Advance
If your reasons for wanting to pay your credit card bill with another card is because you’re strapped for cash this month, you can consider getting a cash advance from one credit card to pay another, but most credit cards charge for this service — usually 3% to 5% of the amount of cash taken. So, a $2,000 advance is going to cost you typically between $60 and $100. That’s may not sound so bad, as convenience fees go, particularly if it keeps you from paying late fees and dinging your credit, but done frequently, those cash advance fees can really add up. And you’re going to have to pay all of it back, so it’s a good idea to know you’ll have enough money coming in to cover that bill once it’s due.
Moreover, you’ll likely be paying a much, much higher APR for that cash advance than you would on purchases (think between 20% and 30%) — and that interest often starts accruing right away (as in, no grace period), making the move even more expensive. You can check your credit card issuer’s fine print regarding cash advances and crunch the numbers to see if this option is right for you and your budget.
Transfer a Balance
An alternative to a cash advance could be transferring your balance to another card. If you have good credit, you also could consider applying for a new card that has an introductory low- or 0% APR offer for transfers. Just keep in mind that these offers almost always charge a fee based on the amount transferred, usually 2% to 3% of the balance, but you can find more about the best balance transfer credit cards here.
As with any card, it’s a good idea to check your credit reports and credit scores before applying to be sure you’ll qualify so your credit doesn’t take a hit just to get denied. You can see two of your credit scores for free on Credit.com.
Using a low-rate balance transfer offer can be a great way to pay off debt and keep your interest rates low while you do so.
Are You Handling Your Debt Properly?
If you’re having problems paying your bills and your debts are mounting, juggling that debt by moving balances from one card to another simply prolongs paying off your debts and likely ends up costing you more through continued interest payments.
If you’re feeling desperate, it might be time for you to take control of your finances. You can start to take charge by creating a monthly budget and sticking to it. You can also consider different methods for paying down credit card debt, like targeting the card carrying the lowest balance or highest interest rate first. Or you could consider applying for a debt consolidation loan to pay off credit card debt. Our handy credit card payoff calculator can help you decide what option might be best for you by showing you how long it will take to pay off your current balances based on variables like APRs and monthly payments.