How to Send Money by Credit Card in the U.S. and Internationally

Last updated on February 16th, 2024 at 05:18 pm

You may be a week out from payday when a sudden emergency arises. Or maybe you just don’t have the time to stop by an ATM for an unexpected financial matter. Whatever the case, if you don’t have cash, it’s still possible to send money by credit card to a friend, family member, or another loved one. 

Money transfer services like Remitly make sending money overseas with a credit card easy, too. Whether you need to send money by credit card domestically or abroad, we’re here to help guide you through the process.

Sending money from a credit card to a bank account

Before you send money by credit card, it’s important to understand that financial institutions often treat these bank transfers as cash advances.

For those new to this term, think of a credit card cash advance as a short-term loan from your credit card company. By taking out a cash advance, you’re essentially borrowing money from your card’s credit line. Your financial institution may charge you a cash advance fee for this service, and you may pay a higher interest rate on the cash advance amount.

Depending on your credit card company, cash advance fees may be a percentage of the total amount you transfer or a flat fee—usually whichever one is greater. Always check with your financial institution about its cash advance fees to avoid surprises.

You’ll often find that a cash advance has a higher interest rate than other transactions. Since this adds to the cost of sending money by credit card, it may be better to wait until you have cash and can send money using your debit card instead.

That’s because your debit card draws directly from your checking account, which means you can’t spend more than you have (without incurring an overdraft fee, that is).

As convenient as it is, consider transferring money to a bank account using a credit card as a last resort or in case of an emergency.

Another important thing to keep in mind is that your cash advance limit may be lower than your overall credit limit. Credit card issuers may also eliminate how much you can take out as a cash advance at one time.

Using a credit card to transfer money domestically

Send money by credit card: person handing a credit card

While many online transfer services exist, not all make it easy to send money using your Visa, Mastercard, or another credit card.

For instance, Zelle only accepts payments made through linked debit cards and checking and savings accounts—not by credit card.

Here are three platforms you can use to send money by credit card when you and the recipient both live in the United States:

1. PayPal

As one of the most recognizable names in the peer-to-peer apps industry, PayPal is a popular solution for sending and receiving money digitally. 

With a PayPal account, you can transfer money to another individual with some basic details like the recipient’s email or phone number.

Although there are no fees for sending funds within the U.S. from your bank account or PayPal balance, sending money by credit card comes with additional transaction fees, which you can review here. You can check the website or app to find out the current fees for credit card payments.

2. Venmo

Venmo is a payment platform and digital wallet available to customers in the U.S. You can access it in your browser or through the iPhone or Android app stores.

Venmo offers a more social experience than other banking apps since users can send emojis, GIFs, and other messages with their payments. 

You can purchase from businesses that accept Venmo using your credit card without a fee. However, Venmo charges a fee when you send money to others with a credit card. Check the app before sending funds so you are aware of any extra fees.

3. Cash App

Cash App, formerly known as Square Cash, is similar to Venmo but with less social experience. Instead, it offers slightly more anonymity since you can use “$Cashtags” to identify your account instead of sharing details like a routing number.

Cash App charges fees for a small number of domestic services, so it can be an affordable option for all types of personal transactions. The app accepts credit cards for transfers—typically, the only fees you pay are those paid for the cash advance directly to your credit card company.

Can you use a credit card to transfer funds with Apple Cash?

As of September 2023, Apple Cash doesn’t allow you to use credit cards as a payment method for transactions. You can only use a debit card linked to a bank account, even if you have credit cards stored in your Apple Pay wallet.

The only way to use a credit card with the app is to request a cash advance direct deposit into your checking or savings account. You can also deposit one of the cash advance convenience checks provided by your credit card company into your bank account.

Once the funds are available in your bank account, you can transfer money with your debit card.

Can you use a credit card to transfer funds with Google Pay?

Google Pay doesn’t allow users to send money directly with a credit card as of September 2023. If you need to use funds from your credit card account, you must first deposit them into your bank account. Then, you can complete the transaction with your debit card.

Sending money internationally with a credit card

Two boys taking a picture

International money transfers are a different story because not all the services above let you send to recipients in another country.

Venmo, for example, is only available to users in the U.S., and only users in the U.S. and U.K. can send funds using Cash App.

If you want to use a credit card to send money overseas, you have to use a bank wire transfer. This option typically comes at a higher cost and can take several business days to arrive. You can also use a money transfer service such as Western Union, MoneyGram, or Remitly.

Sending money to people in another country comes with the added hurdle of currency conversion. Exchange rates change daily. 

In addition, some money transfer services charge extra transaction fees. With a little research, you can make sure that more money makes it home. Follow these tips when choosing a provider:

Look out for high fees and exchange rates

While some money transfer companies let users send money both domestically and internationally, they may apply high transfer fees and exchange rates to international transactions, regardless of whether you pay with a credit or debit card.

For example, PayPal can handle domestic and overseas money transfers, but its transfer fees and exchange rates can add up. Check the app or website carefully before sending money so you’re aware of the total cost. 

Also, if you use a credit card to send money internationally, you may still face a cash advance fee from your credit card issuer, which PayPal has no control over.

Money transfer apps may offer better rates

Because these additional fees can add up quickly, the best option for sending money abroad is generally a service specializing in international transfers. 

Since these services focus exclusively on global money transfers, they often offer better exchange rates and lower transfer fees than banks.

To be clear, funding a transfer with a credit card may come with fees from your card issuer. Even the best credit card accounts can incur interest charges from credit card companies if you don’t pay off your balance within the grace period.

Still, apps are fast and secure, often providing peace of mind by letting you track your transfer status online. This is true whether you’re sending money to yourself, to a bank account, to a cash pickup location, or to a mobile wallet.

Send money by credit card: entrepreneur using a phone and looking at a credit card

How to send money with a credit card via Remitly

Remitly makes it easy to send money internationally using a credit card. To get started, follow these five simple steps:

1. Create an account

Download the Remitly app to get started. You’ll be prompted to create an account if you don’t already have one.

2. Locate your payment methods

Navigate to your payment methods by tapping the “My Remitly” button, which features a gear icon. “Payment Methods” will appear on the menu.

If you’re accessing your account on a desktop computer, hover your cursor over your name in the upper right-hand corner and click “Settings.” Payment Methods will appear in the next screen’s menu.

3. Add your credit card

Now, you’ll need to add your card information to Remitly so that you can use it to make credit card transactions. Tap “add” in the upper right corner of the Remitly app. 

Select “credit card” under “payment type.” Then, enter:

  • Your 16-digit credit card number
  • Your credit card’s expiration date
  • The CVV or CVC code, which is a three- or four-digit number found on the front or back of the card

The name on the credit card account must match the name on your Remitly account for you to use it to transfer money.

4. Double-check and save the information

Double-check the information that you provided. Once you’re sure that everything is correct, tap “Save.”

Woman smiling at the camera while holding a phone and a credit card

Key takeaways

When sending money online to someone overseas or a recipient within your home country, the most cost-effective option is usually using your bank account or a debit card. This helps avoid the high cash advance fees credit cards charge.

That said, sending money using a credit card is still possible and may be necessary when you don’t have enough cash to write a check or make an ATM withdrawal. Always ensure you have enough available credit by checking your credit card balance and credit limit before starting a transfer.