Maybe you’re a week out from payday and a sudden emergency comes up. Or maybe you just don’t have the time to stop by an ATM for an unexpected financial matter. Can you send money with a credit card in situations like these?
Whatever the case, if you don’t have cash, it’s still possible to send money to a friend, family member, or another loved one using your credit card. Money transfer services like Remitly make it easy to send money overseas with a credit card, 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 begin sending money by credit card, it’s important to understand that these bank transfers are often treated as cash advances by financial institutions.
For those new to this term, you can think of a credit card cash advance as a short-term loan from your credit card company.
In other words, by taking out a cash advance, you’re essentially borrowing money from your card’s credit line—which comes with its own set of transaction fees.
Depending on your credit card issuer, this could be a percentage of the total amount you transfer or a flat fee—usually whichever one is greater. Always check with your financial service provider about their transfer fees so you’re not surprised.
You’ll find that cash advances have a higher interest rate than other transactions, too. 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, transferring money to a bank account using a credit card should be treated as a last resort or in case of an emergency.
Using a credit card to transfer money domestically
While many online money transfer services exist, not all of them make it easy to send money using your Visa, Mastercard, or another credit card.
For instance, the platform Zelle only accepts payments made through linked debit cards and checking and savings accounts—not by credit card.
So, which transfer providers accept credit cards? Here are three platforms you can use to send money by credit card when you and the recipient both live in the United States.
As one of the most recognizable names in the online payments 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 your 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 extra fees. You can check the website or app to find out the current fees for credit card payments.
Venmo is a payment platform and digital wallet that’s 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 make purchases from businesses that accept Venmo using your credit card without a fee. However, when it comes to sending money to others with a credit card, Venmo charges a fee. Be sure to check the app before sending money so you aren’t surprised by any extra fees.
Cash App, formerly known as Square Cash, is similar to Venmo but with a less social experience. In fact, it offers slightly more anonymity since you can use “$Cashtags” to identify your account, instead of sharing details like a routing number.
Sending money internationally with a credit card
These platforms may work just fine if you’re in the U.S., but can you send money with a credit card internationally? International money transfers are a different story because not all of the services above let you send money to recipients in another country.
Venmo, for example, isn’t available to users outside of the U.S., and only users in the U.S. and U.K. can send money using Cash App.
If you want to use a credit card to send money overseas, you’ll have to use a bank wire transfer, which is often more expensive and can take several business days to arrive, or a money transfer service such as Western Union, MoneyGram, or Remitly.
What makes international money transfers more challenging? Sending money to people in another country comes with the added hurdle of currency conversion. Exchange rates change daily.
What’s more, some money transfer services charge extra in transaction fees. With a little research, you can make sure that more money makes it home.
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.
PayPal, for example, can handle both 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 clear on 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.
Services that specialize in international transfers may offer better rates.
Because these additional fees can add up quickly, the best option for sending money abroad is generally a money transfer service that specializes in international transfers.
Since these services focus exclusively on global money transfers, they tend to offer better exchange rates and lower transfer fees than banks.
To be clear, using a credit card to fund your transfer may still come with fees from your credit card issuer. Even the best credit card accounts can incur interest charges if you don’t pay off your balance within the grace period.
Still, money transfer apps are fast and secure, and they often provide 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.
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:
- Download the Remitly app and create an account if you don’t already have one.
- Navigate to your payment methods by tapping the “My Remitly” button, which features a gear icon. “Payment Methods” will appear in 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.)
- Tap “add” in the upper right corner of the Remitly app.
- Complete your new payment method’s details. Be sure to select “credit card” under “payment type” and double check your information before proceeding.
- Tap “save” once you’ve finished entering in your credit card information.
It’s important to note that to use a credit card on Remitly, your card must:
- Have an expiration date
- Match the name on your Remitly profile
- Have a CVV or CVC—the three- or four-digit security code on the back of a card
Send money by credit card wisely
When it comes to sending money overseas or to a recipient within your home country, the most cost-effective option is usually using your bank account or a debit card. This way, you can avoid the high cash advance fees charged by credit cards.
That said, it’s still possible to send money using a credit card, which may be necessary when you don’t have enough cash to write a check or make an ATM withdrawal. Always make sure that you have enough available credit, by checking your credit card balance and your credit limit before starting a transfer.
Our easy-to-use money transfer app takes the hassle out of sending money abroad.
Download the Remitly mobile app today.