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Can You Pay a Credit Card With Another Credit Card?

It's possible to use one credit card to pay off another, but it's not recommended. Here are your options and the pros and cons to know
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

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Table Of Content

It's typically not viable to use another card to pay off a credit card amount. According to banks, you cannot use another credit card to pay off the balance on your credit card. Normally, the only acceptable forms of payment are checks, money orders, and electronic bank transfers.

However, there are some ways to bypass it. It doesn't mean you can pay with another credit card directly, but you can use another card to pay off your current balance. 

How To Pay A Credit Card Bill With Another Credit Card

There are two options for paying a credit card with another credit card: a cash advance or a balance transfer.

1. Cash Advance

Cash advance is a short-term loan you can get from credit card, so you can use the cash to pay off another card balance.

When you want a cash advance, there are three ways to get one.

  • ATM: you go to the ATM and insert the credit card in the machine to get the cash—that is, if you have a pin.  If you are not a pin holder, you are supposed to request one from the card issuer. The pin is delivered after a few working days.
  • Visit a Branch: you can visit the bank and ask for a cash advance using your credit card. The third way is to use a convenience check. If your credit card came with convenience checks, you can write yourself a check and cash or deposit it.
How To Get Cash Advance On A Credit Card
Cash advance can be expensive, so don't use if you don't have to (Photo by mangpor2004/Shutterstock)

2. Balance Transfer

The idea of a balance transfer is moving debt from one credit card to another to meet your financial needs and pay less interest.

This can be done with two credit cards, as long as they are from different issuers. You can make a balance transfer by calling customer service or through your online account. It is best to ask for a balance transfer when you are applying for a new card because promotional 0% interest usually starts as soon as the account opens.

The steps to follow if you want a balance transfer include checking your credit score and finding the best balance transfer card. You will then apply for the balance transfer and keep making payments into the balance transfer as you wait for the decision from the credit card issuer.

If the issuer accepts the decision, pay the rest of the balance. This process can take up to three weeks.

Pros & Cons Of Paying Off A Credit Card With Another Card

Paying off a credit card with another credit card is not recommended if you want to take a cash advance. The interest you'll pay is very high, and unless you're sure you can pay it off quickly – it may not be a smart move to do. 

The second option, balance transfer, maybe a smart move in some cases. However, in order to better assess your own situation, take a look at the pros and cons of balance transfer before making a decision:

Pros
Cons
0% Intro
Interest
One Payment
Fees
Credit Score

In the case of a balance transfer, there is a 0% introductory APR offer. 

So, you may save on interest for a limited time. If you can pay off the whole amount in this time, this can be a smart move.

Transferring the balances to a single credit card will consolidate your existing debt and eliminate the need to make payments monthly.

You may pay higher interest with the new card. When the 0% intro ends, you may find yourself paying higher interest rates on your debt.

Both cash advance and balance transfer require fees. 

Your credit utilization has increase since you close your previous card – it may hurt your credit score.

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Things To Consider When Paying Off A Card With A Balance Transfer

Balance transfers allow you to pay off your debt more easily and quickly. There are things to take into account:

The length of the 0% grace period is important and impact the interest you'll pay and how much debt can be paid off during this time.

There is usually a 0% APR on any balance that you transfer to the card. Also, consider the ongoing APR after the 0% intro period ends – that's going to be charged after your grace period ends on the card.

Even though the interest rates are low, credit card issuers charge annual fees to offset other expenses that people commonly find more valuable. Some cards can cost you money just to keep them.

It is the fees for transferring the debt from one card to another. Some cards will charge a percentage fee to transfer from your existing credit cards.

Ideally, you want this fee to be 0 or as low as possible. Most issuers charge between 3% and 5%. If you transfer a large sum, you can try negotiating.

Balance transfer offers are often only available to individuals with the highest credit score. You may not be eligible for a debt transfer card when you're new to credit or if your credit rating is not outstanding.

Nevertheless, individuals with excellent credit history should be cautious that applying for a new credit line may lower their credit score.

woman hold 0% APR credit card
0% intro APR is a great way to pay off balance, just pay attention to the small details (Photo by PUWADON SANG/Shutterstock)

Avoid Paying Off A Card With A Cash Advance

The moment you take a cash advance, interest starts accruing. There is no grace period. Depending on the company, your rate can be between 20% and 36%.

Cash advances are like using your credit card to make a cash purchase. It is less than what you can spend. For instance, if your purchase limit is $5,000, your cash advance limit will be $1,000. The APRs for cash advances are also higher than the APRs for purchases. 

Credit companies can charge you a flat fee. They also charge an interest rate fee. The majority of credit businesses impose a combination of flat fees and interest rates; they evaluate the amount due between the two and charge you whatever is higher in terms of the cost structure.

Tips To Pay Off Debt With A Credit Card

Paying off debt might be much easier if you have a plan and follow it. Below are tips to use to pay off debt with a credit card

  • Try The Snowball Method: This is a way of paying off debt, starting with the balance that is lowest. List the account balances in ascending order, and set up your spending plan such that you pay the minimum on all of your credit cards except for the one with the least balance. Put extra cash as you can on that balance each month so that it is paid off. The reason why minimum payments are made on other accounts and larger payments are paid on that balance is so that you don’t pay a late fee damaging your credit score.
  • Try The Avalanche Method: It focuses on making payments on debts with high interest first while making minimum payments on the other accounts. The moment the highest interest account is cleared, the money that was going to pay it off should go to the debt with the next highest interest rate. This should be done continuously until all credit cards have been paid off.
  • Consider Credit card Consolidation: Merge all loans and pay them as a single payment. This offers low-interest rates, and single payments are made each month. This eliminates multiple interests and numerous monthly payments.
  • Use Cash: Suspend any use of your credit cards. Make purchases with cash. It won't pay off your card balance, but it may help you to save more for this goal.
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What Happens If I Don't Pay Credit Card Debt?

One missed credit card payment can significantly impact your financial condition for years. Here are the consequences of not paying your credit card bill:

  • Payment of a late fee: A late fee is charged even if it is one day late.
  • Interest in the card rises: It's up to your card issuer to determine how late your payment must be before your rate is increased and how much to increase it. But when your account is past due, some credit companies can raise your rate to 29.99% for future purchases.
  • Reduces your credit score: On-time payments are the most important factor in the FICO formula. Your FICO credit score can drop once your payment date passes.
  • Your account may be blocked from making future purchases: When your payment is 60–90 days past due, your card will be blocked from making future purchases. And if you don’t pay, you’ll rack up more late fees.
  • Your account will be reported to the credit bureau: This happens when your payment is more than 30 days late. This missed payment could remain on your credit report for up to 7 years.

I Can't Pay My Credit Card Bill. What Should I Do?

A credit card is essentially an unsecured loan. You haven’t pledged any property to receive the loan. There are limits on how the debt can be imposed by the lender. If you owe on a credit card and you fail to pay, there are a couple of things that you can do.

  • File bankruptcy: Depending on your assets and liabilities and your income and expenses, you may file for bankruptcy and discharge that credit card, and its benefits will improve. The issuer may decide to write off your debt.
  • Negotiate with the credit card issuer: To reduce the total amount you owe for the debt settlement, discuss it with the card issuer. Find out from your creditor whether they will accept full payment, a reduced sum, reduced interest rates, or a partial payment.
  • Apply for a 0% promotional APR credit card: Being accepted for a new credit card is probably not a possibility if your credit is already poor. However, using one of the finest credit cards with 0% APRs may be a smart method to help you get back on track if you have experienced a difficult period.
Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
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