How to transfer money from credit or debit card
Explore ways to send money online with your credit card and learn what to watch out for.
There are several ways you can send money online with a credit or debit card, but you'll need to keep an eye on the fees. It's often not the cheapest method of sending money overseas from Australia – paying with a bank transfer or using an online money transfer service attracts fewer charges. But if you have to, picking the right company to send money to using your credit card can save you on excess fees.
Can I send money online with my credit or debit card?
The short answer is yes, you can send money online using a credit or debit card. It's not the most common method to transfer money, though. Typically, people send money online using a bank transfer or through a money transfer platform like Wise. These methods are often cheaper than sending money via a credit card. However, if you need to, it is still possible to transfer money online through a card.
Compare international money transfer services that let you pay by credit and debit cards
You're often able to pay to transfer money overseas with your credit or debit card. But compare costs among providers to make sure you're getting the biggest bang for your buck.
How do I send money internationally using my credit card?
You have several ways to use your credit card when paying for an international money transfer in Australia, including:
- Your bank. Use your credit card to transfer money overseas from your bank account either online, over the phone or by visiting a branch. But with one caveat: Your credit card provider will likely consider your transfer a cash advance, resulting in both a higher rate of interest and a cash advance fee.
- Money transfer specialist. Specialist transfer companies like Western Union, Revolut, Wise, XE, MoneyGram, and more allow you to send money online with your credit card. These providers allow you to pay for online transfers using your credit card, and a few also allow for in-person transfers with your card.
- PayPal. Link your credit card to your PayPal account to make an overseas transfer. Fees are 2.9% of your transaction amount and $0.30 per transaction.
How do I send money internationally using my debit card?
Even if you don't have a credit card, you may be in luck: many money transfer providers accept debit cards. If you decide to use a debit card, be sure to understand any processing fees you'll pay.
Here are a few options for international transfers using your debit card:
- OFX. OFX stands out from other money transfer providers with its competitive exchange rates and dedicated customer support.
- Wise. Through Wise, you can pay no debit card fees for transfers to select countries. Watch out for percentage-based transfer fees, but rest easy knowing you'll get the mid-market rate on all currency trades.
When should I transfer money abroad with a credit card?
You could find yourself in a situation where sending a money transfer from your credit or debit card is a good idea. Here are just a few:
You want credit card rewards
If you have a rewards credit card, you may earn travel miles or cash back after you fund your transfer. However, this works best when you use a service like MoneyGram or Western Union — not your bank. Transferring through your bank could saddle you with higher interest rates and fees, erasing any rewards you might earn.
You need your card in a pinch
Credit and debit card transfers could be useful in an emergency. For example, you may need to send an urgent transfer to a loved one who's mugged overseas and has no cash. In this case, it may be most effective to send a card-based transfer via Western Union or MoneyGram.
The fees work in your favour
Before you initiate your transfer, check on fees for both credit and debit cards. If there's any difference, you're likely to find a lower fee for debit card transfers.
You don't have a bank account
Using a bank account is the standard funding source for money transfers. However, you may not have your bank account details handy. In that case, it may be more convenient to use your credit or debit card.
If you don't have a credit card, bank account or debit card, consider picking up a prepaid debit card. You can purchase one at a local store — such as a supermarket or Target — and use it to fund your transfer.
Why should I avoid sending money online with a credit card?
Compared with using your bank account, it could be more convenient to transfer money with your credit or debit card. However, keep these potential pitfalls in mind.
Your credit card transaction could be treated as a cash advance
When you pay for a transfer with your credit card, the transaction is often treated as a cash advance by your card provider. This typically attracts a cash advance fee and a higher rate of interest than an ordinary card payment. The interest may also apply from the day you make the transfer — without an interest grace period.
Look out for credit and debit card fees
Using your bank account is typically the cheapest option. When you use your credit or debit card, your provider is likely to charge you a higher transfer fee.
You can transfer money overseas with a credit or debit card, but it's typically your more expensive option. It's almost always cheaper to fund your transfer with your bank account. No matter how you'll ultimately pay, compare multiple transfer providers before parting with your money.
Frequently asked questions
Can I send money overseas using a prepaid card?
Can I transfer money from my credit card to PayPal?
Can I use a credit card to transfer money with Western Union?
Does WordRemit accept credit cards?
Can I pay off a credit card with an international bank account?
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