Low Cash Advance Rate Cards

Want to withdraw cash from your credit card without incurring high cash advance fees? Compare low cash advance rate credit cards here.

An important features of credit cards is that they allow you to withdraw cash from ATMs or through EFTPOS terminals in the form of cash advances. When compared to standard purchases, these transactions typically attract a higher interest rate and a cash advance fee. But there is a selection of credit cards that charge a more competitive interest rate for cash advances, which can make it more affordable to withdraw money using your credit card.

Here, we compare low cash advance rate credit cards, explain how they work and look at the other factors to consider before choosing and using a credit card for cash advances.

How do low cash advance credit cards work?

Low cash advance rate credit cards offer similar features to other credit cards but charge a more competitive interest rate on cash advances. Many of these cards actually charge the same interest rate for both purchases and cash advance transactions.

Note that even with the lower interest rate, you'll still have to pay a cash advance fee every time you use a credit card for a cash advance. These transactions also won't be eligible for any interest-free days your card may offer for standard purchases, which means interest will accrue from the time the transaction is made until it is paid off in full.

What are the benefits of low cash advance rate cards?

Low cash advance rate credit cards give you a more affordable way to use your credit card for a cash advance transaction. This can be particularly useful if you need access to extra funds but can't use your credit card to make a payment. For example, if you're overseas or shopping somewhere that only accepts cash.

cash advance at ATM machine

What exactly is a cash advance?

A cash advance is when you use your credit card to access money, for example if you get cash out at a supermarket or ATM. Cash advances can also include "cash equivalent" transactions, such as using your credit card to buy gift cards, foreign currency, travellers cheques or for gambling transactions.

As these transactions give you access to actual money or an equivalent, they typically attract a higher interest rate, as well as a cash advance fee worth 2-4% of the total transaction. The easiest way to avoid these costs is to avoid using your credit card for cash advances.

What is the difference between cash advances and purchases?

While a cash advance refers to you using your credit card to access money, purchases refer to instances when you use your credit card to pay for products and services. Most credit cards charge different purchase and cash advance rates, and cash advance rates are typically higher.

How to compare low cash advance credit cards

Not all low cash advance rate credit cards are the same, so when you consider applying for one, take some time to compare the following aspects:

  • Interest rates. Remember that the standard variable cash advance rate may not be the same as the purchase rate, so it's important to look at both.
  • Cash advance fee. This fee is charged every time you make a cash advance transaction. It is usually represented as the greater of a fixed dollar amount or percentage. For example, "$3 or 3% of the transaction, whichever is greater".
  • Annual fee. Credit card annual fees can range from $20 to $400 or more. When considering this cost, weigh up the features of the card and consider whether they will offset the annual fee so that you can choose a product that's affordable based on your circumstances.
  • International transaction fee. Most credit cards charge a fee of 2-4% for transactions made in a foreign currency. If you plan on using a low cash advance rate credit card for transactions overseas or online (such as foreign ATM withdrawals or Internet gambling), make sure you also consider this fee and how it could impact on the overall cost of a cash advance.
  • Introductory offers. A range of credit cards offer signup bonuses and introductory 0% interest rates for purchases or balance transfers. These offers can add short-term value to the card you choose, but it's important to note that the benefits usually don't apply to cash advance transactions. Always read the terms and conditions to make sure you will be able to take advantage of this type of offer based on the way you plan to use your card.

What else should I bear in mind?

Using a credit card for a cash advance is not on the top of most people’s list, but there are instances when you may have no other option. If you end up getting a cash advance using your credit card, keep the following in mind:

  • Budget for repayments. The longer you carry a balance on your credit card, the more interest you will pay. Factoring repayments into your budget or using savings to clear the balance can help keep these costs to a minimum.
  • Make a payment as soon as possible. While credit card interest is charged monthly, it is actually calculated daily. This means each day you carry a balance from a cash advance, you will be paying a little bit more for the privilege. But by making payments before your statement is due, you can reduce the overall cost of a cash advance. You can do this any time by transferring money from your everyday bank account, or by logging into your credit card's Internet banking facility and reviewing the payment options available. This will also help you keep track of the balance.
  • Overseas fees for cash advances. If you use your credit card to get cash out while travelling overseas, you could have to pay ATM fees and international transaction fees. These costs would be in addition to the cash advance fee and interest charges. Note that international transaction fees can also apply when you use your card to make purchases through international websites.
  • Rewards. If your credit card comes linked to a rewards program, any cash advances you make won't be eligible for rewards. This is also the case for balance transfers.

Start comparing low cash advance rate cards

How do I apply for a low cash advance credit card?

Applying for a low cash advance rate card is simple and can be completed online in around 10-15 minutes. After comparing cards and choosing one that suits your needs, just click the "Go to Site" button. Before that, make sure you meet the eligibility requirements for the card. These can vary from card to card, but generally include the following criteria:

  • You must be over 18 years of age

If you meet the application requirements, you can begin your application. Keep the following documents and details handy to speed up the process:

  • Your name, date of birth, marital status, and number of dependents
  • Your residential status, home address, email address, and phone number
  • Your employer’s name and contact details
  • Details about your income, expenditure, assets, and liabilities

Frequently asked questions

Why do cash advances attract high interest rates?

Unlike regular credit card purchases, cash advances give you access to actual money or an equivalent. In this sense, they are similar to more traditional loans but don't require you to apply for more credit. This could suggest to a lender that a person is desperate for funds or needs cash to make a questionable purchase. As a result, most credit card providers view cash advances as "higher risk" transactions and apply higher interest rates and fees.

Do I have to repay a cash advance within a given time period?

You can continue making minimum monthly payments until you clear the balance completely, but by doing so you would end up paying a lot in interest. Ideally, you should aim to pay the balance off in full as quickly as possible to keep these costs to a minimum.

What other options do I have to get money in a hurry?

You can consider getting a secured or unsecured personal loan – both tend to charge lower interest rates when compared to credit cards. Just how quickly you get access to funds depends on the loan issuer.

The most popular use of credit cards is ultimately, using them for purchases. Banks therefore tend to only promote the 'purchase' rate, usually leaving the much higher cash advance rate hidden in the terms & conditions. Cash advances are where financial issuers can charge a bit more because there is less competition for cash advance interest rates.

All it takes is one cash advance to incur a $2-$10 withdrawal fee.

Learn how to use cash advances responsibly and save on your interest repayments and fees

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Read more on this topic

American Express Essential Credit Card
American Express Essential Credit Card

Interest rate

14.99

Annual fee

0
ME Bank frank Credit Card
ME Bank frank Credit Card

Interest rate

11.99

Annual fee

0
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
HSBC Platinum Credit Card

Interest rate

19.99

Annual fee

149

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10 Responses to Low Cash Advance Rate Cards

  1. Default Gravatar
    deb | May 9, 2016

    I would like to know if you can do a balance transfer my current card is charging 19.99 on the cash amount what do you offer best rate for balance transfer
    thanks

    • Staff
      Anndy | May 9, 2016

      Hi Deb,

      Thanks for your question.

      Please note that finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service and is not a representative of any credit card company.

      Yes, it is possible to transfer your credit card balance to another credit card with a different issuer. You can refer to this page to know which banks will and will not allow you to transfer your balance to. You can then start comparing your balance transfer credit card options here.

      I hope this helps.

      Cheers,
      Anndy

  2. Default Gravatar
    Kate | June 11, 2014

    Are there any credit cards that DON’T allow cash advances – in case your will power isn’t 100% …. Thanks for replying

    • Staff
      Shirley | June 12, 2014

      Hi Kate,

      Thanks for your question.

      Unfortunately there aren’t any credit card that don’t allow cash advances, this is a standard feature.

      If you don’t like the idea of cash advances, you may want to opt for a charge card instead.

      Cheers,
      Shirley

  3. Default Gravatar
    AB | August 22, 2013

    If I do a cash advance on the Citibank Platinum credit card of $30,000.

    I will be charged 3.5% on the amount of $30,000 and the interest rate is 0.00% for the first 6 months is that right?

    AB.

    • Staff
      Jacob | August 22, 2013

      Hi AB.

      You can read the card’s review on this page. There is currently an interest free period on cash advances. You will not get charged any interest on any cash advances you make during this term. During the interest free period, you will only have to make the minimum monthly repayment. After this interest free period, the cash advance rate will be charged on any unpaid cash advances transacted during the cash advance promotional period.

      Thanks for your question.

  4. Default Gravatar
    William | May 6, 2013

    If I choose to pay cash up front to exchange for Euros and GBP, should it not be a better rate for me than for someone using a card of any sort?

    • Staff
      Jacob | May 6, 2013

      Hi William. Thanks for your question. To clarify: you’re looking to exchange currency, and you’re wondering whether you’d get a better rate if you exchanged cash at an exchange office when compared to using a credit card to make a purchase at a foreign country? To answer, it really depends on the fees and charges at the exchange office where you get your cash. A credit card will incur a cross currency conversion fee, which is usually about 2-3% – in addition to an exchange margin that is applied by the issuing bank and the card scheme. This can be expensive; however, in my experience, no more expensive than the rates you can get at an exchange office – there can also be a significant fee for using these services too. Jacob.

  5. Default Gravatar
    Vardi | March 26, 2013

    I need to organise a low cash advance interest rate credit card ASAP, for the gap needed in a settlement for an apartment on this Thursday afternoon. Is there any card I can apply for online that will make its services available for use to draw a cash advance to be transferred into my access account with ANZ who charge 21% on cash advances which will cost me $3000 for the $15000 I need to have for the gap in the monies available for the settlement. i.e. any online application that will give me the card to use for Thursday March 28th a.m.? Thank you,

    Vardi

    • Staff
      Marc | March 26, 2013

      Hello Vardi,
      thanks for the question.

      The average time for a credit card to be approved, received and activated is approximately two weeks. There are loans such as Payday loans which may be able to applied for and received on shorter notice, more information about these can be found here.

      I hope this helps,
      Marc.

Credit Cards Comparison

Rates last updated December 4th, 2016
Purchase rate (p.a.) Balance transfer rate (p.a.) Annual fee
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
Enjoy a 0% p.a. balance transfer offer for 18 months and also earn 2 bonus Velocity Points in the first 3 months on everyday spend.
20.74% p.a. 0% p.a. for 18 months $64 p.a. annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter) Go to site More info
ME Bank frank Credit Card
Enjoy a low and consistent interest rate on purchases and cash advances, combined with no annual fee.
11.99% p.a. $0 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
Receive a full annual fee refund and save $149 if you meet the $6,000 spend requirement. Enjoy a balance transfer offer and platinum card benefits such as complimentary insurances and concierge services.
19.99% p.a. 0% p.a. for 15 months $149 p.a. Go to site More info
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
The NAB Low Rate Card offers 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months. This card also comes with a low annual fee.
0% p.a. for 15 months (reverts to 13.99% p.a.) 0% p.a. for 15 months with a one off 3% balance transfer fee $59 p.a. Go to site More info
HSBC Platinum Qantas Credit Card
Receive 60,000 bonus Qantas Points on eligible spend within 3 months. Enjoy access to premium benefits and complimentary insurance.
19.99% p.a. $199 p.a. Go to site More info

* The credit card offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of credit cards finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking independent financial advice and consider your own personal financial circumstances when comparing cards.

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