Cash Advance Credit Cards

Need to withdraw cash from your credit card? Compare credit cards with the lowest cash advance rates and cash advance fees.

0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
Up to 55 days on purchases
Know if you’ve been approved with the quick 60 second online application.
New cards only, conditions apply.

In practice the vast majority of Australian credit cards are cash advance cards, with the exception of cards directly issued by American Express which does not routinely offer cash advances.

High interest rates apply immediately to cash advances

Taking regular cash advances from your credit car is not a good idea, for two reasons:

  • The interest rate charged is very high, often around the 22% p.a. mark
  • Interest is charged from the day you take the advance until the day you repay it (i.e. there are no interest–free days available with a cash advance).

Upfront cash advance fee

There’s also a further charge usually applied to a cash advance in the form of an upfront fee. This could be a fixed amount, such as $3, or a percentage of the amount advanced, e.g. 2%. Fees for overseas cash advance withdrawals are sometimes higher.

Why do cash advances cost so much?

A cash advance is costly partly because it is effectively an instant, unsecured loan. You don’t have to fill in an application form, the card issuer has no control over how the money will be spent, and there is no guaranteed asset that can be called upon in the event of a repayment default. Contrast this with lower-interest sources of funds like a personal loan (usually granted for a specific purpose) or secured loan (home loan, car loan, construction loan).

‘Cash advance’ has a wide definition

In addition to an over-the-counter or ATM delivery of Australian banknotes, your card issuer may also consider the following credit card transactions to be cash advances:

  • Withdrawals in a foreign currency while travelling overseas
  • Purchases of foreign currency or traveller’s cheques prior to travelling
  • Balance transfers not protected by an introductory interest rate offer
  • Purchases of gift cards or prepaid debit cards
  • Funds transfer from your credit card account to a bank account
  • Gambling transactions

No rewards points earned on cash advances

If you take a cash advance from a credit card that allows you to earn rewards points on purchases, you won’t earn any points on your cash advance transaction because a cash advance is not an eligible purchase for the purpose of earning rewards.

Look for alternatives to a credit card cash advance

If you are going to need access to additional cash regularly or for long periods, talk to your bank about a personal loan or overdraft, where the interest rates are much lower. But if this isn’t possible, look for a credit card with a lower than average interest rate for cash advances.

Cards with low cash advance interest rates

You’re unlikely to find a low cash advance interest rate on a card issued by one of the Big Four banks. But many smaller banks and credit unions do have cards with low cash advance interest rates. The ME frank Credit Card, for example, usually has the same low interest rate, currently 11.99% p.a., for both purchases and cash advances.

A slightly lower than average cash advance rate may be a better option

Given that a cash advance is, at best, a short-term convenience rather than a long-term solution to any financial problems you may have, consider looking for a card with a slightly lower cash advance interest rate – perhaps in the range 17%-20% p.a. – to make occasional cash advances slightly less painful. This will allow you to shop around for a card which may also have other benefits besides the low interest rate.

Consider the card’s other features before you decide

Choosing a card solely on the basis of its low cash advance interest rate may not be a good idea. Credit cards come with many other features, such as rewards points and complimentary benefits, that may far outweigh the advantage of the low interest rate. You will also need to take other costs, such as the annual fee, into consideration.

Check out the cash advance interest rates on the cards shown below, but don’t ignore the card’s other features.

cash advance rate
cash advance fee
purchase rate
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CREDIT CARD COMPARE EXCLUSIVE:
0% p.a. for 25 months on balance transfers. Reverts to cash advance rate.
No balance transfer fee.
7 types of complimentary insurances including overseas travel insurance.
More info
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21.74% p.a.
ongoing
whichever is greater, $2.50 or 2%
19.74% p.a.
ongoing
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card Exclusive Offer
Apply by 31 jul 18
0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
Up to 55 days on purchases
More info
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19.49% p.a.
ongoing
2%
13.49% p.a.
ongoing
St.George Vertigo Platinum Credit Card Exclusive Offer
Apply by 01 aug 18
0% p.a. for 24 months on balance transfers. (1% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
Low ongoing variable purchase interest rate of 12.74% p.a.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
More info
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19.49% p.a.
ongoing
2%
12.74% p.a.
ongoing
Citi Rewards Platinum Card Balance Transfer Offer
Apply by 31 jul 18
0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers.
One-off 2.5% balance transfer fee applies.
Reduced annual fee of $49 p.a. in the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter).
More info
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21.74% p.a.
ongoing
3.5%
20.99% p.a.
ongoing
75,000 bonus Qantas Points and $200 back when you make one eligible purchase in the first 3 months.
Earn 1 Qantas Point per $1 spent on eligible purchases up to $7,500 per statement period.
Eligibility criteria, T&Cs, fees and charges apply.
More info
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21.49% p.a.
ongoing
2%
19.99% p.a.
ongoing
Woolworths Everyday Platinum Credit Card
Apply by 30 sep 18
27 reviews
10% off your first shop at Woolworths on selected dates – Saving you up to $50 every month.
$0 annual fee for the first year, saving you $49.
0% p.a. on balance transfers for 14 months and then 21.99% p.a.
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21.99% p.a.
ongoing
Greater of $5 or 3%
19.99% p.a.
ongoing
Bendigo Bank Platinum Rewards Mastercard
Earn 1.5 Bendigo rewards points for every $1 spent.
$89 p.a. annual fee.
Extended warranty on purchases.
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21.99% p.a.
ongoing
0.5%
19.99% p.a.
ongoing
No foreign transaction fees on purchases when travelling or shopping online.
No currency conversion fees.
$0 p.a. annual fee.
More info
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21.99% p.a.
ongoing
whichever is greater $4 or 3%
21.99% p.a.
ongoing
Bendigo Bank Low Rate First Mastercard
Low 11.99% p.a. purchase rate.
$29 p.a. annual fee.
Cash advance rate of 13.99% p.a.
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13.99% p.a.
ongoing
0.5%
11.99% p.a.
ongoing
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year, then $30 p.a.
An easy to manage credit limit from $500 will mean you can’t build up a lot of debt.
Make every day a little bit easier and do your banking on the go with the ANZ App.
More info
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21.49% p.a.
ongoing
2%
19.74% p.a.
ongoing
0% p.a. for the first 18 months on balance transfers with a 2% balance transfer fee on amounts transferred. Reverts to 21.49% p.a.
Low annual fee.
Up to 44 days interest free on purchases when you pay your account in full each month.
More info
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21.49% p.a.
ongoing
2%
19.74% p.a.
ongoing
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0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers.
(2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
Westpac Low Rate Credit Card Exclusive Offer
0% p.a. for 26 months on balance transfers. (2% balance transfer fee applies). Reverts to variable cash advance rate.
$0 p.a. annual fee for the first year.
Low variable purchase rate of 13.49% p.a.
Enabled with Visa payWave technology for faster PIN-less purchases under $100.
Low minimum income threshold of $15,000 needed for eligibility.
Know if you’ve been approved with the quick 60 second online application.
852 branches and phone support in Australia.
Up to 55 days on purchases.

Promotion. Credit criteria, fees and charges apply. Read the terms and conditions before making a decision.

 

Q&As about Cash Advance Credit Cards from customers

Q: What is a credit card cash advance?

A credit card cash advance typically refers to the withdrawal of a sum from your credit card account, delivered in Australian banknotes either over-the-counter or from an ATM.

But your card issuer may also define the following credit card transaction types as cash advances:

  • Purchase of foreign currency or traveller’s cheques
  • Cash withdrawal in a foreign currency while travelling overseas
  • Purchase of a gift card or other prepaid debit card
  • Balance transfer from another card, without an introductory interest rate offer
  • Funds transfer from your credit card account to a bank account
  • Gambling and gaming transactions
Q: What are typical cash advance interest rates?

Most credit cards, especially those issued by the Big Four banks, charge a very high interest rate for cash advances. Typically this rate will be even higher than the rate charged for unpaid purchase balances, and it will often fall in the range 21%-22%p.a.

Q: Are there any cards with low cash advance interest rates?

Yes, some credit cards do have a much lower interest rate for cash advances. However, 'lower’ is a relative term here, because a rate of between 10% and 13% p.a., charged by some smaller banks and credit unions, is low for a credit card but relatively high when compared with personal loan, secured loan and overdraft interest rates.

Also note that a card which advertises a low interest rate for purchases may still have a rate of over 20% p.a. for cash advances, or may not even offer cash advances.

Q: Do interest-free days apply to cash advances?

No. The 44 or 55 interest-free days available on purchase transactions do not apply to cash advances. Interest on cash advances will be charged from the date of the transaction until the date of full repayment.

Q: What other charges are associated with a cash advance?

Most credit cards charge a cash advance fee as well as interest. This may be a fixed amount (e.g. $3 per transaction) or a percentage (e.g. 2% of the amount withdrawn) or the greater of the fixed amount and the percentage (e.g. $3, or 2% of the withdrawal amount, whichever is greater).

Also bear in mind that many credit cards charge an annual fee, which needs to be counted as part of the cost if you are just going to keep the card in your wallet for the purpose of cash advances.

Q: Why does it cost so much to get a cash advance?

A cash advance is an instant, unsecured loan – no paperwork, no delay, no questions asked. The card issuer is taking a bigger risk with a cash advance than other institutions do when making personal loans, home loans and other loans secured on a fixed asset.

Q: Can I earn rewards points on a cash advance?

No. Rewards points are earned on eligible purchases, not on cash advances and cash equivalents. A cash advance is not an eligible purchase for the purpose of rewards points.

Q: What other card features should I consider, besides the cash advance interest rate?

When assessing the value to you of any credit card, don’t just look at one feature. Take into account other attributes, such as rewards points, cashback, complimentary insurance, free flights and airport lounge access.

Also consider any negative features, such as the annual fee.

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