How To Get Cash Back From Credit Card At Store: Unlock Your Card’s Benefits
If you’re looking to get cash back from your credit card, as you can with a debit card, the first thing you need to know is likely what you’re looking for is a cash advance, not cash back.
This is an important distinction because while most credit cards DO offer a cash advance option, most DO NOT allow for a cashback option at the register/cashier, like with a debit card.
There are exceptions to the above ‘rules,’ which we will go through in detail. But the fast answer is that if you need to use your credit card to get cash, you will likely need to find an ATM and use it to take out a cash advance.
You should know going in that credit card cash advances typically have extra, fees, and higher interest rates, and start accruing interest right away (unlike normal credit card purchases).
A notable exception: Discover cards allow cash back
While what we mentioned above is true for the vast majority of credit cards, there is an exception.
Discover cards will allow you to take cash back at the register, with a couple of notes:
- Only available at participating retailers, which appear to be mostly grocery stores including Wal-mart
- Can only withdraw up to $120 per 24 hours
- No additional fees or higher interest rate
What’s the easiest way to get cash back from a credit card at the store?
With the vast majority of credit cards, you won’t be able to get cash back from your transaction from the register or cashier. While you can ask the cashier if this is an option they offer, you’re most likely to get a puzzled look or a quick ‘no.’
So, you won’t be able to ‘overpay’ for a purchase and get the change back in cash, like you can with a debit card.
A better option may be to use your credit card to get a cash advance
While cashback from the register isn’t generally an option, the good news is that cash advances from credit cards are generally safe and easy.
We’ve actually used this feature on our cards a few times when we needed cash quickly. Just about every ATM will offer this option and it only takes a few button clicks to get through the menu to complete the transaction.
Remember to check if your credit card offers cash advances first
Not all credit cards offer this service. In particular, ‘lower-end’ cards targeted at people with lower or no credit scores, like secured credit cards, may not offer a cash advance feature.
How to get a cash advance from your credit card
Many credit cards require you to set up and enable the cash advance feature on your credit card ahead of time – your card may not come with this ability automatically enabled. If you need to activate it, typically this means either navigating your cards’ website or calling their customer service line.
Usually, you will simply have to acknowledge the additional terms and conditions and higher fees associated with the cash advance option. Oftentimes, you will also have to set up a pin number which you will have to use when taking cash out, similar to a debit card.
Once you’re set-up, taking a cash advance will feel like a very similar transaction to taking cash out using a debit card. Simply walk up to an ATM, insert your card, and follow the prompts. The prompts may be slightly different than what you’re used to, and each ATM is a little unique anyway, so make sure you take your time and read carefully.
Most credit cards will count a cash advance against your available credit line limit.
Additionally, you should consider that many cards have a daily cash advance withdrawal limit. While it varies from card to card, it’s usually a few hundred dollars.
So you will need to consider that you may be limited by your available credit line limit and your daily cash withdrawal limit. If you need thousands of dollars in cash fast, you may need to head to your bank instead.
Note that cash advances typically have higher fees and rates than normal credit card transactions
When using your credit card for a cash advance, consider that you may face higher fees and interest than other cash withdrawals or payment methods.
Specifically, your card may have some or all of these additional charges:
- A cash advance fee. Typically 1-5% of the withdrawn amount
- Starts accruing interest immediately, instead of after the next statement cycle, like purchases (often called a ‘finance charge’)
- A higher interest rate APR than purchases
- Additional fees: like the ATM fee and even an additional ‘network access fee’
Although we have used credit card cash advances in a pinch in the past, we generally think of this as a last-resort option. Additionally, with the rapid advancement of the payments industry in recent years, there are more ways than ever to pay someone when you need to, so we haven’t had to use these backup options in many years.
Still, if you’re still wondering how to get cash back from credit card at store, and you’re not a fan of the cash advance options, you still need ways to complete your transaction.
So, here are some additional options for either getting cash or making a payment:
5 alternative ways to get cash
- Use your debit card at an ATM or for a purchase
- Go to your nearest bank branch physical location
- Purchase a money order using your credit card, then cash it
- Purchase a pre-paid debit card with your credit card, then get cash back at the point of sale (may incur additional fees)
- Borrow from a friend or family member (make sure to pay them back!)
5 alternative ways to make a payment, other than cash
- Apps like Venmo that connect directly to your bank accounts
- Write a check
- Money orders or cashier’s checks
- Wire transfer
- ACH payment
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Editor & Author
Cathy Gresham is a finance whiz.
After earning her MBA from The Wharton School, she has worked in strategy at some of the world’s largest and most influential financial companies for 20+ years. Notably, she has worked for the biggest credit card issuers and networks and brings an insider’s perspective to how credit card products work behind the scenes.
Cathy is passionate about personal finance and investing, and loves helping people learn about these complex topics. Her wit and humor make learning about money fun, and she’s always happy to share her knowledge with others.
Cathy enjoys spending time with her family and friends when she’s not crunching numbers or developing investment strategies. She’s also an avid runner, and can often be found pounding the pavement on her morning jog.