Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card?

ByI. Mitic
December 29, 2021

If you’ve got credit card bills piling up, you’ve probably asked the following question: Can you pay a credit card with another credit card? After all, there’s no law against taking out one, two, or even a dozen credit cards

To cut to the chase, the answer is “sort of,” but it’s a slippery slope. Once you get on this hamster wheel, it’s hard to get off, as we explain below.

How To Pay Off a Credit Card with a Credit Card

At the risk of sounding contradictory, you cannot directly pay off one credit card balance using another. If you have a 0% introductory offer on one, you can’t use that to pay off another charging 20% APR.

Credit card companies block this course of action for two reasons:

  1. Fees for settling credit balances across lenders are high
  2. Using a credit card to pay off a credit card is questionable consumer behavior

In other words, it doesn't work for them, and it probably won’t work for you, either. However, there are other options available for clearing credit card debt beyond making the minimum payment, which we discuss below.

Balance Transfers

Perhaps the most common method to reduce credit card debt is to make a balance transfer. This procedure allows you to transfer existing debt from one credit card to another with a lower APR.

Whether you’re able to do this depends on the terms of the credit card company. Some allow you to do it, but others don’t. 

The pros of this method include:

  • The ability to benefit from introductory interest-free periods on your new account, often up to 18 months
  • Better long-term APRs once the introductory period is over
  • Enhanced reward programs, such as points or cash back when you make a certain number of purchases (You can’t usually pay off a credit card with another credit card to get points)

The cons of this method include:

  • Transfer fees that you must pay the card issue when moving your balance
  • The risk of being declined and the effect that might have on your credit score

Before beginning the balance transfer process, check that your credit score is above 670. The higher it is, the more likely the transfer is to go through: If it is too low, the receiving credit card company might not accept your business.

Cash Advances

While you can’t pay off a credit card with a credit card, you can use a cash advance – a short-term loan from the lender or issuer.

Lenders generally see cash advances as substantially riskier than conventional credit-card borrowing. For this reason, you’ll likely pay a higher interest rate (perhaps 25% instead of the average of around 15% for credit card purchases).

The main pros of a cash advance are as follows:

  • Speed: You’re often able to get the money you need to pay off another credit card quickly. This is helpful if your current card has a high APR or you know you’re going to struggle to make the minimum payment. While interest rates are higher, it still may be cheaper to use a cash advance in the long term.

The cons of cash advances are as follows:

  • It might not improve your debt situation. Since cash advances are expensive and need to be paid back, you may wind up shelling out more money on fees and interest.
  • Some credit card companies will also charge fixed fees for the service, in addition to interest charges.

Advice For Paying Off Debt With A Credit Card

While balance transfers are an excellent way to service high-priority debt, they’re not enough to guarantee a stable financial future. Furthermore, if you want to use a credit card to pay another credit card bill, it usually means that there’s something else going wrong with your finances. 

Here’s some sage advice on how to avoid this:

Stick To Your Payment Schedule

Credit card users get into trouble when they fail to stick to their repayment schedules. They often put off repayments until the following month, telling themselves they will sort the problem out later. However, when the repayment date comes, they discover they still don’t have enough money, or something else takes priority.

If you’re prone to this type of behavior, set up automatic payments. Don’t rely on your willpower alone.

Find Out How Much You Owe

Looking at how much you owe is rarely pleasant, but it is necessary to get out of debt. Check your balances and due dates across all your credit cards and tally them up.

Pay Off High-Interest Debt First

Can you use a credit card to pay a credit card? Not exactly, but you can target your most expensive debt. If one credit card company is charging you 10% and another is asking for 20%, then pay off the 20% first. Otherwise, the total amount you pay will be higher.

Summary

In this post, we asked, can you pay off a credit card with another credit card? You can, sort of, pay off credit card debt with another card, but not directly since most issuers don’t allow it. Instead, you’ll either want to use a balance transfer or cash advance.

Cash advances are quicker, but they generally come with a higher interest rate and rarely cover your whole debt. On the other hand, getting a credit card with lower interest and transferring your balance won’t always work, as even this practice is frowned upon by lenders.

However, if your credit score is high enough, it might just be doable.

FAQ

How can I pay my credit card bill with a credit card?

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You can’t pay your credit card bill with another credit card. However, you can use a cash advance or balance transfer to clear it.

Can I pay my credit card the same day I use it?

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Yes, you can clear it immediately if you want to; this will likely raise your credit standing.

What is the best way to pay off credit card debt?

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Try reducing your spending and increasing your income. Ideally, you want to avoid paying off your balances using high-interest debt from other sources, including cash advances. Focus on long-term, sustainable financial arrangements that don’t require you to continuously lean on credit to make ends meet.

Can we pay off a credit card before the due date?

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Ideally, paying off a credit card should always happen before the due date on the statement, as doing this may improve your credit score.

About author

For years, the clients I worked for were banks. That gave me an insider’s view of how banks and other institutions create financial products and services. Then I entered the world of journalism. Fortunly is the result of our fantastic team’s hard work. I use the knowledge I acquired as a bank copywriter to create valuable content that will help you make the best possible financial decisions.

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