Paying my way by credit card?

Mar 17th, 2007, 05:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 74,166
Hi Is,

Call your credit card company, but I think that cash advance accrue interest from the moment that you get the money.

Why would you want to do this anyway?

Why give the CC company your money when you can get cash from an ATM?

ira is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 05:30 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 210
Ask your bank if this is true. Frankly, I doubt it. If your French friend has her Visa card through a French bank, I'd be doubly skeptical, because most French Visa cards are debit rather than credit cards.
mlaffitte is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 05:38 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 33,510
I wouldn't take advice about your own credit card from someone in France (or in US, actually), you should obviously call your own card to find out. There isn't any law about this, so the card sets the terms.

In general, no, I don't think that is true, if you take a cash advance, it is a cash advance regardless of any credit balance you have and you will incur the cash advance fee for your CC (which can be very high). I know when folks starting reporting this idea on travel boards like this one many years ago, I called my CC to ask them if this were true, and they said NO, you will still have to pay the cash advance fee because it is still a cash advance. You are paying them for that service, and it isn't an issue of what your balance is or is not. They have fees for you getting cash abroad and they will charge them. They did say they thought the high interest charges from the date of withdrawal wouldn't apply if you had a credit balance (the clerk I spoke with wasn't sure on that, but I didn't care enough to pursue it as the large fee was my main question, as I had no intention of doing this), but the fees for taking a cash advance would. They are often 3 pct or more of the amount.

On top of that, the card said whether you had a credit balance or not would not affect your withdrawal limits as they were there for a reason and wouldn't change.

Now I do remember one person on Fodors posting and insisting his personal CC did not charge a cash advance fee for a cash advance if he had a balance, but you would really have to verify that with your card and even then, the person answering might not give you the correct answer (they often don't). You'd probably also be charged your card's foreign exchange fee on top of the cash advance fee.

I'd say there is no point to using a credit card as an ATM card except in some emergency when you can't use your ATM card.
Christina is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 05:48 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 38
In Australia i have recently got a Mastercard (GE MOney) specifically for buying on eBay from overseas and oversease travel. It does not charge the 2.5% fee on top of foreign transactions like other cards and also interest rate on cash advance is same as for purchases...Great idea...
jedistar is offline  
Mar 17th, 2007, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 19
Thanks- you guys are fast! I was just looking at all the options, in case I had problems with my ATM cards... So, to be clear- the best thing to do will be to withdraw money from the ATM (my credit union says they don't charge any fees) and use cash for almost everything, to avoid cc charges at all? I feel like I'm getting more confused the more I read...
ls608 is offline  
Mar 18th, 2007, 06:39 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 210
If your bank or credit union doesn't charge extra for overseas ATM withdrawals, then using ATMs and paying in cash as much as possible is certainly the cheapest way to go. I've lived in Europe for over a decade and regularly withdraw money from my US bank account using ATMs -- and in 12 years I can think of only 3 or 4 times that I was unable to use my ATM card. (for example once the truck drivers who deliver cash to French ATMs went on strike for a week!) So bring your ATM card and just use the same precautions you would at home, e.g. keep card in a safe place and don't use ATMs in dark or isolated places.
mlaffitte is offline  

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