Cash advance credit cards can be useful if you need emergency cash, or to pay bills that do not accept credit as a form of payment. 

They can be costly, as they carry higher interest rates and fees, so there are a few things to consider before you apply.

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Purchase Rate

12.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$59

$15

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$95

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$120

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $30

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

19.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$129

$30

More details

Purchase Rate

19.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$0

for 12 months then $149

$12.5

More details

Purchase Rate

16.99%

Interest Free Days

45

Annual Fee

$149

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

19.74%

Interest Free Days

44

Annual Fee

$30

$15

More details

Purchase Rate

16.99%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$125

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$30

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$80

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$95

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$425

$20

More details

Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$295

$20

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Purchase Rate

20.24%

Interest Free Days

55

Annual Fee

$375

$20

More details

Learn more about credit cards

What is a cash advance credit card?

A cash advance credit card is typically one that allows you to withdraw cash from your credit card, and will most likely charge a cash advance fee to cover the cost of borrowing.

It works in the same way as using a debit card to withdraw cash, however the cash is withdrawn from your credit limit, not your bank account balance.

Interest on a cash advance credit card can vary from lender to lender, but in general is much higher than a standard or low rate credit card. 

What to look out for with a cash advance credit card

In some instances you may find cash advance credit cards charge fees or very high rates, which could end up costing you more than you expect.

This includes:

  • Additional fees: As well as being charged a cash advance fee, you may also be faced with ATM fees, foreign exchange fees or other charges.
  • Very high interest rates: Cash advance credit cards can often charge interest rates above 20%, which is a very expensive form of borrowing compared to others.
  • Cash withdrawal limits: Your credit limit is not always your cash advance limit, make sure to check how much cash you can withdraw from your credit card before you apply.
  • Interest-free periods: Cash advance cards offering interest-free periods may revert to a high cash advance interest rates when that period is over, sometimes up to 27%.

It’s important to check the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) and the terms and conditions when you apply for an interest free credit card, to make sure you are not shocked when it switches to a higher cash advance rate.

What is the real cost of a cash advance credit card?

Cash advance credit cards carry higher interest rates than other credit cards, which can reach up to 27%. These cards can also charge a fee for the privilege.

Cash advance fees are normally between $2 and $10. Some lenders do not charge dollar amounts however, and instead charge the fee as a percentage of the amount you withdraw, ranging from 1% to 10%.

How to calculate the real cost of a cash advance

Consider the following example:

You owe your friend $1000, that you need to repay within the week, but you do not have the available funds. You decide to take the cash out of your credit card at an ATM to repay them. Your cash advance rate is 22.24%, the ATM fee is $2.50, the cash advance fee is 1% of the amount withdrawn, and you pay the amount back, in full, in 20 days. 

Here is the real cost of that $1000 withdrawal:

1. Determine the daily interest rate

If your interest rate is 22.24%, divide this first by 100 to get the percentage as a decimal:

22.24/100 = 0.2224

Then, divide the decimal by 365 to get the daily cash rate:

0.2224 / 365 = 0.00061

2. Determine interest charged per day

If the daily interest rate is 0.00061, multiply this by the amount of cash withdrawn:

0.00061 x $1000 = $0.61

3. Calculate the total interest charged

If it takes you 20 days to repay the $1000, multiply the daily interest by 20:

20 x $0.61 = $12.19

4. Calculate the cash advance fee charged

If the cash advance fee is 1%, divide the 1% by 100 to get the decimal:

1 / 100 = 0.01

Then, multiply by the amount of cash withdrawn:

0.01 x $1000 = $10

5. Add up all charges including the ATM fee to get the final amount charged

$10 (cash advance fee) + $12.19 (interest charged) + $2.50 (ATM fee) = $24.69

This means you will pay $24.69 to borrow $1000 for 20 days.

When will I be charged for a cash advance?

You are typically charged a cash advance rate or fee when you withdraw cash, yet there are other times when you can be charged this fee. 

Depending on the lender’s terms and conditions, you may be charged a cash advance fee for the following transactions:

  • Physically withdrawing cash from the credit card
  • Paying a bill with BPAY when the biller does not accept credit card payments
  • Buying a gift card or prepaid card
  • Paying government bills or debts
  • Using your credit card for gambling purchases at sporting events, online or at the casino
  • Buying travellers cheques or paying for foreign currency
  • Balance transfers from one credit card to another

Frequently asked questions

How to get money from a credit card

You can get money from a credit card, but generally it will cost you.

Withdrawing money from a credit card is called a cash advance, as it operates more as a loan than a simple cash withdrawal. Because it is a loan, you may be charged interest on your cash advance as soon as you make the withdrawal. Interest rates are also usually much higher for cash advances than standard credit card purchases.

In addition to the interest rate, you may also be charged a cash advance fee. This could be a flat rate, or a percentage of your total cash advance. If you are considering a cash advance, make sure to add up how much it will cost you before committing.

How to get cash with just a credit card number

Banks and merchants usually will not allow you to access cash without a physical card, because doing so would open up opportunities for fraudulent activities. Even most non-cash credit card transactions (such as shopping online) require you to know the expiry date and CVV on your credit card in addition to the card number.

However, some banks offer cardless cash for transaction accounts. Using a secure app installed on your mobile phone, you can log onto an ATM and withdraw the money you need. This could be a practical and secure solution if you don’t have a card and need cash.

How does credit card interest work?

Generally, when we talk about credit card interest, we mean the purchase interest rate, which is the interest charged on purchases you make with your credit card.

If you don’t pay your full balance each month (or even if you pay the minimum amount), you are charged interest on all the outstanding transactions and the remaining balance. However, interest is also charged on cash advances, balance transfers, special rate offers and, in some cases, even the fees charged by the company.

The interest rate can vary, depending on the credit card. Some have an interest-free period, otherwise you start paying interest from the day you make a purchase or from the day your monthly statement is issued. So avoid interest by paying the full amount promptly.

How do you use a credit card?

Credit cards are a quick and convenient way to pay for items in store, online or over the phone. You can use a credit card as a cashless way to pay for goods or services, both locally and overseas. You can also use a credit card to make a cash advance, which gives you the flexibility to withdraw cash from your credit card account. Because a credit card uses the bank’s funds instead of your own, you will be charged interest on the money you spend – unless you pay off the entire debt within the interest-free period. If you pay the minimum monthly repayment, you will be charged interest. There are many different credit card options on the market, all offering different interest rates and reward options.

How do you use credit cards?

A credit card can be an easy way to make purchases online, in person or over the phone. When used properly, a credit card can even help you manage your cash flow. But before applying for a credit card, it’s good to know how they work. A credit card is essentially a personal line of credit which lets you buy things and pay for them later. As a card holder, you’ll be given a credit limit and (potentially) charged interest on the money the bank lends you. At the end of each billing period, the bank will send you a statement which shows your outstanding balance and the minimum amount you need to pay back. If you don’t pay back the full balance amount, the bank will begin charging you interest.

How is credit card interest charged?

Your credit card will be charged interest when you don’t pay off the balance on your credit card. Your card provider or bank charges you the individual interest rate that is associated with your card, which is usually between 10 and 20 per cent. 

The interest will be added onto your bill each month or billing period if you don’t pay off the balance, unless you are in an interest-free period.

You will be charged interest on anything that hasn’t been paid for inside the interest-free period. Usually you will receive a notice on your bill or statement saying you will be charged interest so you have some form of notice before you’re charged.

Current Annual Fees

These are the current annual fees on your existing credit card.

How can I increase my Bankwest credit card limit?

When you apply for a Bankwest credit card, you get assigned a pre-set credit limit, which will end up being the most that you can spend on your credit card before having to pay it off. Your credit limit is chosen for you and your current financial situation, and you should remember not to overspend, irrespective of the limit, in order to avoid racking up a massive bill.

However, banks and lenders understand that your needs will change, and have made it possible for you to increase your credit card limit, allowing you to get extra cash when you need it most. Moreover, with a higher spending limit, you may be able to get access to certain perks and benefits with your Bankwest credit card.

To increase your Bankwest credit card limit, you can visit any of the bank’s branches or call 13 17 19 and follow the steps outlined.

What does ANZ credit card insurance cover?

ANZ offers complimentary insurance on some of its credit cards, which can provide some protection against unforeseeable incidents, like the theft of your card. Depending on the type of credit card you own, you may be eligible for different insurances. For instance, most ANZ credit card customers may qualify for Purchase Protection Insurance and Extended Warranty Insurance. Customers who own premium credit cards may also be eligible for Guaranteed Pricing, Rental Vehicle Excess, International Travel, and so on.

Consider checking your ANZ credit card insurance features listed in the Insurance Policy Information booklet to know which items are covered. Also, while ANZ issued the credit card, they are not the insurer. For this reason, you may need to send your insurance claims - and get your ANZ credit card insurance refund - to the insurance provider.

How do I apply for a BOQ credit card limit increase?

If you’re an existing BOQ customer, you can request a BOQ credit card limit increase over a phone call. However, you should remember that owning and using a credit card is a matter of financial responsibility, so it might be worth thinking this decision through. 

When requesting a credit card limit increase, you’ll need to be just as responsible in terms of how much you earn and can set aside to repay the outstanding card balance. A credit card company may approve a credit limit increase only if you can show that you have either the income or the disposable income, which is the amount you have left after all expenses have been paid out.

For this purpose, you may need to submit your latest income documents and bank statements for an increase. You may want to estimate how much you usually have left after deducting your expenses, and then use this amount to try and convince the credit card company. Also, you may prefer to pay off the card balance in full each month and thus avoid paying interest on the card, helping you back up any claims of financial responsibility, as well. 

Remember that you may not be able to apply for a credit card limit increase beyond any limitations on the type of card you own. For instance, if you own a card whose ceiling is $10,000, and your current limit is $5,000, you won't likely be able to apply for a $10,000 credit card limit increase.

Should I get a credit card?

Once you've compared credit card interest rates and deals and found the right card for you, the actual process of getting a credit card is quite straightforward. You can apply for a credit card online, over the phone or in person at a bank branch. 

Monthly repayment

This is how much you can afford to pay on a monthly basis off your credit card. You can enter any amount you wish; but to make the balance transfer worthwhile the default is $200.

Can a pensioner get a credit card?

It is possible to get a credit card as a pensioner. There are some factors to keep in mind, including:

  • Annual income. Look for credit cards with minimum annual income requirements you can meet. 
  • Annual fees. If high fees are a concern for you, opt for a card with a low or $0 annual fee. 
  • Interest rate. Make sure you won’t have any nasty surprises on your credit card bill. Compare cards with a low interest rates to minimise risk.

What is a credit card?

A credit card is a payment method which lets you pay for goods and services without using your own money. It’s essentially a short-term loan which lets you borrow the bank’s money to pay for things which you can pay back – potentially with interest – at a later date. Credit cards can also be used to withdraw money from an ATM, which is known as a cash advance. Because you’re borrowing money from a bank, credit cards charge you interest on the money you use (unless you repay the entire debt during the interest-free period). When you apply for a credit card, the bank gives you a credit limit which sets the maximum amount you can borrow using your card. Credit cards are one of the most popular methods of payments and can be a convenient way of paying for goods and services in store, online and all around the globe.

Current Interest Rate

This is the current interest rate on your existing credit card.

How easy is it to get a credit card?

For most Australians, there are no great barriers to applying for and getting approved for a credit card. Here are some points that a lender will consider when assessing your credit card application.

Credit score: A bad credit score is not the be all and end all of your application, but it may stop you being approved for a higher credit limit. If your credit score is less than perfect, apply for the credit limit that you need, rather than the one you want.

Annual income: Most credit cards have minimum annual income requirements. Make sure you’re applying for a card where you meet the minimum.

Age & residency: You need to be at least 18 years old to apply for a credit card in Australia, and most require that you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident. However, there are some credit cards available to temporary residents.

How to calculate credit card interest

Credit card interest can quickly turn a manageable balance into unmovable debt. So being able to understand how interest rates translate into dollars is an important skill to acquire.

The common mistake people make is focusing on the credit card’s annual percentage rate (APR), which often sits between 15 and 20 per cent. While the APR does provide a rough idea of how much interest you’ll pay, it’s not entirely accurate.

This is because you actually accrue interest on your balance daily, not annually. So, you need to work out your daily periodic rate (DPR). To do this, divide your card’s APR by the number of days in a year (e.g. 16.9 per cent divided by 365, or 0.05 per cent). You can then apply this figure to the daily balance on your credit card.

Increase your credit card limit with Westpac

A credit card can be a useful tool to access extra cash when you need it. Sometimes you may wish to increase your credit card limit for greater financial flexibility. For example, to realize your immediate goals faster, such as planning for an international holiday or making a big purchase.

You can apply to increase your credit limit at any time, and most credit card providers have made it really easy to do so. You can use your online banking portal, the credit card provider’s mobile app, or even the telephone. 

Applying online to increase your credit limit with Westpac is the easiest option if you’ve already activated Westpac Live Online Banking. All you need to do is fill in the required information and then hit ‘submit’ to apply for an increase in your credit card limit.

Most banks will ask for details of your financial situation at the time of applying for a credit increase. This is done to ensure your new limit meets the lender’s criteria. 

You can apply for increasing your credit limit in any of the following ways:

  1. Visiting your nearest Westpac branch
  2. Calling Westpac on 1300 651 089
  3. Logging in on Westpac Live Online Banking

What is a balance transfer credit card?

A balance transfer credit card lets you transfer your debt balance from one credit card to another. A balance transfer credit card generally has a 0 per cent interest rate for a set period of time. When you roll your debt balance over to a new credit card, you’ll be able to take advantage of the interest-free period to pay your credit card debt off faster without accruing additional interest charges. If your application is approved, the provider will pay out your old credit card and transfer your debt balance over to the new card. 

Which credit card has the highest annual percentage rate?

The credit card market changes all the time, so the credit card with the highest annual percentage rate is also liable to change.

Keep in mind that credit card interest rates are expressed as a yearly rate, or annual percentage rate (APR). A low APR is generally good but also consider:

  • There can be different APR's for each feature of the card (e.g. purchases may have an APR of 14 per cent, while cash advances on same card could have an APR of 17 per cent.
  • Credit cards with a variable rate can change throughout the year, affecting your APR, so check the full details.
  • If you pay your balance in full every month, having the lowest APR is not as important as the other fees associated with the card. However, if you carry a balance from month to month, then you want the lowest APR possible.