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Can You Pay One Credit Card With Another Credit Card

Last Updated: December 22, 2021
3 min read

When you find yourself short on cash to pay off a credit card bill, you may be asking yourself: “Can I pay off the balance of one card with another?”

While the short answer is “yes,” is it a good idea? It depends.

There are two ways to pay off one credit card with another, and you should consider the pros and cons of each as well as alternatives to using a credit card to pay another credit card.

How can you pay one credit card with another credit card?

You can’t charge your monthly credit card bill to another card as though you were making a purchase, but these methods will let you access funds from one credit card to pay another:

Cash advance from another card

When you need cash to pay off your credit card, one option is to take a cash advance from another card and use it to pay the balance on the first card. However, watch out for cash advance fees (which are typically a percentage of the withdrawal amount) and possibly a higher interest rate, which also may start accruing from the day you take the cash advance. Cash advances typically have the highest APR on credit cards, so using a cash advance to pay off another credit card will likely result in paying a higher interest rate.

Balance transfer credit card offers

Using one credit card to pay off the balance on another credit card can make sense if you use a balance transfer offer with a 0% intro or promo APR. This can be a good way to reduce the interest you’re currently paying on a credit card balance, but check whether there’s a balance transfer fee, and consider whether you can pay off the transferred balance before the end of the introductory period. If you don’t pay off the balance in full when the intro offer ends, you might end up paying more in fees and interest than you would have if you hadn’t paid the first credit card with the new card.

When to avoid paying one credit card with another

Sometimes, paying off one credit card with another can be a bad idea. It may not be wise if any of the following is true:

  • You have a tough time making the payments on your card.
  • You have difficulty sticking to your monthly budget and use your credit card for impulse purchases.
  • You don’t plan to stop using the first card, which could then result in credit card balances and interest accruing on both cards.
  • The APR on the card you’re using to pay off the other balance is higher than the APR on the card you’re paying off.

Answering “yes” to one or more of these questions could indicate you have a larger problem with managing your money. Contact a financial advisor to discuss the best options for your financial situation. You can also contact your credit card issuer to see if you qualify for a plan to pay down your balance.

Think carefully before paying one credit card off with another. If doing so will help you save on interest, consolidate your payments and pay your debt off faster, it can be a good idea. Yet, before doing so, add up the credit card fees and interest you could be charged, to make sure transferring your card balance makes good financial sense.

How to avoid the need to make a credit card payment with another credit card

When you use one credit card to pay off another, you’ll incur additional interest and fees. Instead of making a credit card payment with another credit card, it may be a better idea to develop a financial plan that lets you save cash for an emergency, and helps align your credit card spending to fit your budget.

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