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Can You Pay a Credit Card with Another Credit Card?

Last Updated: January 15, 2024
4 min read

Key points about: paying one credit card bill with another credit card

  1. You may be able to pay your credit card bill with a cash advance from another card, though fees and high interest often apply.

  2. You can use a balance transfer to pay the balance on one credit card by moving it to another, which may include a fee.

  3. Some credit cards offer new cardmembers low introductory interest rates on balance transfers.

If you’re short on cash but need to pay your credit card bill, you may wonder if you can pay your credit card with another credit card. While the short answer is yes, is it a good idea? It depends on a few factors, including the payment method.
There are two ways to pay a credit card with a credit card: a cash advance and a balance transfer. Let’s explore the pros and cons of each method and alternatives to using one credit card to pay another.

How can you pay a credit card with a credit card?

A cash advance or balance transfer may help you cover a portion of your balance (like your minimum payment) or pay your credit card balance in full. Each has benefits and drawbacks.

Cash advance

When you need cash to pay your credit card bill, you may be able to take a cash advance from another credit card. While it might help you avoid a missed credit card payment and late fee, a cash advance can be pricey. You can expect to pay a higher interest rate than you pay for purchases, a cash advance fee (typically a percentage of the withdrawal amount), and any ATM fees that apply. Plus, the interest on a cash advance starts accruing the day the money is withdrawn from your account, and you may lose the grace period on interest for purchases, which means interest for new purchases would also start accruing the day they post to your account.

Balance transfer

A balance transfer allows you to move debt from one credit card to another. And if both credit cards have a balance, consolidating two credit card balances into one can simplify repayment. Your credit card issuer may even offer a balance transfer card.

Did you know?

Moving a high-interest credit card balance to a card with a lower interest rate can reduce your interest payments and may help you pay your debt off quicker. Some credit card companies, including Discover, may even offer low promotional interest rates for a limited time on balance transfers.

However, you may pay a one-time balance transfer fee as a percentage of the amount you transfer. And if you can’t pay the transferred balance before the end of the promotional period, you’ll start accruing interest at your standard interest rate. 

Should you pay a credit card with a credit card?

The decision to pay credit with credit depends on your unique financial situation. If you’re struggling with overspending or regularly paying your monthly credit card bill, neither a cash advance nor a balance transfer may be the solution. If possible, it may simply be safer to make your minimum payment with your debit card if you have the funds available in your bank account.

Taking on high-interest debt by withdrawing cash from one card to make the monthly payment for another is risky if you can’t pay it back immediately—this payment method may be best for emergencies. Regularly withdrawing cash from another card could increase your credit utilization ratio and hurt your credit score. Plus, repaying balances across multiple credit cards could quickly become difficult to manage, especially with interest charges.

While consolidating credit card debt with a balance transfer can help you responsibly manage repayment (especially when you pay your balance before any promotional interest expires), you’ll have to decide if the potential fee is worth it.

Alternatives to paying a credit card with another credit card

Instead of making a credit card payment with another credit card, it may be better to develop a financial plan that helps you save cash for unplanned expenses, open a savings account if you don’t already have one, and align your credit card spending to fit your budget.

According to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, it’s important to assess your financial situation to help you understand exactly why you’re in debt before taking out a loan. One solution is to review your spending habits to determine if you’re spending more than you’re earning. If so, you can try using a mobile banking app to set spending alerts or a personal spending limit across multiple credit cards. And if paying your monthly credit card bill becomes difficult or even impossible, you could explore credit card debt relief

Overall, thinking twice before using one credit card to pay down another is important. While it may seem like a convenient solution, there are drawbacks to consider and options to weigh.

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  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.