Credit cards are powerful financial tools. When used correctly, they can help you manage cash flow, grant you 0% annual percentage rates (APRs) for a limited time, or even help you generate cash back and other rewards. But getting in over your head can be a problem—and if you’re struggling to make payments, you may be wondering whether it’s possible to pay your credit card bill with another credit card.
The short answer is no, you can’t directly pay your credit cards with another card, and for good reason. Paying off debt with more debt is risky to your finances and to your credit. However, if your situation is dire, you do have options. Let’s take a look at the different methods you can use to make those payments, including using credit card balance transfers and cash advances.
- Credit card account holders generally may not use a credit card to pay the balance on another credit card directly.
- Credit card agreements usually specify how account holders can pay: by check, money order, or electronic transfer using funds drawn from a bank account.
- Credit card account holders can use balance transfers to move one account balance to another account.
- A card account user can take a cash advance and use those borrowed funds to pay another account balance.
Making Monthly Payments With a Credit Card
Unfortunately, it’s not possible to make your monthly payments with your credit card. Most credit card issuers limit the ability to pay your card balances to funds drawn from a bank account. This is to limit their risk (while it also protects you); card issuers want to know you’ll be able to pay off your debts, not simply transfer them elsewhere.
Although banks want to know you can pay off your debts, it is still possible to transfer debt from one card account to another. You can do this with a balance transfer.
Balance transfers can be a useful option, especially if your bank offers you a limited-term 0% APR on the transferred balance. Some credit cards offer this as an option when you’ve first opened your card account. Balance transfers can also be available on your existing cards, with variable rates as decided by your bank.
Many credit cards offer cardholders a credit card cash advance, although generally, it’s not a good idea to use one. When you’re coming up short, however, it can help you make your payments.
A cash advance works as a short-term loan on your credit card. Instead of using your credit for purchases, you use it to borrow cash. The credit limit for advances is not the same as your credit limit for purchases; the cash advance limit is usually lower. Cash advances usually have a higher interest rate than your standard credit card interest rate, but check with your card issuer to be sure. Another negative is that interest on the amount advanced will begin accruing immediately, unlike purchases, which often have a grace period when interest is not charged.
Both of these strategies can be detrimental to your overall financial situation if you're not careful. Using a balance transfer to pay off another card can be a smart move, but only if you avoid running up additional debt on your cards. Cash advances can be one of the most expensive transactions on your credit card, so it is always wise to avoid them if you can.
Other Ways To Pay Off Credit Card Debt
If you’re struggling with credit card debt, you have options other than paying off your credit card with another credit card.
- Debt consolidation: Plenty of banks allow you to secure personal loans. These can be used for a variety of different reasons, including home renovations, maintenance, and credit card debt consolidation. Doing so allows you to lump all your card payments into one single payment, and your loan may charge a lower interest rate than your credit cards.
- Snowball method: A popular method to pay down debt, the snowball method has you focusing on paying off your smallest debts first. Once all your minimum payments are made, you then put your excess funds toward paying off those small balances. This allows you to create a “snowball” effect, freeing up those funds to go toward your next smallest balance.
- Avalanche method: Another popular debt-payment strategy, the avalanche method focuses on you paying off your debt with the highest interest rate first. After making all your minimum payments, you then put any remaining funds toward your most expensive cards. This allows you to save more money, which you can use toward paying off further debt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What bills can you pay with a credit card?
There are plenty of bills you can pay with a credit card. Generally speaking, your utilities such as gas, electric, water, and internet, can be paid via credit card.
What can’t you pay for with a credit card?
You can’t usually pay your other loans—car, home, student, and personal loans—with a credit card. This list also includes the money you’ve borrowed on other credit cards. Depending on the card network, you may not be able to use your card for gambling purchases or to purchase online pornography, digital currencies, gold, silver, and platinum, among other things.
Can you get cash back when you pay with a credit card?
Depending on which credit card you hold, you can earn cash back when using your credit card to pay for purchases. There are many cash-back credit cards, as well as credit cards that earn general travel points, cards that earn hotel points, and cards that earn airline miles.