Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card?

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[Update: Some offers mentioned below have expired. For current terms and conditions, please see card agreements. Disclosure: Cards from our partners are mentioned below.]

Store credit cards from retailers like Lowe’s, Best Buy, and Target can be enticing to sign up for. Once you are approved, the cashier is often empowered to offer you an immediate discount on the merchandise you’re buying.

There are additional bonuses as you continue to use the card, like special introductory offers 0% APR for a limited time, advance intel on in-store deals, extra discounts, and—with certain cards like the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by Citi and the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card—the ability to use the card anywhere and earn cash back almost everywhere you shop.

While there are a lot of upsides, the downside of using store credit cards is the high annual percentage rate (APR), which can be as high as 26.99% in the case of the Lowe’s credit card and 26.24% for the Best Buy credit card. If you get a card that has a substantial APR, you could end up owing a lot of interest on top of your existing debt.

Ideally, these cards should be paid in full every month. But what if you can’t make that happen, or you get carried away and are now sitting on a pile of debt? What can you do to pay down the balance of your high-APR card and avoid accruing interest? You may be tempted to pay off your debt with another credit card, but there are a few things you need to know first.

Can I Pay My Credit Card with Another Credit Card?

Unfortunately, none of the major card issuers we queried (including those offering store credit cards) will let you pay your bill directly by credit card.

As a consumer, you may think that it would make sense to pay off one credit card bill with another credit card, thereby maximizing the benefits of one while paying the other. But it’s actually not that surprising that credit card companies won’t allow you to do so. If your card issuer accepted another credit card for payment, it would have to pay the merchant fee—which could be 2% to 2.5% or more of the payment amount. That means, essentially, it wouldn’t get the full payment from you.

In addition, card associations may impose other restrictions on this practice. Andrew Gerlt, director of Global Brand & Product Communications for Visa, noted in an email that “Visa rules do not allow the payment of credit card debt with a credit card. We do allow for debt repayment with a debit card, however.”

6 Other Ways to Pay Your Credit Card Bill   

If you really need to “charge” your next payment, there are workarounds. Here are six other ways to pay your credit card bill without charging it to another credit card.

1. Pay Your Credit Card Using a Personal Loan

A personal loan is a good option for managing your high-interest credit card debt and for consolidating debt as well. Personal finance expert Andrea Woroch, who is working with Marcus by Goldman Sachs, says, “Instead of paying separate credit card bills, people should consider a loan that offers lower interest rates. One loan can make payments easier to manage as well.”

For more information on personal loans, visit our Personal Loan Learning Center.

2. Pay Your Credit Card with a Cash Advance

As long as you have enough available credit, you should be able to use a credit card to get a cash advance and then use that money to pay another credit card bill. You can obtain a cash advance at most banks or credit unions, or at an ATM if you have a PIN for your card.

But do your homework before you take this option. The interest rate on cash advances is often higher than the rate for purchases. David Reiling, CEO of Sunrise Banks, says, “Advances generally start accruing interest immediately, and, depending on your credit card terms and conditions, could be at a rate higher than you think. Call your credit card company and ask before advancing cash, or, if willing and able, read your terms and conditions.”

Before you decide to use a credit card cash advance, review what that entails.

3. Transfer Your Balance

If one of your card issuers offers a balance transfer, you can use that to pay down or pay off your other card. If you have already received convenience checks in the mail, you can use one of those to make a payment on another card (though you can’t use a convenience check to make a payment on the same account). Or you can deposit that check into your checking account and use those funds to make a payment. If you haven’t received one of these offers in the mail, check with your card issuer online or by phone to see if you are eligible.

If your credit scores are strong, you may be eligible for a low-rate balance transfer card. Just keep in mind that these offers almost always charge fees ranging from 2% to 4% of the amount transferred. It’s hard to find a credit card that offers a 0% APR balance transfer with no fee, but they do exist.

For more information, review our expert guide on credit cards with balance transfers.

4. Pay Your Credit Card with a Home Equity Loan

If you own a home, you may be able to use equity to help pay your credit card bills. Bobbi Rebell, financial expert and author of How to Be a Financial Grownup, says, “If you have credit card debt, you can often shift that debt to a home equity line of credit and get a double benefit. First, you will get a much lower interest rate. Credit cards often charge upwards of 20%! A home equity line of credit could be a quarter of that or less. The other big bonus is that in many cases, home equity debt can be deductible on your tax return.”

To learn more about home loans, review our guide to finding the right loan.

5. Sell Your Stuff to Pay Your Credit Card

Rebell also suggests selling off things that you don’t need. “Raise money to pay the debt,” she says. “Go through and actually sell stuff you don’t use—or can do without. Do you need the second car? Do you need the gym equipment sitting in the garage? What about that baby stroller? You’d be surprised how much value you can discover in your home.”

For more tips and tricks on getting your personal finances in order, visit our Personal Finance Learning Center and review other ways to make more money.

6. Use the RPTPP Method to Pay Your Credit Card

If cash flow is the main reason you want to use a credit card to pay another credit card, try the “Robbing Peter to Pay Paul” method. Use your credit card for everyday spending in order to free up as much cash as you can to pay your credit card bill. It’s not ideal, or even recommended, but it can be an option in a cash crunch.

If you’re finding it necessary to use the RPTPP method, it’s probably time to review your finances and budgets.

Proceed with Caution

None of these approaches will help you earn reward points, so that option is likely off the table. And if your cash flow problems are anything but truly temporary, these methods may simply help you dig a deeper hole.

In addition, moving your debt around may not help your credit scores in the long run. Debt is one of the main factors most scoring models consider when calculating credit scores. If your debt is bringing down your scores (you can find out if that’s the case by getting your credit report for free at Credit.com), then paying it down is one of the best ways to build stronger credit.

Image: Ingram Publishing

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card? appeared first on Credit.com.

5 Credit Cards to Help You Navigate Your Finances Post-Divorce

Tragedy and identity theft is never a good thing, but in this case, it positively impacted a woman's credit.

[Disclosure: Cards from our partners are reviewed below.]

Separation and divorce can be a time of great upheaval—both emotionally and financially. You may be simultaneously paying off debt and lawyers’ fees, making purchases for a new home, and closing joint accounts you held with your spouse.

These issues can cause financial headaches, but a responsibly managed credit card could be just the lifeline you’re looking for. Credit cards with 0% introductory annual percentage rate (APR) offers can be a way to help you pay off more principal and pay less interest if used efficiently—which, in turn, can help you reduce debt and start out on the right path to building your new life.

Here are five credit cards that can help the recently divorced avoid interest.

1. Citi Simplicity

Rewards: None

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Balance Transfer Fee: The greater of either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount.

APR: 0% APR for 21 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR.

Why We Picked It: The sheer length of this card’s intro 0% APR offer is impressive.

For the Newly Divorced: With this card, you’ll see 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 21 months—a period that outshines most competitors. That’s nearly two years to pay off your debt and make purchases interest-free.

Drawbacks: There are no rewards with this card.

2. Chase Freedom Unlimited

Rewards: 1.5% cash back on purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: $150 bonus cash back when you spend $500 in the first three months.

Annual Fee: $0

Balance Transfer Fee: The greater of either $5 or 5% of the transfer amount.

APR: 0% APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then variable 15.99% to 24.74% APR.
Why We Picked It:
You’ll get 15 months of 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers, plus a nice cash-back incentive for purchases.

For the Newly Divorced: All purchases earn an unlimited 1.5% cash back reward, which takes some of the sting out of your post-divorce expenses. Purchases and balance transfers see 0% APR for 15 months, and the sign-up bonus has a low spending threshold.

Drawbacks: Some competing cards offer better cash-back rates.

3. Discover it – 18 Month Balance Transfer Offer

Rewards: 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in purchases each quarter for rotating bonus categories, 1% cash back on other purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus: Though not a traditional sign-up bonus, Discover will match all cash back earned with this card in the first year.

Annual Fee: $0

Balance Transfer Fee: 3% of the transfer amount.

APR: 0% APR for six months on purchases and 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 11.99% to 23.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: Balance transfers receive a long interest-free payback period. Plus, there are many ways to earn great cash-back rates.

For the Newly Divorced: This card earns 5% cash back on spending categories that rotate every quarter; categories this year have included gas stations, home improvement stores, and wholesale clubs. You’ll get just six months of 0% APR on purchases, but balance transfers get an impressive 18 months of 0% APR. Plus, Discover’s first-year cash-back match offer on this card only strengthens the initial value.

Drawbacks: You’ll have to wait over a year to get your first-year cash-back matching bonus.

4. Citi Double Cash Card

Rewards: Unlimited 1% cash back on every purchase, with an additional 1% upon payment.

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Balance Transfer Fee: The greater of either $5 or 3% of the transfer amount.

APR: 0% APR for 18 months on balance transfers, then variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR; variable 14.49% to 24.49% APR on purchases.

Why We Picked It: The card offers 18 months with no interest on balance transfers and a strong cash incentive to pay off purchases quickly.

For the Newly Divorced: 18 months of 0% APR on balance transfers is a great amount of time to pay down the principal. Plus, you’ll earn cash back a second time on every purchase when it’s paid off.

Drawbacks: You must pay off a purchase in full to earn the full cash back rate. Balance transfers must be completed within the first four months of the account opening.

5. BankAmericard Credit Card

Rewards: None

Sign-Up Bonus: None

Annual Fee: $0

Balance Transfer Fee: $0 for 60 days, then the greater of either $10 or 3% of the transfer amount.

APR: 0% APR for 15 months on balance transfers made within 60 days of the account opening, as well as on purchases, then variable 12.99% to 22.99% APR.

Why We Picked It: For those with balance transfers to make, this card offers a decent intro 0% APR period and waives balance transfer fees for a limited time.

For the Newly Divorced: You’ll get a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and select balance transfers. Balance transfers made in the first 60 days won’t incur a fee, which could offer substantial savings.

Drawbacks: There are no rewards or sign-up bonuses with this card. Balance transfers must be made within 60 days from the date you open your account to qualify for 0% APR for 15 months.

How to Pick a Credit Card to Avoid Interest Post-Divorce

When choosing a card with a 0% APR offer, make sure to check the APR that kicks in once the introductory period expires. Ideally, it should be lower than the APR of cards you currently hold or recently held, although if your credit took a hit during your divorce, you may not be able to secure the best APR available.

If you have balance transfers to make, check the associated fees. Some cards waive balance transfer fees for a limited time, while others will automatically charge you for the privilege of moving your balance over. This can get pricy if you have large balances or multiple transfers to make.

Finally, if your finances are in a rocky state post-divorce, you’ll want to use your card responsibly and pay down purchases and balance transfers before the 0% intro APR period expires. Try to estimate the monthly payment required to do that. And while you’re paying off a balance transfer, you may want to avoid putting additional purchases on your new credit card until it’s paid down.

What Credit Is Required to Get a Card with a 0% Intro APR Period?

Cards with strong 0% intro APR offers usually require good to excellent credit. To increase your chances of approval, you should know your credit score before you apply.

During a divorce, accounts are opened and closed, and debts are shifted around. It’s important to monitor your credit after a divorce to track how you’ve been affected. You can check two of your credit scores for free at Credit.com.

Image: martin-dm

At publishing time, the Citi Simplicity Card, Chase Freedom Unlimited, Discover it, and Citi Double Cash Card cards are offered through Credit.com product pages, and Credit.com is compensated if our users apply for and ultimately sign up for any of these cards. However, this relationship does not result in any preferential editorial treatment. This content is not provided by the card issuer(s). Any opinions expressed are those of Credit.com alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by the issuer(s).

Note: It’s important to remember that interest rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products frequently change. As a result, rates, fees, and terms for credit cards, loans, and other financial products cited in these articles may have changed since the date of publication. Please be sure to verify current rates, fees, and terms with credit card issuers, banks, or other financial institutions directly.

The post 5 Credit Cards to Help You Navigate Your Finances Post-Divorce appeared first on Credit.com.