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Smart Money

How to Load Your Credit Card with Cash

Last updated

Pauline Hatch      

There are a lot of travellers and savvy spenders out there who talk about putting extra cash onto their credit card so they’re not going into debt. That can be handy if you’re going on a trip and want to put your spending money on your credit card, which also saves on interest because there’s no balance owing. As a bonus, it’s also as easy as transferring money from your everyday account or savings account to your credit card to give it a positive balance.

Loading cash onto your credit card can help avoid interest, but it isn’t always so straightforward. You might accidentally draw too much at an ATM, or a direct debit takes your account into interest-accruing credit, or your bank might you the extra cash is going to be treated like a cash advance. In any of these cases, you could be charged the horrendously high cash advance rate, typically 20% or more, on almost all types of credit card.

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While there are a lot of forum discussions and travel blogs on this topic, it’s important to understand the deal with your own credit card in any given situation. That means reading and understanding all relevant terms and conditions, and making sure you follow them to avoid being charged the cash advance interest rate. Ultimately, the nature of a credit card is to supply you credit to be paid back, not to act as a ‘holding’ account for your cash reserves.

If you load up $2000 and spend $2,100 you’ll be using $100 of your credit limit, and can either be charged cash advance interest rates on the $100, or the full amount depending on the timing of the purchases and the bank’s own policy and the card.

Use your credit card, and other travel cards, wisely

Most lenders state that you should contact customer service to deal with any excess balance. While that is the case, it does not mean customers will be prevented from carrying a positive balance.

The golden rules of putting cash onto your credit card

Here are a few key rules to keep in mind:

  • Try not to keep a positive balance for too long (for example, short term holiday spending only)
  • Check your balance regularly and make sure you know what will be coming up on your statement
  • Plan your spending so that you don’t dip into your credit limit at all
  • Leave some cash in your everyday or savings account that you can quickly transfer if you discover you’ve dipped into your credit limit
  • If in doubt, just make a purchase and transfer the correct amount across on the same day. You can now do this online just about anywhere in the world

Beware of additional fees

For travel credit card options and further information, read our page on cards with no international transaction fees. Most already come with a cash advance fee up to a few dollars (or 2-3% of the transaction value). Factor that in when planning your withdrawals. Currency conversion and other fees may also apply.

Take out more cash inside the bank

A great way to get your hands on more cash, especially if travelling in a country which doesn’t allow you to take out much from the ATM (including, for example, Bali and much of Asia) is to go into the bank if you see that it’s open and withdraw up to $1000 in AUD using your passport. This gives you plenty of cash, and you can divide it among you and your family members, and take some immediately to your hotel room so you don’t keep it all in one place.

When it comes to the practice of ‘positive loading’ your credit card, the only assumption you can safely make is that you shouldn’t ever assume this won’t lead to interest charges on your account. It depends which bank you’re with, and which credit card you have with that bank. If you’ve been charged, expect to spend time on the phone pleading your case to get something back – and remember it’s all according to the policy of the bank and what terms and conditions you signed up for.

Pauline

Pauline Hatch

Pauline is a personal finance expert at CreditCard.com.au, with 8 years in money, budgeting and property reporting under her belt. Pauline is passionate about seeing Aussies win by making their money – and their credit cards – work smarter, harder and bigger.

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Ask Pauline a Question

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26 comments (showing the latest 10 Q&As)

David

David

11 February 2024
Not a question but this page does not address means of adding money to your credit card.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    14 February 2024
    Hi David, we’re always looking to improve our content so thanks for letting us know. We’ll have a look into what we can improve.
Denise

Denise

26 June 2023
Can you put cash on your credit card?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    26 June 2023
    Hi Denise, you can add cash to your credit card via internet banking. You might also be able to do it at an ATM, but that will depend on your bank. Generally speaking, it's not the best idea to load up your card with a positive balance, because you may end up getting hit with fees or cash advance rates if you withdraw cash later. Thanks Denise!
Jacqueline

Jacqueline

12 June 2023
Can you put 180,000 in your credit card yo hrlp pay bills
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    13 June 2023
    Hi Jacqueline, it's generally not recommended to load large sums of money onto your credit card. Some banks may charge you fees for having a positive balance or treat purchases as cash advances with high interest rates. One option would be to pay some of your bills with your card, pay the balance off, and repeat. But, you'll need to work out if that's going to suit your financial situation. Thanks Jacqueline!
bridget

bridget

18 November 2022
can I put money onto my credit card and how do I do it.
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    5 December 2022
    Hi Bridget, this will depend on who you bank with and what they're currently offering. Some let you move it between accounts in the app or others with BPAY or PayID. Contact your financial institution for more details.
ISAURA simpson

ISAURA simpson

19 October 2022
how to load cash into my credit card
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    19 October 2022
    Hi Isaura, that’s a good question! It’s probably best to call up your card issuer to check what options they have available for you.
Anthony

Anthony

18 September 2022
Hi, Is it better for my salary to go into a credit card account rather than into a savings account? Regard’s Anthony
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    19 September 2022
    Hi Anthony, this is a really interesting question. Some key things to consider are
    • Once the money is on the credit card, you won’t be able to withdraw cash without getting a cash advance fee.
    • Credit cards don’t earn interest, where as a savings account will
    • If you know when your credit card bill is due, you can time when to make payment so it arrives on or before the due date.
    Ultimately it will come down to how you want to use your money.
Tom

Tom

6 May 2022
If someone loads money to my credit card, can I withdraw it from an atm?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    6 May 2022
    Hi Tom, if your card allows you to withdraw cash, you may do so. Also note that any cash withdrawn at an ATM will incur a cash advance fee and start accruing interest as soon as you take it out of the machine. I strongly advise checking with your card issuer about this to be sure.
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cbd for dogs cookies

23 February 2022
Good Afternoon everyone ! can anyone suggest where I can purchase Wyld CBD CBD Edible Huckleberry Gummies 250mg 500mg?
    Pauline - CreditCard.com.au

    Pauline

    23 February 2022
    Hi, you’ve actually reached Creditcard.com.au, Australia’s leading credit card comparison and information site. However, I looked this up for you and you can go directly to their website to place your order.
vybz

vybz

24 November 2018
how can i load my taRGET CREDIt card
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    26 November 2018
    Hi Vybz, I am unsure how to loan your Target Red Credit Card. I would reach out to Target customer service https://contactus.target.com/
mjay

mjay

2 October 2018
aside from Australia .......which other credit cards can we load...........but main USA i think...........if you have any social media platform we can chat one on one ... i will be glad
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    2 October 2018
    Hi Mjay, I think this question is outside my skillset. We only deal with Australian credirt cards. Therefore can not provide information on cards outside of Australia. If you contact a site in the US. I am sure they can assist you with some cards you can load funds on.
mjay

mjay

25 September 2018
what are the procedures to load a credit card........i mean a card like amazon
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    26 September 2018
    Hi Mjay, it will depend on the credit card itself. What Australian credit card are you looking to load cash onto?
TAYOTIS LAMONT CALDWELL

TAYOTIS LAMONT CALDWELL

5 March 2018
how can i load my credit card?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    6 March 2018
    Hi Tayotis, it depends which bank you are with. In Australia you can transfer funds from your bank account or use bpay.
kristaly Erica

kristaly Erica

11 January 2017
How can I load my credit card?
    Roland B Bleyer - CreditCard.com.au Founder

    Roland

    12 January 2017
    What is you card?

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