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Using MasterCard for cash advance

Has anyone had any issues using a US issued, chipped MasterCard with a pin when trying to get cash advances? I colleague in the Netherlands tells me I should have Maestro symbol on my card. I called MasterCard and they didn't think it should be necessary. Not sure if that's just their thing over there and mine will work fine.

Posted by
3491 posts

You should not be getting cash advances on a credit card except in an emergency. The fees and interest are just too high on most of them. Use a Debit card with the Visa or MasterCard emblem on it instead. With that out of the way ... :-)

These days any card with a Visa or MasterCard emblem on it should work fine as long as the cash machine shows that symbol on it. The sub networks, Maestro Plus and others, don't really factor into acceptance much anymore unless you are using an ATM only card that is not a Visa or MasterCard Debit card. Just make sure to ask your card issuer if they allow the card to be used where you are going and also make sure to tell them where and when you will be so they don't freeze your card for suspected fraud.

Posted by
13510 posts

I suppose it could depend on the card but like Mark, we never, ever use our credit cards for cash for the reasons he listed. We use our Mastercard or Visa ATM debit cards just as we would at home. The only reason we'd ever use a C.C. for cash would be in a situation where there was no other option (e.g. lost or stolen debit card).

Posted by
3459 posts

Look carefully at the APR on your credit card . It is common to see rates of 25% . Borrowing on the vig would be more sensible .

Posted by
495 posts

One thing to remember is that the A in APR stands for Annual, the daily interest rate is a lot lower. Assuming you wait until you get home two weeks later to clear your bill you'll end up paying about 1% interest.

1% is still more than 0% - but using credit cards for cash advances (in emergencies) is not the scary thing you'd think by reading the internet sometimes.

Posted by
16883 posts

If, by mistake or necessity, I used a credit card for a cash advance, I'd go online and pay off the bill early. I understand the interest applies on your total balance until paid to zero, not just the amount of the advance itself. (It's been years since I read my Terms & Conditions.)

But hopefully, you actually meant a debit card with MasterCard logo and all will be easy.

Posted by
5786 posts

Credit card foreign ATM cash advances may incur more charges than daily computed interest. The terms and conditions defining those charges are detailed in you Cardmember Agreement (which can be difficult to locate). An example is US Bank's Signature Credit Card Agreement which says:

We will begin charging interest on Advances and Balance Transfers on
the transaction date.

Minimum Interest Charge If you are charged interest, then the Minimum
Interest Charge will be no less than $2.00.

Cash Advance ATM Fee Either $5 to $10 or 3% to 5% of the Advance
amount, whichever is greater (maximum fee (No Maximum)).

Foreign Transaction Fee Up to 3% of each foreign transaction amount.

Posted by
1464 posts

Last year in Oslo I accidentally used my Andrews FCU credit card (the same card I was using for all my purchases during my 3-week trip) instead of my debit card to withdraw kroner. The dollar value was $120. I paid my bill in full when I received it after my trip. The total finance charge was 32 cents.

Posted by
495 posts

I think it's fair to say a credit card will charge you whatever it's T& C's say it will. Same with a debit card.

Posted by
16808 posts

Same experience as Lane, except the local ATM's seemed only to accept chip cards, and my AFCU credit card was the only one with a chip (couple of years ago). Finance charge was under a buck.

Posted by
21071 posts

Following a pickpocketing incident, I mistakenly used my second credit card (rather than my second ATM card) to withdraw money from an ATM. I was hit with a $10 fee on a very, very small transaction (probably $40), plus some interest. The interest was considerably less than $10.

Posted by
3683 posts

Some credit card cash advances will prompt an interest charge on the entire balance, not just the amount received. Check with the issuer. And pay off your debt as soon as you get home because the meter is running until the cash is replaced. Wait for your monthly statement and the amount owed continues to grow. Next month there will be another charge for the interest between the issuing of the statement and the time it is paid.
The only way to avoid this (relatively) expensive way to borrow money is to put extra into the credit card account before leaving home. Much easier to carry another ATM card on a separate bank.
Using a bank ATM shouldn't be a problem anywhere. Merchants, however, may not accept magnetic strip cards for payments.

Posted by
5865 posts

Yes this is a recurring topic that prompts many to claim the sky will fall if you use a credit card to get a cash advance at an ATM, not so, it is just another option, you just need to understand where it falls in cost compared to other options you have.

Yes, using an ATM/debit card from a bank with no fees is best, but may not be an option for everyone and you can run into daily limits, it will run you about 1% cost over interbank exchange rate, if you are a poor soul who banks at one of the big banks, you can be hit with a $5 fee for use, and a 3% Foreign Transaction Fee (FTF), so on a $200 transaction, it will be $11 or 5.5%

A no FTF Credit is also best for purchases, again, many still do incur a 3% FTF.

Exchanging money here or there varies greatly, but generally the best you can do will be about a 5% cost, 7-8% more typical, up to 15% is possible.

As for a cash advance? Say you need $200. Most CC charge a $10 flat fee or 5%, whichever is more, so on $200, it will be $10 or 5%. Yes, you have the terrible interest rate of ~24% APR which starts from the time of withdrawal. If you waited a month to pay, that interest would amount to about $4, or 7% for the transaction in the end. If you go online immediately and pay it off, you will likely incur a 50 cent minimum interest charge, dropping your total cost to just over 5%. Some cards might also incur a 3% FTF, some waive it for Cash Advances. Yes, as someone mentioned, if you carry a balance that can affect interest, usually you have to pay off purchase balances first.

In the end, if you understand your costs a cash advance is not a bad option. I have great Debit and Credit cards, so rarely would need to, but I would do that before getting cash ahead of time or exchanging there. If you are stuck with a checking account with high fees, it can actually be cheaper to get a cash advance, or very competitive.

Posted by
4690 posts

Maestro is a totally different thing to MasterCard. For European bank accounts, debit cards will be Maestro and have a chip. This is not the same as a MasterCard credit card at all.

Posted by
3683 posts

One way to avoid the loanshark-high charges for a cash advance through a credit card is to pay a large amount of money to the card in advance. Then your purchases and your advance will both come out of the surplus. BUT: You have to be very careful that you don't charge enough items to exhaust the cash. It's a big hassle and certainly not worth the stress, considering how easy ATM/debit cards are. Get two cards, from different banks, to ensure at least one will work in the ATM of your choice.