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Think twice about getting cash from a credit card this summer. Cash advances from credit cards have always been a bad deal, now they’ve gotten worse. About five years ago most card issuers would limit cash advance fees to 2% of the amount advanced, with a $2 minimum and a $10 maximum. Today most issuers have raised the percentage to 3%, increased the minimum to $5, and removed the fee caps. This means a $1,000 cash advance will now cost $30 compared to $10 a few years ago. But it gets worse. Most issuers today charge a higher interest rate for cash advances than for purchases. For example, the popular American Express Blue Card charges interest rates ranging from 10.99% to 14.99% for purchases, while the interest rate for cash advances is 20.99%. Furthermore, nearly all issuers offer no grace period, or interest-free period, for cash advances. It’s a triple whammy: high fees, higher APR, and no float. When it comes to cash – use your ATM card not your credit card.

                                   MOST COMMON
ISSUER                           CASH ADVANCE FEE

1. Citibank                   3% with $5 minimum
2. MBNA                       3% with $5 minimum, $40 maximum
3. First USA                  2% with $10 minimum
4. Discover                   3% with $5 minimum
5. Chase                      3% with $5 minimum
6. Providian                  5% with $3 minimum
7. Bank of America            3%-4% with $5.00 minimum and $20 maximum
8. Capital One                3% with $5 minimum
9. Household                  4% with $5 minimum; GM Card- 3% with $15 minimum
10.Fleet                      4% with $5 minimum

Source: CardData (www.carddata.com )

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