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Sending Money Abroad Using Credit Card? Think Twice!

Are You Sending Money Online with a Credit Card?

Sending money overseas can be a daunting process in today’s world, but luckily, there are a number of cost-effective ways to do it. If you are considering sending money abroad using credit card, you should know all the facts before making this decision.

It may seem like a no-brainer to send money overseas with credit card and earn your credit card points at the same time, but it's not as simple as you think. Although various remittance service providers or banks allow you to transfer money via credit card - keep in mind that -

  • The funds debited from a credit card are treated as a "Cash Advance" and not as credit charge.
  • Generally, the transfer fee is significantly higher compared to ACH or wire transfer.

What is a Cash Advance?

A cash advance is a service provided by most credit card issuers that allows cardholders to withdraw or borrow cash, up to a certain limit. So, when you are using credit card to transfer money overseas, it's important for you to remember that you are actually borrowing money from the credit card issuer and not using your credit. Getting a cash advance is similar to gettng a short-term cash loan which must be repaid within your billing cycle.

Cash advances may have certain disadvantages such as -

  • Inability to take a cash advance for the full amount of your credit limit or availability.
  • A high interest rate on repayment. This can be costly for higher transaction amounts (17% or higher).
  • A significantly higher interest rate compared to other purchases made on the card, if the payment is not made on-time
  • A transaction fee which is a percentage of the cash advance (about 3%-5%)
  • No grace period

One can easily infer that a credit card may not be practical for transferring money overseas. It is advisable to use various remittance service providers or banks that offer ACH or wire transfer.  Some companies like Trans-Fast offer $0  transfer fees for ACH transfer while companies like RIA Money Transfer offer $0 transfer fees for transactions made via debit card.

Learn more: Different ways to send money overseas
It is always a good idea to compare money transfer providers to choose the best one that suits your needs.

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