Sometimes, you just need money on short notice. In dire situations, using your credit card to get a cash advance can be a tempting proposition. However, if you don’t have your personal identification number (PIN), you won’t be able to make a withdrawal from an ATM. While PINs are designed to protect consumers, they can be a real obstacle in situations like this. Have you found yourself stuck in this frustrating conundrum?
Fortunately, there are ways to get a cash advance from a credit card with no PIN. Before you do so, take a moment to consider your alternatives. After all, there are other (often better) options for receiving money during a financial crisis, and the costs associated with credit card cash advances can often compound your debt problems.
Consider, for example that such loans have higher interest rates than personal loans. The average interest rate on a new credit card is 22 percent, if you have a decent credit score, which is higher than the average personal loan interest rate of 16 percent. If you can get qualified for a personal loan, there’s no real reason to incur extra interest fees. Furthermore, depending on the terms of your credit card agreement, you can expect to pay an extra fee for the privilege of withdrawing cash. Research these terms thoroughly before taking the plunge.
These fees are partly to blame for the current credit card debt epidemic now hitting record highs. Obviously, you don’t want to become a part of this statistic. If you’re certain your budget can handle these additional costs, here is how to get cash from a credit card without a PIN:
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Visit the Issuer Bank or an In-Network ATM
You should head to a bank affiliated with the card issuer (for instance, if you have a Mastercard, a bank affiliated with Mastercard will do) if you need to make a cash withdrawal but don’t have the card PIN, though the former is a surer bet. If you bring your photo ID and make your request from a cashier or teller, you’ll be able to receive your advance without a PIN. In fact, because most consumers don’t take the effort to memorize that little four-digit number, this is the most common method of requesting a credit card cash advance.
Alternatively, you may have some luck by using an in-network ATM. Not only can staying in your bank’s network save you some cash by avoiding fees, but you’ll likely only able to get cash from your credit card at in-network machines. Most ATM transactions require a PIN, but depending on your card issuer’s policies, you may be able to make an advance without entering it. It’s wise to contact your card issuer to confirm if this is an option before making the trip.
Use a Prepaid Card
Alternatively, if you want to be able to make cash advances from a card, you can use prepaid cards. Prepaid cards are different than secured credit cards: All you need to do is load cash onto the card, then use the balance for purchases — no banks required. Because of this, prepaid cards are essentially debit cards. While this doesn’t truly involve using credit, they are highly convenient and enable you to make withdrawals from ATMs at your own convenience. This is a great way of setting and sticking to a budget.
However, some prepaid card providers have additional or hidden fees that can put some strain on your bottom line. Carefully research the card provider before putting your hard-earned cash on a prepaid card.
Use a Debit Card Instead
Of course, you should first assess whether or not you have the money available to simply withdraw it from your own account, rather than taking out what amounts to a high-interest loan. If you have money in your bank account, avoid getting cash with a credit card. Using your debit card to withdraw money directly from your account is a smarter choice.
Even if you need money immediately, and an in-network ATM isn’t nearby, it is wiser to use a debit card at an out-of-network ATM than take a cash advance on a credit card. Compare the fees incurred for making a debit withdrawal out of your network (less than $5 per transaction on average) to the numerous costs listed at the beginning of this article. If you have the cash in your account available, making this choice is a no-brainer.
Request a PIN From Your Issuer
Unless you use one of the approaches listed above, you’ll need a PIN to get a cash advance. If you don’t have a PIN, you can make a request for one to be added to an existing credit account. If you want to do so, first review the card company’s cash withdrawal policies (if they are indeed an option). This will let you know about any associated fees and enable you to make an informed decision.
You can request a PIN through a phone call, via mail, and in some cases, online. You’ll need to wait a few days to receive your PIN, but some providers may give you a temporary PIN so that you can immediately begin making cash withdrawals. Take special care not to lose your PIN once you receive it; keep it in a safe place in case you need to refer back to it.
If you do lose it, you’ll need to apply for a new one. As noted on Classroom, “If you lose your credit card PIN you must repeat this process for a new one. A customer service representative cannot quote you your PIN over the phone.” If you need cash immediately under these circumstances, you’ll unfortunately have to wait until you receive your new PIN.
With care and forethought, you can overcome any financial crisis. Credit card cash advances can help you overcome temporary obstacles, but you shouldn’t rely on them excessively. Don’t put yourself into a financial situation that will burden you with an insurmountable level of debt. By setting and following a budget, you can avoid becoming a part of the current credit card debt epidemic, even after taking on additional debt via a cash advance.
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