Manufactured spending techniques don’t only apply to collecting airline miles and flying for cheap. You can also follow the same guidelines to get a Cash Advance from a credit card.
When to use Cash Advance
Taking a cash advance gives you money in cases where you can’t use a credit card (perhaps paying rent), or have otherwise maxed out your purchasing power. Many financial institutions will charge you a fee between 1% and 5% just for making this transaction.
Better alternative – Less fees
The same manufactured spending methods I wrote about in the past can be used to get Cash Advance and the beauty of this is it only takes a few hours and cost significantly less.
Please…please! Do not follow what I’m about to write unless it is an absolute emergency and you’re in dire need of cash. You must pay your credit card balance otherwise you will end up incurring interest and possibly fees.
- Buy a Visa Gift card with your credit credit card. Gift cards can be purchased at various retailers. The most reliable and cheapest is Simon mall. You can also try major grocery chains like Stop & Shop, Kruger. Arianna at Pointchaser has a good write up detailing the best places to buy pin-enabled Visa gift cards. Your Visa gift card can be used just like any other debit card EXCEPT that you cannot withdraw cash out of an ATM
- Go to a store that accepts debit cards to buy Money Orders. The money order fee ranges between $0.7 to $1.25 so make sure the gift card balance is equal or greater than the money order amount plus the fee.
- Money order is equal to cash. Either cash it out or deposit it in your bank account (you can write the money order to yourself)
- This whole process will cost you $8.6 to $9.25 per $1000 ; a bargain compared to the fees you’d pay by taking a cash advance.
Note that the total value of gift cards you can buy is not limited by the cash advance set on your credit card account – you are not actually requesting a cash advance but merely making a purchase.