How to Send Money with a Credit Card

You can send money both domestically in the US, and overseas using a credit card. However, sending money internationally using your credit card can mean you run into several different fees including cash advance charges, transfer fees and an exchange rate markup. Pick the wrong service to get your payment moving, and that can quickly mount up.

This guide walks through how to make a credit card remittance, the types of fees to watch out for, and also introduces some options for making cheaper international payments such as Wise, WorldRemit and Remitly. Read on.

Go to WiseGo to WorldRemitGo to Remitly
 

In this guide, we’ll cover:

  • Can you send money abroad with a credit card?
  • How to transfer money from a credit card to a bank account
  • Apps to send money with a credit card
  • How much does it cost to send money overseas with your credit card?
  • How long does it take to send money with a credit card?
  • Alternatives to sending money with a credit card
  • Conclusion
  • FAQs

Can you send money abroad with a credit card?

Yes. You can send money here in the US, and also to recipients around the world, and pay by credit card. There are a couple of different ways you can send a payment with your credit card, including using your regular bank or choosing a specialist money transfer service. We’ll cover the options in more detail, as well as some pros and cons in this article.

When you might want to use a credit card to send money

We’ve already mentioned that sending money with a credit card can be a costly option. However, it does still have some advantages, depending on the situation. While you probably don’t want to reach for your credit card to make frequent payments, here are some occasions on which you might prefer it:

Emergencies: If you have an emergency and need to get money to someone fast, you may find using a card – including credit and debit cards – is the quickest option available. This is especially relevant if you’re sending a payment to someone who can’t easily access a bank. In this case, specialist services like MoneyGram and Western Union can help you make a transfer to someone which can be picked up in cash, or PayPal can be used for transfers to other PayPal accounts globally.

Reward Points: You may also consider using your credit card for more frequent transactions if you’re earning rewards or cashback on your spending. Before you decide to use your credit card to send a payment in order to earn rewards, double check you’ll actually earn points on your payment – and weigh up the extra costs you’ll need to pay against the benefit of the extra rewards.

Pros and cons of sending money overseas with a credit card

Pros of sending money with a credit cardCons of sending money with a credit card
  • May be the fastest way of funding a payment in some cases
  • You could spread out the cost of your transfer by repaying your card bill over time
  • Payments may earn rewards or cashback from your card issuer
  • Credit cards aren’t always accepted as payment for transfers
  • You may face higher fees from the transfer provider
  • Your card issuer may charge their own fees including a cash advance charge and interest

How to transfer money from a credit card to a bank account

If you need to send a payment to someone from your credit card, or move money from your credit card to a bank account in your own name, you may have a few different options. Exactly what you’re able to do will depend on the credit card you hold – and the processes and fees may vary based on which option you pick.

We’ll look in more detail at these common ways to transfer money from a credit card to a bank account:

  • Get a cash advance and deposit the funds into your bank
  • Use your card to fund a standard bank transfer or wire transfer
  • Send a payment with a money transfer provider

Getting a Cash Advance

Most credit cards allow customers to get a cash advance by either withdrawing funds from an ATM or visiting a branch of the issuing bank for counter service. This can be convenient – but it’s often expensive. While each card is different, it’s common to find there’s a cash advance fee to pay, plus interest charges which start to accrue instantly. Usually your options to get a credit card cash advance will include:

  • Use your card to make an ATM withdrawal if you have an active PIN
  • Visit a branch of the issuing bank and ask for a cash advance over the counter
  • Write yourself a check if you’ve been issued a checkbook with your credit card

It’s also worth noting that other types of credit card transactions, including making peer to peer payments and some money transfers, could incur cash advance fees. Double check the terms and conditions of your specific card to make sure you’re not caught by surprise.

Sending a Wire Transfer

Some banks allow credit card users to arrange wire transfers paid for using the credit line on their card. If this is possible you’re likely to find it listed as an option within your online banking service – or you can call into a branch to ask if it’s available directly.

If you’re setting up the bank wire from your credit card online, the basic steps are likely to look like this:

  1. Log into your online banking service
  2. Look for the wire transfer option and enter the payment amount and currency
  3. Add your recipient’s banking information
  4. Select the option to pay using your credit card
  5. Check over the fees and exchange rate, and confirm – you may need to complete a security step at this stage

Using an Online Money Transfer Provider

There are quite a few options to send money with a credit card both locally in the US and internationally through a specialist service. Dedicated online money transfer companies can often offer faster transfers, and may have lower fees and better exchange rates for international payments compared to your bank. Most providers like Wise, Remitly and WorldRemit accept credit cards as a payment method.

Here’s how to make a payment by credit card through an online money transfer provider:

  1. Compare a few online money transfer providers to see which has the lowest overall costs for your transfer
  2. Register an account – this can be done online or in the provider’s app
  3. Set up your transfer by entering the payment amount, currency and recipient’s details
  4. Select the option to pay by credit card – check everything over and confirm when you’re ready

It’s worth noting that compared to other payment methods, such as prepaid cards, paying by credit card can be relatively pricey. However, it may still be cheaper overall compared to using your bank to make a wire transfer. Compare the payment options for your preferred provider to check you’re getting the best available deal.

Apps to send money with a credit card

Let’s take a look at some top apps to send money with a credit card from the US.

WorldRemit

You can send WorldRemit payments online and in-app from the US to a broad range of countries. You can select how you want the recipient to get the money in the end – with options including bank deposits, cash pick up, mobile money payments and airtime top up. Not all services are available in all countries, and credit card transfers may have higher fees compared to other payment methods.

Pay for your WorldRemit transfer with a Visa or Mastercard credit card – other networks like Amex aren’t accepted.

Go to WorldRemit

Wise

Make Wise payments with a credit card to 80+ countries internationally, as well as sending domestic USD payments here at home.

Wise international transfers use the mid-market exchange rate and low, transparent fees, and can arrive instantly on some payment routes. It’s easy to register for Wise online or in the handy Wise app, for fast and secure transfers you can make 24/7.

Using your credit card to pay for your Wise transfer will usually be more expensive than using an alternative like an ACH to pay.

Pay for your Wise transfer with a Visa or Mastercard credit card – some Maestro cards are also accepted.

Go to Wise

Remitly

Remitly supports payments to a good range of countries on common remittance routes. It’s a good pick if you want to send money to a loved one at home with varied pay out methods and different fees depending on how quickly you want your money to arrive.

With a credit card you’ll need to arrange a Remitly Express payment which can have higher fees than the standard Economy transfer – but your money will also arrive faster.

Pay for your Remitly transfer from the US with a Visa or Mastercard credit card.

Go to Remitly

PayPal

PayPal payments can be deposited into your recipient’s PayPal account almost instantly if you choose to pay using a credit card. You can send payments in USD domestically, or in foreign currencies to any other PayPal user in a supported country – coverage is pretty much worldwide. It’s worth noting there’s a PayPal transfer fee if you use a credit card – up to 2.9% for domestic payments, and 5% (to a maximum of 4.99 USD) internationally.

Pay for your PayPal transfer using a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or Amex credit card.

Venmo

Venmo is a super popular way to send and share payments in the US – but it’s useful to know Venmo can’t be used for international transfers.

You can link a credit card in your name to your Venmo account, to use this to fund transfers. It’s worth noting that credit card payments with Venmo are likely to incur a 3% fee from Venmo, and possibly also from your own card issuer, so you’ll want to check out the details before you transfer.

Pay for your Venmo transfer using a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or Amex branded credit card.

CashApp

CashApp is another fast and popular way to send payments in USD, with some international coverage if you want to send money to a CashApp user in the UK too. If you use a credit card though you may have to pay a 3% fee to send your transfer, while many other transactions within CashApp are fee free – check out all the details before you get started.

Pay for your transfer on CashApp using a Visa, Mastercard, Discover or Amex branded credit card.

How to send money internationally with credit card

As we’ve noted above, there are quite a few international payment providers which support credit card payments. From our selection of top picks above, you’ll usually find that Wise, Remitly, PayPal and WorldRemit offer international transfers paid for with a credit card. The basic steps you’ll need to take to make a transfer include:

  1. Pick your preferred online money transfer provider and register an account online or in the provider’s app
  2. Set up your transfer by entering the payment amount, currency and recipient’s details
  3. Select the option to pay by credit card – check everything over and confirm when you’re ready

Using a credit card to transfer money domestically

If you want to send a payment to someone in the US with a credit card, you’ll be able to pick from the payment providers below. It’s worth noting though that not all US payment providers can support credit card payments – Zelle for example will only let you link a debit card, not a credit card, to use its services.

Wise – Domestic payments in the US are available online or in the Wise app, with Visa and Mastercard credit cards supported

Venmo – Fast and popular for social payments and split bills, but paying with credit card has extra fees

CashApp – Send payments in USD easily with just a name or $Cashtag – unlike with some payment types, you’ll be charged a fee to pay with credit card though

PayPal – Deposit instant payments to PayPal accounts globally – there are fees for credit card payments internationally and locally in the US

How much does it cost to send money overseas using your credit card?

When you send money overseas with a credit card you may pay the following fees:

  • Provider’s transfer fee – often low or even waived entirely
  • Exchange rate markup – paid to the transfer service, often about 3% of the transfer amount
  • Third party charges to intermediary banks – if your payment is processed via SWIFT and sent to a bank account
  • Cash advance fee to your credit card issuer – often a fixed amount or percentage fee of around 3% – 5%, detailed in your card terms and conditions
  • Interest to your credit card issuer – may start to accrue immediately once you get a cash advance or make a payment

Not all fee types will apply to all payments – but you’ll want to check out exactly which charges can apply to your transfer to make sure you’re not charged more than you’re expecting.Comparing International Transfer Fees

The best way to find the cheapest and easiest option for your international payment is to compare a few providers. In most cases the fees you pay will depend on the payment details – but here’s a roundup of the providers we looked at earlier, and the rates and fees that usually apply to international transfers:

ProviderInternational credit card transfer feeExchange rate
WiseTransparent fee which varies by destination countryMid-market exchange rate
PayPal5% (0.99 USD – 4.99 USD)Mid-market exchange rate + 3% – 4%
WorldRemitFees vary by payment type and destination countryMid-market exchange rate + variable markup
RemitlyFees vary by payment type and destination countryMid-market exchange rate + variable markup

When you pick an international payment provider it’s important to look at both the fees and the exchange rate applied. Picking a provider which uses the mid-market exchange rate can often be the cheapest option out there, particularly for higher value payments.

Comparing Domestic Transfer FeesAnd here’s a rundown of the typical fees for the providers we featured earlier which offer domestic transfers paid for by credit card.

ProviderDomestic credit card transfer fee
Wise2.92 USD + 4.3%
PayPal0.3 USD + 2.9%
Venmo3%
CashApp3%

Are the fees worth it?

Most services charge extra fees for using credit cards to send money domestically or in the US. If you are able to consider alternative payment methods – like a debit card or ACH transfer – you’re likely to reduce the overall costs of your transfer.

How long does it take to send money with a credit card?

Credit card transfer times may depend on the provider you pick, transfer amount and currency. Many of the providers we featured earlier like PayPal and Venmo offer instant domestic transfers.

International transfers can sometimes take a little longer to process, but you may also be able to transfer money instantly with credit cards – even if the payment is headed overseas.

Card payments, including credit and debit cards, are often one of the fastest ways to get your money moving, even across borders.

Alternatives to Sending Money with a Credit Card

If it’s not absolutely essential that you pay with a credit card, it’s good to know that there are cheaper, faster and better ways of sending money abroad.

  • Wire transfer – Fast way to move money domestically and internationally, although bank wire fees for overseas payments can be high
  • Connected bank account (ACH) – Send money locally in the US, or use an ACH transfer to send money internationally for a lower fee, with a specialist provider
  • Debit card – often one of the cheapest options to send payments with a specialist, which can result in a fast, or even instant transfer wherever you need your money to go

Specialist money transfer providers such as Wise and WorldRemit often accept more than one payment method. You can transfer money fast with low fees, and better exchange rates while choosing the best payment method for yourself.

Conclusion

Transferring money from a credit card can be easy and fast, but the high fees involved will make this an option most people want to reserve for emergencies.

Using your credit card to send a payment via your bank can mean relatively high fees, bad exchange rates if you’re sending internationally and immediate interest charges. If you need a more cost-effective method, you might want to consider cheaper alternatives.

For domestic transfers, PayPal, Wise and Venmo can be good alternatives with fast payments and transparent fees. If you are looking to send money internationally, Wise, WorldRemit and Remitly offer speedy transfers, good exchange rates and lower fees compared to many banks.

Go to WiseGo to WorldRemitGo to Remitly

FAQ on Sending Money with a Credit Card

Can you transfer money with a credit card?

Yes. Transfer money with a credit card by getting a cash advance, sending via the bank that issued the card, or using a specialist online money transfer service like Wise, Remitly or WorldRemit. .

How long does it take to transfer money from a credit card to a bank account?

The amount of time it takes to transfer money from a credit card to a bank account can vary, but it’s usually one of the fastest methods around – payments may even arrive pretty much instantly.

How much does it cost to transfer money from a credit card to a bank account?

Moving money from your credit card to a bank account is usually expensive, with cash advance fees and interest to pay on top of any specific transfer fees.

 

By Justin Rampono Updated January 28th, 2023