If you have a credit card in your wallet, you also have access to cash whenever you need it. But exercising those cash options can come with a price. If you find yourself short of cash and anxious to pull out your credit card, you should first weigh each of your options carefully.
From time to time you probably receive convenience checks in the mail from your credit card company. Keeping a few of these checks on hand ensures that you can get cash whenever you need it, albeit with charges and fees attached. Convenience checks can be used just like regular checks, to pay bills or to get cash by making the check payable to yourself. Be sure to read the fine print in your credit card agreement so that you understand the fees and charges associated with using these convenience checks.
A cash advance allows you to get money from an ATM using your credit card and your PIN. Before taking advantage of a cash advance, you need to check the fees and expenses carefully. Depending on the card, there might be a minimum fee associated with a cash advance, no matter how much or how little you withdraw at the ATM. In addition to that cash advance fee, you might be assessed interest charges as soon as you withdraw the money--the usual grace period that applies to regular purchases might not apply to cash advances.
Make a Purchase
If a friend or relative has her eye on something she wants, offer to put the item on your credit card. Then have your friend or relative give you the cash for the item you just charged. That way you get the cash you need, but you also avoid cash advance fees and convenience check charges.