Can you pay credit card bill with cash?

Maryalene Laponsie
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Maryalene Laponsie
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Can you pay credit card bill with cash?
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Credit cards are more likely to be associated with online accounts, apps and digital wallets than with cash. So you may be surprised to hear that you can pay your card’s balance with cash if you’d like.

If you prefer or need to pay in cash, be sure you understand the ins and outs of paying your credit card statement with cash. There’s a right way – and a wrong way – to do it.

How to pay credit card bill with cash

Let’s start with the wrong way to pay your credit card with cash. Never send cash through the mail. It is far too risky. There is a chance an envelope could be lost or stolen, and there is no way to replace cash that goes missing in the mail. What’s more, you have no documentation proving how much you sent.

Instead, if you want to pay your credit card with cash, try these options:

  • Visit a branch: If your credit card is issued by a bank with local branches, you can stop by and make a payment in person. This is typically an option for cards issued by smaller community banks and credit unions as well as national banks such as Chase and Bank of America.
  • Use an ATM: If there isn’t a branch nearby, you may be able to use an ATM to make a payment. If ATM payments are accepted, you should see a payment option on the ATM screen after you insert your card. Select that option and insert cash in the same way you would when making a deposit. Not all credit card issuers offer this option though.
  • Buy a money order: If you don’t have checks and want to send a payment through the mail, you can use your cash to buy a money order. There is typically a fee for money orders, and the amount varies depending on where you get one. For instance, Walmart charges a maximum fee of $1 while the U.S. Postal Service charges $2.10 for money orders of up to $500 and $3.00 for money order between $500.01 and $1,000.

Pros and cons of paying credit card with cash

So now we know the answer to “can you can pay credit card with cash?” is yes, but you might be wondering why you would want to. Some people have no choice but to use cash while others prefer this payment method. Here’s a closer look at the pros and cons.

When to pay your credit card with cash

Using cash to pay your credit card balance can make sense in the following situations:

You have cash on-hand: Paying with cash may be more convenient in certain circumstances. If you have been given a cash gift or paid for a job in cash, it may be easier to simply use that money to make a payment rather than depositing it in a bank account and setting up an electronic payment.

You don’t have a bank account: Not everyone has a savings or checking account, and that can make it difficult to pay bills electronically. If you manage your money with a prepaid card or other non-traditional method, making a credit card payment with cash might be your only option.

You use a cash budgeting system: Some people prefer to use cash to help them stick to a budget. For instance, they may withdraw cash for the entire month and place it in envelopes for spending. If you do something similar, paying your credit card bill with cash ensures you don’t have electronic payments disrupting your budget.

Why you may not want to pay your credit card with cash

Paying your credit card with cash may not be best for everyone. Here’s why you might want to reconsider using cash:

It’s inconvenient: Compared to paying online, using cash is a much more involved process. It involves taking your money to a bank or ATM. Or if you buy a money order, not only do you need to go buy it, but you also need to purchase postage to mail it.

It could cause late fees: Since paying with cash requires more steps, there may be a greater likelihood of a late payment if something prevents you from getting to the bank or ATM in time. What’s more, unless you use a guaranteed delivery service, mail might be delayed, resulting in a fee.

It could skew online budgeting records: If you use a budgeting app or similar software that syncs with your bank account, using cash to pay your credit card could mean your financial records are inaccurate. While you may be able to manually add the payment, doing so could be inconvenient.

Paying your credit card with cash is an option and one that can make sense in some situations. However you pay your bill, make sure it is received on time to avoid late fees and pay off your monthly balance in full to avoid expensive interest charges.

Maryalene Laponsie
Cardratings Contributor

Maryalene is a freelance contributor to and specializes in personal finance topics such as credit cards, budgeting, saving and investing. She has written professionally for nearly 25 years and is a regular contributor to U.S. News & World Report, Money Talks News,...Read more

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