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How to get an American Express cash advance

Use your Amex card for cash as a last resort.

If you own an American Express charge or credit card, you can get cash from an ATM or a bank teller should you need it. But because the cash comes from your line of credit, it comes with hefty fees and interest. This makes it an expensive option, which you should use only in emergencies.

How to get an American Express cash advance

You must first have an American Express card to get an American Express cash advance. Once you have the card, here’s what to do:
  1. Call 800-227-4669 and request a PIN if your card doesn’t have one.
  2. Go to a participating ATM and insert your card.
  3. Enter your PIN and select “Cash Advance” on the menu screen.
  4. Enter the amount you want to withdraw.

Cash advance limits

Some American Express cards have cash advance limits. For example:
  • American Express® Gold Card – $6,000 (Terms apply, see rates & fees).
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express – $8,000 (Terms apply, see rates & fees).

Note that your card’s limits could be different. Look for your card’s cash advance limit on your billing statement.

What purchases does American Express consider to be a cash advance?

In addition to taking out an advance at the ATM, Amex counts some purchases as cash advances. These include:

  • ATM transactions
  • Gambling
  • Gift cards
  • Money orders
  • Traveler’s checks
  • Wire transfers

American Express cash advance fees

American Express has one of the highest cash advance fees and cash advance APRs on this type of transaction.

For cash advances using your American Express credit card, you’ll pay:

  • A 5% fee of the amount, but not less than $10.

The average cash advance APR is 26.74% but it could vary between cards. Here’s how much a $500 ATM cash advance would cost:

ATM withdrawal
Cash advance fee$25
ATM fee$3
30-day cash advance APR$11 on average, but it depends on your creditworthiness

Cash advance alternatives

If cash advances seem expensive to you, there are cheaper alternatives you can consider during financial emergencies. For example, you can get a:

  • 0% purchase intro APR period credit card.
    This type of card comes with a promotional interest-free period on other eligible purchases made with your card. Most cards offer between 12 and 15 months of 0% intro APR period, but some cards may offer up to 20 months. This can help you make the purchase and pay it off in the next months without paying interest.
  • Balance transfer credit card.
    Balance transfer credit cards offer a promotional 0% intro APR period of up to 21 months on the debt you move from other cards. If paying your current debt is expensive because of high interest rates, consider a 0% APR balance transfer card.

Bottom line

American Express cash advances are among the most expensive ones. Because of that, it’s best to avoid cash advances or use them sparingly if there’s no other alternative.

Know your options for using a card for cash advances, and compare credit cards with low cash advance fees until you find the right fit for your wallet.

Frequently asked questions

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