Can You Pay a Credit Card With Another Credit Card?

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By Sarah Watts
Updated on Thursday 17 August 2023

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If money’s a bit tight, meaning that you have no available funds to pay your monthly credit card minimum payment and your credit card balance is spiralling out of control, you may be wondering if you can pay a credit card bill with another credit card.

This may seem a ludicrous suggestion to some of you as you’re effectively creating one debt to pay off another. However, there are certain circumstances where using your credit card to pay a credit card is possible.

So can I pay a credit card with a credit card?

Yes, if it’s a balance transfer

You can pay off your credit card balance with a balance transfer credit card where you transfer your existing high-interest credit card balance to a brand new credit card with a low or 0% APR.

There are many lenders who offer new customers a 0% balance transfer credit card (usually if you have a good credit score) and so moving debt in this way could be a viable option. However, there is usually a fee payable of between 3% and 5% of the transfer balance. So if you transfer a balance of £4,000, the fee could be in the region of between £120 and £200.

If you do decide to take out a 0% APR balance transfer card, remember that the 0% APR periods have a shelf-life and will expire after a certain time. 0% APR time periods can usually vary from between 12 months and 2 years, so you will only save money on interest for that time period and once it expires, you’ll be put on a much higher APR rate for any residual balance.

Yes, if it’s from a cash withdrawal

Another way you could pay a credit card minimum payment by using another credit card is if you withdraw cash from an existing credit card.  However, similar to a balance transfer, there is a fee payable on a cash advance of between 3% to 5%. On top of that, the APR interest rates on a cash withdrawal are usually extortionate - usually anywhere between 20% and an eye-watering 60%!

Note: A cash withdrawal from your credit card will be recorded on your credit file and will therefore be visible to future lenders. Whilst this will not immediately impact your credit score, it could affect your prospects of future loans - especially for repeat cash withdrawals.

No, if it’s for a direct monthly payment

You cannot usually pay a credit card with a credit card for a direct monthly payment. Credit card lenders will expect payments to be made from a bank account, not another credit card. And even if you were able to pay using a credit card, unless you’re expecting a windfall within a matter of weeks, this ‘treading water’ management of your finances can only lead to financial doom and is not sustainable in the long-term.

What happens if I can't pay the minimum on my credit card and what can I do?

Work out your priority debts

First and foremost, you will need to work out your income and outgoings so you can see what your priority debts are (i.e. debts which could result in you losing your home). The best way to do this is by completing a budgeting spreadsheet to see who you owe the most money too and which debts need priority.

Contact your lender

Once you have worked out your priority debts, income and expenditure, you can then approach your credit card company to see if they’ll help. You could ask if they’ll consider reducing your monthly payments to a more affordable amount or perhaps even freeze interest on your balance or extend your credit card limit.

Get specific help for coronavirus-related debt

Due to the devastating, unprecedented financial hardship Covid-19 has wrought on so many, most of the main lenders are offering help to customers who are struggling with debt during this difficult time. This help can include a payment holiday, freezing interest, increasing your overdraft and/or credit card limit, allowing fee-free access to long-term savings or not charging fees for missed payments.

Just bear in mind that if you do get a payment holiday, it could affect your chances of getting credit in the future. Read our article to learn more: Payment Holiday Customers Are Being Refused Credit.

Seek independent advice

If your debts are unsurmountable and your credit card company is not offering enough help, then you should contact Citizens Advice for free, impartial advice and help. There are also many other debt organisations who can help you like Step Change.

Note: Missed payments will show on your credit file and will affect your credit rating, thus affecting your credibility and eligibility for future credit.

Can someone else pay my credit card?

Yes, they can. A lender will not oppose a payment from another source (other than from another credit card in your name). In fact, they’d welcome it!

If you’re lucky enough to have a relative or friend who kindly offers to pay your credit card instalment(s) or balance, then the best way for them to do this is by making a payment online.

How to pay credit card bill online

The easiest way for someone else to pay a credit card bill is by online banking.

Your friend or relative can either make a one-off payment by doing a BACs payment or set up a standing order or direct debit for regular monthly instalments.

You will, of course, need to provide your friend or relative with the credit card company’s bank account number and sort code. You must also ensure a third party uses your 16-digital credit card number as the payment reference.

Usually, when you set up a large credit card company as a payee online, your online banking software will usually bring up the company’s details and a choice of credit card number prefixes. If you select the correct card prefix (usually the first four digits will be the same as the credit card’s), then the correct company’s details (account number and sort code) will automatically be inserted for you.

If a third party is willing to pay your credit card by direct debit, you will have to ask your lender to provide a direct debit instruction form for them (or download one from the internet) to complete and sign. As a monthly instalment amount can vary, your lender will require authorisation from a payee to adjust the direct debit amount accordingly and so this verification process will need to be undertaken.

Other ways a third party can pay your credit card

Alternatively, if you are able to log into your credit card account online to pay your credit card bill, you could ask a third party to pay this way, but you would either need them present with their card or ask them to provide their full debit card details (including CVV code) which could be a big ask.

Finally, if your friend or relative is a technophobe, you could provide them with a paying-in slip (usually at the bottom of your credit card bill) and they could make a payment in person at a lender’s branch (that’s if they have one).

So, to sum up, the only advantageous way you should really consider paying a credit card bill with another credit card is by transferring your credit card balance to a 0% balance transfer credit card. All other means of paying a credit card with a credit card are futile.

For further advice and information regarding credit cards, see our related articles below.

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