If you’ve ever made a payment on your credit card online, you’ve probably noticed that your options for payment methods are limited to your bank account. That’s because you’re not allowed to use your credit card to make a payment, at least not directly.
Depending on how you do it, it is actually possible to indirectly pay a credit card with a credit card. Here’s what you need to know.
There are two main ways that you can pay a credit card with a credit card, and both of them are done indirectly. Your options are a balance transfer and a convenience check.
Both options allow you to essentially transfer a balance from one card to another. Depending on the situation, though, that may or may not be a great idea. Let’s explore more.
A balance transfer allows you to transfer a balance from one credit card to another. You can do this with most credit cards, but it doesn’t make sense to do it unless the new card has a lower interest rate.
That’s often the case with balance transfer credit cards, which offer a 0% introductory APR on transfers for a period. While many of these cards charge an upfront fee to perform the transfer, typically 3% or 5% of the transfer amount, the 0% APR can help you pay down your debt interest-free, which can save you hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars.
For example, let’s say you have a $15,000 balance on a card with a 19% APR. You have a goal to pay it off in 18 months, which requires a monthly payment of $964.25. When all is said and done, you’d pay $2,356.54 by the time your account hits zero.
But let’s say that you instead transfer the debt to a card with a 0% APR for 18 months and a balance transfer fee of 3%. You’d pay $450 upfront and have an $858.33 monthly payment. In the end, you’d pay no interest, saving you almost $2,000.
If you’ve had a credit card with one of the major issuers, you may have received convenience checks in the mail. These checks are tied to your credit card account, and you can use them for just about anything.
Often, these convenience checks come with a 0% APR promotion, and you don’t need to get a new credit card to get them. Rather, credit card issuers often send them out if you haven’t used your card in a while, to encourage you to start using it again.
But like balance transfers, convenience checks often come with a fee. The fee depends on the card and offer, but you can expect to see fees between 1% and 5%. Some cards might even offer you a choice — pay a lower fee to get a shorter 0% APR period or pay a bigger fee and get a longer 0% APR period.
To pay off another credit card with a convenience check, simply write the check out to yourself, deposit it into your checking account, then use the money to pay down your credit card.
Balance transfers and convenience checks can do wonders to help you eliminate high-interest credit card debt. But it’s important to use them only if you have set plans to pay them off before the 0% APR period ends.
In other words, avoid using them if you’re just trying to shift debt around and have no plans to pay it off. Moving balances from card to card to avoid paying it off can get expensive with all the balance transfer fees. Also, it doesn’t address the core problem — in fact, it can make it worse by making more credit available on the original card.
If you need to pay down some credit card debt, a balance transfer or convenience check can help, but it’s wise to consider all of your options before making a decision. For example, a personal loan can help you by offering a set repayment term, and if your balance is low enough, it might be worth just paying it down quickly.
Whatever option you choose, make sure to do your research to find the best option for you. As you do, you’ll have a better chance of eliminating your debt and saving money along the way.
Editorial Note: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.
This article was last updated April 27, 2018 but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.