Posted by William Charles on March 11, 2014
Credit Cards

Published on March 11th, 2014 | by William Charles


How To Avoid Cash Advance Fees

One thing about manufactured spending you need to be careful of is that some banks will charge you cash advance fees for purchasing Gift Cards and other similar “like cash” options. Citi is notorious for this and charges it as a cash advance where ever possible. Other banks are a little kinder, but will charge these fees when they deem it’s necessary.

This can be frustrating because you don’t want to put through a big purchase which might be charge as a cash advance and you also don’t want to put through a little purchase to test the waters as you’ll still have to pay a small fee for doing so (assuming your purchasing a gift card with an activation fee) without earning the large number of points, miles or cash back to off set it.

You can easily avoid cash advance fees, all you need to do is contact your credit card issuer and let them know that you want your cash advance limit set to $0. All card issuers will process this for you, make sure you get a reference number and if possible send a secured message rather than calling to help create a paper trail in the event that there is an issue in the future.

There is one downside to this tactic and that’s some purchases will first be processed as a cash advance and then will later change into a regular purchase. Because your cash advance limit is set to $0, it won’t be able to process the transaction even though it’ll later be coded as a purchase.

Reducing Your Cash Advance Limit With Barclays

  • Call 866-408-4064 (Barclays Credit Department)
  • Ask for your cash advance limit to be reduced to $0 or $1
  • They’ll then ask you why, use one of the following reasons or make up your own:
    • Some banks allow you to fund new checking accounts with a credit card, you want to make sure this is not coded as a cash advance

Other Banks And Their Cash Advance Limits:

  • Alliant: Cannot be reduced: 1
  • American Express: Cash advance limit is tied to your credit limit and cannot be lowered.
  • Bank of America: Has a minimum cash advance limit of $200
  • Chase: allows a limit of $0 (update 12/31/17: now reports are saying it’s either $100 or $20)
  • Citi: allows a limit of $0
  • FIA: allows a limit of $0
  • TD Bank: Hardcoded to minimum 30% of credit limit (1)



Hat tip to Fat Wallet Finance


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Ok. Citibank, chase bank and discover card set my cash limit to zero right after I requested. For the Bank of America credit card, the lowest cash limit is $10. Barclay card, they are not able to decrease the cash limit. So has anyone experienced the same issue?

Fidelity amex: The rep I spoke to at Fidelity said the minimum is $10.

Capital One (Quicksilver) answered my request to disable the CA feature or set the CA limit to $0 – it is not possible for them to do that

[…] consequence of those changes. I’ve personally stopped using Chase cards to load Serve, as my cash advance limits are set to $0 and this would’ve lead to the transactions not going […]

Through a secure message Chase informed me that their minimum is $20. I then called customer service and was told that their minimum is $100.

I was told that they would set it as $20, but this is the cryptic (and slightly hilarious) response I got thru SM:

“Before I proceed with decreasing the cash advance limit to
$20.00, I would like to inform you that your account has a
credit access line. With this type of account, you can
charge above the credit access line. The amount you can
exceed your credit access line is reviewed regularly and
is based on credit information, account history and
personal spending patterns. Overlimit fees are not charged
when you exceed your credit access line.”

Smallest they’d set by Secure Message was $100

I just called Chase to turn off the cash advance capability on my BA card. She said it cannot be turned off but that she could set it to $100. I asked if we could do something lower, such as $20, and she said that $20 is the absolutely lowest they can do but that she’d have to put in a manual request and that would take 24 hours.

So it seems the agents can do $100 directly and $20 is possible manually.

US Bank said that their cash advance limit is 25% of credit limit and it cannot be lowered.

Yay for HUCA! First CSR I spoke to when trying to lower my Fidelity Amex cash advance limit said it was impossible.

HUCA, I lowered it to $10 (I asked for $10 instead of zero. I may have been able to drop it to $0 but it doesn’t matter).

I tried 3 times to lower my cash advance limit on my new United MileagePlus Explorer card (got the 50k/$2000 + 5k/AU + $50/1st purchase offer) by calling the number on the back of the card. All three representatives insisted that it was not possible to lower the cash advance limit independently on the credit limit.

I then called Chase’s general credit card support line (800-432-3117) and they were able to lower it to $100 (he insisted the minimum was $100). Ideally I’d be able to set it to zero but that’s okay.

I tried lowering my cash advance limit to $0 on my new Citi MC Double Cash through Live Chat Support early this afternoon. Looks like we have to bear the risk of Cash Advance fees on Citi now.

Me: Hi, I would like to set my cash advance limit to $0.
Live Chat Rep: I am sorry,  it is not possible to set the cash advance limit to $0.

Me: Is there a certain threshold that I’m able to set it to?
Live Chat Rep: I am sorry that is not allowed.

Me: OK, thank you very much for helping me.
Live Chat Rep: You’re welcome.

Old Amex Bluecard just told me that I was never enrolled in cash advance, thus I cant get a cash advance/fee. Online chat rep told me that!

Definitely recommend using the Barclays credit line above. Called the general service line (I think it takes you to an India call center) and they told me they couldn’t change it at all lol. The credit line took me all of 20sec to make the change.

Can confirm. I had the same experience. India kept saying it is impossible. The above number did it in about 10 seconds, without exaggeration. She reduced it to $1.

Contacted Chase via secure message and was told that I can do minimum of $20 cash advance limit for each of my personal accounts.

Called CS and was told that the limit was tied to my credit limit, which means that it varies.

I didn’t like any of the answers, but I’ll go with option 1. But, before I do that, I will check to see if any of my limits are already at $0, as I may have done this in the past, but forgot. Some of these freedom cards I’ve had since I was a kid. 😀

Perhaps time to edit the data points above, unless somebody was successful in getting Chase to lower it to $0. If so, I’d like to know how they did it.

Cheers from Seoul 🙂

Also told by Chase the minimum limit for cash advance is $20.

I just called Chase to lower the cash advance limit on my Freedom Unlimited. I was told that it’s 20% of the credit limit and the only way to lower it is to reduce the credit limit.

Wells Fargo Propel. Both by messaging and a call, No lowering of cash advance fee.

I got the same result for Wells Fargo Propel World: “I am not able to remove the option or lower the available limit to zero for cash advances as this option is not available. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.”

I tried today via secure message for my Cash Wise card. Same deal. This is either an archaic tech system limitation or something more sinister (yes please rack up that cash advance fee)! Either way it’s a poor reflection vs. other firms / products

“I understand that you would like to lower the available limit for cash

We are not able to lower the available limit for cash advances as this
option is not available. I apologize for any confusion or inconvenience
caused regarding this matter.”

But, Serve posts as a purchase. Propel is Amex.

Two questions:

1. I called Barclays at 866-419-0881 (customer service on the back of my former US Airways, now Aviator Red card) to reduce my cash advance limit to $0, but I was told that was impossible. I then sent a secure message and was told I needed to call 866-408-4064 for assistance. When I called that number, they said that $1 is the lowest they can do. Any idea what will happen if I try to fund a Citigold account with $14000 from the Aviator Red card? Will it be declined because the amount is more than my cash advance limit? Or will $1 be treated as a cash advance, with $13,999 as a purchase?

2. I did this same offer last year (August, I think). After the miles posted, I closed the account and the miles were not clawed back. I received the same offer again in the mail a few weeks ago, so does that mean they won’t deny the miles because I participated before?


Hi Wilfred.

Did you tried? What happen?

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