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
  • 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


92 Responses to How To Avoid Cash Advance Fees

  1. Jun says:

    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?

  2. chuck says:

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

  3. Julian says:

    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

  4. Pingback: Warning E-mail From American Express Serve Regarding Cash Advance Fees - Doctor Of Credit

  5. Justin says:

    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.

    • dawn says:

      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.”

  6. Marco says:

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

  7. Fiby says:

    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).

  8. Fiby says:

    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.

  9. Ralph R says:

    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.

  10. nick says:

    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!

  11. Grant says:

    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.

    • Anthony says:

      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.

  12. J. Grant says:

    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 🙂

  13. John Stewart says:

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

    • Sean says:

      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.”

      • SS says:

        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.”

  14. John Stewart says:

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

  15. Wilfred says:

    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?


  16. J. Grant says:

    PSA for everyone that’s calling in to lower their CA limits:

    Chatted with BofA rep who confirmed that lowering my CA limit to $20 would NOT impact my overall 8K credit line on one of my cards.

    Turns out I chatted with a highly incompetent CSR who lowered my entire credit limit down to $200, which I found out a few days later when I made some purchases. I made several calls, only to finally end up with a competent rep in the credit department who within a minute re-instated my pre-existing limit of 8K and apologized for all the run-around.

    In addition, while getting bounced around trying to get to the right person, one of the reps pulled my credit report from TU without my permission. I might as well have applied for 5 Alaska Air cards after that one 😉

  17. Patrick says:

    Another data point for CapOne. Couldn’t lower the CA limit and it’s pretty high!

  18. IOException says:

    Chase is only allowing $20 as the minimum CA limit.

  19. Thomas says:

    From Citi upon my request to lower mine:

    “We received your request to lower your cash limit to $0.00 . We must inform you that if we complete this process, your account may not be eligible for a higher credit limit for six months.”

    I see a previous commenter was told he could not increase his cash limit for 6 months. Looks like they’re tightening up the consequences, but it’s a new card anyway, so I don’t see why I’d want to increase the limit (I’d rather get a new card with a new sign on bonus, anyway).

  20. Ted says:

    FNBO will allow you to lower your cash advance limit to $0.

  21. Chris says:

    Citibank has told me on two different Aadvantage cards that their lowest CA limit is $750, and couldn’t set to $0 even though that was what I requested.

  22. OC_Banker says:

    Just had a BofA CSR lower my Alaska Visa CA limit down to $200 (was told this was the minimum).

  23. Dirk says:

    BoA all cards can be set to $200 (lowest). Better Balance Rewards, i was offered between $500 or $10. needless to say, i chose $10.

    Chase $20 (lowest) – might need to update post.

  24. NJ says:

    I called Chase and asked them to lower my CA limit. The CSR mentioned that it is set with respect to 20% of the Credit limit I am assigned. How do I get it lowered now? Talked to 3-4 reps, all gave same response.

    • Dirk says:

      here’s the reply i got:
      “We value your relationship and it is important to us that
      we address your needs as a customer. I would like to
      inform you, that the option to change the cash line $0.00
      is unavailable. The minimum we can reduce the cash line is
      to $20.00. If you wish to proceed, please reply to this
      email and we will be happy to assist you.”

      try to send a Secure Message instead. goodluck!
      *that msg was from Jan. 16, 2016. maybe they’ve changed their policy recently. 😕

  25. TLH says:

    I just tried my first initial funding with CC at a Regions Bank in branch. Kind of regret it now as I found that most in-branch funding will be counted as CA. The transaction is pending on both sides on the CA limit on the card did drop. Any good suggestion for avoiding the fees is appreciated.

  26. mark says:

    does the cash advance limit have to be zero to avoid cash advance fees, or does it just have to be less than the amount that we’re charging?

  27. Shaun says:

    Be careful when dialing the Barclays number. I got a recording telling me that I was specially selected to receive a $100 voucher to “popular department stores such as Target, Macy’s yada yada yada for only a $1.99 mailing fee, please have your credit card ready.” It was only after looking at my phone at that point I realized I dialed 4664, not 4064.

  28. Don says:

    Had my cash advance limit set to $20 for Chase but they still processed a large cash advance.

    After multiple conversations they agreed to waive fees. Certainly a hassle.

    They offered nothing more to prevent cash advance transactions from being executed in the future.

    Anyone out there know additional methods to block chase cash advance transactions from being executed?


  29. Jeff says:

    In ref to Capital One Quicksilver, just to confirm what Julian, John, and Jason said in 2014, Cap One would not lower the CA limit. Got told that it is an account feature and their system will not allow it to be reduced. Phone call was escalated to no avail.

    • The DJ says:

      Just to clarify, Capital One’s cash advance is tied to your credit limit. So you’ll have to reduce your CL in order to get a lower cash advance limit. This is what I was told by the CSR via chat.

      • Don L says:

        I called Capital One 2 times to try and lower my cash advance limit on a new business card. They told me both times that it was not possible – confirming what every one has reported.

        Oddly recently I received a letter in the mail saying that my cash advance limit was set to zero.

  30. Jeff says:

    Barclaycard arrival: CA limit set to $0, quickly and painlessly using phone you provided. (866-408-4064) Thank you.

    Discover it: CA limit set to $0, and automatic future reviews of CA limit turned off.

    Chase Freedom & Chase Freedom Unlimited: Per the “manager”, the lowest amount they could set the cash advance limit was $20, not $0.

    Citi ThankYou Preferred & Citi CashReturns: Set to $0 without hassle, with the warning of the cards will not be eligible for a credit line increase for 6 months. That is not an issue for me, but could discourage others.

  31. Abigail says:

    I contacted Chase today about lowering my cash advance limit to $0 on my Chase Freedom, Chase Sapphire, and United Explorer Plus card and was told the lowest they could put it at was $20.00.

  32. Turbo says:

    Chase customer service one the phone said the lowest they could set my IHG and MileagePlus cards to was $100. I sent a secure message to see if they could set it lower through their system. Anyone else have this experience?

    • Turbo says:

      In secure message Chase confirmed $20 is possible.

      When speaking with Bank of America (BoA) customer service I found out that they have a “Cash Hold” option. BoA set my cash advance limit to $200, and they also enabled the “Cash Hold” option which will cause any cash advance transactions to be automatically rejected. Hoping that other card issuers also have this feature…

  33. rob says:

    I have my CA limits set to $20 on Chase freedom and sapphire. Now, if i fund a bank account with $200, will it be rejected or approved for that partial amount ($20) and is triggered as cash advance transaction?

    • Jason says:

      I don’t think so, it is not that a portion of the charges/transaction amount going to be put in cash advance then the remaining going to be placed under credit limit. It’s either approved or declined, in your case the $200.

  34. Hunter says:

    Chase told me the min cash advance limit on the CSR is $100, so I set it to out. Meanwhile, they let a $1000 cash advance go through and charged me a $50 fee. I called to get it waived and before the CSR did she told me it was a courtesy since it’s a cash access line, not a credit limit, so the line doesn’t have a hard cap. Not sure if BS or not, but wanted to let others know.

  35. EJ says:

    Today I also had a Chase service rep tell me that the minimum cash advance limit is $100.

  36. DD says:

    Via SM, Chase just told me $20 is the limit. Same message as others have posted above.

  37. AZ says:

    The lowest CA for Chase (Reserve, Preferred, Freedom, Unlimited) is $20. Barclay Arrival Plus is $0.

  38. Eric says:

    Chase told me that the minimum cash advance limit is $20 and that I cannot set it any lower than that.

  39. David says:

    Just to add another DP for CA limit on the CSR. Called yesterday to lower my CA and was told that $100 was the minimum allowed. I then requested the same via SM and was told this morning the following:

    “I would like to inform you that the lowest we can lower
    the cash advance limit is to $20.00. Hence we’ve adjusted
    the percentage of your credit line that’s available for
    cash withdrawals as you requested. Your new cash line is
    $20.00. This adjustment is in effect immediately. If you
    have any questions, please call us at the number on the
    back of your card. We’re always here to help. “

  40. Mark Zhang says:

    Confirmed again that the Citi AAdvantage card has the lowest limit of $750. Still so. So bad that I did not see the info here before asking them; I was thinking about getting its spending requirement done by the Santander checking…

  41. Harry says:

    CSR minimum CA is $100 by normal rep and $20 by SM or by calling supervisor on the phone. Even with $20 you would have to pay $10 minimum fee (the 3 or 5 % kicks in only after initial $10), So ok to leave it at $100 I guess.

  42. Matthew says:

    During my latest lowering of CA, Citi AA could only do $750 via SM, and Chase said $20 is lowest for all my accounts.

  43. Monica says:

    Was able to lower Barclay Rewards Mastercard limit to $0 using that credit limit number in less than 5 minutes. Thanks Doc!

  44. MontyFC says:

    Just got off with Amex and they were able to cancel cash advance on all my AMEX cards. Not sure if it’s a new policy or an anomaly as this runs counter to what other DPs have mentioned above.

  45. Dmytro Zhernoviy says:

    Recent DP. Called to reduce cash advance on my Chase Preferred and Freedom. Initially it was 20% of CL. So I asked to reduce to $0. They answered that the lowest possible amount of Cash Advance is $100.

  46. Yummy says:

    Just called Chase Hyatt and they allow the lowest limit of $20.

  47. Chris says:

    Called today for Barclays Jet Blue and set limit to lowest ($1.00) using the number provided above. FYI: I was informed it could not be changed once done and was permanent.

  48. Jason says:

    Chase cash advance limit is a minimum of $20 now. I just SM’d them today.

  49. Gadget says:

    Barclaycard set to $1 using phone number above, with the warning that the change is permanent. No hassle or issues.

  50. gary says:

    Does anyone know if U.S. bank allows cash adv limit to be lowered to $0 or to what amount /%. Getting a new card with them and wanted to see if I can lower the ca limit befre risking a funding

  51. jpv says:

    Amex just removed the cash advance from my SPG & SPG Biz.

  52. payyoutuesday says:

    Regarding Amex, here is an article and a comment from Reddit that say that you can deactivate the cash advance feature of your credit card:

    I just chatted with Amex and asked for my cash advance feature to be deactivated (Hilton Surpass). Supposedly this has now been done.

    • Fiby says:

      Yeah the phone rep I talked to said that even if the letter you get with your cc tells you you have a cash advance limit, the card still has to be enrolled to get cash advances.

      None of my cards were ever enrolled for cash advances to begin with apparently.

    • Charles says:

      On the Amex account website, where does one actually go to disable the cash advance feature.

  53. Jason says:

    just a DP.. bank of american Business they allowed you set to 0…Citi AAdvatage set to 700 only for my card..

  54. Ellie Arroway says:

    Went to disable/lower the cash advance limit on my newer cards today. For my Citi Hilton Reseve $1000 was the lowest I could set it to. For my Amex Blue Business Plus it was already disabled.

  55. Jay says:

    Called to lower cash advance on Marriott Biz. Rep said they could no longer do it, as it stays at 20% of overall credit limit. She then said that she can “deactivate” cash advance on my card, but the availability will still exist on my account. Not sure how that’s different, but she did it.

  56. Darv says:

    Thanks for the info on Barclay. Called number on back of card, no go. Found number posted here, they took care of it, set to zero.

  57. kirk says:

    got this replies for my new Chase IHG & Amazon Prime cards. i’ve SM’ed before and was given $20 on my Freedom 11/2014 and AARP 12/2015. i guess chase recently changed to a minimum of $100. needless to say, i took the $100. ymmv.


    “Hello XxX,

    I am writing in response to reducing the cash advance
    limit on the account.

    The cash advance limit on an account can be lowered to a
    minimum of $100.00. Please reply to this email if you
    wish to lower the cash advance limit on your cards to
    We will then process your request.”


    “Hello XxX,

    We have received your request to lower the cash line.

    XxX, let me share that the option to decrease the cash
    line to $20.00 is unavailable. You can have a minimum
    cash line of $100.00. Please reply to this email, if you
    would like to change the cash line to $100.00 and either
    myself or one of my colleagues will be able to assist you.”

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