How to Pay a Credit Card Bill With Cash

By Jackie Lam · April 15, 2024 · 10 minute read

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How to Pay a Credit Card Bill With Cash

While many people use cash less often today, you can still use it to pay a credit card bill at some ATMs and retail locations or by using mail technique (money orders; no $20s in the envelope).

You might want to pay your credit card in cash if you work in a cash-based business, or a relative hands you an envelope of $20 bills as a birthday gift. It’s good to know that you can pay your plastic with that money at some ATMs and retail locations or by sending a money order.

Here, you’ll learn more about paying a credit card bill with cash and other ways to pay, as well as tips for keeping your credit card account in good standing.

When Should I Pay My Credit Card Bill?

Before diving into ways to pay your credit card bill, consider gaining some knowledge about the billing cycle so you can better understand how and when to pay a credit card bill.

•   A credit card’s billing cycle is the time between two statement closing dates. This period is usually anywhere from 28 to 31 days.

•   Another important tidbit about credit cards: A grace period for a credit card exists between the end of the statement closing date and your credit card payment due date. During a grace period, you aren’t charged any interest.

•   You always want to pay your credit card bill (at least the minimum payment) by your payment due date — for good reasons that you’ll learn about next.

Why You Should Pay Your Credit Card Bill on Time

As mentioned, you should always pay your credit card bill by the payment due date to avoid negatively impacting your credit score. Here’s what you need to now:

•   Payment history is usually the largest single contributor to your credit score at 35%. Your score may dip if you fall behind on your credit card payments.

•   If you continue being late paying your credit card, your account could enter delinquency and then default. After you’ve defaulted on a credit card, your card will likely go to collections, which can seriously injure your credit score.

•   If you can manage to pay your credit card on time and in full, you won’t owe any interest charges. So those purchases you put on your card won’t cost anything in interest.

A sober truth: Americans dole out an average of $120 billion in credit card interest fees a year. Paying off your balance in full each cycle puts your share of that money back into your pocket.

Why You Should Pay Your Credit Card Early

You’ll carry a lower balance when you pay your credit card before the due date. This means more available credit, which reduces your credit utilization ratio. (That’s the percentage of your credit limit that your current balance accounts for.) And the lower your credit utilization, the better.

Your payment history gets reported to the credit bureaus, and a lower credit utilization figure could help build your credit score.

If you’re carrying a balance, you’re charged interest daily on your balance. So, a lower balance by making an early payment means you’ll be paying less on interest fees.

Another reason why it’s a good idea to pay your credit card before the payment date is that it increases your available credit. If you were planning to make a major purchase on your card, you’ll usually have to spend within the credit available.

Recommended: Guide to Paying Credit Cards with Debit Cards

How Can I Pay My Credit Card Bill?

There are several main ways you can pay your credit card bill. Take a closer look at your options here.

Online Payments

Many credit card networks and companies offer the option to pay online. You can do this either through the card’s mobile app or by logging on to your account on your computer.

To make sure you’re always on top of your payments, you can opt for auto payment, which you may see called autopay. You can link a bank account, which sets you up for recurring monthly payments. You can choose whether you want to pay the minimum, full, or custom amounts each month. That way, you won’t have to quibble over whether you’ll remember to pay your bills. You just want to be sure you have enough money in your account to cover that payment so you can avoid the headache and fees that overdraft can trigger.

Recommended: How Do Credit Card Companies Make Money?

Over the Phone

Another way to pay your credit card bill is to call the number on the back of your credit card (or look for the customer service number online) and make a payment over the phone. Usually, this is an automated service, and you provide your bank routing and account number.

While this is a fairly convenient way to make a credit card payment, it’s easy to forget a payment due date and let it slip. There may also be a surcharge for paying this way.

By Mail

If you get paper credit card statements in the mail, you can also send payment via a check. Should you decide to go this route, you’ll need to be sure the check arrives to the credit card issuer before the cutoff time. It needs to arrive by 5pm the day it’s due or be deemed late.

With Cash

Yes, when your credit card bill is due, it’s entirely possible to pay using cash. If you’re wondering how you can pay a credit card with cash, there are typically three ways:

•   By making a cash payment through an ATM. You probably can only do so at the credit card issuer’s ATM. You select the option to send cash, then deposit the money at the ATM.

•   In-person, provided the credit card issue has physical branches.

•   By sending a money order (this is the secure mail technique alluded to above; don’t put cash in the mail).

Can You Pay a Credit Card With Another Credit Card?

Typically, you can’t use a credit card to pay off another credit card. In other words, you can’t link your credit card and make an online payment, nor can you swipe a credit card to make an in-person payment.

However, with a balance transfer, you move the balance from one card to another, usually to save on interest. In this way, you are technically using a new credit card to nix the balance from an older card, then paying the balance on the new card. This might be helpful if you are paying off a large credit card bill.

Another option could be getting a cash advance on one credit card to pay another. This, however, will usually involve a high interest rate and fees, so proceed with caution.

Should You Carry a Balance on Your Credit Card?

Carrying a balance means shouldering interest fees. Plus, you’re increasing your credit utilization, which can reduce your score. In a perfect world, you should aim to pay off your balance in full each billing cycle.

However, if you need to carry a balance on your credit card, make it a top priority to make the minimum payments and pay on time, all the time. Getting that bill paid on time, as noted above, can help build your credit.

When Do You Receive Your Credit Card Bill?

If you get paper statements, you can expect to receive your credit card statement at least 21 days before your bill is due. This is legally required of credit card issuers. In some cases, they might send you your bill before the 21-day mark.

If you opt for paperless statements, you can view your bill as soon as the billing cycle ends. Downloading your credit card bill from your card issuer’s app at the end of a billing period is also an option — and can be the most convenient one.

Tips for Paying Credit Card Bills

Staying on top of your credit card bill is an important part of your financial life. Credit card debt carries high interest in most situations and can spiral upward if you aren’t diligent about monitoring and paying your balance.

•   Set up autopay. The easiest way to make sure you pay your credit card on time is to set up automated credit card payments. You only need to do it once, and you can choose either to make the minimum payment, pay your monthly statement balance in full, or pick a specific amount.

•   Monitor your accounts. Mistakes can and do happen. To make sure there are no errors or fraudulent activity, comb through your transactions regularly. When looking over your statements, besides transactions you should see any refunds, credits, fees, your minimum payment, and how much of your balance remains.

•   Document cash payments. If you do decide to pay with cash, remember to get a receipt and make sure the payment shows up on your credit card statement.

•   Always pay on time. Make it a top priority to stay on top of your credit card bills. If you’re struggling to keep up, consider reaching out to your credit card issuer and seeing if they’re able to move your payment due date or temporarily lower your minimum monthly payment.

•   Make early payments. You can also break up your credit card payments in chunks, and pay a portion before your due date. This will increase your available credit limit, and lower your credit usage, which can help your credit. Plus, you’ll be paying less on interest.

One method you can try is the 15/3 credit card payment method. You split your credit card payment in half. Then, you pay half 15 days before the due date, and the remaining half three days before.

For example, your bill is due on the 24th of the month. And this month’s balance is $700. In this case, you pay $350 on the 9th of the month, and the other $350 on the 21st of the month. This can help you knock down your debt faster plus lower your credit utilization.

•   Make more than the minimum payment. To pay off your debt quicker and cut down on how much interest you pay, aim to pay more than your minimum. If you receive a tax refund or a work bonus, lucky you! When wondering what to do with a windfall, why not commit to putting at least part of it toward your credit card payments?

•   Take action if your credit card debt is getting too high. If you are struggling to pay off your debt or even the minimum due, it can be a wise move to look into such options as a balance transfer credit card, which will give you a period or no or low interest to play catch-up; using a lower-interest personal loan to pay off the card’s balance; or working with a nonprofit, well-regarded credit counseling agency to find solutions.

The Takeaway

It is possible to pay a credit card bill with cash. To do so, you will likely want to find the card issuer’s ATMs or branches, or you could use a money order. That said, whenever dealing with high-interest credit card debt, it’s wise to educate yourself about how the billing cycles and due dates work, so you can pay off the debt as well as possible and avoid snowballing interest charges. That can help protect your financial status.

Whether you're looking to build credit, apply for a new credit card, or save money with the cards you have, it's important to understand the options that are best for you. Learn more about credit cards by exploring this credit card guide.


What credit cards can you pay in cash?

Can you pay a credit card bill with cash? Yes: Most major credit card issuers accept cash to make your credit card payments. These include Chase, Capital One, Citibank, Discover, Bank of America, Wells Fargo, U.S. Bank.

How do I pay a bill with cash?

You can typically pay a credit card bill with cash in one of three ways: by visiting the card issuer’s physical location and making a payment, depositing a cash payment at a card issuer’s ATM, or purchasing a money order with cash, then mailing it to the credit card company.

Can I pay cash at an ATM for a credit card?

Yes, you can pay cash for a credit card, provided you are accessing your card issuer’s ATM. Then you’ll need to insert your card at the ATM, select the correct payment option, and follow the on-screen directions about how to proceed. You’ll need to insert the cash payment into the ATM and get a receipt for your transaction.

Photo credit: iStock/Abdullah Durmaz

Financial Tips & Strategies: The tips provided on this website are of a general nature and do not take into account your specific objectives, financial situation, and needs. You should always consider their appropriateness given your own circumstances.

Disclaimer: Many factors affect your credit scores and the interest rates you may receive. SoFi is not a Credit Repair Organization as defined under federal or state law, including the Credit Repair Organizations Act. SoFi does not provide “credit repair” services or advice or assistance regarding “rebuilding” or “improving” your credit record, credit history, or credit rating. For details, see the FTC’s website .

Third-Party Brand Mentions: No brands, products, or companies mentioned are affiliated with SoFi, nor do they endorse or sponsor this article. Third-party trademarks referenced herein are property of their respective owners.


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