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How to get a cash advance on a credit card without a PIN?

Getting immediate access to cash can be important in an emergency or when an unexpected expense pops up. Many credit cards allow cardholders to get cash advances directly from their available credit limit. This provides a way to get cash quickly without having to wait for your next paycheck or withdraw from savings. However, most card issuers require a PIN to complete a cash advance transaction. So what can you do if you need cash fast but don’t know your credit card PIN?

What is a credit card cash advance?

A credit card cash advance allows you to use your credit card to withdraw cash from an ATM or bank teller. The amount you withdraw is added to your card’s balance, similar to a purchase, but with some key differences:

  • Cash advance interest rates are usually much higher than purchase rates. Cash advance APRs commonly range from 25-30%, which is significantly higher than the average purchase rate.
  • Cash advance fees are typically around 5% of the withdrawal amount, or $10, whichever is greater.
  • There is no grace period for cash advances. Interest accrues immediately on the transaction date.
  • Your available credit limit is reduced by the amount of the cash advance.

When used responsibly, credit card cash advances can provide access to emergency funds. However, the high costs make cash advances expensive for non-essential expenses. It’s best to use cash advances sparingly and pay them off quickly to minimize interest fees.

Why do you need a PIN for a cash advance?

Credit card companies require PINs for cash advances as a security measure to verify the cardholder’s identity. Entering a PIN that matches cardholder records helps ensure the person making the withdrawal has authorization to access the account funds.

Requiring a PIN is an effective method to reduce fraudulent cash withdrawals. If someone gets unauthorized access to the physical credit card, they won’t be able to get cash without also knowing the PIN. This adds an extra layer of protection beyond having the card number alone.

Additionally, entering a PIN makes the transaction run through point-of-sale systems similar to a debit card instead of processing as a credit card slip. This means the cash advance funds are deducted from the cardholder’s available balance immediately instead of needing to wait until the transaction clears.

Options for getting a cash advance without a PIN

If you don’t have your card’s PIN but need to access cash right away, you still have a few options. Here are some ways to get a credit card cash advance without providing a PIN:

Ask your card issuer for a replacement PIN

The easiest solution is to contact your credit card company directly and request a replacement PIN. Most issuers can look up your account, verify your identity, and provide your existing PIN or issue a new one. This allows you to get cash immediately at an ATM by entering the PIN they give you.

Ways to get your PIN from the card issuer include:

  • Calling the number on the back of your card. Speak to a customer service representative, provide identifying account information, and request your PIN.
  • Logging into your issuer’s website or mobile app. There may be an option to view your PIN online or reset it.
  • Visiting a local branch. Take your card and ID to a physical bank location for assistance.

Get an emergency cash advance check

Another way to access cash without a PIN is requesting an emergency cash advance check from your card issuer. You contact customer service, verify details to prove your identity, and ask them to mail you a check with funds from your credit limit.

This gives you a check made out to “Cash” that you can cash at a bank teller or check cashing store. There is usually a fee for issuing the check (around $10 or a percentage of the amount), but no PIN is required. Just cash the check to get immediate funds.

Use a convenience check

If your card issuer provides convenience checks that can access your credit line, those are treated as cash advances when cashed or deposited. Look for unused convenience checks that may have come with your card and use one to withdraw cash.

Endorse the back and write “Cash” if you want to cash the check instead of depositing. Take it to a check cashing store or bank teller to convert it to cash on the spot. There are fees for using convenience checks, similar to other cash advances.

Get cash back with purchases

Another “workaround” is using your credit card for purchases that allow cash back. For example, you can go to a grocery store, charge more than you need, and ask for some of the change back in cash. The cash back reduces your available credit just like a regular cash advance.

You can also overpay at certain retailers, utilities or service providers that allow cash returns for overpayments. The key is paying more than you owe so you can immediately get the excess amount back in cash.

Use your credit line to fund a money transfer

Peer-to-peer payment apps like Venmo, PayPal or CashApp allow you to fund transfers with a credit card. You could send funds from your credit card to a trusted friend or family member’s account. Then have them withdraw the cash and give it to you in person.

There are fees for funding P2P transfers with credit cards, usually around 3%. But no PIN is required to complete the transaction. This essentially lets you move your credit line funds to someone who can access the cash for you.

Other options for accessing emergency cash

Along with workarounds to get credit card cash advances without a PIN, you may have additional options to access funds in a pinch:

  • ATM withdrawal limits – Most banks allow a certain amount of combined ATM and debit withdrawals per day without requiring a PIN. That limit is often around $100-$500.
  • Overdraft protection – Opt in to allow overdrafts from checking accounts or savings accounts linked to your debit card to access more funds.
  • Bank teller withdrawal – You may be able to withdraw a few hundred dollars from a bank teller without providing a debit card PIN.
  • Cash advance apps – Services like Earnin and Dave provide small payday advances that pull funds from your next paycheck.

Using these options sparingly can provide quick access to a small amount of cash in a pinch before your next paycheck. Just be aware of the fees involved with each method.

Tips for avoiding the need to get a cash advance

Needing instant access to cash occasionally is understandable. But regularly relying on credit card cash advances can be extremely expensive and lead to a cycle of debt that is difficult to break.

Here are some tips to avoid needing cash advances as much as possible:

  • Build an emergency fund with 3-6 months’ worth of living expenses in a savings account.
  • Contribute regularly to short-term savings for expected expenses like car repairs and medical bills.
  • Pay off credit card balances in full each month to maximize available credit for real emergencies.
  • Reduce expenses and stick to a budget so you live below your means.
  • Explore financing options for large planned expenses instead of putting them on credit.
  • Boost income with side jobs or overtime hours to have more cash flow.

Having contingency plans and available savings goes a long way toward reducing reliance on costly credit card cash advances. But if you do need to access emergency funds, use a cash advance sparingly and pay it back quickly.


Getting quick cash from a credit card cash advance without a PIN is possible in multiple ways. You can request a replacement PIN, use a cash advance check, convenience check or cash back with purchases, or fund a money transfer to someone who can withdraw the cash for you.

While these options make cash accessible without a PIN, it’s critical to use cash advances only for true emergencies. The fees and interest charges add up extremely quickly. Building up your own savings and avoiding unnecessary credit card debt is the smarter long-term approach.

With some creativity and responsible use, credit card cash advances without a PIN can be an occasional fallback for urgent cash needs. But make it a priority to reduce reliance on this expensive source of funds over time. Having your own savings eliminates the need to turn to credit card cash advances at all.

Comparison of Options for Getting a Cash Advance without a PIN
Method How it Works Fees Drawbacks
Get replacement PIN from issuer Contact issuer to provide existing PIN or get issued a new one None Need to wait for issuer assistance
Emergency cash advance check Issuer mails a check you can cash for funds $10-15 typically Wait for check to arrive in mail
Convenience check Use provided checks to withdraw cash Around 3% per check May not have unused checks available
Cash back with purchases Get cash back overpayment at retailers None Need ability to overpay with merchant
Fund money transfer Send from card to payment app to withdraw Around 3% Relies on others to get cash