Can I Use A Credit Card To Pay Another Credit Card Bill?

Using one credit card to pay the bill of another credit card is a strategy some people consider when trying to manage credit card debt. There are a few different ways you could go about it, but each comes with important caveats. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk through whether and how you can pay a credit card bill with another card.

Frequency of Entities

  • Credit card: 23 times
  • Balance transfer: 9 times
  • Cash advance: 6 times
  • Interest rate: 4 times
  • Introductory APR: 3 times
  • Annual fee: 2 times
  • Credit limit: 2 times
  • Credit score: 2 times
  • Grace period: 1 time
  • Minimum payment: 1 time
  • Credit report: 1 time
  • Credit utilization: 1 time

Direct Monthly Payments: Usually Not Allowed

In most cases, credit card issuers don’t allow you to pay one card’s monthly bill directly with another credit card. When you make online or phone payments, they’ll require you to link a bank account, not another credit card.

There are a few reasons behind this restriction

  • Risk mitigation – Allowing card-to-card payments increases risks for the issuer, as customers could get further behind on payments

  • Rewards maximization – Issuers want to limit opportunities for people to continuously earn rewards through credit card churning

  • Logistical challenges – The payment networks and systems aren’t really designed for instant card-to-card transfers.

While you can’t just substitute one card number for another when making a payment, there are some roundabout ways to pay a credit card with another credit card. But these often come with big downsides, which we’ll cover next.

Balance Transfers: The Main Exception

The one way you can directly use a new credit card to pay off an old one is with a balance transfer. This involves transferring high-interest debt from one card to a new card, ideally one with a lower introductory APR.

Here’s a quick rundown of how balance transfers work:

  • You open a new card with a 0% promotional APR on balance transfers, usually for 6-18 months. To qualify for the best offers, you’ll need good to excellent credit, generally FICO scores of 690+.

  • You initiate the balance transfer by providing details about the account you want to pay off, including the card issuer, account number, and amount owed. The process can take 2-4 weeks.

  • Your new card issuer pays off your old balance directly. The amount transferred, plus a balance transfer fee, will appear on your new card. Fees are typically 3-5% of the transferred amount.

  • You pay off the new balance during the 0% APR intro period to save on interest. Same-issuer transfers (e.g. Chase to Chase) are often prohibited.

The main catches are the transfer fees and time lag. You also lose any chance to earn rewards, since these aren’t considered purchases. But overall, balance transfers can make sense for consolidating high-interest balances.

Just be sure you have a plan to pay off the full amount before the promotional period ends. The regular APR will kick in after that intro period, and it’s often a high rate.

Cash Advances: Quick but Costly

While not an ideal option, you can use a cash advance from one credit card to pay off another. Here are the basics of how that would work:

  • You withdraw cash from an ATM using a credit card. This is treated as a cash advance, not a regular purchase.

  • You then deposit the money in your bank account and use it to make a payment on the other credit card.

However, cash advances come with fees that can be extremely expensive:

  • Cash advance fees – Typically 5% of the amount advanced, with a minimum fee of $10.

  • Cash advance APR – The interest rate is usually much higher than your regular APR, sometimes over 25%.

  • No grace period – Interest starts accruing immediately on cash advances, unlike regular purchases.

Between the fees and sky-high interest, a cash advance should only be considered as an absolute last resort. A balance transfer is almost always the smarter choice.

The Pros and Cons of Credit Card Churning

While paying a credit card bill with another credit card directly isn’t possible in most cases, some people do try to continuously open new cards to earn bonuses and pay off older cards. This practice is known as credit card churning.

The upside is you can potentially earn a lot of rewards and miles this way through sign-up bonuses. But it requires close attention and excellent credit management.

Here are some key pros and cons to weigh:


  • Lucrative sign-up bonuses can add up quickly
  • Can help meet minimum spend requirements
  • Allows you to keep earning rewards


  • Need excellent credit to qualify for top cards
  • Easy to overspend and get into debt
  • Lots of cards means more statements to track
  • Too many hard inquiries may dent your credit

Overall, churning takes dedication. It’s easy to go overboard and damage your credit if you apply for too many cards in a short period. Be sure to closely monitor factors like your credit reports, credit utilization, and monthly payments.

Alternatives for Paying Down a Credit Card

If directly paying one card with another doesn’t make sense for your situation, here are a few other potential options to consider:

  • Debt consolidation loan – Banks and credit unions offer personal loans that can be used to pay off credit card balances at lower interest rates. This consolidates multiple balances into one payment.

  • 401(k) loan – You may be able to borrow against your 401(k) at low interest. This isn’t ideal, since it puts retirement savings at risk. But it’s preferable to high-interest credit card debt.

  • Balance transfer check – Some issuers send balance transfer checks you can use to pay off other cards, though they charge fees and interest.

  • Debt management plan – A nonprofit credit counseling agency can set up a formal payment plan with creditors and negotiate lower rates.

Tips for Paying Down Credit Card Debt

If you do decide to pay off one card with another, make sure you have a robust debt payoff plan in place. Here are some tips:

  • Make a budget and free up as much money as possible to put toward credit card payments. Look for areas to cut discretionary spending.

  • Pay at least the minimum on all cards to avoid late fees and credit damage.

  • Pay down your highest-interest balances first. List out all your rates and focus on the most expensive debt.

  • Pay more than the minimum when possible. The minimum payment only covers monthly interest in most cases, not the principal.

  • Consider consolidating multiple balances to simplify payments. But don’t close old accounts, as that may lower your credit score.

  • Avoid putting new charges on paid off cards. That defeats the purpose of paying them down.

With some discipline and smart planning, you can effectively use one credit card to pay off another. Just be cautious of fees and make sure you have a strategy to pay off balances in full.

The Bottom Line

Paying a credit card bill directly with another credit card typically isn’t allowed. But you can transfer balances between cards, which lets you consolidate high-interest debt onto a new card with a lower APR. Balance transfers make sense in some cases, but they come with transfer fees.

Cash advances are another workaround, but an extremely expensive one due to fees and sky-high interest rates. Credit card churning is also an option for those seeking to earn bonuses, but it requires close monitoring of your credit.

When used strategically, credit cards can be powerful tools. But compound interest works against you when carrying balances long term. The best approach is to pay off balances promptly each month and use credit wisely.

Can I Use A Credit Card To Pay Another Credit Card Bill

For direct monthly payments: No

Paying monthly credit card bills with different credit cards generally isnt an option. Dont expect to earn easy points and miles in a never-ending cycle or quickly buy yourself more time to pay off debt this way.

Credit card issuers usually require you to pay credit card bills with a bank account when youre making payments online or over the phone. Youll have to provide information like an account number and routing number — and you cant just substitute a credit card number instead.

In part, these restrictions exist because issuers want to limit their risk. A customer who pays one credit card with another may be more likely to default on payments.

When transferring a balance: Yes

You can save money on interest by moving debt from a high-interest credit card to one with an introductory 0% APR offer or low-interest promotion on balance transfers, then paying it off at a lower rate.

With some exceptions, credit cards generally charge balance transfer fees of 3% to 5% of the amount transferred. Balance transfers arent instant, either; they can take weeks to go through. Also, they generally dont earn rewards.

For cards with long 0% intro APR periods for balance transfers and low or no balance transfer fees, check out NerdWallets best balance transfer credit cards.

While the exact process for balance transfers can vary widely, here are the steps you generally have to take when working with major issuers:

1. Apply for a card with an introductory 0% APR offer on balance transfers or use an offer on a card you already have. To qualify for the best offers, you generally have to have good or excellent credit (typically, FICO scores over 690). Something to keep in mind: Same-issuer transfers generally arent allowed. For example, if you want to transfer a balance from a Chase card, you cant transfer it to another Chase card.

2. Initiate the balance transfer. If youre doing this online or by phone, youll need to provide information about the debt youre looking to move, such as the issuer name, the amount of debt and the account information.

Sometimes, balance transfers can also be initiated using convenience checks, or the checks issuers send you in the mail. Before using one, though, read the terms to find out if it will count as a balance transfer and what your interest rate will be.

3. Wait for the transfer to go through. Once the balance transfer is approved, which could take two weeks or longer, the issuer will generally pay off your old account directly. That old balance — plus the balance transfer fee — will show up in your new account.

4. Pay down the balance. When that balance is added to the new card, youll be responsible for making monthly payments on that account. And if you pay it down during the introductory 0% APR period, for example, you could potentially save a bundle.

Can you pay credit card bill with another credit card?

Can I pay my credit card with another credit card?

You can use a balance transfer to pay the balance on one credit card by moving it to another, which may include a fee. Some credit cards offer new cardmembers low introductory interest rates on balance transfers. If you’re short on cash but need to pay your credit card bill, you may wonder if you can pay your credit card with another credit card.

Can I pay my monthly credit card bill using another credit card?

In general, you can’t pay your monthly credit card bill using another credit card. If you’re set on using a credit card, you might be able to pay with a balance transfer or cash advance, but they can be risky and add to your debt. A balance transfer may offer a promotional period that could save you money in interest.

Can I pay off my credit card balance using another credit card?

Paying off one credit balance using another card isn’t generally possible. Banks don’t allow you to pay your credit card balance directly using another credit card. Typically payments via check, electronic bank transfer or money order are the only acceptable methods of payment. There is one loophole: A balance transfer credit card.

How do I pay a credit card bill using a balance transfer?

Once you have the funds in your bank account, you can pay your credit card bill. To pay a credit card bill using a balance transfer, you’ll need to open a balance transfer credit card or check your existing credit cards for a balance transfer offer. You can request a balance transfer up to your total available credit minus the balance transfer fee.

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