Have you ever wondered if it’s possible to turn your credit cards into cold, hard cash? Many people are unaware that you can actually liquidate credit cards and withdraw the credit limit as real money.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about liquidating credit cards and converting them to cash.
What Does It Mean to Liquidate a Credit Card?
Liquidating a credit card simply means withdrawing the full credit limit as cash. This allows you to essentially turn the credit into usable funds that can be spent or invested as needed.
There are a few different ways to liquidate credit cards which we’ll cover shortly. The main methods include:
- Taking out a cash advance
- Doing a balance transfer to a checking account
- Getting an overpayment refund check
- Using convenience checks
- Making payments to others via check
The goal is to maximize the amount of cash you can withdraw while minimizing fees and interest charges. With the right strategy, liquidating credit cards can provide you with some fast funding for your financial needs.
Is It Legal to Liquidate Credit Cards?
Liquidating credit cards is completely legal as long as you adhere to the card agreement terms. However, some of the techniques do carry fees and interest charges, so you’ll want to understand the costs involved.
It’s also important to use liquidated funds responsibly by paying off the balance within the intro 0% APR timeframe. As long as you avoid interest charges and don’t miss payments, liquidating credit cards is a legitimate way to access cash.
We always recommend consulting a financial advisor or attorney before moving forward to ensure you fully understand the process and associated obligations.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Liquidate Credit Cards
Here is a step-by-step walkthrough on how to liquidate credit cards and convert the funds to cash:
Step 1: Get a Credit Card with a High Limit
The first step is to apply and get approved for a credit card with the highest possible limit. This will maximize the amount of cash you’re able to withdraw.
Aim for a limit of at least $10,000 – $20,000 if possible. Be sure to choose a card with a low cash advance fee to reduce costs.
Step 2: Transfer the Balance to a 0% APR Card
Next, you’ll want to do a balance transfer of the full balance to a 0% APR credit card. This allows you to avoid paying costly interest charges on the cash withdrawal.
Many banks offer 0% intro APR promotions for 12-18 months on balance transfers. Transferring the full balance keeps your liquidated cash interest-free.
Step 3: Withdraw the Available Credit as Cash
Now that the balance is sitting on a 0% APR card, you can withdraw up to the full credit limit as cash via one of these options:
Cash advance: Use the original credit card to take out a cash advance up to the card’s limit. This incurs a fee but avoids interest.
Overpayment refund: Overpay the 0% APR card to create a negative balance, then request a refund check.
Convenience checks: Use available convenience checks connected to the 0% APR card and deposit into your bank.
Balance transfer: Do another balance transfer from the 0% APR card to a checking account.
Each option has pros and cons which we’ll examine next. But all allow you to withdraw the full balance as usable cash.
Step 4: Pay Off the 0% APR Card Within the Promo Period
Finally, you’ll want to make sure to pay off the 0% APR credit card before the intro period ends. This lets you liquidate the card without incurring any interest fees.
Make payments from your bank account to pay down the card and stick to the monthly minimums. Set payment reminders to avoid missed payments and potential interest charges.
Following this strategic process allows you to safely liquidate credit cards and turn the limits into spendable cash. The key is moving quick to minimize fees while avoiding interest rates.
5 Best Ways to Convert Credit Cards to Cash
Here are the top 5 recommended methods for liquidating credit cards and withdrawing funds:
1. Cash Advance
Taking a cash advance from your credit card involves withdrawing cash directly from an ATM or bank. The full credit line can be accessed as actual money.
The downsides are high interest rates (around 25% APR) and cash advance fees. To avoid these, transfer the balance to a 0% card right after withdrawing the funds.
This enables you to get the full limit in cash while paying no interest on the balance transfer card. Just be sure to pay off the balance before the intro 0% APR period expires.
2. Overpayment Refund
You can liquefy a credit card by overpaying the balance to create a negative balance. For example, pay $5,000 on a card with a $500 limit.
The credit card company will then have no choice but to issue you a refund check for the overpayment amount. This turns the credit into usable cash deposited in your bank.
Just be aware that some banks may simply apply the overpayment to your balance rather than issuing a refund. Check policies to ensure this option will work.
3. Convenience Checks
Many credit cards offer convenience checks that function as cash withdrawals on your account. They can be deposited just like normal checks.
Convenience check transactions incur fees and higher interest rates like cash advances. To avoid costs, first transfer the full balance to a 0% APR promo card before using the checks.
This strategy allows you to deposit the full credit line into your bank account with no interest accrual during the intro 0% APR period.
4. Balance Transfer to Checking
Another way to liquefy credit cards is requesting a balance transfer directly to your checking account. This moves the available credit from the card to your bank account.
There is usually a fee for balance transfers, but it’s much lower than cash advance fees. And interest is avoided if transferring to a 0% APR balance transfer card.
So you can shift the full balance to checking and gain access to thousands in cash from your credit limit.
5. Pay Bills with Checks
Certain bill payment services like Plastiq allow you to pay any bill with a credit card. The service then mails a check on your behalf to the payee.
You can take advantage of this to pay off loans, rent, or other expenses owed to family/friends. They receive a regular check payment while the amount is charged to your credit card.
Using a 0% APR promo card allows you to access the credit as cash with no interest as long as you pay off the balance on time.
Tips for Successfully Liquidating Credit Cards
Here are some important tips to follow when liquefying credit cards:
Find cards offering 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers – This is critical for avoiding interest charges on the withdrawn cash.
Understand cash advance fees – Expect to pay around 3-5% of the advanced amount.
Pay off the full balance before the 0% APR period ends – Set payment reminders to avoid deferred interest.
Consider your monthly cash flow – Be sure you can pay off the card balance based on your income. Don’t overextend your finances.
Check your cardholder agreement – Some issuers have rules against overpayment refunds or balance transfers to checking accounts. Know the policies to avoid complications or clawbacks.
Taking these precautions helps ensure you can safely tap into your credit cards as emergency funds or business financing with minimal fees or interest due.
Risks and Downsides of Liquidating Credit Cards
While turning credit cards into cash can provide quick access to funds, there are some potential downsides to keep in mind:
High fees – Cash advance fees and balance transfer fees can eat into your withdrawn amounts.
Accrued interest – You’ll owe deferred interest if unable to pay off the balance when the 0% APR period ends.
Lower credit score – Maxing out cards and cash advances can negatively impact your credit utilization ratio.
Difficulty repaying – Taking on credit card debt to withdraw cash makes repayment mandatory.
Predatory lending – It can be a slippery slope to dependence on credit cards rather than more responsible funding sources.
The risks depend greatly on your financial discipline. If used wisely, liquidating credit cards can be reasonable alternative financing. But be cautious – it’s not free money, so have a plan for repayment.
Alternatives to Liquidating Credit Cards
If you’re wary of liquefying credit cards, here are a few alternatives to consider instead:
Personal loans – Banks and online lenders offer installment loans that may have lower rates than credit cards.
Business credit cards – Business cards don’t show up on your personal credit report and may offer higher limits.
401(k) or IRA withdrawals – You can access retirement savings early via withdrawals or loans (with careful consideration of tax impacts