How to send money with a credit card internationally

by Alex Musk

Maybe you’re a week away from your payday, and an emergency knocks at the door. Or maybe you don’t have time to stop at an ATM because of an unexpected financial issue. 

Either way, if you don’t have any money, you can still send money to a friend, family member, or other family member using your credit card. Money transfer services like Remitly also make it easy to send money abroad with a card.

Whether you would like to use a credit card to send money ‘online’ at home or abroad, we are here to guide you through the entire process.

Sending money from a credit card to a bank account

Before you start sending money with your credit card, it’s important to understand that these transfers are often treated as cash advances by financial institutions.

For newbies, you can think of a cash advance as a short-term loan from your credit card company. 

In other words, when you take a cash advance, you’re essentially borrowing money from your card’s credit line — which comes with a transaction fee. You will find that the interest rate for cash advances is higher than for other charges as well.

Depending on your credit card issuer, this can be a percentage of the total amount transferred or a flat fee, usually whichever is greater. Always check with the financial service about their transfer fees so you are not surprised.

Given these extra costs, it might be better to wait until you have cash and can send Direct deposit money using your debit card. That’s because your debit card draws straight from your checking account, which means you can’t spend more than you have (without incurring an overdraft fee).

As convenient as it is, transferring money to a bank account using a credit card should be treated as a last resort or in an emergency.

Using a credit card to transfer money domestically

While there are many money transfer services, not all of them allow people to send money using their Visa, MasterCard, or another credit card. For example, the Zelle platform only accepts payments made through linked debit cards, checking, and savings accounts.

So which services accept credit cards as a form of payment? Below are three providers for sending money to recipients in the same country as you.

PayPal

As one of the most recognizable names in the world of online payments, PayPal is a popular solution for sending and receiving money digitally. 

Using your PayPal account, you can transfer money as long as you have the recipient’s email address or phone number. While there are no fees for sending funds within the US with your bank account or PayPal balance, sending money with a credit card comes with a fee. You can check their website or app for current rates. 

Venmo 

Venmo is a US-specific payment platform and digital wallet. It offers a more social experience than similar apps, as users can send emojis, GIFs, and other messages with their payments. 

You can shop at companies that accept Venmo using your credit card without paying anything. However, when it comes to sending money to other companies with a credit card, Venmo charges a fee. Please check the application carefully before submitting it so that you are aware of the fee amount at the time of submission.

money application 

Cash App, formerly known as Square Cash, is very similar to Venmo, albeit with a less social experience. In fact, it offers a little more anonymity as you can use “$Cashtags”, which act as screen names. 

For money transfers, however, their fees are the same as Venmo, charging an additional 3% for credit card-funded transfers. 

Sending money internationally with a credit card

International credit card money transfers are a slightly different story as not all of the above services allow you to send money to recipients in another country. Venmo, for example, is not available to users outside the US.

Likewise, only US and UK users can send money using the Cash App.

If you want to use a credit card to send money abroad, you will have to use a bank transfer, which is often expensive, or a money transfer service such as Western Union, MoneyGram, or Remitly.

What makes international money transfers more complicated? Sending money to recipients in another country comes with the added hurdle of converting currencies.

Exchange rates change daily; you can learn more here. 

Also, certain money transfer services charge a little extra in transaction fees. With a little research, you can be sure that more money will come your way.

We will explain this in more detail below.

Beware of high fees and exchange rates.

While some companies allow users to send money both domestically and internationally, they may apply high transfer fees and exchange rates to their international transactions. This is regardless of whether you pay with a credit or debit card. For this reason, its fine print is worth reading.

PayPal, for example, can handle both domestic and foreign money transfers. However, your transfer fees and exchange fees can add up. 

Also, if you use a credit card to send funds internationally, you may still face a cash advance fee from your credit card issuer, over which PayPal has no control. 

Services specializing in international transfers may offer better rates.

As these additional fees can add up quickly, the best option for sending money abroad is usually a money transfer service that specializes in international transfers. 

As these services focus exclusively on global money transfers, they tend to offer better exchange rates and lower transfer fees than banks.

To be clear, using a credit card account to fund your transfer may still come with fees from your credit card issuer. 

Also, money transfer apps are fast and secure. Most provide additional peace of mind by making it possible to track your transfer status. This happens whether you are sending funds to a bank account, a cash withdrawal location, or a mobile wallet.

How to send money with a credit card via Remitly

Remitly makes it easy to send money internationally using a credit card. To get started, follow these five simple steps.

  1. Download the Remitly app and create an account if you don’t already have one.
  2. Navigate to your payment methods by tapping the “ My Remitly ” button, which features a gear icon. “ Payment Methods ” will appear in the menu. (If you are accessing your account on a desktop computer, hover over your name in the upper right corner and click on “ Settings ”. Payment methods will appear in the menu on the next screen).
  3. Tap “ add ” in the top right corner of the Remitly app. 
  4. Complete the details of your new payment method. Make sure you select “ credit card ” under “payment type” and double-check your information before proceeding.
  5. Tap “ Save ” once you are done entering your credit card information. 

It is important to note that in order to use a credit card at Remitly, your card must:

  • Have an expiration date.
  • Have the same name as your profile on Remitly.
  • Have a CVV or CVC – the three- or four-digit security code on the back of the card.

the end result 

When it comes to sending money, whether internationally or at home, the most cost-effective option is usually to use your bank account or debit card. This way, you can avoid the high cash advance fees charged by credit cards.

That said, it’s still possible to send money using a credit card, which may be necessary when you don’t have cash in the bank. 

When you make these transfers to someone in another country, be sure to explore the options to find the lowest rates. Your best bet might be a service that specializes in international shipping. 

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