Using a Credit Card to Pay Taxes
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There are a number of ways to pay taxes with a credit card. However, there are two expensive consequences of doing this. Here, we will explore the hidden fees attached to paying taxes with a credit card. At the end of this article, there will be a list of 0% APR cash advance credit cards that can help you save hundreds of dollars if you choose to pay your taxes with a credit card.
THE PROBLEM: The most straightforward hidden fee you will incur by paying your taxes by credit card is a 3% cash advance fee. This fee, which has no dollar limit, will cost you $30 for every $1000 you pay in taxes. Unfortunately, there is no way around this fee. All credit cards charge a 3% cash advance fee. It is, however, important to keep this in mind.
Now, the complicated part. As someone who has spent way too much of his life reading credit card fine print, I consider myself privvy to all of the nasty tricks credit card companies play. And the trick I am about to explain is by far the worst. Here’s the basic deal: all payments you make to your credit card apply to the balance with the lowest interest rate. So let’s say you have a $3000 balance on your credit card from purchases being charged a 12% interest rate and you take a $3000 cash advance. A typical cash advance interest rate is between 22% to 27%. Therefore, if you send in $3000 to pay your bill, you will pay off the low rate balance and be stuck paying 20% interest on the cash advance you took to pay your taxes.
The Solution: While the number of these offers is limited, there are a handful of credit cards that offer a 0% interest rate on cash advances. This rate lasts for up to 1 year. With a 0% APR cash advance credit card, you can easily save over $600 on interest, plus prevent the headache that comes from using your previous credit card.
If you’ve already used a credit card for a cash advance and are paying astronomical cash advance interest rates, you may want to consider a credit card that offers 0% APR balance transfers. With one of these credit cards, you can also save hundreds of dollars on interest. You can compare all balance transfer credit cards in the balance transfers section of Smart Credit Choices. Also, below is a list of the top three offers: