If you are short on cash and need to pay a friend through an app like Cash App, Venmo, or PayPal, you can use a credit card. Paying friends on time keeps your friendship and reputation intact but it comes with a fee.
3 ways to pay a friend with a credit card
Cash App, owned by Square, is one of the most popular financial apps. Paying with a credit card comes with a 3% transaction fee. But if you use your bank account, the transaction is free.
Venmo (owned by PayPal) is a peer-to-peer app that allows you to send money using credit cards. You will pay a 3% fee for using the credit card. If you prefer, you can make your transactions public so that your friends know what you are paying for. You can also keep the transaction private if that’s your preference.
PayPal is another way to send money to your friends and family. Though PayPal also owns Venmo, the two operate independently. With PayPal, you can send money through your bank account or by using a credit card. If you use a credit card, you will pay a 2.9% fee and a $0.30 transaction fee. Paying with a bank account is free.
Cautionary note when using apps with credit
Some credit cards treat credit card payments to friends as cash advances which may involve a big fee. So check with your credit card issuer before using a credit card to pay your friends or family.
Are the fees worth it?
The 3% that most apps charge to pay with a credit card is hefty. So you shouldn’t pay with a credit card every time but for occasional uses, it’s a great option
Advantages of paying with a credit card
You don’t have cash
Sometimes, you are short on cash and need to send money to someone. Being able to pay with a credit card comes in handy.
You get reward points
Paying with a credit card allows you to accumulate reward points which you can use for purchases or travel.
Paying with a debit card or bank account
Paying with a credit card involves transaction charges. But if you pay with a debit card, Cash App, Venmo, and PayPal charge no fee. To use this option, you need to have enough money in your bank account for the payment.
If your bank offers Zelle, you can use your bank’s app to send money. If your bank doesn’t offer Zelle, you can download the app to send money. Here’s a full list of banks offering Zelle.
Zelle works across banks, so the receiver doesn’t have to have an account at the same bank as yours.
If you are an iPhone user, you can send money to friends using Apple Pay. The receiver needs to have an Apple device linked to a debit card or Apple cash. Your debit card information is saved to the Apple wallet so you don’t have to enter it every time you have to send a payment.
Google Pay app allows you to send money to anyone with your bank account or debit card. You will need the receiver’s email o phone number. They don’t need to have the Google Pay app but will need a Google account.
If you find yourself low on cash, credit cards can come in handy when you need to pay back friends and family. While there is a 3% fee for paying with a credit card, it’s sometimes worth it to avoid damaging relationships by being late with payments. However, it’s important to not rely on this method too often as fees can add up fast. Before making a payment with your credit card, make sure to check with your bank to ensure that it won’t be processed as a cash advance, which can come with significantly higher fees.