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Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card? [Plus Some Workarounds!]

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Stephen Au
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Stephen Au

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Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used...
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If you’re trying to consolidate debt from high-interest credit cards or figuring out how to structure your personal finances, you might wonder whether you can pay a credit card with another credit card.

In theory, it sounds like a great way to shift balances from your credit cards to avoid incurring credit card interest charges.

Unfortunately, paying a credit card with another credit card isn’t simple. In this guide, we’ll walk you through why it’s generally not possible to pay a credit card with another credit card — and some workarounds that could achieve the same goal!

Can You Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card?

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Image Credit: Wes Hicks via Unsplash

We’ll cut to the chase — the answer is almost always no.

Credit card issuers almost always require you to make credit card payments with a bank account. This involves providing routing and account numbers. You can either write checks or make online payments.

Alternatively, you can use a different credit card to perform a cash advance at an ATM and then get a cashier’s check to mail for a bill payment (or deposit the cash into your bank account). But a cash advance is an extremely costly way to pay a credit card, incurring fees that accrue interest daily. We’d only recommend it as an absolute last resort.

You can also pay a credit card with another credit card by performing a balance transfer, but this can result in additional fees and interest accrued.

For example, if you’ve got a credit card that’s accumulating 30% interest, but you have another credit card with a lower interest rate of 15%, it makes sense to utilize balance transfers. Even without a 0% APR promotion, this still makes sense as long as you’re saving more than any additional fees you’d be paying.

Also, by moving all your balances onto a single credit card, it’s easier to juggle making regular payments to just 1 card instead of 2 or 3.

Bottom Line: The best way to pay a credit card with a second credit card is to utilize a 0% balance transfer promotion from a second credit card. 

By doing a balance transfer, you can temporarily defer accruing interest while you make payments. We’ll walk you through what this process involves.

How To Pay a Credit Card With a Credit Card Using Balance Transfer Offers

Some credit cards have balance transfer offers whereby you can move balances from existing cards to a card with a low (or no) APR. There are 3 characteristics of a balance transfer offer:

  • Balance Transfer APR: The interest rate that’ll be charged on any balances that are transferred over (ideally, 0% introductory balance transfer APR)
  • Balance Transfer APR Duration: How long the balance transfer APR will last before reverting to a normal APR (usually 9 to 24 months)
  • Balance Transfer Fee: A one-time fee charged as a percentage of the total balance (usually 3% to 5%)

Let’s say you have $50,000 in high-interest credit card debt and find a credit card with a 0% introductory balance transfer APR for 12 months. It has a limited-time 3% balance transfer fee (instead of the usual 5%), so you’ll pay a one-time balance transfer fee of $1,500 to transfer the whole balance. The balance will stop accruing interest for the first 12 months, as long as you make the minimum payment every month.

This could be huge because if that $50,000 in existing credit card debt accrues interest at a rate of 25% every year, you’d rack up a whopping $12,500 in interest charges annually!

Here’s how a balance transfer usually works:

  1. You apply for a new credit card with an introductory balance transfer APR.
  2. After you are approved, you can request balance transfer checks to be mailed to you, which you’ll then fill out and use to pay off your existing credit card bill.
  3. The high-interest balance will be paid off, and the new balance will be moved to your new credit card, which has an introductory APR.
  4. As long as you make the minimum payments on your new credit card, you won’t accrue credit card interest on that transferred balance for the duration of the balance transfer offer.

Usually, you cannot transfer balances between 2 credit cards with the same credit card issuer or bank. For example, you can’t use a Citi balance transfer credit card offer to pay off an existing Citi credit card balance.

The 3 Best Personal Balance Transfer Credit Cards

Now, let’s take a look at some of the best credit cards for balance transfers, starting with personal cards!

1. Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!

Learn More(at Chase's secure site)

Chase Freedom Unlimited®

This all-purpose cash-back card offers great bonus categories, including bonus points for every purchase you make!
INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
Up to $300 cash back
$0
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is easily one of the best cash-back credit cards on the market. There aren’t many no-annual-fee credit cards that offer multiple great bonus categories like 5% back on travel purchased through Chase, 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases, and 1.5% back on all other purchases.

When paired with other Chase cards in the Ultimate Rewards family, you can transfer that cash back into points if you wish – making it one of the most lucrative cards in your wallet.

Pros

  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • 5% back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% back on dining and drugstore purchases
  • 1.5% back on all other purchases
  • No annual fee
  • Earn big on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • Everyday bonus on dining and drugstores
  • Straightforward cash-back on all other purchases
  • Ability to pool points

Cons

  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • INTRO OFFER: Earn an additional 1.5% cash back on everything you buy (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year) - worth up to $300 cash back!
  • Enjoy 6.5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards®, our premier rewards program that lets you redeem rewards for cash back, travel, gift cards and more; 4.5% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and 3% on all other purchases (on up to $20,000 spent in the first year).
  • After your first year or $20,000 spent, enjoy 5% cash back on Chase travel purchased through Ultimate Rewards®, 3% cash back on drugstore purchases and dining at restaurants, including takeout and eligible delivery service, and unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. You can choose to receive a statement credit or direct deposit into most U.S. checking and savings accounts. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open!
  • Enjoy 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%.
  • No annual fee – You won't have to pay an annual fee for all the great features that come with your Freedom Unlimited® card
  • Keep tabs on your credit health, Chase Credit Journey helps you monitor your credit with free access to your latest score, real-time alerts, and more.
  • Member FDIC

Financial Snapshot

  • Foreign Transaction Fees: None

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Chase Ultimate Rewards

Our top personal credit card for balance transfers is the Freedom Unlimited card. If you happen to have excellent credit and want a credit card that’ll take you the furthest in terms of rewards while enjoying balance transfer offers, this is the best choice.

Currently, the Freedom Unlimited card has a 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 20.49% - 29.24%..

This credit card offers up to 5% cash-back on purchases:

  • 5% cash-back on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • 3% cash-back on dining
  • 3% cash-back at drugstores
  • 1.5% cash-back on other purchases

You’ll get travel insurance that includes secondary car rental insurance, purchase protection, extended warranty, and fraud protection. Authorized users can be added for no additional annual fees.

2. Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American ExpressTerms Apply / Rates & Fees

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!

Learn More(at Amex's secure site)

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

This cash-back card offers a capped 3% at U.S. supermarkets, 3% at U.S. gas stations, and 3% on U.S. online retail purchases!
Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
$200
$0
19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 15 months
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Good to Excellent (670-850)

When it comes to cash-back credit cards, there are dozens of options to choose from. So what sets the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express apart from the rest?

This card is excellent at earning cash-back on your everyday purchases at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and on U.S. online retail purchases. So if you regularly spend money on everyday purchases, this could be the perfect card to add to your wallet.

Pros

  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • 3% back on purchases at U.S. gas stations on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • 3% back on purchases on online retail purchases on up to $6,000 in purchases each year, then 1% back after.
  • Monthly credit towards The Disney Bundle
  • Monthly credit towards Home Chef

Cons

  • Rewards are not flexible and can only be redeemed for cash-back. Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit.
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after you spend $2,000 in purchases on your new Card within the first 6 months.
  • No Annual Fee.
  • Balance Transfer is back! Enjoy 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 19.24% to 29.99% variable APR.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year in purchases, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back on U.S. online retail purchases, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • 3% Cash Back at U.S. gas stations, on up to $6,000 per year, then 1%.
  • Cash Back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit or at Amazon.com checkout.
  • Thinking about getting the Disney Bundle which can include Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+? Your decision made easy with $7/month back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $9.99 or more each month on an eligible subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your Blue Cash Everyday® Card. Enrollment required.
  • Enjoy up to $15 back per month when you purchase a Home Chef meal kit subscription (subject to auto renewal) with your enrolled Blue Cash Everyday® Card.
  • Terms Apply.

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.24%-29.99% Variable,0% on purchases for 15 months
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 2.7% of each transaction after conversion to US dollars.

Card Categories

The Amex Blue Cash Everyday card is a leading cash-back credit card, and it just so happens to offer a balance transfer promotion as part of its welcome bonus.

Currently, the card offers a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months from the date of account opening. After that, 19.24% - 29.99% variable APR.. There’s a 3% or $5 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater.

Expect to earn up to 3% cash-back:

  • 3% cash-back at U.S. gas stations, up to $6,000 per year
  • 3% cash-back on U.S. online retail purchases, up to $6,000 per year
  • 3% cash-back at U.S. supermarkets, up to $6,000 per year
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases

There’s also a statement credit for $7 back per month after spending $9.99 or more per month on an eligible subscription to The Disney Bundle.

Get an extra $15 per month in statement credits when you purchase eligible Home Chef meal solutions online with this card.

Ancillary benefits consist of purchase protection, fraud protection, secondary car rental coverage, 24/7 Global Assist, and authorized users for no additional annual fees (rates & fees).

3. Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

Citi Double Cash® Card

U.P. Rating
The rating for this card has been determined by our own industry experts who know the in's and out's of credit card products. Bonuses, rewards as well as rates and fees are all taken into account. Compensation from the issuer does not affect our rating. We only recommend products we either use ourselves or endorse.

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!

Learn More(at our partner's secure site)

Citi Double Cash® Card

Great card for the average spender with no specific focus category; worry-free cash-back earning on everything!
Earn $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening.
$200 cash back
$0
19.24% - 29.24% Variable
Upgraded Points credit ranges are a variation of FICO®Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit cardapplication.
Fair to Excellent (580-850)

The Citi Double Cash® Card has long been one of the top cash-back credit cards on the market, and the card now has the ability to earn Citi ThankYou Points!

This means that cardholders of the Double Cash card will now earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases. Cash back is earned in the form of ThankYou Points. This means each billing cycle, you will earn 1 ThankYou point per $1 spent on purchases and an additional ThankYou point for every $1 paid on your purchase balance as long as there is a corresponding balance in your Purchase Tracker.

Citi has turned the Double Cash card into a top choice for those who are looking for an everyday, no-fuss credit card.

Pros

  • Uncapped 2% for every $1 spent (1% when you buy and another 1% when you pay)
  • Flexible redemption options
  • No annual fee

Cons

  • No bonus categories
  • 3% foreign transaction fees
  • Lack of premium travel benefits
  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Only Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% – 29.24%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back. Intro APR does not apply to purchases.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. After that, your fee will be 5% of each transfer (minimum $5).

Financial Snapshot

  • APR: 19.24% - 29.24% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fees: 3% of the U.S. dollar amount of each purchase

Card Categories

Rewards Center

Citi ThankYou Rewards

The last personal credit card is an absolute juggernaut for balance transfers and cash-back rewards. The Double Cash card currently has a cash-back welcome bonus, as well as 2 balance transfer benefits:

  • 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 19.24% - 29.24%
  • Introductory 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum) for balances transferred within the first 4 months of new card opening (5% or $5 thereafter, whichever is greater)

The Double Cash card earns a total of 2% cash-back (1% when you buy and 1% when you pay your bill) and has benefits including digital wallets, access to Citi Entertainment, contactless payments, zero liability on unauthorized charges, and 24/7 customer service.

You can also add no-additional-fee authorized user cards.

Hot Tip: For more suggestions, check out our guide to the best personal credit cards for 0% balance transfers.

The 3 Best Business Balance Transfer Credit Cards

If your credit card balances are on business credit cards, you’ll want to make sure you’re getting a business balance transfer credit card as rather than a personal credit card.

1. U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card

One of the most famous balance transfer credit cards is the U.S. Bank Business Platinum card. This card is a fantastic choice if you’re looking to focus only on balance transfers without worrying about cash-back or rewards.

There’s no welcome bonus, but the biggest reason to sign up for this card is to access a 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for 18 months. After that, a variable APR of currently 15.74% to 24.74% applies

To qualify for the 0% introductory APR on balance transfers, any balances must be transferred within 30 days of account opening. There’s a 3% balance transfer fee or $5 minimum, whichever is higher.

The card offers access to expense tracking tools, 24/7 customer service, contactless payments, zero fraud liability, and U.S. Bank ExtendPay Plan, which helps divide large purchases into monthly payments.

The main reason why you absolutely want this card is to take advantage of the ultra-long 18-month promotional balance transfer period.

2. U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®

Our runner-up credit card combines a balance transfer offer with the ability to earn respectable cash-back rewards, which is rare for a business credit card.

To be specific, with the U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Mastercard, your 0% intro APR introductory rate applies to purchases and balance transfers. After 15 billing cycles, it adjusts to a variable APR, currently ranging from 19.24% – 28.24%.

Balance transfers must be completed within 30 days of account opening to qualify for the introductory APR — and there’s a 3% balance transfer fee ($5 minimum).

You can also earn up to 5% cash-back on purchases as shown here:

  • 5% cash-back on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the Travel Rewards Center
  • 3% cash-back at gas and EV charging stations
  • 3% cash-back at office supply stores
  • 3% cash-back on cell phone service providers
  • 3% cash-back at restaurants
  • 1% cash-back on other purchases

Also, there’s a $100 annual software credit for recurring software subscription expenses such as FreshBooks or QuickBooks.

And with this credit card, you can make contactless payments, access 24/7 customer service, and utilize the U.S. Bank ExtendPay Plan feature to divide large purchases into fixed monthly payments.

There are also no additional annual fees for employee cards.

3. Edward Jones Business Plus Mastercard®

Here’s how the rewards structure is broken down:

  • Earn 1.5 points for every dollar spent on eligible net purchases (up to $40,000)
  • Earn 2 points for every dollar spent on eligible net purchases over $40,000
  • Earn 4 bonus points on prepaid hotels and car rentals booked directly through the Edward Jones Rewards Travel Center

We’re major fans of this credit card because you can also get zero fraud liability, enhanced ID theft protection, purchase assurance coverage, extended warranty, free credit score access, and no foreign transaction fees.

Lastly, there are no additional annual fees for employee cards.

Hot Tip: Our guide to the best business credit cards for balance transfers has even more options to choose from.

Final Thoughts

Paying a credit card with another credit card can be accomplished — but it’s only worthwhile to do so if the savings realized outweigh the costs incurred in doing so.

Most people think about paying a credit card with another credit card by taking a cash advance or performing a balance transfer from another credit card they have open already.

However, this is a losing game because of the additional fees and interest you’d accrue.

The best course of action would be to open a new credit card that has an attractive balance transfer promotion, ideally with 0% APR.

There are a variety of 0% balance transfer APR credit cards out there, and we walked you through a few of our favorite personal and business credit cards that currently offer balance transfer promotions.

Just keep in mind that you can’t perform balance transfers from personal cards to business cards (and vice versa). You also are only allowed to transfer balances between credit cards from different issuers. For example, you can’t transfer a Capital One credit card balance to another Capital One credit card.

Try to opt for credit cards that offer rewards and attractive balance transfer terms. That way, you’re getting the best of both worlds!


The information regarding the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card, U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard®, and Edward Jones Business Plus Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For the global assist benefit of the Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express, eligibility and benefit level varies by Card. Terms, Conditions and Limitations Apply. Please visit americanexpress.com/benefitsguide for more details. Card Members are responsible for the costs charged by third-party service providers.


The information regarding the U.S. Bank Business Platinum Card, U.S. Bank Business Triple Cash Rewards World Elite™ Mastercard® and Edward Jones Business Plus Mastercard® was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.

For rates and fees of the Blue Cash Everyday® from American Express, click here.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I pay my credit card bill with a credit card number?

You can’t do this directly — usually, credit card bill payments must be made with a bank account, which requires an account number and routing number.

However, you can use balance transfer credit cards to pay off your credit card bill and move the balance from one card to another.

Why can't you pay off a credit card with a credit card?

If this were allowed, it would essentially be a massive, circular payment loop of debt. The banks don’t allow this because it doesn’t lead to any positive outcomes. You can, however, use balance transfer credit cards in your favor to defer credit card interest, when used properly.

Is it smart to pay off one credit card with another?

Most of the time, it is not smart to do so. However, if you use balance transfer credit card promotions intelligently, you can defer interest from accruing on credit card balances.

Can I pay my Capital One credit card with a credit card?

You can’t directly do that — you need to make direct bill payments through a bank account. However, if you get a balance transfer credit card from another issuer such as Citi or Chase, you can use that card to transfer your Capital One card’s balance onto your other card. That way, you can reduce or delay credit card interest from accumulating.

Stephen Au's image

About Stephen Au

Stephen is an established voice in the credit card space, with over 70 to his name. His work has been in publications like The Washington Post, and his Au Points and Awards Consulting Services is used by hundreds of clients.

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