Points on Cash?
Every now and then you’ll find you have to pay an organisation or retailer who don’t accept cards. This always used to annoy me(!), because it meant I couldn’t earn anything back on that expenditure – however I’ve found that sometimes there is actually a way you can still earn when paying cash.
At present this only applies to reward MasterCard or Visa cards – it’s not possible to earn on (or withdraw) cash via American Express/Amex.
Using the Middle Man
To earn points or cashback on a reward Visa or MasterCard, you need to use an intermediary card, which your credit card doesn’t recognise as a cash transaction.
Two examples I’ve tried are Curve and Finangel debit cards. In each case you make a payment from your credit card to your debit card via their App. Finangel requires you to ‘top up’ funds onto the card, Curve charges directly to your nominated linked card. Typically (although this depends on your reward credit card provider), the payment is recognised as a normal retailer payment, not a cash transaction, and earns points/cashback (as well as counting towards total spend/spend target). These funds can then be withdrawn from the debit card at an ATM. With both of these examples there is a £200 free cash withdrawal limit per month.
In my experience Curve cash withdrawals are simpler – but the potential for some cards to recognise it as a cash withdrawal are higher (luckily I usually use my local co-op cashpoint and my transaction shows as if it’s coop retail). Conversely loading onto Finangel is very unlikely to be recognised by the card provider as cash, however some ATM machines recognise it as being in dollars and apply a conversion fee (despite it being fine spending in GBP in store).
Note: Finangel have advised on Facebook that they are resolving the currency issue.
It’s important to test that your credit card doesn’t charge the payment to the intermediary card as a cash withdrawal, as potentially you could incur charges if it does. Having cash withdrawals on your credit card could also affect your credit rating – and borrowing cash on a high interest reward credit card is obviously not a great idea. In my experience, transfers from my Barclaycard Visa to Finangel and Curve have always appeared as purchases and accrued points. So, withdrawing cash in this way and then paying the statement in full means no charges, and points/cashback earned on the full amount.
Use code O2MEP to get £5 free credit following your first transaction with Curve.