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Withdrawing cash and cash advances

Debit cards, credit cards and prepaid cards can all generally be used to withdraw cash from a cash machine or over a branch counter (though this usually requires the cardholder to present some kind of identification).

If using a credit card or a prepaid card there is usually a handling charge for each cash withdrawal. The details will be shown in your terms and conditions and in the Summary Box.

If using a debit card in the UK, cash machine withdrawals from any bank or building society will normally be free of charge. Some cash machines operated by independent ATM deployers will charge for a withdrawal, but a message to say so will be shown on screen, giving you the opportunity to terminate the transaction if you wish. Outside the UK most withdrawals from cash machines will incur a fee. See the Using your cards overseas section for more details.

If you use a credit card to obtain a cash advance (as these withdrawals from cash machines are known) the interest rate is often higher than the rate for purchases. Typically, you will be charged interest from the date that you withdrew the cash. You do not normally benefit from any interest-free period for cash advances. In addition, some card companies limit the total amount that you can borrow in cash to a specified amount or to a proportion of your credit limit. For example, if you have a credit limit of £1000, and the maximum you can borrow in cash is 90% of the credit limit, then you will not be able to have more than £900 in cash advances outstanding at any one time.

Making a lot of cash withdrawals using a credit card can be a sign of financial difficulties. Credit card companies do share information, so if you are regularly taking cash advances this could damage your credit record.

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