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Credit Cards

How to Pay Someone With a Credit Card

Updated Dec 06, 2023   |   14-min read

Paying with a credit card has several potential benefits, including convenience, security, and rewards. And, you can pay people with a credit card—not just businesses. While this can come with added fees and charges, it may be worth considering if you need additional payment options.

There are many ways you might be able to pay someone with a credit card, including Venmo, Zelle, and wire transfers. We’ll break down how to pay someone with a credit card and answer frequently asked questions.

Why use a credit card for person-to-person payments?

Paying with a credit card can bring several benefits and perks, and you may not want to pass on them just because you’re paying a friend or family member. One of the biggest is convenience, as you can use your card instead of fumbling with dollar bills and coins. Plus, you may not have any cash with you when it’s time to pay.

Another benefit of paying with a credit card is the rewards and cash back you can earn. Many credit cards let you earn rewards or cash back on every purchase, even if you are just paying someone you know.

However, paying with a credit card can have its downsides. The biggest being fees for paying a person with a credit card. Businesses often eat this cost, but you may be the one to pay  if you’re paying an individual.

In addition, the convenience of credit cards makes it easy to overspend. This also means you could end up with costly interest charges. 


  • Convenience—no dealing with physical cash or coins

  • Potential to earn cash back and rewards

  • Automatically have a record of your transactions

  • Build your credit with responsible credit card use


Do your research about the costs associated with paying someone with a credit card and make sure the funds used are paid off. Or, create a realistic repayment plan if cash flow is tight.

Erin Kinkade


Methods to pay someone with a credit card

If you want to pay a person with a credit card, they probably won’t have a credit card payment terminal like those you find in stores. Thus, you will likely have to use methods like payment apps, bank transfers, or wire transfers.

Use a payment app

Payment apps are applications that allow users to make payments online or with a mobile device. These apps allow you to quickly and conveniently send money directly to individuals.

Payment appPerson-to-person payments?Features
VenmoYes3% fee charged to sender if using credit card

Send money via the app in minutes

Pay with a debit or credit card
CashAppYes3% fee charged to sender if using credit card

Send and receive money without a bank account
PayPalYes2.9% + 30 cents per transaction charged to sender if using credit card

Easy to send money via the PayPal app

Can you Venmo with a credit card?

Paying someone with a credit card in Venmo only takes a few steps. All you need is to create an account and have your credit card ready. Then, follow these steps:

  1. Open the app and tap the “Pay/request” button at the bottom of the app
  2. Enter the person’s username, phone, or email, or select from existing contacts
  3. Enter the amount of the payment and a description
  4. Tap pay, then select the payment account
  5. Select your credit card or tap “Add bank or card …” if you haven’t already added it
  6. If necessary, add your credit card information
  7. Tap “Pay”

The benefit of using Venmo is the app’s user-friendliness and quick transfers. This makes it ideal for splitting the tab at restaurants or for friends who need to pay each other back. It’s also unique in that it has a feed where you can see your friends’ payment activity, which can be fun and interesting to see.

On the other hand, the social features could also be a downside. Payment visibility is set to public by default, but we suggest changing to private—not everyone will want their payment activity shared. In addition, Venmo is only available in the U.S., so you can’t use it to make payments while out of the country.

In addition, USA individuals who are traveling or living internationally can make payments to other USA Venmo users. The currency must be U.S. dollars. 

Can you CashApp with a credit card?

It’s possible to send someone money via Cash App with credit and debit cards from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover. You can also send money with most prepaid cards.

Sending money with a credit card on Cash App is simple, too. Once you have created your account, there are just a few steps:

  1. Link your credit card to your account
  2. Tap “Pay” in the app
  3. Enter the person’s phone number, email address, or $Cashtag
  4. Enter the amount and a description
  5. Tap “Pay”

As you can see, the process is similar to paying with Venmo. However, there are some subtle, yet important differences between the two. For one, while Venmo is only supported in the U.S., Cash App works in both the U.S. and the U.K. This means both are quite limited internationally, but at least Cash App gives you some international support.

Like Venmo, sending money on Cash App is nearly instantaneous. One interesting feature of Cash App is it lets you invest in assets like stocks and ETFs for as little as $1.

A downside of using Cash App is the transaction limits are a bit low. Even if you verify your account, you can only send up to $1,000 per 30 days. You can’t cancel authorized transactions, either, but that is also the case for Venmo.

Can you PayPal with a credit card?

Like other apps on this list, you can pay someone with a credit card on PayPal. While PayPal also charges a fee when paying with a credit card, the fee is slightly lower at 2.9% instead of 3%.

Here’s how to pay via PayPal:

  1. Create an account and link your credit card
  2. Enter your recipient’s name, username, email, or mobile number
  3. Enter the amount and currency
  4. Add a note to the transaction (optional)
  5. Tap “Send”

In addition to a slightly lower fee, paying something with PayPal has some unique benefits. For example, you can use its Xoom service for money transfers in more than 130 countries, but it may result in additional fees. PayPal also gives you multiple payment options, such as debit cards, plus PayPal debit and credit cards.

While sending money via PayPal is a convenient option, it does have its downsides. For instance, the recipient must have a PayPal account. While you can pay someone instantly via PayPal, this option is only available with Visa debit cards.

Bank transfers

Bank transfers are an excellent way to pay people, especially if you want to avoid fees. If you pay with your bank balance, you can generally pay without any fees. 

Note that in most cases, you must use your bank account balance for this option. Many banks today have Zelle integration, which lets you send money directly from your bank account to another. In some cases, you can transfer money within minutes without incurring fees.


  • Can sometimes be instantaneous

  • Possible to send money with no fees

  • More options for international transfers

  • May allow you to send larger amounts of money


  • Usually requires you to have cash on hand

  • Can be slower than credit card payments

  • Typically requires both people to have a bank account

  • Can be added fees, especially for international transfers

Can you Zelle with a credit card?

You can’t send money with Zelle using a credit card and Zelle doesn’t support debit cards associated with international bank accounts. To pay with Zelle, you must have an email address, a U.S. mobile number, and a Visa® or Mastercard® debit card with a U.S.-based account.

While the inability to use credit cards is an obvious drawback, Zelle is currently supported in more than 2,100 banking apps, making it easy to pay using your bank account.


  • Supported by most banking apps

  • No fees to send money

  • No receiving limits

  • Sending money is fast


  • No credit card support

  • Limited fraud protection, although there are now multiple verification steps one must go through before completing a transaction.

  • Only supports U.S. bank accounts

  • Can’t always cancel payments

Can you Apple Pay with a credit card?

While you can’t Apple Pay someone with a credit card, you can pay them with your linked debit card or bank account. The process is simple, too:

  1. Open Messages and tap Apple Pay in the conversation
  2. Enter the amount you want to pay and verify it with Touch ID or Face ID

And that’s it. The person will need to have an Apple device for this method to work, but if they do, it should be very quick and easy to send money. Plus, if you send money with a debit card, it’ll be saved to your Apple Wallet, so you won’t have to add your card information next time manually.

Can you Google Pay with a credit card?

Similar to Apple Pay, you can’t pay someone with Google Pay using a credit card. However, you can pay with a linked debit card or bank account. One of the benefits of this method is the person doesn’t need the Google Pay app to receive money. 

In this case, they will receive an email or text once you send money instructing them to log in with their Google account to claim it.

Here’s how to pay someone with Google Pay:

  1. Open the app and search by name, phone, email, or QR code
  2. Tap Send or request, then Search and select the contact you want to pay
  3. Tap Pay and enter the amount
  4. Choose your payment method
  5. Tap Pay again

This is a nice option if you have Google Pay but your friend doesn’t have a specific payment app. However, they will at least need a Google account to be able to accept the money.

Wire transfers and cash advances

There might be some situations when you want to send money to someone using a wire transfer or cash advance. For instance, if you want to pay someone quickly and you don’t have cash available, you might use a credit card to wire money to someone. This might be possible via services like Western Union or MoneyGram.

Another possibility is that you are sending money internationally. Wire transfer services often allow you to send money worldwide, which could make them a viable option if others don’t support the receiving country.

Alternatively, you might want to send money to someone via cash advance if they don’t have a bank account or have an app like Cash App. In this case, you could use your credit card to get a cash advance at an ATM and hand the cash to the person you are paying.

However, wire transfers and cash advances can both have high fees. In addition, cash advances usually don’t come with a grace period, meaning you start incurring interest on your credit card immediately. While these options might make sense in some situations, it’s usually best not to use them regularly if possible.

Fees and charges to send money online with a credit card

Although sending money with a credit card is often fast and convenient, it typically comes with fees. Here are some of the fees from the methods mentioned in this article:

Payment methodFee
Cash App3%
MoneyGram (via credit card)$2.99 – $252.99 per transfer
Western Union (via credit card)$4.02 – $306.99 per transfer
Cash advanceTypically 5% or $10, whichever is greater

Generally, you will pay at least a small fee when sending money to someone with a credit card. Typically, the fees you pay when sending money with a credit card will increase when you are sending larger amounts.

There can also be some less obvious fees when paying someone with a credit card. For instance, if you send money with a cash advance, there is typically a cash advance fee. There is also interest on the cash advance amount, which usually starts accruing right away.

For example:

  • Suppose you take out $100 to pay your friend with a cash advance using your credit card. 
  • If your credit card charges a fee of the greater of 5% or $10, you’ll pay a $10 fee. 
  • But you’ll also immediately start incurring a cash advance APR, which can be high.

Also, consider that there could be added fees if you must send money internationally. For example, there might be a currency conversion fee if the person receiving money uses a different currency than you.

Lastly, some services might have platform-specific fees you don’t notice until you send money. Therefore, it’s important to read the fine print before sending money.

It’s typically hard to avoid fees when sending money with a credit card, but it might be possible in some cases. However, there might be a few cases where this is possible. For example, there might be instances where peer-to-peer payment apps waive fees for certain periods or your first few transactions. Similarly, banks or credit unions might run promotions where they waive fees for new accounts or for trying their money transfer services.

Best practices to securely pay someone with a credit card

Paying someone with a credit card can be fast, convenient, and secure. However, you should follow these best practices to ensure nothing goes wrong with the transaction:

  1. Use trusted payment platforms: If possible, use trusted payment platforms like those mentioned in this article. They have strong security measures in place and are generally safe to use.
  1. Use a secure connection and website/app: Avoid sending money while on unencrypted, public Wi-Fi networks. Also ensure you have a secure connection, indicated by “https” in your address bar. If using a mobile app, ensure it has strong security protocols.
  1. Use two-factor authentication (2FA): Two-factor authentication requires you to confirm your account with a code sent by text message or in your authenticator app. This can help secure your account.
  1. Check statements regularly: Check your statements periodically to watch for any unrecognized transactions.
  1. Use virtual card numbers: Some credit cards offer virtual card numbers, which allows you to avoid sharing your real card number. This can help secure your account.

When paying someone with a credit card, there are many red flags to keep on your radar. One of the most common ones is unusual payment requests—for instance, overpayments or payments in advance. Another is if someone is pressuring you to pay quickly, which is a tactic scammers often use.

Another thing to watch out for is if someone wants you to use an unknown payment platform. While it might be legitimate, it might be tougher to verify its legitimacy if you aren’t familiar with it.

If you suspect your account was compromised, it’s best to contact your bank or credit card company immediately. They can freeze your account and issue a new card if necessary. In addition, you should continue monitoring your accounts for unrecognized transactions. Also consider reporting the incident to your local police department and entities like the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Ask the expert

Erin Kinkade


Credit cards are safer to use than debit cards, especially when used online or any public place other than your bank. There is greater consumer protection on credit cards and if a transaction results as fraudulent, the credit card user is only responsible for a maximum of $50. Meanwhile, if a debit card, or checking or savings account is used, the money could possibly never be recouped. In the event of a dispute, the credit card company will typically refund you the amount in dispute back to your credit card. With a debit card, it can take a long time leaving you with low to no cash on hand.

Alternative ways to pay someone with a credit card

Paying someone with a credit card isn’t always straightforward or direct. Sometimes, you have to be creative. Consider these alternative ways to pay someone with a credit card.

Prepaid cards

Often, you can buy and fund prepaid cards, like a prepaid Visa, entirely with a credit card. This can be more secure than using your credit card to send money to someone. However, you should be aware of potential fees which you may pay during the process.

Gift cards

If you aren’t paying someone for a service, you could buy a gift card from a specific retailer. It’s possible to do this with a credit card, so it could be a viable alternative. There could be additional fees to pay with this option as well.

Online marketplaces

If you are paying someone for a service, you could pay them through online marketplaces like Etsy or Shopify. With these platforms, you can pay with a credit card, and they have buyer protections in place to keep you safe.

Invoicing platforms

Some invoicing platforms like Quickbooks and Freshbooks let you pay with a credit card. If the person you are paying can generate an invoice on one of these platforms, you might be able to pay with them with your credit card.