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Can You Get Cash Back on a Credit Card? Try Discover’s Cash Over Perk

Updated Sep 09, 2021 | Published Feb 05, 20206 min read

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At a glance

With most credit cards, you can’t withdraw cash at checkout like you can with a debit card. Discover credit cards do let you borrow cash, at certain retailers. With other cards, borrowing cash is usually expensive.

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If you’re looking to get cash back from a credit card, it’s not quite as straightforward as hitting a button at the grocery store, like you can with a debit card. However, there are some ways you can quickly get money from a credit card.

Cash Over From Discover

Discover’s “cash over” benefit is perhaps the only immediate and potentially fee-free option to borrow or withdraw cash available from a credit card. It lets you use your Discover card at checkout to get cash without any additional fees, just like you would with your debit card.

Any cash over you get is counted as part of your purchase, but you won’t earn any rewards on that extra amount.

For example, if you get $40 cash back on your Discover card, you’re only charged that $40 (as long as you pay your balance in full by the due date to avoid interest fees later on).

That same $40 as a cash advance with a credit card may cost over $50, and even more if you don’t pay it off quickly: the $40 cash you’re getting + a $10 cash advance fee + an additional cash advance interest charges, which start accruing immediately and are usually a higher rate of at least 25%.

How to Use Discover’s Cash Over Benefit

It’s easy to use, but it’s not available at every store. You just choose the amount of cash you’d like to get when you’re checking out at over 65 different retailers, including major stores and grocers like Albertsons, Food Lion, Gelson’s, Kroger, Pavilions, Ralphs, Shop ‘n Save, Walmart, and more.

Here’s a complete list of the retailers where cardholders can currently use the cash over benefit:

Merchants where you can use Discover's cash over benefit.

Image credit: Discover

Insider tip

Do you have a Sam’s Club credit card, like the Sam’s Club® Mastercard®? You can use the cash access feature to get cash at the register, and it will count as part of your purchase: up to $100, in $20 increments, once per day (only at Sam’s Club-owned registers in Sam’s Club locations and Walmart-owned registers in Walmart stores).

How Much Cash Back Can You Get?

Your cash over limit is different from your credit limit. Discover cash over transactions are limited to $120 every 24 hours with no monthly limit.

Retailers usually have their own limits on the amount of cash back they’ll give during a single transaction, as well. So, ask a cashier to learn about a specific retailer’s limit.

What Does It Cost to Get Cash Back?

There’s no transaction fee to use the cash over benefit. You’ll be charged interest on the amount of cash you get like any other Discover card purchase if you don’t pay off your full card balance, including the cash over amounts, by your billing due date (assuming you have a grace period).

Do You Earn Rewards on Your Cash Over Amounts?

No, you don’t earn cash back rewards on cash received using your cash over benefit.

Which Discover Cards Offer the Cash Over Benefit?

All Discover credit cards are eligible for cash over when checking out at eligible retailers. There are several options depending on what you’re looking for — rotating reward categories, cards tailored to students, a card for travel, etc.

Overall, Discover’s cards are great on fees (no annual fees and no foreign transaction fees). They don’t have big welcome bonus offers with tons of points like some rewards cards, but overall the cash back offerings are pretty good since Discover will double your rewards in the first year — with every card!

Here are some of the best Discover credit cards.

Best for Cash Back

This card offers 5% cash back in rotating categories such as groceries, ridesharing, wholesale clubs, and restaurants, up to $1,500 spent per quarter (then 1%). The 5% categories need to be activated each quarter. You’ll earn an equivalent of up to 10% cash back in the first year, after Discover doubles your rewards, quite high compared to most cards.

Discover it® Cash Back
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APRSee Terms

Best for Travel & Flat-Rate Rewards

Earn 1.5X miles on all purchases, for a total of 3X miles per dollar in the first year. Not too bad considering each mile is worth 1 cent, giving you a cash back equivalent of 1.5% for every purchase (and 3% in the first year).

Discover it® Miles
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APRSee Terms

Best for Poor or No Credit

One of the best secured credit cards available, the Discover it® Secured (Review) offers 2% cash back on up to $1,000 spent per quarter at grocery stores and restaurants (then 1%).

Discover it® Secured
  • Min. credit levelBad
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APRSee Terms

Best for Students

Just like the regular Discover it, you’ll get 5% back in categories that change every three months, up to $1,500 spent per quarter (then 1%). You’ll need to activate the quarterly categories before you can earn 5%. But you’ll also get a $20 statement credit for each year that your GPA is 3.0 or higher, for up to five years; a nice little bonus.

Discover it® Student Cash Back
  • Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
  • Annual Fee$0
  • Purchase APRSee Terms

Other Ways to Get Cash Back From Credit Cards

In addition to Discover’s cash over benefit, there are some other ways to get cash with your credit card. However, it’s not something you should do without considering other options as there are usually fees and high interest rates.

So, we recommend against using cash advances or credit card convenience checks at all except for in the case of an emergency.

Cash Advances

A cash advance is like getting a cash loan from your credit card company. Your cash advance credit line is usually smaller than your total credit line.

While you can use your credit card to get immediate access to cash at an ATM, you usually pay a cash advance fee and a higher interest rate on the amount you withdraw. Interest also usually begins to accrue immediately with a cash advance (versus the grace period of approximately 21 days that you typically get on credit card purchases).

Convenience Checks

These are also sometimes called credit card checks, and often work like cash advances.

They aren’t commonly sent out, but you may receive checks in the mail with your card account information printed on them that enable you to borrow money from your credit card issuer. Then, just as with a cash advance, you’ll usually pay a fee and interest on the amount of the check you fill out.

Cash Back Rewards

While cash back rewards are different from the other cash back methods mentioned, they’re a way to get cash based on your spending. Saving two to three percent adds up over time.

With cash back credit cards, unlike cash and debit cards, you’re able to get rewarded for everything you buy. The cash back rate you’ll get varies by card. Cash back cards can be a great way to get something back for things you’re already spending money on like groceries, gas, plane tickets, and clothing.

Read more Best Cash Back Credit Cards of October 2021

Cash Back With a Debit Card

When you check out in the store at most retailers today, if you use a debit card you can usually select a cash back amount while authorizing the transaction. This will be in addition to your purchase, usually in $10 or $20 increments up to $60 or so (total amounts allowed for cash back vary depending on the retailer and specific location).

For example, if your total is $21.40 and you select a cash back amount of $40, your new total will be $61.40. That total amount of $61.40 will be deducted from the bank account tied to your debit card when the transaction is authorized. The cashier will then give you the $40 in cash with your receipt.

While this is a perk of using a debit card, credit cards have many benefits that debit cards don’t. For instance, debit cards usually won’t let you earn cash back or points like a rewards credit card, and fraud can be more difficult to resolve (because of the process required to get the money back in your checking account with a debit card).

Cash Back With a Gift Card

Gift cards purchased for specific stores don’t usually allow for cash back from a purchase. You’ll most likely just have a lower card balance, or be given store credit, if you make a purchase for less than the total value of the gift card. Check with the specific retailer and location for its gift card policies.

Considering Credit Card Benefits When Getting a New Card

If you’re looking to get a new credit card, you’ll want to check out all the benefits available and ensure they match your spending habits and lifestyle. Weigh all the features including the annual fee, APR, rewards, and any other perks. For instance, if you’re paying high interest rates on a credit card balance, you may want to transfer it to another card with a 0% balance transfer APR to save on finance charges.

Also, don’t forget the protections and insurances available with some cards, like travel insurance, extended warranties, purchase protection, and return protection, which may end up saving you quite a bit of cash.

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Written by

Ellen Sirull

Ellen Sirull is a writer with over 15 years of experience, covering topics from personal finance to identity protection to credit and credit cards. Her work has been featured on CNBC, New York Daily News, Fox News, Yahoo! Finance, AOL Finance, Experian and the Identity Theft Resource Center. She enjoys spending time with her family and traveling as much as possible and is always thinking about how best to invest her own money for retirement and her family’s well-being.

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