Sending money to friends and family has never been easier thanks to mobile apps — and Venmo is one of those apps.
Venmo offers a quick and simple way to transfer money directly to others when you don't feel like exchanging cash. It's also a social app — you can keep a record of your transactions and even share them with others on Venmo's social feed.
But while Venmo makes sending money quick and easy, it's generally best to make Venmo transfers from a connected bank account, like a checking account, because you have to pay a fee if you transfer cash using a credit card. This doesn't mean it never makes sense to use a card for Venmo transactions, though. In fact, if you research the best credit card for Venmo, you may find that charging your transaction could be an option for you.
Not sure which cards to use when transferring funds via Venmo? This guide will help you decide.
How does Venmo work?
Venmo is a personal finance app that allows you to send money to other Venmo users, including friends and family members with a Venmo account. You can also pay partner businesses using your Venmo app. And because Venmo is owned by PayPal, you can typically use it to pay at businesses displaying a PayPal logo.
Funds can be transferred to others via Venmo simply by inputting their Venmo username, phone number, or email address used to register their Venmo account. The money you send comes from a linked bank account, a debit or credit card, or your Venmo balance. And received funds can also be transferred quickly to a linked bank account.
The Venmo mobile app is available for both Android and iOS phones.
One thing that sets Venmo apart from other services, however, is that your transaction — but not payment amount — displays on Venmo's social feed. Often, people who pay with Venmo leave fun comments on this feed. As an added perk, you can opt to find friends who have Venmo accounts by syncing your Facebook account or phonebook contacts.
Is there a fee to use Venmo?
Venmo charges no fees for many common transactions. There is:
- No monthly or annual fee
- No fee for receiving money into your Venmo account from other users
- No fee for sending money from linked bank accounts
- No fee for sending money from a debit card
- No fee for sending money from a prepaid card (depending on the card issuer)
- No fee if you send money from your Venmo balance
- No fee for reloading your Venmo balance using your bank account
However, if you send money using your credit card, you'll pay a 3% transaction fee. You'll also owe a 3% fee if you send money using Venmo Purchase Support, regardless of what method you use to provide the funds. When you opt for Purchase Support, Venmo can help you to resolve disputes that might arise involving eligible items you buy.
Which credit cards charge a fee for Venmo?
Paying with credit cards is often more convenient and comes with benefits, including fraud protection, the chance to earn rewards, and the option to pay for your purchases later — though you will likely owe interest if you don't pay off your balances when the monthly statement comes.
But be careful when you use Venmo, as there’s that 3% fee when you send money to people using a credit card. Also, pay attention to how your card company treats Venmo transactions. Some categorize Venmo payments as cash advances, which would mean you'd likely be charged an additional cash advance fee of up to 5%. Cash advances also typically come with a higher interest rate than regular purchases and interest starts accruing right away. Interest on purchases doesn’t typically accrue until you’ve missed a monthly payment.
Because of the added costs you could incur, it’s typically not recommended to use credit cards with Venmo unless the rewards you earn outweigh the fees. For example, hitting the minimum spend requirement for a welcome offer worth tens of thousands of points or miles might be enough reason to use your credit card on Venmo. But generally, this makes sense only if you don’t have other ways to meet the minimum spend requirements.
In addition, it’s important to be smart about which cards you link to your Venmo account because you’re allowed to add only four cards to your account over a rolling six-month period. Once you add a card to your account, it counts against your four-card limit for a full six months.
One card to consider adding is the Venmo Credit Card. This card is available for Venmo customers, and unlike a traditional credit card, it comes with its own unique QR code on the front that can be scanned to quickly split purchases.
The Venmo Credit Card has no annual fee and automatically assigns cashback rates to your purchases based on your spending habits. For example, your highest spending category earns 3% cash back, your second highest earns 2%, and the rest of your purchases earn 1% back. Possible spending categories include:
- Bills and utilities
- Dining and nightlife
- Health and beauty
How credit card issuers code Venmo transactions
You could be charged a cash advance fee when using a credit card to pay people through Venmo. But Venmo can’t tell you which specific cards might have this fee and how much this fee could be. It’s up to each specific card issuer and how they code Venmo transactions.
Here’s how many of the major credit card companies treat Venmo transactions:
- American Express: Venmo transactions using Amex credit cards typically code as purchases, not cash advances. They shouldn’t incur a cash advance fee, though this may be subject to change. You could also use Amex Send to avoid fees.
- Bank of America: If using a Bank of America card on Venmo, you’ll likely get hit with a cash advance fee.
- Barclays: If you use a Barclays credit card on a payments service like Venmo, you’ll likely incur a cash advance fee.
- Capital One: Capital One will likely view a transferring of funds in this regard as a cash equivalent. Cash equivalent transactions incur a cash advance fee with Capital One.
- Chase: Generally, Chase views person-to-person (P2P) money transfers, including Venmo transactions, as cash advances, so they would likely incur a cash advance fee.
- Citibank: You’ll likely be charged a cash advance fee if you use a Citi credit card to make payments with Venmo.
- Discover: Using Discover cards to make payments on mobile payments platforms, including Venmo, PayPal, and Square typically codes as a purchase with Discover, not a cash advance. It shouldn’t incur a cash advance fee. Again, this may be subject to change.
- U.S. Bank: Paying someone on Venmo with a U.S. Bank credit card is typically seen as a cash equivalent transaction, which would incur a cash advance fee.
- Wells Fargo: You’ll likely be charged a cash advance fee if using a Wells Fargo credit card on Venmo.
The best credit cards for Venmo
It might not be ideal to use a credit card with Venmo because of the 3% transaction fee. The transaction could potentially be coded as a cash advance and incur another fee as well. But it could make sense on occasion.
For example, in the case of American Express credit cards, you can get access to their Send & Split feature. The Send feature allows you to use your credit card to send money on Venmo without any fees. You wouldn’t be eligible for earning rewards using this method. However, if you use the Split feature, you can make a purchase with your credit card, earn the rewards, and then get reimbursed by friends through Venmo — still without fees.
Most cards don't have special features like this that make them ideal candidates to use with Venmo. But if the 3% fee doesn't throw you off, then there are several rewards cards that will work for Venmo and give you points or cashback on your regular purchases as well. We looked for cards with a variety of rewards rates and annual fees.
|Card name||Welcome offer||Rewards||Annual fee|
|Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express||Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months||3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases||$0
|Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express||Earn a $250 statement credit after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first 6 months||6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets (for first $6,000 per year, after that 1%) and on select U.S. streaming services, 3% cash back at U.S. gas stations and on eligible transit, and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases||$95 (waived first year)
|American Express® Gold Card||Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of card membership||4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year, after that 1X) and at restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases||$250
|The Platinum Card® from American Express||Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months||5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases||$695
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express
As the name implies, the Blue Cash Everyday is ideal for everyday purchases, including at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%). Since it has a $0 annual fee, any rewards you earn are an immediate bonus.
For more info, read our Blue Cash Everyday Card from American Express review.
Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
The Blue Cash Preferred has an annual fee of $95 (waived first year), but it’s also one of the best credit cards for groceries and earning rewards on select U.S. streaming subscriptions. You can also receive up to $120 ($10 per month) in credits with Equinox+ (select benefits require enrollment).
For more info, read our American Express Blue Cash Preferred review.
American Express® Gold Card
The Amex Gold is an excellent choice for foodies and travelers. It offers up to $120 in annual Uber Cash (good for Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to another $120 in dining credits. These credits alone can almost immediately offset the annual fee of $250. Select benefits require enrollment.
For more info, read our American Express Gold Card review.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Amex Platinum is a luxury travel card that could fit the lifestyle of a frequent traveler. It offers over $1,400 in value from annual credits to help offset the annual fee of $695. You also get airport lounge access with Priority Pass and The Centurion Lounge, as well as complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status and Hilton Honors Gold status. Select benefits require enrollment.
For more info, read our American Express Platinum review.
Bonus: the three best debit cards for Venmo
While credit card transactions on Venmo come with a 3% transaction fee, sending money from a linked debit card or bank account is free. Certain online banks, like Aspiration and Stash, allow you to quickly and easily link up your debit cards to payment apps like Venmo and use them to transfer funds, without worrying about costly transaction fees.
And the best part? As an Aspiration Spend & Save account holder, you can earn cashback rewards for eligible purchases with the Aspiration debit card. Similarly, with a Stash Banking account, you can earn Stock-BackⓇ rewards — which are like cashback rewards for your investment account — on your debit card purchases.
While you won't earn rewards from either account for sending money to a friend through Venmo, you can earn rewards with other eligible merchants. Aspiration debit cardholders can earn cash back on purchases with merchants like TOMS, Warby Parker, Reformation, and Blue Apron. While Stash debit cardholders can earn fractional shares for their purchases with popular retailers like Amazon, Apple, AT&T, CVS, Dunkin, and Starbucks.
If you are a frequent Venmo user, you may also want to consider the Venmo Card — not to be confused with the Venmo Credit Card. With this debit card, you can use your Venmo balance to pay for purchases.
FAQs about the best credit cards for Venmo
Can you pay someone with a credit card on Venmo?
Yes, you can link an eligible credit card to Venmo and use it to send money to others. Just keep in mind that there's a 3% transaction fee if you use a credit card to pay friends or family through Venmo, which can add up if you do this often. If you are making a credit card payment to an authorized merchant that accepts Venmo, you will not need to pay a transaction fee.
If you choose to use a credit card to send money via Venmo, American Express and Discover are the two main card issuers that do not — currently (this is subject to change) — code this transaction as a cash advance and add yet another fee to the cost. For this reason, the American Express Green Card could be a smart choice to use with Venmo.
What credit cards work with Venmo?
According to the Venmo website, users can link American Express, Discover, Mastercard, or Visa cards to their Venmo accounts to use for payment.
It's worth noting that, in addition to the 3% transaction fee mentioned above, some credit card issuers may also charge fees if you use your card to pay a friend or family member through Venmo. If you have any questions or concerns about potential fees, review your credit card's terms and conditions or call the customer service phone number on the back of your card for more information.
How do you add a credit card to Venmo?
The process of adding a credit card to Venmo is simple and straightforward. You can add a card manually or by taking a photo of it with your phone.
1. Start by logging into the Venmo app and clicking the three horizontal lines on the top left-hand side.
2. Click 'Settings' and 'Payment methods'
3. Click 'Add bank or card', then 'Card'
4. You'll then have the option to enter your card manually, or you can take a picture of it with your phone and the info will appear automatically.
Do you need a credit card to use Venmo?
You do not necessarily need a credit card to use Venmo. If you want to use your Venmo balance to pay others, you can do so. However, if you need to make a bigger payment than your existing Venmo balance, you will need to link up a bank account, debit card, or credit card account to complete that payment.
Linking your Stash debit card to your Venmo account could help you earn valuable Stock-BackⓇ rewards while avoiding the 3% fee Venmo charges on credit card payments.
Which is better: Cash App or Venmo?
The better payments app depends on your financial goals and spending habits. Both apps allow you to send and receive money from friends and family. Both apps also have cryptocurrency features. But Venmo offers a credit card and debit card, while Cash App only has a debit card. However, Cash App offers stock investing, while Venmo doesn’t have this feature. Ultimately which is better for you will depend on your needs. Learn more by checking out our Cash App review.
The final word on the best credit cards for Venmo
While it's possible to use a credit card on Venmo, it's generally not the best option due to the 3% transaction fee. If you're a frequent Venmo user and you're looking for the best payment method, you may even find that you'd be better off opting for a Venmo debit card and looking for other ways to earn credit card rewards so you won't be stuck paying costly fees for your Venmo transactions.