Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

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blackcat allie
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Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by blackcat allie » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:28 am

For paying at “cash” at auto dealer -- has anyone used a regular credit card and then paid it same cycle? It would give credit card rewards, not sure though about any extra purchase protections. I suppose bank check is more common method. wondering if anyone has used a credit card or a smarter strategy.

My trusty Camry has met an untimely demise at the hands of a rear-ending 19 year old. :oops: So it’s time to buy a new used car. Trying to strategize. Thanks in advance. The original plan was to Drive It Until the Wheels Fall Off.

Any other suggestions or strategies for paying cash at dealer? Thanks

Rupert
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Rupert » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:30 am

Many/most dealers won't accept credit cards. Some won't even accept personal checks and require a cashier's check. So you need to ask the dealer you're working with what they will accept.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:32 am

It would be very rare for any dealer to accept a credit card. I've often paid my first payment at vehicle pickup with my credit card (plus tax, title), but all dealers have refused me the ability to buy the entire vehicle with a credit card.

On a separate note, make sure you're not short-changing yourself. Some vehicle manufacturers offer rebates for financing with their captive finance company (i.e. Ford Credit). To maximize the rebate, you take the regular, non-discounted rate (currently 5.9% I believe), accept the additional rebate (dealer puts in in the numbers), and then pay off the loan days later.

To answer the anticipated questions:

1) No, there is no penalty for paying off the loan early.

2) No, the Ford dealer doesn't have to then pay the rebate from their own pocket. The Ford dealer does lose an incentive that they would have received if you had waited 3 payments before paying off the loan.

This additional rebate could be as little as $500 or as much as $1,500 - $2,000. Nice change for little work.

stoptothink
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by stoptothink » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:36 am

I've purchased 3 of the 4 cars I've owned in cash, the most any dealer has ever let me put on a credit card was $3K.

fabdog
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by fabdog » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:37 am

Most dealers will only take a credit card for a deposit. Last 2 dealerships I dealt with had $500 and $2000 limits on what they would accept via CC as a deposit to hold the car I was buying

Buying a car with a rewards card would be nice, but the dealer isn't going to pay the transaction fees.

On checks, both accepted personal checks. One wanted financing arranged as a backstop in case the check didn't clear. They would have accepted cashiers check and since I had a final OTD number I could have done that as well. If you don't have a locked OTD number you can bring a cashiers check for most and I assume they'd take a check for a small amount if you were slightly under

It's always good to see if you can get a better deal by taking the dealer financing. If I can get a lower OTD price, I am willing to finance as long as no penalty to prepay the loan. Didn't help on the last 2 cars as it was either financing or cash rebates and my lowest OTD price was cash, but always worth asking

Mike

jumbopapa
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by jumbopapa » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:38 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:32 am
It would be very rare for any dealer to accept a credit card. I've often paid my first payment at vehicle pickup with my credit card (plus tax, title), but all dealers have refused me the ability to buy the entire vehicle with a credit card.

On a separate note, make sure you're not short-changing yourself. Some vehicle manufacturers offer rebates for financing with their captive finance company (i.e. Ford Credit). To maximize the rebate, you take the regular, non-discounted rate (currently 5.9% I believe), accept the additional rebate (dealer puts in in the numbers), and then pay off the loan days later.

To answer the anticipated questions:

1) No, there is no penalty for paying off the loan early.

2) No, the Ford dealer doesn't have to then pay the rebate from their own pocket. The Ford dealer does lose an incentive that they would have received if you had waited 3 payments before paying off the loan.

This additional rebate could be as little as $500 or as much as $1,500 - $2,000. Nice change for little work.
Is the dealer able to tell who payed off the remaining balance before the 3 payment period? My father frequents the same car dealer and recently did exactly what you described, but I'm hoping they aren't able to tell that he was the one who did this because they may change the service they provide him in the future because he impacted their bottom line.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:40 am

After your deal is done. Ask the dealer if you can pay with a credit card. They will likely walk out to get someone who can answer that question, who will come in and apologize that they'd have to charge you a % fee to do the whole car. They'll then tell you the maximum you can charge with no fee. If you negotiated an incredible deal, they'll tell you that you can't use a credit card at all. I've put between $500 and $3k on a cc over the years.

With discounts for financing, read the terms. I've had some where if I paid off the loan before 3 payments were made, I would have to pay back the incentive. If you don't read the terms, you won't know. This was Honda....many years ago.
Last edited by Jack FFR1846 on Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ZinCO
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by ZinCO » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:41 am

In my experience they generally will accept CC's, but with a very low cap. Just bought a car this weekend with $3k on the CC (was hoping for $5k but they wouldn't budge). CC transaction costs are just too high for the dealer to take.

Also, make sure you educate yourself on the numbers for a single-pay lease. In my case by leasing, I got $3600 back from the manufacturer's finance company (which is not currently available for cash or standard finance purchases) for a single-pay lease with an interest rate of less than 1%. Basically I bought myself a 3-year test drive, and if I buy out the lease in 3 years, I'm still paying less than if I had paid cash up front.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:45 am

jumbopapa wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:38 am

Is the dealer able to tell who payed off the remaining balance before the 3 payment period? My father frequents the same car dealer and recently did exactly what you described, but I'm hoping they aren't able to tell that he was the one who did this because they may change the service they provide him in the future because he impacted their bottom line.
Yes, the dealer can tell that they didn't get an incentive. If you think that 99% of the dealers are checking that close, then informing your father's salesperson, you're kidding yourself.

I've had dealers encourage me to do exactly what I've described. Of course that's the salesperson, not the CFO.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:47 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:40 am
With discounts for financing, read the terms. I've had some where if I paid off the loan before 3 payments were made, I would have to pay back the incentive. If you don't read the terms, you won't know. This was Honda....many years ago.
Never trust a salesperson or dealer rep. Always read the terms. Countless customers have been told by Ford dealers that they cannot pay off the loan before 3 payments, which is absolutely not true. As with anything, read every line of anything you have to sign at a dealership.

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goingup
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by goingup » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:48 am

My dealer actually offered that I could pay $3,000 with a CC to get miles when I purchased my new SUV in September. It was after the price had been negotiated.

jumbopapa
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by jumbopapa » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:49 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:45 am
Yes, the dealer can tell that they didn't get an incentive. If you think that 99% of the dealers are checking that close, then informing your father's salesperson, you're kidding yourself.
I've had dealers encourage me to do exactly what I've described. Of course that's the salesperson, not the CFO.
I assumed the dealer can tell that they didn't get an incentive, but can they tell why they didn't? For example, they dealer knows that they sold 50 cars with financing that provides an incentive, but they old received the incentive for 49 cars. All they would know is that someone paid off the loan before the 3 payment period, but they wouldn't be able to tell who that someone is.

You're right that the salesperson would probably never find out that it happened.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:50 am

jumbopapa wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:49 am
RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:45 am
Yes, the dealer can tell that they didn't get an incentive. If you think that 99% of the dealers are checking that close, then informing your father's salesperson, you're kidding yourself.
I've had dealers encourage me to do exactly what I've described. Of course that's the salesperson, not the CFO.
I assumed the dealer can tell that they didn't get an incentive, but can they tell why they didn't? For example, they dealer knows that they sold 50 cars with financing that provides an incentive, but they old received the incentive for 49 cars. All they would know is that someone paid off the loan before the 3 payment period, but they wouldn't be able to tell who that someone is.

You're right that the salesperson would probably never find out that it happened.
Yes, they can see exactly what loan was paid off early. If that concerns you, it shouldn't. They sell how many cars a month?

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whodidntante
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by whodidntante » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:54 am

The dealer will not want to pay the high merchant fee for accepting a credit card. When I bought my last car they let me put $2,500 on a card. I would have been willing to put the whole thing on a card.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by livesoft » Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:57 am

I asked the car seller what their limit to put on a credit card was, so I put that amount of $5K on a card. The rest was financed with a 0% loan.
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gac1979
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by gac1979 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:09 pm

I put $8,000 on a credit card at a luxury dealer toward purchase price. Paid the rest in cash.

arf30
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by arf30 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:12 pm

I called around last time we bought a car and the most anyone would accept on a card was 3k.

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JoMoney
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by JoMoney » Tue Jan 08, 2019 12:37 pm

I found a used car dealer who once grudgingly allowed me to pay for $5,000, a little over half the value of a car, with a rewards credit card.
Most car dealers will not. "Hertz Car Sales", that sells their inventory of prior rental cars, will allow you to rent a car for 3 days on a credit card and credit that towards the purchase price, but the balance has to be paid by cashiers check, wire, or financed through them... It shouldn't be that surprising, as not only are credit card transactions an additional expense, but many/most car dealers earn a big chunk of money through originating the financing (and often selling the paper off).
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runner3081
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by runner3081 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:02 pm

It all depends, I paid for a car, entirely with a $5k CC transaction once.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by tchoupitoulas » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:12 pm

I paid $3k on my credit card for each of the two cars we own. Paid the rest by check. In both cases the dealer wouldn't let me pay more than $3k on the credit card (would have loved to put the whole thing on there).

PatrickA5
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by PatrickA5 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:40 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:32 am
It would be very rare for any dealer to accept a credit card. I've often paid my first payment at vehicle pickup with my credit card (plus tax, title), but all dealers have refused me the ability to buy the entire vehicle with a credit card.

On a separate note, make sure you're not short-changing yourself. Some vehicle manufacturers offer rebates for financing with their captive finance company (i.e. Ford Credit). To maximize the rebate, you take the regular, non-discounted rate (currently 5.9% I believe), accept the additional rebate (dealer puts in in the numbers), and then pay off the loan days later.

To answer the anticipated questions:

1) No, there is no penalty for paying off the loan early.

2) No, the Ford dealer doesn't have to then pay the rebate from their own pocket. The Ford dealer does lose an incentive that they would have received if you had waited 3 payments before paying off the loan.

This additional rebate could be as little as $500 or as much as $1,500 - $2,000. Nice change for little work.
The last 3 cars I've bought (all new) allowed only $3K on a credit card (which I did). Two of the three were offering $1,000 rebates if we financed. They absolutely would not take that amount off the price - believe me I tried. The first one I waited the 3 months and paid it off. The second one I waited until I could get an online account set up and paid it off immediately. I paid a grand total of $3.76 interest. I'm not all that concerned if the dealership lost anything by me paying it off early.

RickBoglehead
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by RickBoglehead » Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:43 pm

PatrickA5 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:40 pm
Two of the three were offering $1,000 rebates if we financed. They absolutely would not take that amount off the price - believe me I tried. The first one I waited the 3 months and paid it off. The second one I waited until I could get an online account set up and paid it off immediately. I paid a grand total of $3.76 interest. I'm not all that concerned if the dealership lost anything by me paying it off early.
The $1,000 rebate is a reduction off the price. If you mean they wouldn't give you the rebate if you didn't finance, yes, that's correct.

ZinCO
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by ZinCO » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:03 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:43 pm
PatrickA5 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:40 pm
Two of the three were offering $1,000 rebates if we financed. They absolutely would not take that amount off the price - believe me I tried. The first one I waited the 3 months and paid it off. The second one I waited until I could get an online account set up and paid it off immediately. I paid a grand total of $3.76 interest. I'm not all that concerned if the dealership lost anything by me paying it off early.
The $1,000 rebate is a reduction off the price. If you mean they wouldn't give you the rebate if you didn't finance, yes, that's correct.
Sometimes the rebate actually comes from the captive finance arm of the automaker, so no surprise you couldn't get the same rebate for a cash purchase. That's what I ran into with the single-pay lease I referenced above, but I was happy to take their money for a lease that cost me less than paying cash (the rebate amounted to 6% of MSRP, or far above any interest I was charged on the residual).

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by PatrickA5 » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:07 pm

RickBoglehead wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:43 pm
PatrickA5 wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 1:40 pm
Two of the three were offering $1,000 rebates if we financed. They absolutely would not take that amount off the price - believe me I tried. The first one I waited the 3 months and paid it off. The second one I waited until I could get an online account set up and paid it off immediately. I paid a grand total of $3.76 interest. I'm not all that concerned if the dealership lost anything by me paying it off early.
The $1,000 rebate is a reduction off the price. If you mean they wouldn't give you the rebate if you didn't finance, yes, that's correct.
Yep, that's what I meant. Wouldn't give me the rebate without financing.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Jeep4Life » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:11 pm

Once we used one of the "checks" that come from the CC company for balance transfers. The dealer tried to refuse, but they backed down and accepted the check when I said I would walk away from the deal otherwise. Paid it off at the end of the billing cycle, but still got the points on the CC for the amount of the car purchase.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by F150HD » Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:26 pm

blackcat allie wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:28 am
For paying at “cash” at auto dealer -- has anyone used a regular credit card and then paid it same cycle? It would give credit card rewards, not sure though about any extra purchase protections. I suppose bank check is more common method. wondering if anyone has used a credit card or a smarter strategy.

My trusty Camry has met an untimely demise at the hands of a rear-ending 19 year old. :oops: So it’s time to buy a new used car. Trying to strategize. Thanks in advance. The original plan was to Drive It Until the Wheels Fall Off.

Any other suggestions or strategies for paying cash at dealer? Thanks
Yes, I did in January 2018, funny I got rear ended too that was why I was buying one!

It was for a used, low milage Toyota Yaris, for $7-8k. They had no issue w/ it whatsoever. It was an actual Toyota Dealership.
I don't typically buy vehicles at Dealers, but the price was fair, it was in superior condition, and it only had around 50k miles on it. Great gas mileage.

I did send a message to my CC company telling them to expect the huge purchase (so they didn't think it was fraud and shut my card off), and yes I earned 2% on it using Citi Double Cash.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by JBTX » Wed Jan 09, 2019 10:21 am

I just bought a 13k used and dealer let me put $10k on 2 credit cards. I was really surprised he let me do that. Once everything was done I told him (the finance guy) I was surprised he let me do that. He said he will probably take some flack from dealer management, but he will just say that is what took to get the money collected. I think I got lucky in that he mentioned he frequently played the credit card bonus game himself.

After price is negotiated, you could conceivably insist to the finance guy the only way you can make it work is to do $X on a credit card. That may or may not work. Depends on how hard you want to push it.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by goodenyou » Wed Jan 09, 2019 11:49 am

I bought a loaded Suburban with a credit card once (10 years ago). $65k. No dealer has let me put more than $5k of the cost since. I jut pay cash (check) now. I have had dealers beg me to finance cars in the past.
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by aerosurfer » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:08 pm

We bought a used minivan, still with factory warranty last spring, between trade in and cash I put 5k on the credit card. It's the most the dealer would accept. Still I'll take $50 back in the account

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by TonyDAntonio » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:15 pm

Just bought a 2018 Mazda 3 for cash, $18,100. I asked if I could put the purchase or part of it on a credit card. They said no. I wrote the check anyway.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Beehave » Wed Jan 09, 2019 12:31 pm

If you'll be driving until the wheels fall off, consider a new Camry (2018 or 2019) for two reasons:
1) Standard safety add-ons
2) Better fuel economy (check out http://www.fuelly.com/car/toyota/camry for a year-by-model-year comparison for the particular engine you are considering).

I've tried buying using a credit card (either not acceptable or accepted only for a small percentage).
I've tried buying by walking in and telling the salesperson I'll buy today with cash if I get my price (which is a percentage of MSRP).
This is highly successful in getting your price, but you can expect that they'll find a way to squeeze a couple of hundred bucks out of you at the end when you are actually paying with service fees for registration or whatever. Just budget for that and everyone walks away happy.

I've found that Toyota includes 2 years of free maintenance with new car purchase and then follows through afterward with service specials and coupons for oil changes/rotations etc. that have made dealer service less costly for me than I could get elsewhere and pretty close to (sometimes better than) the do-it-yourself price would be. While doing such a service they detected a defective battery before it failed and replaced it free of charge. So a new car purchase has benefits well-worth considering.

Good luck and best wishes.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by summit » Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:35 pm

We recently bought a new car and I paid for it 100% with a credit card, so it can definitely be done.

My strategy was this - I started by emailing every Honda dealership in the city asking what their best offer for the exact vehicle trim we wanted was. Once the replies came back, I contacted the lowest and asked if they would let me pay 100% with card. I treated the ability to pay in full with a card as a non-negotiable and would walk if they wouldn’t accept. They lowest dealer said no, so I contacted the second lowest dealer. Not only did they say I could pay with a card, they matched the lower price the other dealer had offered. Since this was all done via email, by the time I walked into the dealer I had the out the door price and permission to pay with CC in writing, and things went fairly quickly.

Then I paid the card off in-full before the statement closing date, so that our credit utilization ratio wouldn’t be super high, which can temporarily lower your credit score.

I do remember the finance guy at the dealership telling us that the reason they allowed the CC was because they are a large “volume dealer,” so perhaps you might have best luck if you contact the larger dealerships in your area.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Vernn » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:14 pm

I bought a car recently form an AutoNation dealership. They allowed and even suggested the first $5,000 could go on a credit card and I paid the rest with a personal check. There was no problem at all.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Helo80 » Wed Jan 09, 2019 5:18 pm

As others have mentioned, yes it's possible. The most I have ever been allowed though is $5000 at two different dealerships. I have heard of people outright buying cars on their AMEX business cards, but most dealerships will not let you do that.

Realize that part of the credit card points you earn are also from merchant fees which can get hefty in the multi-thousand dollar ranges. That's also why some speculate that there's an artificial 2% bump on consumer goods now because retailers pass the merchant fees onto consumers whether it's transparent or not.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by MathWizard » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:48 pm

I was able to put $3K on a CC for a $23K vehicle.
I think they knew I might walk, as I had told them that I did not want to finance
when I came in. I wasn't trying to do it for the points, I just didn't have the cash in hand.

We took a trip to Europe to celebrate our 35th Anniv. and the fact that the last child as now out of college
and we no longer had any debt. Just after returning we found that one vehicle needed
extensive repairs, so we decided replacement was the better option.

We were a bit over what we had on hand, but the car was a better deal than what we
had been planning on. We paid off the card the next month.

Starfish
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Starfish » Thu Jan 10, 2019 4:56 pm

Credit cards have fees, no dealer would accept to pay several percents from the cars price if you negotiated the car well. If they accept is because they overcharge you.
For 2-3K down-payment is possible, I did it myself in the past. For the last 2 cars I took maximum credit possible, which was the full price plus taxes and fees (0 down) if I remember correctly.

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by pennywise » Thu Jan 10, 2019 5:20 pm

stoptothink wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:36 am
I've purchased 3 of the 4 cars I've owned in cash, the most any dealer has ever let me put on a credit card was $3K.
+1 My experience has been that car dealers have a limit on how much of the purchase price you can charge to a card; I presume it has to do with their usage charges to the issuing company.

I always put the max I can on the credit card and write a check for the rest.

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blackcat allie
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by blackcat allie » Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:56 pm

I am so grateful for all of your responses and input.

One procedural question, please
summit wrote:
Wed Jan 09, 2019 4:35 pm
We recently bought a new car and I paid for it 100% with a credit card, so it can definitely be done.

My strategy was this - I started by emailing every Honda dealership in the city asking what their best offer for the exact vehicle trim we wanted was. Once the replies came back, I contacted the lowest and asked if they would let me pay 100% with card. I treated the ability to pay in full with a card as a non-negotiable and would walk if they wouldn’t accept. They lowest dealer said no, so I contacted the second lowest dealer. Not only did they say I could pay with a card, they matched the lower price the other dealer had offered. Since this was all done via email, by the time I walked into the dealer I had the out the door price and permission to pay with CC in writing, and things went fairly quickly.
When you narrowed it down to exact trim and got email bids, did it get complicated with color choice -- or were you willing to take whatever they offered?

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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by whodidntante » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:04 pm

Jeep4Life wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 2:11 pm
Once we used one of the "checks" that come from the CC company for balance transfers. The dealer tried to refuse, but they backed down and accepted the check when I said I would walk away from the deal otherwise. Paid it off at the end of the billing cycle, but still got the points on the CC for the amount of the car purchase.
Balance transfers don't earn points unless you got a targeted offer for that.

LarryAllen
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by LarryAllen » Thu Jan 10, 2019 7:08 pm

Rupert wrote:
Tue Jan 08, 2019 10:30 am
Many/most dealers won't accept credit cards. Some won't even accept personal checks and require a cashier's check. So you need to ask the dealer you're working with what they will accept.
In California I have never had a dealer tell me no. In recent years they typically try to cap it at $3,500 but last car I was able to do $10k in a last second negotiation add on by me. I figured at 2.5% back it was worth it. Sure, I understand they are paying more than 2% and that's factored into the deal, but once you have negotiated the best deal you can that's one way to get a few more bucks back.

summit
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by summit » Thu Jan 10, 2019 10:10 pm

blackcat allie wrote:
Thu Jan 10, 2019 6:56 pm
When you narrowed it down to exact trim and got email bids, did it get complicated with color choice -- or were you willing to take whatever they offered?
We were flexible on color and didn’t specifically request anything, but when we got to the lot they had enough choices we were able to get one we liked. (They didn’t have our top pick, but no biggie, we are happy with our second favorite color pick.)

wfrobinette
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by wfrobinette » Fri Jan 11, 2019 4:17 pm

If you want to use a CC for the whole deal, offer to pay full sticker. Probably would let you do it.

Quaestner
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Quaestner » Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:21 pm

While on vacation in RI, we went to a dealer just to do a test drive. Certainly no intention to buy. However, they ended up having the model we wanted (Prius Prime) which at that time no dealer in NM had for sale or would even order for us. Long story short, since we were from out of state and didn't have our usual financial documents/checks, they let us put the entire purchase over two credit cards. They also shipped the car to us as part of the deal. We got a discounted price since this model wasn't popular. Not the best deal, but better than I would have done in NM or CO. My point is that if there's no other way to make the sale other than credit cards, the dealer can find a way to get it done.

TimeMan
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by TimeMan » Sat Jan 12, 2019 1:36 am

I tried this last month for points on my daughter's car. They wouldn't do more than $3k. I instead wiped my debit card for $26k. The FI guy's face when it went through was priceless though.

Trism
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Trism » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:30 am

On our last car the dealer would take up to $5,000 on a credit card, so I put that amount on the Amex SPG and wrote a personal check for the balance. This was a Lexus dealer. We used the SPG points toward a reward stay at the Le Meridien in Barcelona.

BMW dealer took my aunt's personal check for the full purchase price, and so did the VW dealer.

Infiniti dealer before that took my personal check for the full purchase price.

Bouncing a check of an amount large enough to purchase a car is legally/criminally much more significant than bouncing a check for $66 to the electric company, and generally serves as a significant enough deterrent that accepting a personal check isn't a big risk for the dealer. I'm sure the risk is different at "buy here/pay here" and other types of outlets that deal mainly with sketchy customers and smaller dollar amounts.

The Infiniti dealer wanted to pull my credit for ID verification, even though I was paying in cash. I balked and offered to pull my own credit report in their presence, and they were fine with that. A nearby dealer had recently taken an $80,000 hit for accepting a fraudulent cashiers check and then the car disappeared, so the extra ID verification thing was a recently-added procedure.

AerialWombat
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by AerialWombat » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:40 am

I bought a 2016 Outback from a Subaru dealer about 7 months ago. Put the entire $24k on AmEx, no extra fee.

Points, baby! :)

Trism
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Trism » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:47 am

AerialWombat wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:40 am
I bought a 2016 Outback from a Subaru dealer about 7 months ago. Put the entire $24k on AmEx, no extra fee.

Points, baby! :)
Alternately you could have opened eight new credit cards and put $3k on each, for eight sign-up bonuses. But well played. :D

AerialWombat
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by AerialWombat » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:50 am

Trism wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:47 am
AerialWombat wrote:
Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:40 am
I bought a 2016 Outback from a Subaru dealer about 7 months ago. Put the entire $24k on AmEx, no extra fee.

Points, baby! :)
Alternately you could have opened eight new credit cards and put $3k on each, for eight sign-up bonuses. But well played. :D
I had already recently obtained all the cards with decent sign-up bonuses by that point. I’m now closing accounts. :)

Millennial
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Millennial » Sat Jan 12, 2019 7:52 am

With my first car purchase, dealer had a $2500 or $3k limit but when I went to pay I told them I really needed $5k on the card to "make it work" and they allowed it (Subaru). More recently buying a VW I paid with a personal check and the dealer wouldn't allow even a dollar on the CC. That dealer was a jerk though (had a deal in writing via email and they tried to back out several times). I think the no CC rule was one of several things they made up to try to get me to walk away.

Funancials
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Re: Paying "cash" for auto - possibly w regular credit card?

Post by Funancials » Sat Jan 12, 2019 9:42 am

We bought a Acura MDX for $33k with credit cards. The trick was swiping in multiple transactions. I think we ended up spreading it across 4-5 cards.

It probably earned us $500 (1.5%) and cost them $800-$1k (2.5%).

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