Can you bail yourself out of jail with a credit card?

If you or a loved one is ever arrested, you might wonder, “Can you bail yourself out of jail with a credit card?”

This is a normal question to ask. Many people have multiple credit cards, which may have high credit limits. One or two of these credit cards might be able to make up the total bail amount, while your current savings account may not be able to do that.

However, depending on the city you’re arrested in, you may or may not be able to post bail with your credit cards. Very few institutions actually allow you to post bond with a credit card, and instead, they require a money order or cash. 

Keep Reading: What happens when you bail someone out of jail?

When can you post bail with a credit card?

If a credit card is your only option, you can seek out a bail bond agent instead. While not every bail bond agent will accept credit cards, many will. This has certainly changed over recent years, due to credit cards becoming a more normal and accepted means of payment.

Before this can happen, however, a bail bond agent may run a credit check and will likely require physical collateral on top of the bail bond fee payment.

There are some pros and cons to this. 

When you post bail with a bail bond agent, you’ll only be required to pay 10% of the total bail amount. This means that you’re more likely to be able to afford it. On top of this, many bail bond agents provide credit card payments and financing options. In other words, you can pay for the bond over time, instead of all at once. 

Keep in mind, though, this bond fee is never returned, while bail is returned. 

So let’s say that bail is $10,000 and you post bail directly to the court. When the court process is complete, the full $10,000 payment is returned to you in full. On the flip side of things, if you post bail through a bail bond agent and pay them a 10% fee of $1,000, you’ll never get that money back.

Keep Reading: Learn more about how to calculate the bail bond fee

Have more questions about the bail bond process?

We’ve got you covered. We provide bail bond services throughout Kern County, and we’d love to help. Reach out to us online with any questions or check out our additional resources below.