Whether it is because your credit card is at its maximum or you've decided to do as much of your shopping as possible without one, it is important to know how to shop online without a credit card. For many people the days of automatically reaching for their credit cards has come to a jarring halt. Instead, they are making wiser, more frugal decisions on how much they spend. When it comes to making purchases on the internet, it is possible to shop online without a credit card and still get the items you need and want, provided you have the ability to pay for it now and not later. Shopping online without a credit card frees you from the future burden of debt by forcing you to take ownership of how you shop.
What you'll need to shop online without a credit card:
- Checking account
- Gift card
- Visa or MasterCard gift card
- PayPal account
- Bank debit card
- Read the store payment policies. Every online store will have their payment policies listed. Before shopping online without a credit card, read each of these policies to determine if they only accept credit card payments or if they have other options that are available. If they do not, you'll want to skip them and seek another online store that does.
- Pay using an e-check. Some online stores have the option for you to make payments using an e-check. This is like making a payment using a paper check but is done electronically. To make an e-check, simply follow the instructions on entering your checking information.
- Buy a gift card. Many popular stories offer gift cards in their names. You can purchase these gift cards either in their brick and mortar locations and in some grocery or chain stores such as Walmart.
- Use a Visa gift card. These gift cards bear the Visa or MasterCard logo and can be purchased at a bank or certain retail locations. These cards can either be purchased at a pre-set amount or can be loaded with cash. These can be a little more expensive of an option because the actual purchase of the card is usually several dollars over the amount you are paying to use.
- Create a PayPal account. These days almost every online store, boutique or shop accepts PayPal payments. Because of its association with eBay, it is a highly trusted source for making payments and doesn't require that you own or use a credit card. After creating an account, you can shop online by transferring money from your banking account to the PayPal account.
- Use your debit card. If you have a banking account, you more than likely have a debit card that carries a Visa or MasterCard symbol. These debit cards can be used anywhere credit cards are accepted.
- Bill me later. When shopping online without a credit card, you will find that some stores offer a “Bill Me Later” option. This option lets you buy now by entering a date of birth and the last four numbers of your social security number. The company will then bill you at a later date.
Tips & Warnings:
- Use caution when using a debit card online. It is direct access to your banking account and does not have the same consumer protections in place that would normally be there if using a credit card.
- Treat your gift card as if it were cash on hand. If it is misplaced or stolen it can be used by anyone.
- Always check for the padlock symbol at the bottom of the page when making any online purchase with or without a credit card.
- Services such as "Bill Me Now" may periodically run a credit check.