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10 Ways to Pay Online Without Sharing Your Credit Card
Sharing your personal information online is like rolling the dice in Las Vegas. Sometimes it works out and other times it'll take everything you have. Hackers and cybercriminals scour the internet looking for personal data. To secure yours, use masked emails and make online payments without sharing your personal credit card information.
Fortunately, there are smarter ways to pay online without risking credit card fraud. In this guide, you'll learn about alternative payment methods like virtual cards that keep your personal data secure.
Read on to learn how to buy things online without a credit card.
Use a Masked Credit Card to securely shop
Masked credit cards, also known as virtual credit cards, allow you to make purchases without ever disclosing your real credit card information. A payment service provider issues a virtual card complete with a unique card number and security code. The virtual card is untraceable to your original information.
Why is it called a masked credit card?
The “masked” term refers to the fact that these credit cards hide your credit card information. Your real credit card funds the masked card so you can shop online easily without risking your credit card information getting stolen.
IronVest offers masked credit cards, or single-use virtual cards, that you can have up and running in minutes. Not only will you get masked credit cards, but you'll also gain access to a number of other data-masking security services.
- Allows you to use your regular credit card account
- No fees when you fund with your bank account through secure ACH
- Stores your information on a decentralized network so hackers can't access it
- Only works online or other contactless payment portals
Pay with an online payment company
As consumers regularly go online to shop for goods and services, digital wallets are one of the most popular online payment methods. Payment companies like Google Pay, Apple Pay, and PayPal allow consumers to make purchases at an array of merchants without revealing credit card information.
To create an account with an online payment company, you'll need a name, email address, and bank account information. Payment systems need to verify your identity so remaining completely anonymous is difficult. Keep in mind that while other merchants won’t have access to your credit card information, the payment company you select will.
- Using a reputable service
- Not available on every site
- Some vendors are not as reputable as others
- Leaves you open to company security breaches
- Platforms come with payment restrictions
- Includes service fees for specific types of payment
Utilize gift cards
Purchasing an online gift card and then using that for online payments is another popular way to pay without having to share your credit card information. Most major stores offer these types of cards which can be purchased in-store or online and then used for purchases on their website.
- Completely anonymous
- Payments are immediate
- Not always accepted
- Can be a hassle to do this repeatedly
Leverage Buy Now, Pay Later tools
Many modern services now offer a financing payment option in which users pay a small amount of the total price upfront and pay off the balance at a later time. Affirm and Klarna are just a couple of companies starting to offer these types of payments.
- Shop from many retailers without upfront payment
Adds debt to your financial circumstance
- Tools are susceptible to security breaches
- Limited terms available for payment
Understand that buy now, pay later tools are not immune to data breaches. Klarna, for example, suffered a data breach that affected almost 10,000 users.
Prepaid debit card
Just like with prepaid gift cards, prepaid debit cards can be used for online purchases. Prepaid debit cards are issued by banks and other financial institutions, but you're not borrowing money from them.
Instead, when you make a purchase, you're spending your own money that you've already loaded onto the card. Be sure to pass on reloadable debit cards since these will require more personal information and will defeat the purpose of remaining anonymous.
- You're able to use this card both online and offline
- Depending on what type of card you get, you may have to enter personal information
- Hassle to set up
Use a Paysafecard
Similar to prepaid cards, a Paysafecard is a cash voucher that is distributed by vendors. To keep your personal data hidden, you'll want to pay for these with cash and preload the card with a specific denomination like $10, $20, $50, and $100. You can even link up multiple cards to pay for larger purchases. There is no way for anyone to trace the Paysafecard back to you as long as you paid for it with cash.
- Completely anonymous payment method
- Limited number of vendors accept a Paysafecard
- Inferior customer support
- Non-transparent fee structure
As long as you have your mobile device with you, the Cash App provides a secure way to make your online payments. Instead of displaying your personal information, Cash App uses the tag name that you create when you sign up for the platform.
This means that when you send anyone a payment online only your tag name will show. While others can't see your information, Cash App can.
- No personal data is shared through the app
- Restrictive daily spending limits
- Susceptible to security breaches
Next on the list of alternative payment methods is Zelle, a peer-to-peer platform backed by some of the nation’s largest banks. Zelle allows a user to send and receive funds from friends, family, and others directly from their bank account.
Zelle is easy to use and boasts quick transaction times since there’s no need to wait for an ACH transfer. Once a payment is sent, it lands in the recipient’s bank account within minutes.
However, the platform is not without its flaws. Zelle fraud has become an issue for users as banks often fail to fully reimburse victims of scams on the platform. This means that Zelle works best when sending payments to those you know and trust.
- Transactions are encrypted
- Built into many banking apps
- Zelle fraud is on the rise as the platform is a common target for scammers
- Not ideal for sending money to people or companies you don’t know
Credit card rewards
Have lots of credit card points? You can cash in on these at select online stores. Certain online payment companies offer rewards transfer programs. Paypal’s Pay With Rewards Program, for example, lets online shoppers use rewards points to make purchases through the platform.
- Easy way to leverage rewards points on everyday purchases
- Payment providers offer better reward rates to certain cards over others
- Not all retailers allow you to hide credit card information when paying with rewards
If you’re saving up rewards points for a trip, you may not want to use this method. Fortunately, there are other ways to support retailers online and keep your credit card information hidden. Read on for more methods.
Use Google Pay
To use Google Pay, you’ll have to input a debit or credit card. But the platform utilizes tokenization to hide your card information from merchants. That way, your private information is not revealed to other parties as you make purchases.
Then, you'll want to fund the digital wallet using a virtual credit card number. You won't have to incur any processing fees or bank transfers using this method, making it one of the more cost-effective options on the list.
- Payment information is stored on your phone for easy access
- Time-consuming to set up
- Only available for contactless payments
- iPhone users can’t use it
Google Pay ensures that shoppers’ credit card information stays hidden from merchants using tokenization. This security measure replaces sensitive data like a credit card number with a replacement data set called a token. This way, your data stays safe while you shop.
Cryptocurrencies are a relatively new form of payment but they provide great features to remain hidden when making purchases online. Crypto is built using cryptography and decentralized user processing which means data is not stored in a centralized hub where breaches are common. The problem with crypto is how expensive it can be to purchase and the volatility of the markets.
- Known for its ability to keep your identity anonymous online
- Difficult to set up
- Not typically available offline
- Very susceptible to fraud
When you make a payment online using PayPal, only your email address and registered name will show. You can create an account using a fake email address and name to remain hidden when making payments. Just make sure to fund the account using a virtual card number.
- Widely accepted online
- Large brand presence
- Won't be as anonymous as other methods
- Exposes your email address - no privacy
While PayPal is a popular choice, it does not provide airtight security. In December of 2022, PayPal reported that hackers entered the platform, accessing the data of 35,000 users.
Alternative online payment FAQs
Can you pay online with cash?
There is no way to take physical cash and pay for any product or service online. Some online businesses like food service providers accept payment on delivery, but not all merchants accept this option.
However, you can load cash onto a digital card in order to make payments online. Amazon Cash allows you to visit select stores and load a balance onto your account. Paysafecards are another option that allows shoppers to purchase cards with cash and use them online.
What payment apps don't require a bank account?
Companies that don't require a bank account to open include Cash App, Western Union, Venmo, and PayPal. You can use a prepaid debit card or link your bank account information to the account to receive and make payments.
What are safe online payment methods to use?
Some of the most secure payment methods include an ACH debit transfer, virtual credit cards, and eChecks. These payment methods include a number of safety features intended to keep your personal data secure.
A virtual credit card is becoming more popular for safe online use and is provided by security and financial companies. A virtual card is a temporary credit card number you can use for online payments and is untraceable from your original card number. With the IronVest security and privacy wallet, virtual credit cards can be created on-the-fly right from the browser.
Protect your payment information with IronVest
Secure your sensitive data from online hackers and cybercriminals using IronVest. Our masked credit cards are simple to use and secure so you can shop online while keeping your personal information hidden.
With masked credit cards, emails, and virtual phone numbers, IronVest provides the only all-in-one security and privacy wallet for secure shopping online. Explore our masked credit card service and never shop unprotected again.