How to Make Online Purchases Without a Credit Card
There are some instances when you want to purchase something online, but you either don't have a credit card or you prefer to not use your credit card online. Fortunately, online sellers want your business, so they have provided a number of ways for you to be able to make purchases online without having to use a credit card.
How to Use PayPal for Online Purchases
PayPal allows you to link your credit cards, debit cards and bank accounts to your PayPal account and then make purchases by simply using your e-mail and password. When you make purchases with PayPal, the seller does not collect your financial information.
Once your sign up for a PayPal account, it can be a simple way to make purchases online. Many sellers and retailers accept PayPal as a form of payment. When you go to checkout, you click on the checkout with PayPal option and you'll be sent to PayPal's secure server to complete the checkout process. Some sellers even provide discounts if you pay through PayPal.
What Is Bill Me Later?
Many online sellers provide a Bill Me Later option. If this option is available, you will usually see it after you enter in your shipping info but before you have to enter in any credit card information.
If you select the Bill Me Later option, you complete the purchase using your address, birth date and sometimes the last four digits of your Social Security Number. After you complete the purchase, you are sent a bill, usually within 30 days. Some sellers offer 6+ months of interest free financing through Bill Me Later. These offers may be subject to credit approval. Be sure to read the terms and conditions before completing your purchase, if this is the option you choose.
Using Gift Cards to Make Purchases Online
Gift cards are probably the closest option to cash when it comes to making purchases online. Many retail, grocery and drug stores now have Gift Card Shops, usually located at an end-cap near the front of the store, oftentimes by the card section. These gift card shops have tons of gift cards to choose from, frequently including retailers like Target, Amazon, and Home Depot. Usually, there are no fees associated with using gift cards.
To use your gift card online, continue to checkout like normal with your purchase. When you get to the payment section, you will see an option where you can enter in a gift card or promotional code.
Coinstar allows you to purchase gift cards from the deposited change if you wish. So, if you have some saved up extra change laying around, this might be a good option for you.
You can also purchase Visa/Amex gift cards and use them like you would a credit card.
Using Prepaid Cards Instead of Credit Cards for Making Purchases Online
Prepaid cards are cards that you can use as a debit or credit card. With prepaid cards, you load and reload money on your card as you go. Visa, Mastercard, American Express and many banks offer prepaid cards. Prepaid cards are a great alternative to debit or credit cards. The downside to prepaid cards is that many of them charge fees. Compare your options of prepaid cards before you choose one. You might be able to find a prepaid card that doesn't charge monthly or annual fees and doesn't require a credit check, like the Serve® card by American Express.
Bluebird is another convenient prepaid card that has just recently been released by American Express and Walmart. With Bluebird, you can deposit checks, pay bills, make purchases online, use ATMs and there are no monthly, annual, overdraft or minimum balance fees. Bluebird is an excellent alternative to a checking account or debit card.
Shop Online with Your Bank Account
Instead of using your debit or credit card, some sellers are able to deduct the purchase amount directly from your checking or saving account by using your bank's routing number and you account number.
If the seller you would like to purchase from has this option available, you will see it in the payment section during the checkout process. If you choose this option, you will be asked to enter a routing and account number. In the photo below you can see an example of how to find your routing and account numbers on a check.
Credit Card Alternatives with Amazon
Amazon has a number of alternatives to paying with a credit card. These alternatives include: gift cards, bank accounts, shop with points, Amazon Payments and Visa/American gift cards.
With Amazon Payments, you add money to your account with bank accounts associated to your Amazon Payments account. There are hundreds of merchants on the web that accept Amazon Payments beyond Amazon.com.
Fortunately, more and more online sellers are adding more options to help you make purchases online, even if you don't have or don't want to use a credit card.