How to order online without a credit card

By Matt Mayerle
Modified on May 9, 2023
how to order online without a credit card

Shopping online is a convenient way to get the things you need without spending time in the stores. But despite the ease of online shopping, many people are still wary of credit card fraud and personal identity theft. In this blog, we’ll talk about how to order online without a credit card.

It’s a common misconception to think that the only way to shop online is with a credit card. In reality, there are other ways to make online purchases that are just as easy as using a credit card. And in some cases, these alternatives may be safer.

Let’s take a look at how you can shop online without using a credit card. 

Use a Debit Card 

A debit card is an online payment alternative that allows you to access the money in your checking account. It is a plastic card linked to your bank or credit union checking account, often resembling a credit card. Thus, debit cards are also known as money cards or check cards.  

Debit cards are one of the most widely used forms of payment; by 2022, there will be an estimated 17 billion debit cards in use around the globe. Debit cards are usually accepted wherever credit cards can be used.

The spending power of your debit card depends on the size of your checking account. Think of a debit card as a credit card with a max limit equal to your checking account balance. If you try to “run” a debit card for the money you don’t have in your account, the transaction will be denied. 

A debit card is the best option to shop online without a credit card because both cards can be used the same way. Some can even be set up to authorize purchases even if you don’t have the money to cover them. However, those overdrafts are usually subject to hefty fees. 

Gift Cards

A gift card is another way to spend money online without a credit card. Gift Cards are a form of prepaid card that you can load with cash to use at retail stores, restaurants, and other businesses. 

There are two types of gift cards—open-loop and closed-loop. 

Have you ever received a gift card that looks exactly like a major credit card? That is an open-loop gift card. It can be used wherever that credit card is accepted. So, for example, if you have a $50 Gift Card with a Mastercard logo on it, you can use it like a Mastercard credit card. 

A closed-loop credit card keeps your spending ability limited to specific retailers or locations. For example, a $100 gift card from Sam’s Flower Shop would only be redeemable for items inside Sam’s Flower Shop.

Use Your Checking Account 

You can avoid using a credit card online if your merchant accepts payments. To use this option, you will need to provide two pieces of information: 

Routing number- a number that identifies the financial institution that holds your account. Every bank or credit union has one. 

Account number – the number that identifies a specific account that is holding your money. 

If you don’t know where to find these numbers, grab your checkbook. The routing number is usually in the lower left-hand corner of any check. Likewise, you can find your account number in the lower right-hand corner. 

Paying with a check online can be as quick and convenient as a credit card. When your payment is approved, the money is withdrawn from your checking account immediately. Any suspicious activity or fraudulent charges would be investigated by your bank and refunded or declined. 

Additionally, paying online with a check provides some increased security. Your routing and account numbers give the most crucial information about your money—who owns it and where it is. However, one number is no good without the other. Therefore, even if your account number were compromised or stolen, it would only be valuable with the routing number. 

Check your merchant’s payment options to see if paying directly from your checking account.

Shop Amazon 

Amazon is one of the biggest, most successful online retailers that has ever existed. One of their main reasons for that success is their willingness to make their goods as accessible as possible. To that end, Amazon has many ways you can still pay for their products.  

Pay With Check (sort of) 

Your checking account information can be added to your account as a payment method like a credit card. 

Amazon Pay

Amazon Pay is a service similar to PayPal that allows you to spend securely. Users can make purchases and donations using payment methods associated with their Amazon accounts. Amazon Pay is also an accepted payment method on some non-Amazon websites. 

Pay With Cash

Amazon can also accept payments in cash! When you place your order, select the PayCode option. You will then have 24 hours to pay for your order at a Western Union location near you. 

Shop Online With A Digital Wallet

A digital wallet is a service that allows you to pay for things using your phone. Digital wallets are accessed with mobile or desktop app. This wallet also contains several other items such as a driver’s license, gift cards, entertainment passes, and transportation. A digital wallet is not just a way to make transactions more secure and convenient. It can also offer you peace of mind by providing you with the ability to protect your sensitive data anywhere, at any time.

Peer-to-Peer Payment Apps 

Don’t worry if you are unsure about sending your credit card or banking information to anyone online. There’s an app—or two—for that. 

Peer-to-peer payment services create apps that allow you to send and receive money without sharing your information with anyone. 

Here are a few of the most popular peer-to-peer payment apps: 


PayPal was one of the first apps of its kind and has remained the most widely used payment alternative. In addition to being a payment method, your can also Paypal to transfer money between users.


Zelle is a service that can be set up through your bank. Just like Paypal, Zelle users can send money to others just by exchanging usernames. 

Cash App

Cash App is a money transfer service that provides users with a debit card connected to their balance. Money can also be loaded directly from your bank account onto the card. 

It’s important to note that these apps come with service fees for withdrawing or transferring funds. In addition, costs and usage rules vary depending on the app, so be sure to pick the one that works best for you. 

Use Cryptocurrencies 

Have you heard about cryptocurrencies? Yep, I bet you have. 

Do you understand how cryptocurrency works? If the answer is no, that’s okay; you’re not alone! Let’s start with the basics. 

In its broadest sense, cryptocurrency is a piece of data that is exchanged for goods and services. Individuals own amounts of cryptocurrencies (usually referred to as “coins”). These coins are verified through a blockchain—a network of digital ledgers verification methods. Unlike real money, cryptocurrency is decentralized—it is not backed by gold, silver, or the federal government. Instead, it is only as valuable as the confidence users put into it. That means virtually any person or entity can create a cryptocurrency. That is, of course, with the help of some very skilled data scientists!

While a growing number of merchants accept cryptocurrency, it can fluctuate in value overnight. Additionally, it is so new that the government is scrambling to catch up and create regulations. Therefore, if you find something online that accepts cryptocurrency, you should buy it as soon as you can. 

How To Shop Online Safely – With Or Without a Credit Card

Many people are wary of online credit card usage because of the security risks. The era of online shopping and credit card transactions has generally been a safe one, but that’s not to say there are no risks at all. However, there are ways you can shop smart and make it harder for thieves to access your information and commit credit card fraud.

Use a Secure Connection

You can stay safe from malware or other cyber threats when you shop online using your device and a private WiFi connection. You might also want to subscribe to a virtual private network, or VPN, which will help protect you against various cyber threats while you’re browsing the internet.

Customers these days are looking for convenience and speed when browsing the internet. Moreover, they want to purchase goods either on their smartphones or tablets while they’re out or at home without a need to enter personal details. This is why e-commerce websites have started focusing on providing secure connections for customers and allowing shoppers to remain anonymous while making a purchase. 

Research The Merchant Website 

It is common for people to receive an email with a link to a website and automatically start shopping. However, this can be dangerous because the site might not be secure. Clicking through on the link could result in you transferring malware into your computer or offloading your payment details onto a scammer’s server. In addition, fraudsters try to camouflage their email address and domain name to appear like they are an official company. So, even if it looks like an email or offer for a big, well-known company, visit the company’s website through your browser. Type in the website address yourself, or look them up with your search engine.  

Add Security Features To Your Debit or Credit Cards

Whether you decide to use your credit or debit card, both options have security options to increase your protection. Opportunities vary depending on your financial institution, but some of the most common options are the best. They include: 

Two-factor authentication: in addition to your account and password, two-factor authentication makes it necessary to verify a user’s identity. Typically, a code will be sent via text or email that, when entered, will grant full access to your money. 

Account Alerts: most banks and credit unions offer mobile alerts or daily emails to provide balances and alert you whenever a purchase is made. Some services even require your text response to approve the purchase. 


With these new developments in the retail industry, you can shop online almost anywhere online without a credit card. However, each option has its pros and cons that depend on the individual and their level of financial responsibility.  

But no matter what option you choose, it is critical to remember that these payment options are not credit lines. Instead, each option is a way for you to handle your actual money. So be sure that you only spend as much as you have available in your bank account. 

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