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Anonymous Credit / Gift / Debit Cards

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credit cardWhen e-commerce, or online shopping, first became a popular venue in modern economy, many people (mainly the elderly) were wary of revealing personal data and credit card information online. What if an unscrupulous character hacked into the online store’s servers? Or what if the information was intercepted in the process of sending it to the merchant?

Today, online shopping is more prevalent then ever. “eBaying” is already part of everyday lingo. More and more people are trusting and relying on the Internet. But, there will always be those who will only pay in cash. Many of them as so cautious (or should I say suspicious) that they refuse to open a bank or credit card account.



In a way, I feel sorry for those people. They will never be able to get the best deals (most often found online) or ever experience the ease of buying online. Right? Well … not entirely true. This is because of anonymous pre-loaded (pre-paid) cards.

What are pre-loaded credit cards? They are just exactly what they should sound like. Essentially, they are gift cards with a MasterCard or Visa logo. Most of the time, you can find them at corner stores, CVS Pharmacies, and Walgreen’s. The pre-paid credit cards that I am aware of are WebSecret and GreenDot cards. From what I read, there are two catches:

  1. a monthly fee of about $10
  2. and a form. In this form, I believe that you have to list a name and address. So, in a way, these cards are not entirely anonymous. A name and address is a necessary for any online credit card transaction because the merchant always asks for a billing name and address that matches the one in the credit card company database. Though, if you want increase anonymity, I think you can just post a fake name and address for “Gift Recipient.”

Why would anybody want this? Like I said previously, there are people who only pay in cash. This is the closest they will ever get to using cash online. They are concerned about safety of their information. If someone gets a hold of the information or credit card, the max loss is the value loaded into the card. Another thing is a anonymity. People don’t like records to show that they’ve made those embarrassing purchases. Lastly, the only other reason I can think of is for gift cards. Traditional gift cards are normally accepted at one store. While all merchants universally accept these cards.

If you’re interested, visit your local CVS Pharmacy or Walgreen’s. Or just go to the WebSecret and GreenDot website.

Note: This will not improve or build your credit rating.

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Posted on Wednesday, January 11th, 2006

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