Avoid getting overcharged online - prepaid credit cards

by Shelley Smith
(Portland, OR, USA)

The post about Dazzle White motivated me to share this tip. I've been the victim of online companies overcharging my credit card in the past, usually in connection with so-called 'free' trial offers. The way I protect myself is that I never use my real credit card to sign up. I keep a VISA card (from Money Mart) that works like a credit card, but you need to pre-load money into the account (you can't spend more than you load on the card). I make sure there's just a tiny balance available before I sign up - that way if they try to over charge me, the purchase doesn't get authorized and I know that I'm dealing with a shady merchant.

It takes a bit of planning, but the worst problem I ever had was that I had to report a card as lost/stolen and pay $10 to get a new one with a different number - way better than trying to sort out an ongoing problem with thieves accessing my real credit card.

Hope that helps.

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