The internet is host to hundreds of different promotions, sweepstakes, and free giveaways. You have a chance to enter for just about everything. Free vacations, free gift cards, and free products are among the most common types of online promotions.
Who does not like to get free things? What many of us do not like is the “fine print” or hidden costs with promotions. The one tip you need to know for coming out on top when entering any online promotion is to use a prepaid credit card.
Not all online sweeps and promotions are scams, but do you really want to take that chance with your credit? Prepaid credit cards are great because you have total control. You can decide how much you want on the card at any given time.
A good rule of thumb is to keep the balance on your card low (money can be added at anytime so that is not an issue). Its similar in theory to going to the casino; only take with you what you are willing to lose. By keeping the balance low you are protecting yourself from possible fraudulent activity.
The most common thing that happens results from you ordering a free sample product. The company will tell you something along the lines that you just need to pay $.99 for shipping.
What you do not realize at the time though is you are usually sighing up and agreeing to receive that same free product on a monthly basis for hundreds of dollars. Companies love to draw you in with these “free samples.”
Another common happening is when a company has you sign up for their service in order to receive the free sample but promises you that if you cancel your account within 14 days then your credit card will not be charged.
Some how our 14 days and the companies 14 days never seem to align with one another. By using your prepaid credit card and keeping the balance low you are protecting yourself from this happening to you. Let them go ahead and charge your card; it will be declined.
There are more legitimate promotions out there that do use your credit card just for verification purposes. It is not uncommon for a company to charge your card a dollar to verify that you are the owner and your addresses matches what you have submitted. The dollar charge is usually refunded. If you avidly enter sweepstakes or promotions that results in a lot of companies knowing your information.
If you use the prepaid credit card in this situation you do not have to worry about a hundred different companies having access to your account. You do not need to worry about any unauthorized charges and with the prepaid credit card you do not need to hesitate when giving out information over the phone.
When doing anything online there is always a chance for your information to end up in the wrong hands. Using a prepaid credit card, as opposed to your checking account card or a credit card with a higher limit, just protects yourself if your information does end up in the wrong hands. Enter online promotions and sweepstakes with confidence.