When you are buying online, it can feel like you have unlimited options of goods and services. When it comes to payment options, there are also many options to choose from. Credit cards, e-wallets such as PayPal and Google Checkout, bank transfers, cash on delivery, prepaid cards and the list goes on. In this blog post, let’s explore the credit card option when making purchases online.

While having and using a credit card is not for everyone, if you do choose this option, depending on your card, you may have added coverage in the event your items are not delivered or unauthorized transactions are charged to your card. If this happens to you, contact your credit card provider to see if you are eligible for a refund. These benefits can be useful but you still need to be savvy about how you use your credit card online. Here are 5 tips we want to share with you:

1: Consider having a designated credit card for online purchases

You may wish to have a credit card that’s only for online purchases. This would allow you to accurately track your online purchases (and returns) and ensure that there is no unauthorized use of your card. If you’re having issues with your online purchase, check out this page on our website – Problem with an online purchase? for more information.

Find out what currency is being used:
By law in BC, when you enter into a distance sales contract, companies are required to disclose the currency in which the amount owing is payable. If you don’t find out this important information, you could end up paying more than you want (including possible credit card currency exchange fees!)

2: Check your credit card statement frequently

Accessing an online statement may make it easier to check your usage frequently. If you notice that there is a charge you don’t remember or that seems different than the total price of an item, contact your credit card company right away.

3: Check the buyer protection

Does your credit card provide a buyer protection plan? Some credit cards may provide coverage for items purchased with a card if the item is damaged or stolen within a certain amount of days from the point of purchase. This is something you will want to check prior to getting or using the card.

4. Don’t store your card information on a website

Storing your card information on a computer may put you at risk of your information being compromised. When your computer asks to “remember” your site password or your card number, we suggest clicking “no”.

5: Know your limit

Online shopping can be fun but remember, you have to make payments later. Budget what you can afford. Credit cards may be an easier and more convenient way to shop, therefore overspending can be an issue. Set up a budget and practice tip #2, check your statement frequently to see where your spending is at.

Here are some real examples of fake online stores from Get Cyber Safe. If you have additional tips or budgeting tips, share your thoughts and ideas in the comments below!

November is Financial Literacy Month (FLM) and throughout the month, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada collaborates with various organizations to promote financial literacy for Canadians of all ages. To support this initiative, we are featuring online shopping tips on our blog to help you stay savvy.


Our top 5 tips for online shopping
How to request a refund from your credit card provider
Are you liable for charges on a lost or stolen credit card?