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I never had a credit card and never needed one (I prefer other payment methods because of convinience and risks/fraud). But many services, even free online services, request for a credit card (according to them as a prove that you are a human and not a bot). Recently I discovered my bank offers prepaid credit cards from Visa/Mastercard for about 10-20€ with no annual fee.

Will it be accepted by those services too or are there differences between the different kinds of credit cards if I don't intend to buy anything with it?

  • What other payment method do you prefer over a credit card that carries less risk to you? – quid Jul 15 '16 at 17:35
  • @quid I mostly buy/order at local shops where I pay cash and get discounts for being frequent customer. If there is no (or only expensive) shop near I use Cash on delivery or seldom Advance payment (only for very reputable online shops when not other possible; about once a year). Sometimes my friend orders for me via PayPal. At least in my country most online shops accept Cash on delivery for no or little extra price. – H. Idden Jul 15 '16 at 17:53
  • Because of local laws it's hard for shops to charge different prices for different payment methods. So I never had the need for a credit card. – H. Idden Jul 15 '16 at 17:56
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You have to distinguish between debit cards and credit cards. All cards are part of a specific payment network. There exist for example Visa/MasterCard, American Express and Discover, just to name a few. All of these cards are accepted everywhere where this specific payment network is accepted. For example if you see a visa logo you can pay at this location with your Visa card no matter which bank issued you the card.

The difference between prepaid/debit and credit cards is, that these cards have limits. For the first category it's the funds in your bank account/the amount you put on it and for the second, CC, it is a limit based on your income and creditworthiness. Normally this makes no difference. But if you would rent a car or book a hotel room they normally secure some amount on your card. For prepaid/debit cards you have to have the money to pay for your hotel room and the deposit. For a real credit card your limit just has to exceed the deposit and you're fine.

Keep also in mind, that you are not building credit history with a prepaid card.

  • Are you sure that debit and prepaid credit cards are the same? As far as I heard, debit cards are linked to your bank account. Prepaid credit cards are not connected to any account but you pay for example 25€ for the card and can only spend for example 20€. – H. Idden Jul 16 '16 at 12:14
  • Yes you are completely right. They are not the same but they share some properties. These are for example the one I mentioned above. – Freddy Jul 16 '16 at 15:58
  • After some research I found out that it seems not completely true that they are accepted the same. support.google.com/cloud/answer/6293589?hl=en and feedback.azure.com/forums/170030-signup-and-billing/suggestions/… for example – H. Idden Jul 19 '16 at 8:07
  • Ok. You are referring to subscription models where you use a service and you are billed afterwards. I was not aware of that fact but it seems plausible, that they want to make sure that their invoices are paid. For one time purchases, they should be accepted equally. – Freddy Jul 19 '16 at 16:44

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