Is Storing My Credit Card Online Safe?

Is Storing My Credit Card Online Safe?

June 24, 2019         Written By Bill Hardekopf

Whenever we make a purchase online, many of us are tempted to click the box that allows the retailer to store our credit card details. It can be inconvenient to enter your payment card details and address every time you purchase a product, particularly if you are one of the millions shopping on your mobile device. However, is it safe to store your credit card details online?

Generally speaking, your credit card information will be safely stored. Most legitimate retailers take precautions to ensure they are protecting their shoppers. However, not all online stores take security as seriously as they should. Before checking out or deciding to save your card information, make sure the web address begins with https (instead of http). This means Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure which signifies the transaction will be safe.

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Another thing to keep in mind is how much of your information the retailer will save. For example, with Banana Republic, even if you have saved your card information, you need to re-enter the three-digit CVV code found on the back of your card each time before you check out. If a hacker is able to log-in to your online shopping account, they will not be able to use your credit card information unless they have a physical copy of the card.

Amazon will only ask for the CVV code to complete your order with a stored credit card if you are shipping the purchase to a new address. Unless the hacker has a physical copy of your card, they will not be able to ship the purchased items anywhere other than addresses you have already saved to your account. While this is a good security method, it is not as safe as forcing users to enter their card details every time.

If you prefer the convenience of storing payment details with your favorite retailers, make sure to use a secure form of payment. Ideally, you would use a mobile wallet, such as Apple Pay or Android Pay to complete online transactions. Mobile wallets are safer for all purchases because your credit card information is not used to complete the transaction. Instead, a dynamic token is used to transmit payment information which is only good for a single transaction. If a hacker does somehow intercept the token, it will be useless to them.

Additionally, it is better to use a credit card for online transaction than a debit card. If a thief does steal your card details, a credit card company will reverse the charges immediately as they investigate the fraud. However, with a debit card, your bank will hold the funds until they complete their investigation, which can take up to ten business days. So if a criminal uses your credit card to make a $500 purchase, your credit card company would immediately negate this $500 transaction. However, if you used a debit card, your bank may take up to two weeks to get this $500 back into your account. Depending on your situation, this could wreak havoc with your finances.

So, is it safe to store your credit card online? The answer is usually yes, but you will want to take basic precautions to keep yourself safe.

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The information contained within this article was accurate as of June 24, 2019. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Bill Hardekopf

Bill Hardekopf is the CEO of and covers the credit card industry from all perspectives. Bill has been involved with personal finance for over 15 years. He is a frequent contributor to Forbes, The Street and The Christian Science Monitor.
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