You may want to think twice before doing this.
- Amazon accounts for 56.7% of all ecommerce sales in the United States in 2021.
- Credit cards themselves are highly secure, offering no liability fraud protection for the cardholder.
- If you store your card info on Amazon, you may be leaving yourself open to scammers, hackers, or even just your own impulse shopping habits.
Amazon is a hugely popular way to shop — in fact, Zippia research found that by 2021, Amazon accounted for 56.7% of all ecommerce sales in the US. That represents net sales revenue of $469.82 billion. With numbers like these, it’s a fair bet that many Amazon shoppers are heavily using Amazon’s “Buy Now” button. But using this feature means keeping your credit card on file in your Amazon account. Is this a good idea? Let’s see how you can spend more than you want — or even fall victim to scammers.
Credit cards are a very secure form of payment
First things first: The credit card itself is generally the safest way to pay for purchases, especially on the internet. Especially, when you pay by credit card, your own money in your bank account is not linked. Instead, you use money borrowed from your credit card issuer through your line of credit, and then pay it back.
The best credit cards for online shopping add another layer of security in the form of liability protection if someone uses your credit card to make unauthorized charges. If you the card or information is stolenYou will still need to take action to report the theft to your card issuer, but generally you are not responsible for any fraudulent charges made. Debit cards don’t offer this level of protection, so it’s generally better to choose to use a credit card when you shop online. Unfortunately, there are still some risks of storing your credit card info on websites like Amazon.
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The risk of storing your credit card info on a website
Scammers and hackers are always innovating new ways to steal our financial data. While storing your card info on ecommerce websites makes it very easy for you to use, if the site suffers a security breach, your credit card info will also be available to fraudsters. While this kind of problem seems unlikely for a large company like Amazon, it has been known to happen. For example, nearly a decade ago, Target was compromised in a cyber attack that affected 41 million customers.
Another threat to your credit card is closer to home. We’ve all heard the hilarious viral story on social media about how someone’s little kid ordered several thousand dollars worth of items through their parents’ Amazon Alexa device or Amazon app. If you don’t store credit card info on Amazon, the order won’t be fulfilled.
You may also want to build some barriers for your own spending habits if they tend to get you into trouble. Amazon has become the go-to for many people for everyday purchases, but it’s so easy to order something you don’t need and be surprised when you see your credit card statement. It can be a pain to search your wallet every time you want to replenish your supply of paper towels, but it can save you from a ridiculous $20 impulse order. After all, those ridiculous orders can add up.
There are several things you can do to help ensure that your credit card information is secure when you use it for online shopping. Consider the following:
- Don’t shop on public wifi: Public wifi is, by definition, open to the public, and an easy target for hackers. Shop at home on your private (and password protected) wifi network.
- Use strong passwords (and change them regularly): Even if Amazon itself isn’t the victim of a security breach, your own account could be compromised if someone manages to get hold of your password.
- Rely on the virtual card number: Some credit cards generate virtual credit card numbers for use online. This keeps your actual credit card information safe.
With all of this in mind, you may want to remove your credit card info from Amazon. While it would be inconvenient to shop if you had to keep track of your credit card every time you made a purchase, it’s probably the safest option.
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