Credit Cards and Debit Cards - Privacy Tips and Tricks

(Archived in: Personal Privacy, Privacy Tips and Tricks)

Try to avoid using credit cards altogether, but carry one or two for emergency use. Charge cards like the American Express Card are a better alternative to credit cards that have high monthly carrying charges and late charge fees associated with them. Never use charge cards, bank debit cards, or revolving credit charge cards for personal identification. Never allow merchants to write down card identification numbers on other instruments like on the face, or back of checks.

Use debit cards and credit cards in the name of a business. Business debit/credit cards do not necessarily have to have your name imprinted. Most credit cards can be processed as a credit card. Be careful to guard PINs (Personal; Identification Number), as debit cards are not protected against fraudulent transactions, or by the same liability limits as credit cards. In effect, debit cards are like using cash and debit your account immediately. Virtual Online Credit Cards are also an option (including PayPal and other online payment systems).

Consider using prepaid or "stored value" debit cards like NetSpend, Travelex Cards, or the AAA Cash Passport Card, that are not tied to a business or personal bank account. These are becoming more popular worldwide and often have anonymous features, using only an account number with no imprinted personal information.

Finally, one foolproof way to secure your cards is to not sign the "Signature Strip" on the back, but rather print "See I.D", forcing merchants to ask to verify identification (I use a passport).

Living The Sovereign Life and Financial Freedom

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