What type of cards are safer to pay online

Shopping online is very common nowadays. We have a wide range of options available to buy practically anything. There are countless online platforms and services. In addition, we may use different payment methods. Now, not all of them are equally safe. In this article we are going to talk about what types of cards are the most reliable when paying online. We will also talk about the most frequent scams when buying or paying online.

Increase in online commerce

What type of cards are safer to pay online

A few years ago the way we made purchases was very different. It is true that Internet commerce is not something new, but we have experienced an explosion in recent years. Especially there has been an increase in consumer confidence. If before there was some reluctance to buy some products, today it has nothing to do with it.

This makes us venture to buy almost anything online . That makes us less suspicious of the different platforms that are available on the network. Now, the truth is that this can be a double-edged sword. We could err on the side of trust and end up paying with an insecure payment method or on a fake site.

There is something that has made all this increase: the use of mobile phones . We can take practically any mobile device, enter the Internet and make a purchase. There are even applications that allow us to make a purchase at the click of a button and pay immediately.

But the fact that electronic commerce has increased so much has also caused a growth in computer attacks. Hackers set their sights on what is most used and can steal passwords, personal data or even banking information when making payments.

Types of cards that exist

To avoid problems when buying online, it is essential to use cards that are secure . In fact, we can say that it is one of the most reliable methods. They are very useful for their ease of use and there are also a large number of options available. We will always be supported and therefore they are a safe option. We are going to talk about different common options that exist on the Internet and explain what the positive and negative points of each of them are. The objective is to know at all times what possible security risks we are going to find in each option and to be able to use the one that most helps to avoid risks.


The first option is credit cards . We can say that it is the most insecure of the ones we are going to see. It is not insecure because of its nature, because of how it works, but because of the limits it can have. In the event of a computer attack, if it is stolen or lost, it is the one that will be most exposed of all of them.

The limit is a point to consider in this case. What does that mean? We will even be able to leave the bank account in negative. If, for example, we have an account with €500, but associated with that account we have a credit card of up to €1,000, we will be able to spend those €1,000. The account will remain in negative.

For this reason, it is important to report as soon as possible in case of loss or theft. In addition, luckily today it is very easy to block cards even from the mobile phone, within the banking application, so it is something that must be done as soon as possible.


The next option we have is debit cards . They are safer than credit. These cards will have a lower spending limit than credit cards, but we will also be limited to the money in our bank account (with some exceptions and as long as we configure it).

This means that, in the event that someone steals our card, they will not be able to spend as much money. Once you reach the limit, you will not be able to spend beyond that amount . Even if we have a bank account with little money and the debit card is linked to that account, they would not be able to spend more than that amount.

That yes, although we say that they are safer than credit cards, it is also advisable to cancel the debit card as soon as fraud, data theft or loss is detected. This will prevent further problems.

Seguridad de las tarjetas contactless

Wallet or prepaid

These cards are much more secure. They are also used to make purchases on the Internet and pay in any store, but they have a plus of reliability . Why are they safer? Basically it is a card to which we can enter an exact amount of money. We can put that money through another card, a bank transfer, deposit through the ATM, etc.

If, for example, you are going to buy something online that costs €100, you simply make sure that that card has €100 at the time of making the payment and that’s it. You don’t need to always have money. Without a doubt, it is an option to minimize risks and that in case of loss or theft it does not affect more than the money we want to have, which can even be €0 except when we go to buy something.

There are options of this type, such as the Bnext or Revolut card. They work in a similar way and in both cases you simply have to put the amount of money you want and make payments online or purchases in places where there may be some risk.

virtual cards

An option that is also very secure and similar to the previous one is virtual cards. In this case, it is the bank itself that allows us to have one or even several virtual cards to make purchases online. They are independent cards from the main one, which we are simply going to use for those specific purchases that we make. We have to recharge with the corresponding amount and that’s it.

It should be mentioned that on some occasions this type of virtual card changes the numbering. If someone manages to steal your bank details when making a payment, they will not be able to use them later as they will change. An extra security that certainly comes in handy to pay.

Store-specific cards

There is also the option of using a store- specific card . It will really act as a reloadable card or wallet. It is not something that is very widespread, at least not in Spain, but it is one more alternative that we can take into account for electronic commerce and not have problems.

Basically they are cards provided by the store itself and that we can recharge. At any time we can use it to make a purchase, without the need to use credit cards, debit cards or any other alternative method that we have.

Which are the safest for the Internet?

When paying online with a card, the safest are the virtual ones and the prepaid ones that we can recharge with the exact amount. The virtual ones even allow us to have a card with a unique number for each purchase made, so the one we are using will stop working once we finish the process and a possible attacker could not use it in the future to impersonate us and make a fraudulent payment. In addition, they also have the option to set limits.

The prepaid cards or wallet are basically recharged when we need them. If, for example, you are going to make a purchase online and you are going to buy a product that costs €100, you simply make sure to recharge it with that amount and that’s it. You do not expose more than the price that you are actually going to pay for that purchase and you greatly limit the ability of an attacker to steal from you.

On the other hand, the ones we least recommend are debit cards and, above all, credit cards . In this case we could have more problems in case of being victims of a computer attack. They could rob us up to the limit of the debit card, which could be the amount of money that we have in a bank account. The credit ones could even go further, since we could stay negative up to a certain limit.

Therefore, if you are going to buy online and want to pay by card, our advice is to use virtual and prepaid ones. This will give you more guarantees that a hypothetical attacker is not going to steal money from your accounts, since it would be limited to that amount that you had assigned in each one of them.

Common scams when paying by card on the Internet

As you can see, there are different options to pay online with a card. It is essential that you choose a secure option, since otherwise you could suffer one of the cyber attacks that we are going to explain and that will cause your data to be compromised. At all times you must be prepared.

Phishing attacks

We can say that it is one of the main scams when it comes to making an online payment, entering bank details or any type of personal information. It basically consists of accessing an Internet page that pretends to be legitimate, but is really a scam and has been created to steal data.

It can happen when making a payment on platforms such as Amazon or any online service. Clicking through a link takes us to a page that appears legitimate. However, it is a copy that has been designed only to steal the card data and put our security at risk.

Principales víctimas del Phishing

Theft on insecure Wi-Fi networks

This can happen when you make a payment from an unreliable wireless network. For example a public Wi-Fi in a shopping center, airport or any similar place. It may have been created simply to steal data. We don’t really know who could be behind it.

In these cases, it is even more essential to use a secure bank card with which to minimize risks as much as possible. However, you can also use some options such as a VPN. This will allow the information you send on the network to travel in encrypted form.


One more danger is what is known as skimming. It is a different case from the previous ones, since it is not a modified web page or a site that simply has malware capable of collecting card data when paying. But it can also be a major problem.

In this case, it is a modified hardware that is capable of copying the data from the card. This time the problem appears when you go to buy on a physical site. It will record your bank card information without you noticing. It is not common, but it is another possibility.

In short, as you have seen, there are different types of bank cards that you can use. It is important that you choose a secure option, as this will keep your personal data protected and avoid problems that affect your privacy and security on the network.