Shop online without credit cards

By Jennie Bragg, CNN producer


NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) -- Freeing yourself of plastic is a great way to keep track of your spending and stay on a budget.

Twenty-seven percent of consumers said they would purchase more online if they could control their finances and pay in cash, according to a recent survey by eBillme.com. But if you've cut up your cards or are thinking about it, you don't have to miss out on the convenience of buying what you need from the comfort of your own home.

Here's how to shop online without using a credit card:

The easiest way get what you need on your PC sans plastic is to use a service like PayPal or eBillme.

These sites are free and allow you to pay for purchases with cash from your online bank account.

Simply choose the cash billing method at check-out rather than filling out your credit card information and you will receive an online bill.

While PayPal is an Ebay company, the service is offered by hundreds of other online retailers, and eBillme is available at over 800 online locations.

Debt-free purchases

"It's a debt-free way of shopping online. No interest or fees, and since you can only spend with the money you have available, it's a great option for sticking to a budget," says Marwan Forzley, CEO of eBillme.

And as more and more shoppers choose cash over credit, more online retailers are turning to alternative payment options.

"If you compare how people pay offline, the majority of payments, about 74%, are cash or cash equivalent and it's not store specific or category specific," says Forzley. "As people are demanding more choice, more online retailers will start offering cash payments.

Other options for your online purchases include gift cards or pre-paid credit cards.

These are available at most grocery stores, pharmacies and big-box stores.

Usually, you will have to follow a few instructions to authorize the card for online use. Then, get started with your shopping.

The hitch here is the cost of the card. Most pre-paid cards cost a few dollars more than the face value, ultimately making this a more expensive option.

Lastly, CoinStar machines allow you to trade in your loose change for gift cards to retailers like Amazon.com, Old Navy, CVS, and iTunes instead of cold, hard cash.

Use these cards to make purchases online, or if you can't find a retailer that has what you are looking for, get the Amazon card. Amazon.com offers gift cards to dozens of retailers. Simply purchase one gift card with the other and shop freely on the site of your choice.

Talkback: Have you bought something online without using a credit card? To top of page

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