Why I Don't Store My Credit Card Info on Websites

by Christy Bieber | Published on Aug. 26, 2021

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A young woman nervously holding a credit card up to her mouth while looking at her phone.

Image source: Getty Images

Not storing my credit card makes it more challenging to complete a purchase -- which is the point.

Almost every online website that sells merchandise allows you to create an account and save your credit card information and shipping details. Companies do this to make it easier for you to complete a purchase and to encourage you to come back to their store again because you're already set up to buy from them.

I do not take advantage of this feature. In fact, whenever possible, I aim to check out as a guest so I need to re-enter my information every time. And I never store my credit card information on any online shopping site unless I have no choice but to do so.

There's a really simple reason why I've opted out of this convenience feature: It makes it too easy to make an impulse purchase.

Why I don't store my card information

I'm on my computer pretty much all day for work, and I'll sometimes decide to take breaks and browse my favorite online stores. Or I'll get an email advertising a special deal from a store that I shop at, and I'll open it up, take a look, and end up heading over to the website.

The problem with that is it became really quick and simple to click on an item and purchase it when it caught my eye -- especially if I had my card information stored on the website. I didn't really have to think about it since many sites offer one-click buying. And it didn't really feel like spending actual money because, after all, I didn't have to input any of my card details.

I ended up spending a lot of money when shopping online. And I've later regretted some of those purchases because they were made without advanced planning or even taking much time to consider whether the item was something worth buying. And while I tried to just stop visiting websites that sold things I was interested in, this didn't always work very well because it was just too tempting to take a quick peek.

What did work for me, though, was not storing any of my card details or other information. When my credit cards aren't stored, I would have to make a conscious decision to go to my purse and get my credit card out, then come back to the computer and complete my purchase. This took a lot more time. And before making any purchase, I now have to contemplate whether it's really worth all that effort.

During the time I'm filling out the forms with my shipping info and credit card details, I also have the opportunity to consider my purchase more carefully and decide if I want to go through with it. And it feels like more work to complete the transaction, rather than just a fun impulse purchase.

Since I've stopped storing my cards, I've significantly cut down on my online spending, and some weeks I don't make any purchases at all. It's a simple change that's made a huge difference.

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