How to Buy Things Anonymously Using A Credit Card

Anonymous Credit Cards

In A Nutshell

  • If you are looking for a simple way to pay for something anonymously, I recommend using a disposable credit card.
  • A Vanilla Visa credit card is currently the most anonymous credit card available. There is no name or other identifying information associated with these cards, and they can be used almost anywhere in the U.S.
  • Using Bitcoins is another good option — however be aware that Bitcoin transactions are only quasi-anonymous.
  • The paid service MaskMe allows you to create disposable credit cards

Vanilla Visa Credit Card

You can find Vanilla Visa credit cards at many convenience stores (like CVS) — there’s a full list of retail locations here. There are no fees associated with card, beyond a $5 fee at the time of purchase. You can get cards that range from $25 to $500. If you buy a $500 card, you pay $505 at the store, so you are basically paying a 1% fee for your anonymous credit.

I recommend registering your card on the Vanilla Visa website. If you don’t register, the card won’t be accepted at many stores. The registration process simply involves entering a zipcode, and nothing else. Of course, if you wish to remain  anonymous you can provide a fake zipcode. You should also obfuscate your IP address while activating the card (see my article How To Be Anonymous On The Internet for more information).

MaskMe: Create Masked Emails, Phone Numbers, Credit Cards

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MaskMe is a service run by the privacy company Abine. It allows you to create disposable credit cards (legally). You choose how much you want to add to a card, and a “masked card” will be automatically created. You can obtain a new card whenever needed. All charges on the credit card will show up as “ABINE, INC”.

The cost of this service (MaskMe Premium) is $5 a month, and it also gives you access to the other features — Masked Phone Numbers, Masked Emails and the MaskMe apps for iOS and Android.

Link: MaskMe

Simon American Express Gift Card

Anonymous Credit Card: Simon Giftcard

Another option is to purchase a Simon Gift Card. You can get these card at any mall listed on this page. Simon Gift Cards are not reloadable, but you can load them with $500 using cash. You are not required to give out any personal information to purchase the card. However, by using their website, you can link any name and address to the card, so you can use them with merchants that do AVS checks.

Disposable credit cards are also handy if you wish to purchase online from a company you don’t know or trust. Your card will not be linked to any bank account or line of credit.

Amazon Gift Cards

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Gift cards can be anonymous if purchased with cash. Many website accept Amazon Gift Cards as a form of payment, so an Amazon gift card can be a anonymous checkout gateway.

MoneypakReload

A reader posted this technique, which sounds useful:

What I do is I purchase a Virtual credit card from http://www.moneypakreload.com with bitcoins. With that I go on Zmazon and Zappos and buy my stuff. I have done it 3 times, and I’ve always got the credit card in about an hour and amazon and zappos processed it without any issues.

Comments

  1. says

    I was looking to see if anyone else uses my acquisition service’s business model. As I didn’t see anyone else doing it their way, you might want to look at: https://www.enymity.com/ . I’ve made over 20 purchases through them as-to-date, and I’ve always been quite satisfied. The way they parcel out data at point-of-purchase has never left a complete record of what I’ve gotten or any of my personal info on anyone’s files, and someone would have to hack 4-5 different, secured systems before they could even start attempting to reverse-engineer any sort of profile. If you haven’t found a better way, you might enjoy the peace-of-mind their service affords. If you have found a better way, I’d love to hear about it.

  2. GreyOne says

    Some people have been having problems using Vanilla Visa with Private Internet Access (our top recommended VPN provider). Hopefully the company will sort out this problem soon. There is a short-term solution:
    You can create a Amazon account (using fake personal info) and link it to the Vanilla Visa. You can then pay for Private Internet Access through Amazon (they accept Amazon Payments).

  3. Bob says

    Law enforcement can track the card down. The companies that make these cards know which card numbers go to which stores. Then the police contact the stores and access the stores records. If you paid with a debt or credit card they will know who you are. Also, if you paid with cash they will use the stores video surveillance to see you. They can tell what time you purchased the card.

    Find a store that doesn’t have a video camera or a store that doesn’t keep video records for very long.

  4. says

    For the Visa the FAQ says “A Service Fee of $2.50 per month beginning on the 7th month from the date of activation will be applied to any remaining balance, except where prohibited by law. Please refer to Cardholder Agreement for more information.” yet the cardholder agreement states “The Card has NO FEES AFTER PURCHASE (including dormancy, service or other fees). An Activation Fee per Card is paid by the purchaser at the time of purchase.”
    These two statements are at odds with each other. Is it confirmed there are no automatic deductions from the card after purchase?

  5. Brad says

    Thanks for your interesting information. The con to most of these cards is
    that they’re not rechargeable or they have very low maximum limits for loading/withdraw/amount on card etc … If you would like an offshore numbered bank account real credit card (mastercard), with online banking access and almost no limits for a very cheap price, contact me : anodata@safe-mail.net

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