Many of us associate online shopping with Amazon and our favorite stores, where we can compare prices and peruse reviews about products we might want to buy. It’s hard to imagine a world without the convenience of online shopping.
In fact, there are anywhere from 12-24 million ecommerce stores across the globe. That’s quite a shopping spree!
But what happens if you don’t want to pay for your online order with a credit or debit card? What other options do you have to choose from?
Many online retailers will accept alternate forms of payment, including paper checks and electronic checks. You can also use a payment platform such as PayPal, Google Pay, or Apple Pay to shop online and pay with your checking account.
Are you ready to learn more about how to shop online and pay with a checking account? Let’s get started!
Why Shop Online and Pay with a Checking Account
If your debit card is not working or you decided to cut up your credit cards, paying online with your checking account could be your only option. However, there are some benefits to paying for your online purchase with your checking account:
- More affordable than prepaid debit cards
- No additional fees
- Overdraft your account (if necessary)
- Avoid increasing your credit card balance
- A more direct form of payment
At the same time, paying with your checking account can potentially delay the processing of your payment. You also won’t be able to avoid overdraft fees if you need money now and overdraw your account.
Choosing to pay with your checking account can also open the door to fraud. Should someone steal your debit or credit card number, you can put a stop on the old one and request a new one.
If someone has your routing and account information, they have full access to your account. Banks are also not likely to reimburse you for any fraudulent charges as they expect you to keep this information secure.
What Do You Need to Shop Online and Pay with a Checking Account
If you want to make online purchases with your checking account, you’ll need to know your bank’s routing number and your individual account number. You can find these numbers on any paper check or physical bank statement, your bank’s mobile app, or the bank’s website.
If you’re still having trouble finding your account or routing number, you can call customer service or search for how to find that number for your particular bank. Most of the time it’s just figuring out which number is your account number and which is your bank’s routing number.
Depending on which retailer you choose, you may also need to enter additional personal information, including your name, address, and driver’s license number. This helps the bank and retailer verify it is you behind the transaction.
If you have one of the best free checking accounts but don’t want to give out your address and driver’s license number, you can also choose to work with a payment platform. These platforms are also referred to as digital wallets and include PayPal, Google Pay, and Apple Pay.
Many online merchants accept PayPal payments, including those you charge to your checking account, debit card, or credit card. These merchants trust that PayPal has verified your information to be correct, which provides them a safeguard against fraud as well.
Google Pay and Apple Pay work much in the same way. You link your checking account to these digital wallets as a payment method and use them to make a purchase when you shop online.
Payment platforms such as PayPal typically initiate an ACH transfer from your account to the merchant’s account once you finalize a purchase. You’ll often receive notifications from the online merchant as well as PayPal that the transaction was successful.
If you want to avoid using the best credit cards or even eco-friendly debit cards, you can purchase gift cards to pay for online purchases with your checking account in a sort of roundabout way. Whether you purchase gift cards from sites like eBay or use free gift card hacks to obtain one, you can fund the gift card with your checking account and use it to pay for online purchases.
Even if you have one of the best online savings accounts or have saved up $1,000, you can’t use your savings account to pay for online purchases. You’ll have to first fund your checking account to use that money for buying things online.
How to Shop Online and Pay with Checking Account
It’s uncommon to see someone pay for their purchases with personal checks. If you find the right retailer, however, you can pay for your items with your checking account.
Abercrombie & Fitch
Paying for your Abercrombie & Fitch order with a credit or debit card is no sweat. If you want to use your checking account, you’ll need to have it linked to your PayPal account to complete the transaction.
PayPal takes about five days to verify your bank account information when you first enter it. After that, you can use your PayPal account to initiate a payment with your checking account as long as that merchant accepts PayPal payments.
Once you complete your purchase with your checking account through PayPal, both Abercrombie & Fitch and PayPal will send you a confirmation notification. This can help you keep track of what payments you made with your checking account.
Amazon doesn’t use a payment platform to finalize a purchase. Instead, you’ll enter your personal checking account information into your personal profile to pay for online purchases.
To add your checking account to your Amazon account, use the “Shipping & Payment” page. Your checking account must allow ACH payments and be located at a U.S. bank.
If you own a business and want to use your business checking account to pay for Amazon purchases, you’ll need to use an Amazon Business Account to complete the transaction. You cannot use a business checking account to pay for an item on your personal Amazon account.
If you want to purchase an item online from Best Buy, you can request an electronic check be sent. You won’t need a payment platform to complete the transaction because Best Buy works with your bank directly to put a hold on your funds.
Electronic checks are a great way to pay for online purchases because you simply enter your account information (including your bank’s routing number and your account number) and certify that you’re the one initiating the transaction. Online merchants often prefer electronic checks over personal checks, if they even accept the latter.
If you’ve entered your checking account information into your PayPal account, you can use PayPal to complete online purchases with Bloomingdale’s. Again, you’ll receive a notification from both merchants that you sent the payment.
Foot Locker accepts payments via Apple Pay if you want to use your checking account to pay for purchases. Similar to PayPal, you’ll choose this option at checkout to give Foot Locker permission to charge your Apple Pay account.
Many other stores accept Apple Pay, including Dunkin’ Donuts, Sephora, Walgreens, Staples, and Subway. These merchants make it easy to pay with your checking account through a convenient payment platform.
Shopping online at Macy’s can help you save money with online-only deals. As long as you’ve got a PayPal account with a linked checking account, you can use this popular payment platform to pay for your Macy’s purchases.
Like Best Buy, you can use an electronic check to pay for your purchases at Nordstrom. This makes it easy and convenient to avoid using credit cards you might already be close to the limit on.
Overstock.com accepts both electronic checks and bank transfers as forms of payment. If you’re shopping online at Overstock.com, consider these options before you enter a credit or debit card.
Shopping at home with QVC can be exciting, especially since you can pay for your items with a paper check. Unlike many other retailers, QVC still allows their customers to use this nearly outdated payment method.
If you want to finalize your purchase and pay for it with a paper check, simply add the items you want to your QVC cart. Choose “Check/Money Order” when prompted for a payment option and mail the check to the delivery address provided.
QVC will verify the paper check once they receive it, which can take up to a week. Should the check pass muster, your order will finalize and your items should ship.
Designing personal and business materials with Vistaprint is easy, and so is paying for them. Simply pay for your order with an electronic check that automatically puts a hold on funds of the appropriate amount in your checking account.
Alternative Ways to Shop Online and Pay
If you have a checking account but aren’t sure how to pay for purchases online, you could use cash advance apps or money-borrowing apps to make ends meet. There are also apps that work with Chime that can help you borrow money or overdraft your account with little to no fees.
You can also use game apps to win real money. Once you play enough games to cash out for free gift cards, you can use those gift cards to pay for your purchases at select merchants, depending on which gift card you choose.
Check out our Earnin review and Empower review to see how you can use these cash advance apps to cover expenses. They may be able to help you pay for necessary online purchases until you can straighten out your finances.
Yes, you can shop online and pay with your checking account. Just make sure the online merchant accepts payments via a checking account before you start shopping.
It doesn’t cost anything to pay with your checking account at most merchants. In fact, you might avoid a credit card transaction fee if you pay with your checking account.
Most online merchants will provide an option for alternate payment, in addition to the credit and debit card fields we’re used to seeing. You might see an option to pay with PayPal, Apple Pay, or Google Pay, or an option to send an electronic check.
There are several risks to paying with a checking account for online purchases, including the risk of someone obtaining the routing and account numbers. You may be held liable for fraudulent charges and you can still overdraft your account if you pay this way.
Checkout Online with Your Checking Account
Buying the things we need and want online is easier than ever, especially when it comes to paying for those items. We hope this article has shown you that you can easily shop online and pay with your checking account.
Whether you choose to send an electronic check, enter your bank routing and account number directly, or use a payment platform like PayPal, there are many options to choose from when paying for online purchases. The wild card is what you will buy with this newfound ability to pay for things online.
Where can you use your checking account to pay for things? Consider this the next time you go to purchase something online.