Google Play Store and Prepaid Credit Card
Using a credit card for online purchase has its convenience but be aware that there are associated risks as well. As much as possible, I like to restrict my credit card usage to very specific purchases. For “small” purchases like iOS apps and the like, I always used an itunes card to make the purchase. I find this gives me good value especially when there are 20% discounted (sometimes even up to 40%) itunes cards for sale from time to time from vendors like BigW and Harvey Norman.
Ever since I bought my HTC EVO3D, I have been wondering where to get these kind of stored value cards for online apps purchase via the google play store. I have been unable to find any. I am sure this idea is not new (it was to me), but it occured to me that perhaps I can simply apply for a prepaid credit card for my google play purchase. I started to shop around and came across prepaid credit cards from Woolworth and Australia Post.
Woolworth has 2 types of prepaid cards available -
1. A prepaid mastercard which is non-reloadable. You buy the card with a defined credit and once that is used up, you will need to buy another one.
2. A reloadable prepaid mastercard. This again has 2 type of paying option – one with a $1 monthly service fee or one with no monthly service fee but with a $1 reload fee each time new credit is added.
I don’t like both options from Woolworth so I will pass.
Australia Post also have 2 types of prepaid cards -
1. The prepaid non-relodable type (very similar to the Woolworth one). These are available in-store.
2. The reloadable prepaid visa card – The Load&Go card. The Load&Go card does not require credit check and has no application forms.
Using any form of non-reloadable prepaid credit card is a bad idea. Consider this – if you buy a card with a $20 credit and use it to buy apps, u could be left with say $2.50 in the balance and this is neither sufficient for you to buy that whiz-bang app which cost $5 and too much to buy that app which cost only $0.99. Either which, you will be left with some unused balance which you can’t top it up. This is a pretty poor way of maximizing the credit card usage.
I think the Australia Post’s Load&Go is the best option for me. It has no monthly fee and no reload fee. It has, however, a $0.09 transaction fee (lets just round this up to 10 cents for every purchase (capped at $0.99 per month) that I thought is reasonable. So if an app is going to cost me A$0.99, this now roughly becomes A$1.10. Reloading is intended to be straightforward. Either reload at the counter, via EFTPOS or via online banking. Pretty simple.
As a side note, please note that the customer support for the Australia Post Load&Go prepaid credit card does have much room for improvement (to be fair I would not expect any other prepaid credit card services in Australia to fair any better). I have issues initially registering the card online with the system kept insisting that there is a system error when I key in my access code. When I called the Load&Go customer helpline, the automated system asked me to key in my credit card number and my access code…I did exactly that and the machine then proceed to say that my access code is invalid and I was abruptly cut off. This happens 3 times and I could not even talk to a real human.
So I ended up calling Australia Post general helpline and they have to patch me through to a lady working in the Load&Go department so that I can manage to sort out the initial login issues. Australia Post also snapped me with a A$4.00 enquiry fee which is deducted from my credit balance. So make sure you are aware of this kind of charges if you call customer service. All is good now but I wouldn’t use this credit card for anything important. A simple App purchase via the google play store, a simple payment at the counter for some groceries at the supermarket would be okay but I wouldn’t buy a camera using this credit card for instance.
So all in all, I am happy with this credit card so far.
I hope this info is useful :-D