Virtual Cards: how to pay at AliExpress without a credit card – Definitive guide

Although banking companies are making it easier for their customers to have credit and debit cards, many of you ask us about the possibility of buying from AliExpress without a credit card, either for security reasons or because you don't want to be tied to this type of product. In today's article, we will explain alternatives to this method of payment.

What payment methods does AliExpress accept?

In our definitive guide about AliExpress, we already explained to you different payment systems that can be used on this page. In summary, the most common payment methods in AliExpress are Visa, MasterCard or Maestro credit/debit card, American Express, Western Union, bank transfer, and Webmoney. In addition, in some countries, it is facilitated the payment with other methods like MercadoPago (Mexico), Boleto, Giropay… In this link of AliExpress, you will find all the information about the types of payment accepted and how to use them.

No, at AliExpress you cannot buy cash on delivery. Unfortunately, it is an unsafe system for sellers and fewer and fewer stores accept payment by cash on delivery. However, many AliExpress merchants already accept PayPal in their stores. We know that many of you prefer this method of payment because you find it more secure and you are doubly protected: by AliExpress and by PayPal.

If you are concerned about your money being protected, AliExpress is a safe platform and all AliExpress payment methods are protected by its Verisign SSL encryption system and various security methods certified by Visa and Mastercard. In addition, AliExpress uses an escrow system in its payments, that is, the money never arrives at the seller until you confirm the reception of the order, and the payment is managed by AliExpress, never by the seller.

For that same reason, it is never advisable to pay outside the AliExpress website or receive money by any other method, since AliExpress will not be able to intervene if something goes wrong. You can learn more about how you can pay on this platform in our guide to better payment methods for AliExpress, where we analyze the advantages and disadvantages of each payment method.

I don't have a card, how can I pay at AliExpress?

Having said all this, the next question is clear, if you are here is because you do not want to pay by credit card although as we have said, it is a totally safe method and is the most used to pay in AliExpress. But there are alternatives.

AliPay: a good alternative, but only compatible with a card

AliPay is known as Chinese PayPal. In China it is one of the most popular payment methods, as they use it for almost everything: paying bills, making transfers, paying salaries, shopping in physical stores… Some time ago, AliPay started to join the AliExpress system, but unlike in its country of origin, on this platform, its features are very limited.

Currently, AliPay manages the security of AliExpress payments, manages payments and refunds, and takes care of saving your card information if you give permission, to make faster payments without having to incorporate the numbering of the card each time we pay in AliExpress. In our article AliPay payment system in AliExpress we give you more information about this system.

Prepaid or virtual cards: the best way to pay at AliExpress without a credit card

After investigating the different alternatives we have to pay on AliExpress, without a doubt the best for us is to use a prepaid virtual card. This type of card is specially designed for online purchases, and most of them do not have physical support, you will only receive the card number.

The operation of these cards is easy: they only work with the money you have previously charged, so you can never have debt or negative balance, and never be discounted more than what you have on it. Therefore, in terms of security, it is ideal. Furthermore, this type of card does not usually have high maintenance costs, usually, you will be charged something for recharging or maintenance ($1), or a small amount for signing up ($5) but we will not have the high charges that some credit cards have, which can easily triple these values.

To get a virtual card, the best thing to do is to go to our bank, since most of them offer these virtual cards. We are going to review the most popular ones, although there are many on the market that will also serve us. You only have to look at the conditions (commissions, opening expenses…) and that they are visa or MasterCard to be able to use them in AliExpress.


The Payoneer Prepaid MasterCard works just like any other card. The card is accepted worldwide, wherever MasterCard is accepted electronically. You can use it to withdraw cash at ATMs or to make purchases, both online and in physical stores. This prepaid card may be used for online transactions wherever MasterCard is an accepted form of payment.

Revolut or N26 virtual card

A very interesting option. These cards are usually in high demand by people who travel abroad because they have no currency exchange charges or reloading fees. In addition, you can get a physical prepaid card to make purchases in any store.


Neteller has been a great alternative to credit cards for a long time, especially in Latin American countries. However, they have withdrawn the prepaid card service in Latin American countries.

Other banks

Almost all banks have virtual cards, and since they are cards where the money has to be transferred before making a purchase, banks offer them on a regular basis to their customers. Whatever your bank, it is best to ask them if they have this product and also what conditions it has. As you can see, they are quite accessible and have hardly any associated costs.

Frequently asked questions about virtual cards at AliExpress

Through the comment section, you've sent us several questions, and many times they are repeated. That's why we are going to answer your most frequent questions so that you don't have to waste time looking for your answer below.

Is it safe to use a prepaid card at AliExpress?

In general, using cards at AliExpress is safe for the reasons we have already discussed above, but since they are not linked to a bank account, a prepaid card is more protected against theft and other fraudulent activities, since only what is in the balance can be stolen.

What are the drawbacks of prepaid or virtual cards?

Prepaid or virtual cards can also have drawbacks. The main one is that as you have seen, some charge for recharges, have issue or renewal fees… In addition, purchases cannot be financed. So take a good look at the options available for your country, taking into account the associated costs.

I have a virtual card that is not listed, can I use it in AliExpress?

It doesn't matter which bank or entity the virtual card comes from, the important thing is to see if this virtual card is Visa, Mastercard, Maestro or American Express. Today all virtual cards are associated with these companies because if they didn't, their payments would be very limited. To date, we do not know of any virtual card that cannot be used with AliExpress.

Does AliExpress accept payment in my local currency?

This online sales platform only accepts payments in US Dollars, Euros, Pounds, and Russian Roubles. If your local currency is none of the above, don't worry because your bank will do the currency exchange in order to get paid. Check with your card issuer to see how they exchange your currency and if they have any associated fees.

How do I know if my virtual card will charge me commissions when I buy at AliExpress?

It is best to look at all the conditions of the card to see if there is any commission for currency exchange, foreign currency purchases, and other services. Another easier option is to make a purchase and ask for the detail of the operation so you can check if any commission has been applied.

Why does AliExpress not accept my virtual card?

It is possible that if you have the money right on your virtual card, the operation cannot be completed, either because your bank makes different currency exchange and there is not enough money or because your virtual card is not activated to make payments on foreign sites.

AliExpress asks me to attach a photo of my card for security reasons, but it is virtual

Even if your card is virtual, there is no problem since it still works as a physical card. In your card management application, you will find a photo with all the data of the card, a screenshot of this will serve as proof for these cases. Remember that you can cover up information on the card except for the last four numbers, the expiry date, the name of the cardholder, and the CVV.

I have to get a refund on my prepaid card, will there be a problem?

No, prepaid or virtual cards are set up to receive refunds like a regular physical card. The money may take a few days to arrive as the refund is not immediate. If the virtual card was a one-time or temporary card, the money will be sent to the associated account.

If my virtual card has expired, will I get a refund?

Similarly, if your virtual card has expired and you have had to change it for a new one, don't worry, because as in the previous case, the money has to reach the associated account. If you have any further questions, the card issuer will be able to help you with them.

Virtual card vs. PayPal, what the safest method?

Today, the difference between a virtual card and PayPal is very small. Surely you didn't know that just like PayPal, Visa, and MasterCard issuers can receive payment claims in the event of a problem. However, PayPal's protection outside of AliExpress is more limited and the service fees you pay when ordering may not compensate you.

How to make safer purchases on AliExpress

If you have already decided which will be your payment method at AliExpress, now you just have to start shopping. On AlixBlog we have many tutorials that will help you buy more safely on this online sales platform of Chinese origin, if you do not know where to start we recommend the Ultimate Guide to AliExpress, which reviews everything you need to know before buying.

What about you? Do you buy at AliExpress with a prepaid or virtual card? We'd love to hear about your experience, so feel free to leave a comment below.

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