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Do you take your online security and privacy seriously? Well, then, you may want to invest in a VPN service that offers anonymous payment. Why? For the simple reason that VPN providers may record your payment details. And, if the VPN company is forced by law to share user data, authorities could use this as a way to identify you and link you to specific web traffic.
In other words, buying anything online with a credit/debit card or Paypal makes you vulnerable. These payment methods are far from anonymous and untraceable. In fact, just the opposite. They’re all about you being identifiable. So, how’s that sound when you want to buy a VPN to protect your anonymity? We smell contradiction here.
No matter how little the chance is to be identified by your payment details in a criminal investigation, it’s still wiser to purchase a subscription anonymously. We recommend this method for journalists, activists, whistle-blowers, hackers, and anyone else whose very life might be at stake.
There are basically 3 anonymous purchase options for you to consider:
- Cryptocurrency: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash, and more
- Cash: buy a boxed version from a retail store
- Gift cards: buy a gift card from Amazon, Walmart, Starbucks, Target, and so on
Although more and more VPN providers offer Bitcoin or other cryptocurrencies as an alternative option, this may not be the easiest one for all. And, it’s not necessarily the easiest way either when you want to buy a VPN as a gift as anonymously as possible. This is why we decided to focus on how to buy VPN software with a gift card or even for cash.
Before we uncover the few VPNs you can buy with gift cards, either offline or online, let’s see both sides of this coin.
Pros and cons of gift card payment
Well, when you thought you may have found the perfect payment method, we’re here to tell you that “all that glitters ain’t gold.” But you should’ve gotten used to it. In this world, everything has a dual nature. Thus, there’s always a positive and negative side.
- Hassle-free: you can buy gift cards in several places for cash (department stores and gas stations).
- Anonymity: apart from the requested gift card information (card number and PIN), no personally identifiable data is shared.
- Your money is safer: gift cards have a fixed amount so there’s no way a service can automatically charge you for an automatically renewed subscription.
- No-brainer: you simply have to enter the card number and PIN code when purchasing a reliable VPN online.
- As good as cash: paying with a gift card is like going to a retail store and buying something for cash.
- No automated recurring payment: it can be a bit of a nuisance to always repeat the whole process of buying or topping up gift cards.
- Regional limitations: it’s possible that your chosen VPN service only accepts US-based gift cards or non-US brands that use the same network. VPN services may not even offer this method based on your physical location unless it’s the US.
- Different pricing: you might need to pay a bit more when paying with a gift card.
- Not refundable: it’s highly unlikely that a VPN provider would ever refund gift cards (and cryptocurrency). Keep that in mind as well.
If you’re not into cryptocurrencies, paying with gift cards (or cash) may be the most anonymous option for you. You can also choose to buy a VPN with a gift card offline or online.
Buy a VPN with a gift card offline
If you get a $50 or $100 gift card for Christmas, would you buy a VPN with it if you knew it was possible? In the past months a handful of providers have come out with a retail box version sold at popular retail store chains.
It’s also possible that you won’t find such information directly on their website. Also, if something is sold for cash, well, chances are you can buy them with gift cards too. In any case, both methods are completely anonymous – no personal data is shared.
Of course, your anonymity comes at a price: the retail box versions only cover the 1-year subscription plan. While this option may only relate to the US, you may get lucky and find a boxed VPN in other countries too.
Right now, these retail stores may sell VPN boxed versions:
- Best Buy
- Office Depot
- Fry’s Electronics
- Micro Center
NordVPN is one of our industry leader picks, no doubt. While this VPN service doesn’t offer gift card payment as an alternative option online, you have yet another option to buy it offline. Of course, you can use Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Ripple to purchase a subscription and stay anonymous all the way.
Nevertheless, we’ve found that you can buy NordVPN as a boxed version from popular retail stores. This means that it’s possible to get NordVPN for cash as well as gift cards.
If buying a VPN with a gift card online seems a bit inconvenient for you, going to a retail store could be a good alternative for full anonymity. The NordVPN retail box should be available in major chains in Canada, France, and Germany too.
This is a relatively good VPN service from Finland. Actually, this company has proven its reliability in the cybersecurity arena in the past 25 years with its antivirus and other products. The global coverage of this VPN isn’t too impressive with its 30 or so servers in 20+ countries.
With that said, F-Secure Freedome VPN offers pretty fast speeds. You can use this service for all general IP spoofing and geo-unblocking purposes. The good news is, it’s quite cheap too. And, it could be available in major stores in a retail box version. Either you have a gift card or cash, you can just walk into a store and purchase this VPN while remaining untraceable.
HMA! Pro VPN
HideMyAss VPN is not one we fully trust, to be honest. It has a proven record of cooperating with foreign and domestic authorities alike. This VPN software belongs to the Avast empire. Even though the Czech Republic isn’t necessarily a member of any international surveillance alliances, HMA! is based in the UK. Now, that is a Five Eyes country and one of the worst jurisdictions for a VPN service.
Nevertheless, as long as you use HMA! for lawful purposes, you have nothing to fear. It’s also important to mention that this VPN is impressively fast and not just with close-by servers.
Buy a VPN with a gift card online
Anonymity is the key to a reliable VPN service and for your own protection too. Those VPNs that offer anonymous payment methods (cryptocurrencies and gift cards) show extra care about your safety and privacy.
So, let us present to you now our short list of VPNs that accept gift cards.
This VPN is one of our top picks. For reasonable pricing plans, you get excellent security and online privacy for accessing geo-blocked content, torrenting, streaming, online gaming, and more. TorGuard offers Bitcoin, Litecoin, and gift card payments. This is how you can remain truly untraceable. Of course, before you invest your money, you may want to learn more about TorGuard VPN.
How to buy TorGuard with a gift card
The purchasing process is somewhat complicated, but not rocket science. After choosing your plan, you have a chance:
- to buy Dedicated IPs, Residential IPs, Streaming IPs, and Sports IPs
- to buy DDoS Protected IPs for Canada and France
- upgrade to premium 10 Gbit network for the US, the UK, and Canada
Finally, when you reach the checkout area, you’ll have a payment choice to make.
Select the Gift Card option. Then, fill out the form with your email and password, check the “I have read and agree to the Terms of Service” box, and click Complete Order. You can set up a separate “fake” email account for this purpose, you shouldn’t use your personal email if you want full anonymity.
Now, you’ll be redirected to the invoice page. Check your invoice details and click the PayGarden button in the top-right corner to be taken to the following page:
Find gift card brand or check one from the list below. You’ll be automatically redirected to the Check Balance screen.
Enter your gift card number and the card PIN, click the Check balance button. Once your gift card checks out, you’re ready to confirm your payment. That’s all it takes to buy TorGuard VPN with a gift card. You should get your credentials momentarily so you can download, install, and launch your VPN in a matter of a few minutes.
Private Internet Access
Although PIA is certainly not our favorite choice, this VPN still has some pros. It’s very cheap, it has decent security credentials, relatively good speeds, and it may also provide you with access to Netflix. Again, we suggest that you read more about Private Internet Access to know if this VPN service is enough for your needs.
How to buy PIA with a gift card
This VPN offers you more than one option to pay anonymously. You can pay with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, for instance. However, let’s focus on the gift card payment now. To select this option, you need to scroll down the main page or the purchase page until you see the following section:
Click the Get VPN Access button.
On this next screen, you need to find or enter your gift card brand. There’s also some information below about how paying with a gift card works. Once you’ve chosen your brand, you’ll find yourself on the Check Balance page.
Click the Check Balance button and wait till you get the green light to confirm your payment.
So, basically, the steps are the same just like we saw in the case of TorGuard. Now, you should receive your login details to your PIA account so that you can install your client and start protecting your online activities.
Not a market leader, but VPN Unlimited still has a few useful features up its sleeve. This VPN is quite secure and has average speeds. Fundamentally, you can use it for all your basic needs like unblocking censored sites, spoofing your IP, streaming videos, protecting public WiFi connections, and online gaming. Just like the other two VPNs above, VPN Unlimited also offers two untraceable payment methods: Bitcoin and gift cards. However, before you use your gift card to buy a subscription, we really advise you to read our full VPN Unlimited review.
How to buy VPN Unlimited with a gift card
This service allows you to pay with over 100 popular gift cards, including Adidas, Home Depot, Nike, Starbucks, Target, and Walmart. However, this option may not be offered to you if your physical location is not in the US. So, you may want to use another VPN to purchase VPN Unlimited with a gift card. Any better free VPNs will probably do.
Choose Other methods to continue.
Next, you either need to sign up or log in to your VPN Unlimited account. Again, you can use a one-time-only, i.e., disposable email account. You’ll need it to receive the credentials or any instructions you may need to start using your VPN. In other words, don’t use your personal account.
Once you sign in, you’ll see the available payment methods. And, among them, the gift card options:
Select your desired type of gift card and click Buy. Depending on which gift card option you’ve chosen, you’ll be sent to the next screen accordingly:
After you select your gift card, enter your card number and the PIN code. Then, press the Pay Now button, redeem your certificate, and you’re good to go. Now, you can download the VPN Unlimited app and log in to your account to stay anonymous online.
We’ll keep our eyes open for more. If we find any other reasonable VPN service that offers gift card or cash payment, we’ll update this page.
Disclaimer: Affiliate links help us produce good content. Learn more.
Ethan is a security researcher and digital privacy advocate. He spends his time unraveling various anonymity and security tools, plus contributing to open-source projects. Otherwise, he keeps a low profile by hiking or cycling around the countryside.