Concerns over safety of your credit/debit card are not unjustified. Credit cards and identity thefts happen, and generally you should be wary about where and how you enter your card number. So, is it OK to use your credit card on AliExpress?
Is it safe to use credit/debit card on AliExpress?
The answer is, generally yes, but it depends.
TO SET THE RECORD STRAIGHT: I use my personal credit card on AliExpress; and I have always been, since the day I started shopping there. I have had 3 different credit cards with 2 banks, and not once had an unauthorized transaction, or any security issues.
However: the reason I say “it depends”, is because regardless of how much AliExpress wants to protect you, there are things that can be beyond their control.
Are you connected via WiFi, or are you on a hard wire? WiFi can be tapped by others, even if they are not on your network. It is recommended that you do not enter your full card number when connected to a public network.
Are you using your own computer, or are you on a public machine? A public computer may have a malicious program (they are called keyloggers) installed, that will record all the keystrokes on the machine at a given time. It is not recommended to enter your full card information on a public computer. Alipay (free service lets you save your card on AliExpress so you don't have to type it in every time you buy something) is really helpful in this case, as it allows you to skip typing your credit card number out so the keylogger will not get it.
So, as long as your connection is secure, and you are using a safe machine, it should be absolutely fine to use your credit card on AliExpress.
All set? Go check out this wall decor store (article continued below).
Processing a credit card from a merchant's point of view.
Orders processing and verification is done by real humans, whose job it is to catch fraudulent orders, and to make sure that only legitimate orders get shipped. Naturally, some people are good at their jobs, and some aren't. Usually, if you ship your order to your credit card billing address (typically, the address you gave the bank when you registered the card), there should not be any problems.
However, if you are intending to ship to an address that is different from your billing address; or if you enter a wrong billing address (the street number and the postal code get verified), it will get flagged by the credit card processing system on the merchant's side. This will likely trigger additional verification; especially if this is your first (or first larger) order.
All the payments are processed by their own staff. It is absolutely normal for AliExpress to request your ID to make sure you are who you claim to be. However, it is never ok for you to provide this information to the seller, as they are not supposed to get your personal payment information at any point – AliExpress will pay the seller when needed.
Make sure to report the seller if they are asking for your credit card information.
Shipping to an address other than your billing address.
Sending your order to a different address from you billing should not be a problem, as long as your story makes sense. It is entirely up to the order verification team at this point. If they believe you can be trusted, they will ship the order out. If not, they will cancel it.
Yes, they do want to make money on the sale, but nobody wants to ship the product only to get the cardholder to reverse the transaction as unauthorized. I have had orders placed with my Canadian credit card ship to my parents in Kazakhstan. This was not a problem even when I had it addressed to my mom, whose last name is different from mine.
Overall, AliExpress is an awesome marketplace. I have been using my credit card there for years, and have not had a single problem. To stay safe, use your common sense, follow the safety shopping tips, and contact AliExpress' support when in doubt.
If you have any questions I can help with, ask away!
P.S.: If you need a new wallet to store your credit/debit cards in, check out these wallet options.
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