Using your credit card online

This guide should give you some useful tips, and things to look out for when shopping online.

More of us are shopping online these days, even for the essentials, so it’s useful to understand:

  • How to keep your personal and card information safe.
  • If any fees or charges apply.
  • How to keep track of online purchases.
  • What to do if something goes wrong.
  • How we keep you protected.

Before you buy, ask yourself these questions:

Who am I buying from?

Make sure you know who you’re giving any sensitive information to.

Is my information secure?

There are things you can do to protect yourself when shopping online.

Do any fees or charges apply?

Costs and conditions should be made clear, but always check the small print.

What if something goes wrong?

Credit cards offer purchase protection, so we could help if there’s a problem.

  • Shopping online is very convenient, and you can find some good deals, but it’s best to purchase from companies you recognise or that have a good reputation.

    Buying from online stores

    Never give your personal or card information to a company you don’t recognise, or that you haven’t checked out first. You should be particularly wary if you spot: 

    • Spelling mistakes – scam websites may look convincing, but content may be poorly written and full of errors – some may even be intentional, e.g. using the name ‘Lioyds’ instead of ‘Lloyds’. 
    • The site looks odd – colours, logos and pictures on scam websites may not match those you’re used to seeing.
    • Amazing deals – of course you can find good deals on the internet, but if it seems too good to be true compared to other sellers, the items could be counterfeit or it could be a scam.
    • Odd payment options – scam websites may ask for payment by bank transfer, rather than credit or debit card. These payments are harder to trace and, if things go wrong, you may not get your money back.
    • Pressure selling – scam websites may employ a strong sense of urgency, stating that deals are only available for a short time, or that limited items are available. 

    Even big-named companies are vulnerable to fraud, but there are things you can check to make sure you’re on a genuine website:

    • Look for the closed padlock image next to the website address – this indicates that the page you’re on is secure, although it doesn’t mean it’s genuine. Click the padlock to view website information and its certificate.
    • Check the website address – scam websites may use an address that’s similar to the genuine site, so look for subtle spelling differences, the use of symbols and of less common domain names, such as ‘.net’ rather than ‘.com’. In ‘https’, the ‘s’ indicates you’re on a secure site - look for this on any website before you enter any sensitive information.
    • Hidden addresses – hover your curser over a link (but don’t click) to see the link destination. Does it look genuine? If not, it could lead to a scam website, or infect your computer/device with a virus.

    Underlining all of this, always take your time to research before you make any online purchases. It’s a good idea to check that there’s at least a contact address and phone number on a website, just in case you need to get in touch later. 

    Buying from an individual online

    A lot of the points covered above also apply to purchasing from individuals trading online, whether that’s on social media or a trading website, but there are some specific things to consider:

    • Ask the seller questions – if they can’t answer, or try to hurry you into a sale, don’t go any further.
    • Requests for advance payment – don’t pay for items until you collect them. This should give you an opportunity to check things over, and means there’s less chance of someone taking your money and failing to deliver.
    • Collect with a friend – if you’re meeting a seller in person, don’t go alone.

    Be especially careful when you buy from a private seller, as opposed to a business. If something goes wrong, your legal rights may not be the same as when you are dealing with an official business.

    Sellers on social media

    Again, most of the points above apply to staying safe on social media. Be cautious about deals which seem too good to be true, any links you click and, in particular, what information you share. Information is valuable and, in the hands of a fraudster, could lead to identity theft.

    Look for online reviews

    Reading about the experiences of other customers should give you a feeling about the company you’re thinking of purchasing from. Obviously, bad feedback is a red flag.

    Just be wary that not all reviews may be legitimate or typical, so you need to follow your own instincts to a degree. 

    Check where the company is based 

    When buying from a company based in Europe, you may still be protected by some of your consumer rights under UK law, regardless of which country's laws are said to be applicable in the contract.

    • Just be aware, if something goes wrong when buying from a company based outside Europe, it’s likely to be more difficult or expensive to put things right.

    Want to know more about scams?

    You’ll find lots of information online, but we list some of the latest scams on our website. By seeing real examples, it could help you to spot a scam before any harm is done.

  • When you’re shopping online, it’s important to be on guard to prevent your valuable information getting into the wrong hands. You may find the following tips useful:

    Protect your computer and devices 

    • Download anti-virus software – using this on all devices which you use to browse and shop online, should help you to identify unsafe websites, links and files. Just make sure you keep this software up to date, and it’s a good idea to scan for viruses at least once a week.
    • Keep your firewall on – this software is common to all computers and devices, helping to prevent harmful websites from accessing your information.
    • Don’t skip updates – to take advantage of new security features, upgrade your computer or device operating system, internet browser and other software/apps as soon as updates are available.
    • Choose and use strong passwords – whether that’s for your computer, device or accounts you hold. Use a mix of letters and numbers, avoiding anything which could be easily guessed. Use different passwords for different websites and never reveal them to anyone.

    Take extra care when using a mobile device

    • Protect devices with a PIN or password – most also have an auto-lock feature you can enable, which locks your device after a period of inactivity.
    • Connect securely – use private wi-fi you know you can trust, or 3G/4G/5G which uses encryption software for extra protection. Wi-fi that’s accessed and used by many people, in coffee shops for instance, may not be secure, even if it’s password protected.
    • Beware of Bluetooth – others may be able to see and access your information, so only use Bluetooth when you really need to.

    Is the website you’ve visited safe? 

    • Look for the closed padlock image next to the website address – this indicates that the page you’re on is secure, although it doesn’t mean it’s genuine. Click the padlock to view website information and its certificate.
    • Check the website address – scam websites may use an address that’s similar to the genuine site, so look for subtle spelling differences, the use of symbols and of less common domain names, such as ‘.net’ rather than ‘.com’. In ‘https’, the ‘s’ indicates you’re on a secure site – look for this on any website before you enter any sensitive information.
    • Hidden addresses – hover your curser over a links (but don’t click) to see the link destination. Does it look genuine? If not, it could lead to a scam website, or infect your computer/device with a virus.

    Ready to make a purchase?

    • It’s useful to know that your credit card offers additional protection on purchases, which could help if something goes wrong. Read about Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974.
    • If you’re making a card payment online, you’ll never be asked to provide your card PIN.
    • Is anyone else around? If you’re out and about, make sure no-one can see you card details, or the information you enter on screen.
    • Keep track online – services like Internet Banking or the Mobile Banking app, give you access to statements and a list of recent transactions. It’s important you get in touch if you notice any activity you don’t recognise.

    Find out more about fraud

    If you’d like to learn more about keeping your card and personal details safe, you might like to read our guides about protecting yourself from fraud, including information about the Take Five to Stop Fraud campaign from Financial Fraud Action UK (FFA).

    We also list some of the latest scams on our website. By seeing real examples, it could help you to spot a scam before any harm is done.

  • It’s important that you understand the costs, stock availability and when you can expect to receive your item before you make a purchase online.

    Watch out for additional charges

    Sometimes charges such as VAT, customs duties if the seller is outside the UK, delivery and packaging may not be included in the price you’re shown, so make sure you read through all of the small print carefully. If you’re not sure you know about all of the charges, don’t go ahead with any purchases.

    Check the delivery and returns/cancellation policy

    Each retailer and service provider will set their own standards and policies for delivery, returns and cancellations, so make sure you read through those details before you make a purchase.

    Delivery – make sure you’re aware of all delivery costs, and how soon goods or services will be provided.

    Returns and cancellations – are there any restrictions or timescales you need to be aware of? Bear in mind that if you order an item from outside the UK, it may be expensive to return it.

    Most websites will have information pages or frequently asked questions you can refer to, but if you’re in doubt you could contact the retailer or service provider to check. 

    Check that your item is in stock

    Be especially careful if you’re thinking of buying an item that’s currently unavailable but ‘due in stock soon’. Estimates of when things will be restocked can be very unreliable and you could find yourself waiting a long time, or chasing a refund when items cannot be delivered at all.

    Some websites offer a ‘stock alert’ service, so you’ll receive an email or text message when an item is back in stock, rather than taking your money in advance, reducing the risk to you.

  • In most instances, shopping online is convenient and quick, but if something does go wrong, of course it’s handy to know what to do about it.

    Keep a record of your online transactions

    It’s a good idea to print off pages or take screenshots, especially for larger online purchases. That way you’ll have the offer details and terms to refer to if there’s a problem later on. Websites are updated frequently, so it’s useful to have copies of information from the time you made your purchase. 

    Most companies will also send you an order confirmation by text message or email, which you should keep hold of as well. 

    Check receipts and order confirmations against your statement 

    Just be aware that some companies trade under different names, so double check any transactions you’re unsure of. 

    Tips on how to identify transactions

    If you spot a transaction you don’t recognise

    It’s important that you get in touch if you suspect your card has been used without your knowledge, or someone knows your Internet Banking log on details. 

    Contact us about fraud

    If there’s a problem with a transaction 

    You should try to resolve things with the retailer or service provider in the first instance. Just be careful if you correspond by email. Emails aren’t encrypted, so you shouldn’t include any personal or card details which you wouldn’t want anyone else to see or use. 

    You’ll find useful information on our credit card payment disputes pages. If you can’t resolve things direct, then we may be able to help.

    Most credit card purchases of over £100 and up to £30,000 are covered by Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1974, which means you could claim a refund if something you’ve paid for is faulty, doesn’t arrive or isn’t as described.

How lenders protect you

Fraud monitoring

To keep you safe, most financial service providers employ 24-hour fraud monitoring services. You’ll be contacted if anything out of the ordinary is noted.

If unusual account activity or a transaction can’t be verified, a temporary block could be placed on your account to keep it safe while investigations continue.

Extra protection

You may be automatically enrolled for Visa Secure®, Mastercard® Identity Check or American Express® SafeKey. Each provides an extra layer of fraud protection.

 At Lloyds Bank, this is provided under the name ClickSafe®.

Extra security checks

You may be asked to enter a password, a one-time passcode, usually provided by text message or over the phone, or use an app to validate transactions and some online activities.

Strong Customer Authentication has applied to all UK banks since September 2019.

Zero liability guarantees

Mastercard, Visa and American Express provide zero liability guarantees which cover you against fraudulent credit card use, excluding cash advances.

The only condition is that you must contact your credit card provider as soon as you spot anything unusual, or if your credit card is missing.

Secure device payments

On compatible devices you can add your credit card details, ready to make secure payments online and contactless payments in shops.

These services take advantage of the in-built security features of your device and, unlike using your card directly, your information is always encrypted, meaning it’s never on show when you make transactions.

If you think you’ve been a victim of fraud

If your Lloyds Bank credit card has been used without your knowledge, or someone knows your Internet Banking log on details, it’s important that you get in touch right away.

Contact us about fraud

Key points on using your credit card online

  • Make sure you’re on a genuine website – only give your information to a company you recognise, or have checked out first. Look for the padlock symbol next to the website address, ‘https’ at the start of the address itself and that everything looks, reads and feels as it should.
  • Keep your computer or device software up to date, use anti-virus software, switch your firewall on and only connect to secure wi-fi or 3G/4G/5G when managing your accounts or shopping online.
  • Make sure you understand all cost, stock availability and delivery timescales.
  • Keep a record of all transactions and check them against your monthly statements. Keep track using online services, like Internet Banking or the Mobile Banking app.
  • If you spot a transaction you don’t recognise, get in touch right away. If there’s a problem with a purchase and you can’t resolve it yourself, your credit card provider may be able to help.

Where next?

Important legal information

Lloyds Bank plc. Registered Office: 25 Gresham Street, London EC2V 7HN. Registered in England and Wales no. 2065 Lloyds Bank plc is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority under registration number 119278.Visit the Lending Standards Board website

We may monitor or record telephone calls to check out your instructions correctly and to help us improve the quality of our service. Calls from abroad are charged according to the telephone service provider’s published tariff. Not all Telephone Banking services are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Please speak to an adviser for more information.

How much we lend and the issue of a credit card depends on an assessment of your circumstances. You must be 18 or over and a UK resident to apply.

Terms and conditions apply to all Lloyds Bank credit cards benefits. Full details will be sent with your card. After each introductory period ends you will be charged at the appropriate standard rate.

Mastercard® is a registered trademark, and the circles design is a trademark of MastercardInternational Incorporated.