In today’s day and age, there are a number of ways to make a living online. From selling online goods and affiliate marketing to surveys and website testing – there are a plethora of options to choose from.
One common way is to advertise revenue on a YouTube channel. It’s a popular method that can be lucrative for those with a big following. However, more recently, there has been a surge in subscription-based platforms such as SubscribeStar.
Websites such as SubscribeStar require audiences to pay to view content creators publish. In SubscribeStar’s case, you can’t pay using your PayPal account. The only viable payment methods are a credit card or a (prepaid) debit card. This can present some challenges for users that don’t want to use their regular payment card(s).
Therefore, in this article, we’ll explain what SubscribeStar is, how it works, why using your regular credit- or debit card can be problematic, and how a virtual prepaid card could be the solution.
What is SubscribeStar?
SubscribeStar is a membership-based website that allows creators, known as ‘Stars’, to get paid for the content they publish onto the platform. It works on a subscription model where consumers can subscribe to a Star’s content, allowing them to view it.
By subscribing, consumers typically pay a few dollars every month to the Star in order to access the Star’s content. Alternatively, they can pay each time the Star releases something new.
Who is SubscribeStar made for?
SubscribeStar is made for both creators and audiences. The platform allows Stars to publish content whilst earning a monthly income from their paying audience.
How much they earn will depend entirely on how many subscribers they have. Those with a greater number of subscribers will be the ones who can attain a sustainable income source from the platform.
Many emerging Stars create content for the platform alongside a day job. Therefore, the platform can be a great tool as it allows new creators to be compensated for the time it takes to create and publish their work. For Stars who already have an established following, it can enable them to earn a sizeable amount, with many using the platform as their primary source of income.
For subscribers, it empowers them to directly support their favourite Stars, something they cannot do with Youtube, for example. It also enables audiences to browse and discover creators they usually would not be exposed to, creating a win-win for both parties.
What type of content is on the platform?
SubscribeStar has a wide variety of available content. The list is endless, from music, videos, photos, writings, sports, business, acting, and much more. The platform attracts creators and audiences of all types, and this vast array of content is what makes SubscribeStar such a popular platform.
However, SubscribeStar does have some guidelines for content you can’t post. For instance, you cannot share personal information or promote bigotry and hatred, and you cannot cover social events such as protests and marches. Also, anything that breaks the law or infringes on a person’s copyright and intellectual property will not be tolerated on the platform.
How do I subscribe?
Subscribing to a Star is incredibly straightforward and only requires a few clicks. The steps are as follows:
- Find a Star you wish to follow, click on their profile, and click the “Subscribe” button on their page.
- Select the subscription tier you would like to subscribe to.
- Scroll down and enter your card details. You will be asked for your cardholder name, card number, expiration date, security code, and country.
- Click “Pay & Subscribe” to finalise payment.
Once your credit card information has been confirmed and verified, your subscription will be active, and you can proceed with viewing the Star’s content.
Currently, the platform does not accept payment using a PayPal account; only a credit card and a (prepaid) debit card can be used.
Your credit card information will only be needed when subscribing for the first time. Since the platform will have this on file going forward, if you decide to subscribe to more than one Star, you can simply select your credit card from the options and proceed with payment.
What are the problems of subscribing using a credit or debit card?
Credit and Debit cards are a perfectly normal way to make online purchases. However, there are inherent risks that come with using them.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to use your credit card as less as possible on the internet. Minimising its use will reduce the risk of being a victim of credit card fraud.
Websites can experience hacks and security breaches, and malicious people can gain access to your credit card information. Using your card details, they can steal the money in your account or make purchases using your credit.
Overspending and getting stuck with debt
If you tend to spend money quickly, a credit card can be a risky payment method. This is because using a credit card means borrowing money and paying it back later.
How much you can borrow will depend on your credit limit. Suppose you have a credit limit of £2,000. This means you can borrow up to £2,000 each month without having to pay it back immediately. The catch is that you are charged interest on outstanding balances if they aren’t paid back in full every month. Overspending can cause you to accumulate debt and interest, which can spiral out of control rapidly, and it can be challenging to pay off.
Maxing out your credit card, missing payments, and allowing debt to rack up will result in a negative credit score. This will significantly affect your ability to get credit in the future, for example, when applying for a mortgage.
What are the benefits of using a virtual prepaid card?
A virtual prepaid card is an excellent alternative to a credit or debit card, particularly for purchases online, such as SubscribeStar content.
Virtual debit cards are not linked to a specific bank account or checking account, so if the card details fall into the hands of malicious people, they can’t access your entire bank account balance. They will only have access to the amount of money you transferred onto the virtual card.
For instance, say you transfer money from your bank account to your virtual card every month. You send £150 each month, which is then used to pay for a variety of things, including your favourite Star’s content. Suppose one of the websites experiences a data leak, and your virtual debit card details are in the hands of the hackers. Instead of having access to the full funds in your bank account, they will only have access to the money in your virtual card. This means that, at most, the hackers will have access to £150, making it a more secure alternative.
In the case of a Getsby virtual card, there is an extra layer of security. Any data leaks or hacks with a website or payment processor where your information is revealed won’t be traced back to the card itself. This is because the card number is converted into a token ID which only has enough information to process a payment, nothing more. Therefore, if your card details somehow fall into the wrong hands, the token can’t be traced back to the card details. This keeps your personal information safe and secure.
Only spending money you have
With a credit card, you are borrowing money, thus spending money you don’t have. A prepaid card is the complete opposite, where you can only spend the amount that’s been loaded onto it, which removes the possibility of overspending.
This also has the benefit of reducing fees associated with credit cards, such as interest, missed payments, and overdrafts, thereby keeping you from accumulating debt and affecting your credit score.
Better for the environment
Virtual cards are also better for the environment. Your debit and credit card are made from a plastic called Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). PVC is one of the most used plastics in the world due to its ability to be lightweight but also extremely strong.
For a credit card, PVC is the perfect choice as it can easily withstand day-to-day use for several years without weighing your wallet down. However, its durability is also the reason that it is terrible for the environment.
PVC is neither degradable nor biodegradable. Whilst it will slowly decompose and release toxic materials into the environment, this procedure will take hundreds of years. And even then, it won’t completely degrade.
Avoid flooding your bank statements
It can be frustrating to sift through pages of transactions at a time when looking at your bank statement. Virtual cards have the benefit of keeping your transaction history separate from your bank statements.
It’s much easier to have a single transaction on there – the payment to your virtual debit card – allowing you to easily keep track of where your money is going without being bogged down by individual transaction details.