Can’t Use Your Credit Card When Shopping Online for Meds at a Canadian Pharmacy Service? Here’s WHY.

Some bank cards with master and visa

As many Americans who want to use a Canadian online pharmacy are starting to realize, you may not be able to use your Visa or MasterCard when purchasing medications from a Canadian pharmacy service, leaving you with limited options and a limited ability to gather those much-coveted points!   

MasterCard maintains a watch list of merchants that it deems to be “high-risk”.  Visa also has access to this list and chooses to adhere to its claims.  Many, if not all, Canadian pharmacy services selling into the USA have been placed on this MATCH list – even some Canadian pharmacy services that are safe, legal, and CIPA certified!  MATCH stands for “member alert to control high risk”.  So let’s dig into the “high risk” of dealing with a Canadian pharmacy service. 

If you are looking for a Canadian pharmacy, as a consumer we suggest you start by going to the Canadian International Pharmacy Association (CIPA) website. CIPA is a Canadian association that does an excellent job of supporting pharmacies and companies that work with licensed pharmacies.  All members of CIPA require a prescription, post their address and phone number, have privacy policies, and ensure your financial information is kept secure. Please visit the CIPA website and review the information they have on their website.  Double checking the credentials and certifications of your provider will give you piece of mind in knowing you are getting safe medications you can trust from a provider you can trust. 

Both MasterCard and Visa comply with rules created by an independent organization called LegitScript.  LegitScript is stated to be funded by BigPharma in this lawsuit: 

LegitScript’s rules will only allow for an online pharmacy to be licensed within the United States and therefore any licensed, regulatory compliant, or legitimate pharmacy located outside of the USA is unable to comply with LegitScript’s BigPharma funded rules.  This includes pharmacies located in Canada! 

What does this mean to you? 

If you are a person in need of a cheaper alternative to the USA’s incredibly high cost pharmaceuticals, it means you likely can’t use VISA or MasterCard to pay for your order.  If you are able to use MasterCard or Visa it is likely through some other means, such as an offshore organization working with the online pharmacy.   

What can you use if you can’t use a VISA or MasterCard  to buy your meds from a Canadian pharmacy service? 

If you can’t use a VISA card or MasterCard to make your purchase, you can still make your purchase. Alternatives include: 

  • AMEX does provide no cost cards with points!   
  • ACH or eCheck which allows the company to obtain funds directly from your bank account 
  • Send in a check.  
  • Some pharmacies also cater to allowing purchases using cryptocurrency like BitCoin or DAI. 

Contact your online pharmacy, ensure they are CIPA certified, and ask about methods of payment. 

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