Alternative Payment Methods


Generally, Republic requires use of a credit or debit card capable of accepting recurring payments for monthly service fees and online store purchases. Here’s everything official from Republic regarding billing and payments. Having said that, from time to time, one might find themselves in need of an alternative. Fortunately, there are workarounds that can help!

One popular request is the ability for Republic to directly debit a checking account. While Republic, doesn’t yet offer this, a service called can help.’s premise is creation of merchant specific virtual debit cards linked to one’s checking account. The merchant never sees checking account information. Since the card is merchant specific, one need not worry that a breach at one merchant will impact transactions with another merchant.

The great news is’s service works quite well with Republic’s billing system. Once signed up with and having added the Firefox or Chrome extension (according to support for Apple’s Safari and Microsoft’s browsers is coming soon) making a virtual card the payment method on your Republic account is very easy. Additionally, offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. Steps to set as the payment method for your Republic account using a computer’s web browser follow:

  1. Start here.
  2. Scroll until you see the Payment heading.
  3. Click the pencil icon to the right.
  4. Click the red icon to the right of your current payment information.
  5. Create your new virtual debit card.
  6. will fill in the required information for you.
  7. Click Update.



If you’re a new Republic member (welcome by the way) and wish to use, please create a virtual card first on’s website. When prompted during activation of your new phone, simply enter the details for the virtual card created.

Speaking as a former banker, I’m impressed with’s service not only for paying Republic but for online shopping in general. Never again need I concern myself with a breach at Home Depot, for example. I may need to wait for my bank to replace a compromised physical credit or debit card but my merchant specific virtual cards continue to function.

Finally, a tip of the virtual hat to my fellow Community Ambassador @happywillow0 for bringing to my attention.

Bluebird by American Express

While most prepaid/re-loadable cards do not work with Republic, here’s one that does.

Republic’s documentation states:

Republic Wireless accepts Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover credit and debit cards.

No other forms of payment are accepted at this time, including prepaid/reloadable credit cards or gift cards (whether from Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, or other providers).

This is accurate as far as it goes, however, there are prepaid cards which function as debit rather than credit cards. The challenge is finding one that meets Republic’s requirement that it accept recurring payments. One mentioned frequently in Community as doing so is American Express’ Bluebird card available online and locally at Walmart. Once obtained, Bluebird prepaid cards function like traditional bank debit cards and may be funded in a variety of ways. Bluebird cards may be added as the payment method linked to a Republic account as outlined here.

Bluebird cards are not the only prepaid/reloadable cards that accept recurring payments. If one wishes to explore alternatives this Consumer Reports article may be of interest. Not every card listed in the article accepts recurring payments and many have fees Bluebird does not, so please choose wisely.


Republic supports PayPal? Yes, sort of.

If you’ve read this far you’re probably thinking wait Republic doesn’t accept PayPal and you’re correct about that. PayPal does, however, offer a debit card linked to one’s PayPal account that functions as any bank issued debit card does. The caveat is one’s PayPal account must be a business account. Many of us establish a PayPal account for the purpose of selling old electronics on secondary market sites like eBay or Swappa. If this is you, converting that account to a business account isn’t terribly difficult.

PayPal offers some guidance here. Once upgraded, PayPal will issue a business debit card linked to your PayPal account. That card may be used as the payment method linked to your Republic account as described here.


Wow, @rolandh you continue to amaze me with your knowledge. Thanks for sharing this!


As much as I appreciate the kind words, I don’t do it alone. Much of what I do is document what I learn from fellow members (like yourself) in this Community and others I frequent. Specifically, @happywillow0 first brought to my attention and I’m very thankful he did so.


rolandh wrote:

Specifically, @happywillow0 first brought to my attention and I’m very thankful he did so.

Just pushed me over the edge, reading on the todo list.

edit: BTW, I agree with @michellen , great Blog.


The @rolandh 2017 The new RW IR in virtual reality 1/2 man 1/2 HDD, the human brain with an Eidetic memory (the ability to recall images with vividness bordering on actual visual perception; total recall; also called photographic memory. Eidetic memory, to use the clinical term, is the ability to recollect an image so vividly that it appears to be real.’s 21st Century Lexicon.)
You Da Man Rolandh

edit- type o

I noticed that the “Privacy” image reflected a “Visa” emblem. I had used my banks only offered card, a Visa. Whenever I was sent a new card I had to call every monthly payment I had set up and renew them by phone. Many places don’t accept Visas these days. So I’m not going to use that card. This sounds too good to be true. Especially if doesn’t have to retain the data or sell any of my info in order to make$$ on the side.

I’m not sure what gave you this impression but Visa is the most widely accepted payment card network in the world about even with Mastercard at over 30 million merchants in over 120 countries. Amex is a distant 3rd at about 6 million.


As a matter of fact…Costco ONLY accepts Visa.

Hi @edwardlq.jogch3,

I wrote this article and I assure you paying Republic with works as I use it to pay my Republic bill.

To Republic it’s a Visa card and as @louisdi mentions, Visa is the most widely accepted payment method available. Very few merchants refuse it.

Your bank will process the transaction as an ACH debit, which is banking jargon for an electronic payment. One does need to trust but just so you know, in the two years I’ve been using them to pay Republic and other online merchants, there’s yet to be as suspicious transaction on my linked checking account. If they were selling or otherwise nefariously using my information, I don’t think that would be the case.


Thanks. I appreciate your response and for the reassurance. I’m going to set it up.

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