A mother-of-two has found a loophole which allows her to buy $500 worth of groceries and petrol without spending any money upfront – but a financial expert has called it a ‘dangerous’ shopping strategy.

The savvy shopper from Melbourne took to social media to share the ‘potentially lifesaving’ hack in which a person can purchase an e-gift card for up to the value of $500 using her Zip Pay account without spending a dollar upfront, shares Daily Mail.

The online voucher allows an internet shopper to buy items from shops including Woolworths, Caltex and Coles – with no money being owed until the end of every month.

‘Most people know of Zip Pay and know that while fashion shops do have [Zip Pay options] in store, some places like Coles, Woolworths and Caltex don’t — or so we thought,’ the woman wrote.

‘I recently found there is a loophole around that. If you go to the Zip Pay website, you can purchase e-gift cards for Coles, Woolworths and Caltex that go immediately to your email to use as real cash.

‘Personally this week financially has been a hard one and I am so glad that I’ve found this loophole to help get me through this week until I can get paid again.

‘So, if you are ever short for food or petrol or anything else, you only need a Zip Pay account and you can buy these things without having to have the cash right then and there,’ she concluded.

Financial Counselling Australia chief executive Fiona Guthrie cautioned shoppers should try not to get ‘caught in a cycle’.

‘The trap of course is that when you borrow money to pay for something today, you start to get yourself caught in a cycle,’ Ms Guthrie told The Daily Telegraph.

‘When you pay the money back at the end of the month, you’re still going to have the same financial issues that you had at the start.

‘These apps confirm not enough people in Australia have enough money to get by … you would have to be an amazingly good money user to only use these apps as a one-off,’ she warned.

Zip Pay allows users to repay money in the amount they want and when they want.

They do charge a $5 fee for any balance left over in the account at the end of the month.

Share your comments below

  • Zip pay is not any worse than having a credit card.. as long as you pay it back what’s the issue


  • Has to be paid for eventually. I think people will get themselves in a bad situation when payment is needed.


  • Zip pay & After pay are just one Big scam look at how much the cost of stocks have gone up on the stock market for after pay & it’s only been around for 1 to 2 year’s l say if you can’t afford to pay for it then & there Don’t use zip pay or After pay you will regret it


  • Blah, blah, blah, whinge, whinge, whinge. You can always walk in and use a credit for shopping too. So why not bag out credit cards and complain they get stupid people into debt.
    And for those with the high and mighty stock up their rear “I save for everything, and if I can’t pay it for it outright, I go without” I say this, if you have a home loan, and/or a car loan you’re a hippocrite.


  • Definitely not something I’d want to try, everything has fees, nothing is free


  • Also zip does have fees.
    If you don’t pay the full amount you owe by the end of the four week period if charges you $8 every month after until you’ve finished paying off your debt.


  • Yes, it can definitely become an addiction saying to yourself you will pay something back later. It all builds up!
    I have a friend who continuously gets a new credit card to pay off another because she gets carried away with shipping. It’s out of control. If you have good self control then if you need to use something like this then by all means go ahead but if you’re an impulse buyer things like this definitely aren’t the best.


  • Might work as a stop gap arrangement when having to feed the family & waiting for the next payslip, but doesn’t sound wise to do all the time same as with any other credit card.


  • Zip is a great app to use .. IT’S NOT A CREDIT CARD NO FEES…All you have to do is pay what you can weekly or fortnightly..I can tell you this it’s a life changer for me anyway..love zip..I have a card on my Google pay account turn on my NFC and pay anywhere that doesn’t have zip..I love this app …


  • I wouldn’t ever want to do something like this, it is a dangerous money game.


  • No I like to be able to afford items. If I don’t have the money I don’t buy it!


  • Would be okay for a one off if in a pinch


  • Not for me, I budget to make sure we have money for these things over Xmas. If you can’t afford it up front you don’t need it


  • There is no interest.
    You are not using your money for up to 60 days. You pay only $6 per month thereafter if you dont pay the total within 30 days after receiving the monthly statement. You buy what you need and are not sucked in to buying stuff you do not need and can’t fit in your fridge or cabinets. You are getting goods delivered from an online store and you are not wasting your time, petrol to make purchases. You are always going to find what you need unlike if you are going into a physical store. You are better managing your allocation of money by having the information of the funds in and funds out, whilst being conscious about it in the long run, unlike if you enter a physical store and compulsively splurge on goods you do not need. It is like layby whilst you hand possession of the goods and this makes you more money conscious of funds in and funds out. If I walk into a physical store and spend $300, what guarantees me that the money spent will not be needed elsewhere that I had overlooked, like health insurance bill, car insurance bill, utility bills, internet and phone bills and this makes my spend risky if I am not aware that I need that money elsewhere. With pay later incrementally, the risk is taken out. On what planet are people on? I guess that is why most are not billionaires because they want to use their money rather the money of others, HA!


  • You have to pay interest on it, but it’s better than getting a loan with a higher interest rate if you’re unable to pay the amount off by the end of the month.


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