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

  • 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.


  • It’s just like a credit card – you’ll need to be able to pay it eventually


  • This is dangerous and I think there needs to be more regulations on this sort of lending.


  • You would still need to find this money before the end of the month. That just adds more stress on to an already stressful time.


  • I wouldn’t bother with this, you still have to pay.


  • Just to be clear … your shopping is not free. You do have to pay for it eventually. I think this is a concerning way to live and shop. I appreciate hard times, but I find Zip Pay, After Pay etc. so concerning. It’s not teaching budgeting or planning or saving for something. I think it’s a black hole.


  • I really don’t like zip pay or after pay. I see far to many people getting themselves into trouble.


  • Why leave yourself in a position not to be able to buy food, and going into more debt is not going to help matters, she should not be spreading this so others fall into the trap of more debt. If you are desperate borrow from family or friends or go to a charity organization.


  • This can’t be good. I say stay away!


  • I’d never do this


  • There is never a free lunch people – bet the interest rates on the unpaid bit are extremely exorbitant and you end up getting trapped into less money to spend in the long term as you have to pay back what you had earlier. If you cant afford something, don’t buy it.


  • Nothing is free, you end up paying it all back


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