For me it was that time of the year again where my total days of membership credit creep into the single digits. So it was time to renew, because I didn't want to lose out on all the good stuff. Still paying the previous tariff rather then last year's updated price was also a good motivator.
So, as per usual, I went ahead and ordered a whole year's worth of perks and what not, for the full list you should check the various websites on it. The reasons I order a whole year at once are not only that it is cheaper, but I also love having new stuff to do every fortnight. Well, that, and I am the leader of a member’s only clan. Can't have me be F2P now, can we?
By now I am going into my 4th year of membership, and this means that I have now tried four payment options. I thought it was time that I detailed my experiences and opinions for you here.
The first was through a PayPal account owned by my father. It is a convenient method that utilizes "having cash on the internet". It is also relatively cheap, but there are usually added costs when actually transferring the required money from your bank, debit- or credit to your PayPal account. Your bank, debit- or credit card company usually hides the extra costs very well. Not to mention the interest you pay on credit cards. With these cards there is also a risk of your data falling in the wrong hands if your anti viral software isn’t up to date.
The second and third were Pay By Ca$h methods. One where I did bank transfer to Jagex through some company called Global Collect (which for some reason, is no longer an option in my country), and the second time was a Direct Debit option my own bank could provide me. Neither of these appealed to me too much, both through added costs (on top of being the more expensive method) and because of the completely unknown 3rd party involved in one of the options.
Then this Wallie Card was brought to my attention. Basically it's like a card you buy for your pre-paid cell phone, but instead it is for internet payments. It means you have to go out to a store to buy it, but between my house and the centre of my town 2 miles away there are already 19 selling points. It costs less then Pay By Ca$h, requires no third parties other then Wallie itself, and is available pretty much anywhere from a gas station to a mall.
On top of that, and to some of the younger people here this may be a perk, when buying it in stores, no ID, credit- or debit card is needed, just cash. Once bought, you enter the code or codes into Jagex' payment site until the bill is fulfilled, and even then you can still cancel payment before you finally submit.
Sometimes you'll have a little extra credit left, or in other occasions, you're coming up short. Not to worry about that either, the codes validity lasts forever, and people who happen to have a card with just one or two Euro's, dollars, pounds or pesos left often put the codes online (just Google) for other people to use.
I have to admit, I was quite impressed with this new way of paying for internet purchases. I did a little digging and found out that not only is RuneScape their biggest client, but there is a whole score of games you can use Wallie for. Their ambition is to be available throughout the EU (and more as they are also available in Mexico already) with a full banking license. For the U.S., I believe a similar payment option is available which Jagex calls pre-paid RuneScape membership cards.
Having studied these payment options, I realize I left out a few. I did so purposely to compare only the options I had some experience with. Keep in mind that the price tag for the cheapest monthly option costs you more over the whole year and that some methods require you to divulge information you may not wish to volunteer. My first concern, as always, is safety, and this is why I recommend Wallie.