Q. I’m 19 and will start college this fall, assuming we can go back with the Covid virus. So I don’t have any credit cards yet and my parents are afraid to get one for me and I’m not getting approved by any credit card companies. But I would like to get Netflix for myself so I can watch it when I am in college. So my question: Is there anyway to get Netflix using cash? Can you send them cash to set up an account? — Jennifer, Bryan, Texas. 

Jennifer, that’s a great question, and I would bet that most readers would instinctively say the answer is no. We have become so accustomed to using a credit card for online accounts that we forget that cash is still an option.

And guess what, it is an option. Yes, you can pay for a Netflix account with cash.

But no, you don’t want to send them your hard-earned dollars through the mail. Netflix won’t accept it, and I seriously doubt that you would ever see it again, if you know what I mean.

Here’s what you should do:

Go to a neighborhood store that sells gift cards and see if they offer Netflix. If they do, get one that will cover at least a few months of service, such as a $25 card. Then, go to Netflix’s gift card page and open an account using the gift card number and PIN. (Note that Netflix also offers a free trial, sometimes as long as 30 days.)

And that’s it. You’ve used cash to subscribe to Netflix.

“We will deduct the appropriate amount from your gift card balance based on the plan you’ve chosen,” Netflix says at its web site. “If you are eligible for a free trial, you will receive a free month of service, in addition to the amount of the gift card. After the free month, we will start to deduct the monthly charge for your plan from your gift card balance.”

Netflix says that once your gift card runs out of money, it will send you a reminder to input a new gift card to continue your subscription.

“Yes, you can buy more than one gift card to use on your account. You can enter the gift cards at netflix.com/redeem and your balance will increase with each gift card you add,” the streamer states.

Jennifer, I’m glad you asked this question because many Americans have trouble getting credit cards and probably don’t know they can get Netflix without one.

Happy viewing, and stay safe!

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— Phillip Swann