The world of online transactions has drastically changed over the years. With the advent of e-commerce, online banking, and digital wallets, virtual credit cards have become increasingly popular as a secure means of payment for online transactions. In this guide, we will take a closer look at the best virtual credit card providers out there.
What are Virtual Credit Cards?
Virtual credit cards are temporary or disposable card numbers that can be used to make purchases without revealing your actual credit card information to merchants or vendors. They are essentially a digital version of your physical credit card that you can use for online transactions.
Virtual credit cards come in handy when you want to make an online purchase but don’t feel comfortable revealing your actual card details. They help protect against fraud and identity theft, as well as offer peace of mind knowing that your personal information is safe.
How do Virtual Credit Cards Work?
When you sign up for a virtual credit card, you will receive a unique 16-digit number along with an expiration date and security code. These details can be used just like any other credit card when making an online purchase.
The difference is that the virtual credit card number you receive is not tied to your actual physical card; instead, it acts as a proxy between your bank account and the merchant. This ensures that your actual financial information remains safe from prying eyes.
Why Use Virtual Credit Cards?
There are several advantages to using virtual credit cards:
- Security: As mentioned earlier, virtual credit cards provide an extra layer of security by keeping your personal information safe from hackers and fraudsters.
- Convenience: With virtual cards, you don’t need to carry around physical cards everywhere you go. You can make online transactions from anywhere in the world as long as you have access to the internet.
- Budgeting: Since virtual cards are temporary, they can help limit spending on specific purchases or subscriptions. This is especially useful for those who want to keep track of their online spending.
The Best Virtual Credit Card Providers
- Capital One Eno
- Citi Virtual Account Numbers
- Netspend Virtual Card
- Bank of America Shopsafe
1. Capital One Eno
Capital One Eno is a virtual assistant that provides virtual credit cards to its users. It allows you to create virtual credit cards on the fly, and you can manage these cards from within your browser using the Eno extension.
One of the standout features of Capital One Eno is its ability to detect fraudulent charges immediately and notify you via email or text message.
Eno also works with a variety of merchants, including Amazon, Walmart, and Target, among others.
2. Citi Virtual Account Numbers
Citi Virtual Account Numbers is a free service offered by Citibank that provides virtual credit card numbers for its customers. These numbers can be used to make purchases online without revealing your actual card number.
Citibank’s service offers many advanced features like setting limits on individual transactions and scheduling payments as per your convenience.
EntroPay is another virtual credit card provider that offers secure payment solutions for online transactions worldwide. It allows users to create virtual Visa or Mastercard debit cards instantly without any credit checks or bank account requirements.
You can fund your EntroPay account using various methods such as bank transfer, debit/credit card, or instant transfer services like Neteller and Skrill.
4. Netspend Virtual Card
Netspend is a popular prepaid debit card issuer that offers virtual debit cards for online transactions as well. These cards come with no activation fees or credit checks required and offer easy access to funds through various channels like PayPal, direct deposit, and many other options.
The best part about Netspend virtual cards is that they offer direct deposit to the card and offer rewards on purchases made through the card.
5. Bank of America Shopsafe
Bank of America Shopsafe is a virtual credit card service provided by Bank of America. It allows you to create a temporary credit card number for each online purchase which can be used just like any other credit card.
One of the standout features of Shopsafe is its ability to limit the usage of these temporary numbers based on your preferences such as transaction limits, expiration dates, and merchant types.
Virtual credit cards provide a great way to protect yourself while making online transactions. They are easy to use and come with many added perks like budgeting tools, rewards programs and fraud protection measures.
With so many virtual credit card providers out there, it can be challenging to decide which one to go for. In this guide, we have highlighted some of the best virtual credit card providers available today. Be sure to evaluate each one carefully before making your decision.
What are virtual credit cards?
Virtual credit cards are online payment methods that generate a unique card number for a single transaction, instead of using your actual credit card number.
Why use virtual credit cards?
Using virtual credit cards offers an added layer of security by keeping your actual credit card number safe from potential fraud or theft.
How do you obtain a virtual credit card?
Many banks and financial institutions offer virtual credit cards as part of their services. You can usually apply for one online or through their mobile app.
What should I look for in a virtual credit card provider?
Look for providers that offer secure transactions, low fees, and easy accessibility. It’s also important to research the reputation of the provider before using their services.
Can virtual credit cards be used internationally?
Yes, many virtual credit card providers allow for international transactions as long as they are processed through a merchant that accepts the provider’s payment method.
Are there any downsides to using virtual credit cards?
Some merchants may not accept payments made through virtual credit cards, so it’s important to check if this is an issue before using them for certain purchases. Additionally, you may have to pay fees for each transaction made with a virtual credit card.
How long do virtual credit cards last?
This varies depending on the provider, but most virtual credit cards expire within 24-48 hours after being generated or after one-time use.
Can I link multiple accounts to one virtual credit card?
This depends on the provider, but some allow you to link multiple bank accounts or debit/credit cards to your account in order to fund your transactions with the virtual card.
Is it possible to get cashback or rewards points with virtual credit card transactions?
Yes, some virtual credit card providers offer cashback rewards or other incentives for using their services. Be sure to check the terms and conditions of each provider to see what rewards are available.
How do I know if my virtual credit card is accepted by a merchant?
Check with the merchant before making a purchase to ensure that they accept payments made through your chosen virtual credit card provider. Typically, this information can also be found on the provider’s website or mobile app.