Who Accepts Virtual Credit Cards?
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You know that virtual credit cards are a good way to keep your information safe online, but you might be wondering what a virtual credit card looks like to the vendor who accepts it. As such, are there vendors out there that choose not to accept virtual credit cards? In addition, are certain products and services ineligible for purchase with a virtual credit card? Today we’re going to answer these questions as well as any questions you might have about how long you can use a virtual credit card and how long you might want to use a virtual credit card.
Are There Stores That Don’t Accept Virtual Credit Cards?
Yes, sadly, most storefront shops will not accept a virtual credit card number without an actual card. However, the purpose of a virtual card is really to protect your card information when you’re shopping online. So, for that purpose, a virtual credit card is perfect.
Aside from that point, no, there shouldn’t be any online stores that will not accept virtual credit cards. In fact, there is no way for a vendor to know that you’re using a virtual credit card number instead of a traditional card number. The card number truly is the same as any other card number out there, so it just appears as if you’re using a regular credit card.
What’s more, your actual card number isn’t hidden behind the virtual credit card number. They aren’t linked in any way, except how you see them on your bank statement. As such, merchants won’t be able to see your real credit card number and if for some reason their system was compromised, your true card information wouldn’t be leaked. In addition, the person trying to steal your information wouldn’t have access to the money in the account associated with your card.
What Can I Buy With a Virtual Credit Card?
Virtual credit cards are good for anything that you’d purchase with a traditional credit card online. However, you have some additional options to work with. Depending on what virtual credit card service you have, you can either set a limit on your virtual number or you can set it up for just a one-time use.
This means that you can purchase one item and the card will immediately deactivate or you can use it several times with a limit and determined expiration date. Within these parameters, you can purchase anything that you’d like. You’re in complete control of your virtual credit card. You can decide how long you’d like the card to stay active and how much money can be spent in relation to that card.
Does a Virtual Credit Card Ever Expire?
Yes it does. If you’re choosing to use a virtual credit card service that allows multiple transactions with your card, it will ask you to set an expiration date. You are allowed to choose an expiration date that best suits your needs. However, there are often stipulations that go along with that.
For example, most card companies that allow for multiple uses will also have a maximum window that your virtual card number can remain active. In most cases, your card number can stay active for no longer than a year. If you have the capability to use a virtual number in this way, it’s very convenient for repeat transactions, like subscriptions and other monthly bills.
However, your card information will still be protected. The card will automatically become inactive after a year. At that time you can create a new card number that can be used instead. This just adds a second layer of security just in case you ever forget about a recurring bill or subscription.
Why Stay With a Virtual Credit Card?
Virtual credit card numbers can be used indefinitely. When one expires, you can simply create a new card number. The benefit of using a virtual credit card in this way is that your true credit card information will never be found on the web. You can remove your real credit card number from any payments it is currently attached to and replace it with a virtual card number.
If your virtual card number is ever compromised, it can simply be deactivated. You’ll never have to worry if the rest of your money is safe because a virtual credit card does not have access to any funds outside of the limit you set. Fraudsters will never gain access to your other personal information through the card either, like other credit cards or debit cards, your other bank accounts, or confidential information saved through your bank.
In the end, virtual credit cards offer many benefits to you as an online shopper, with very little negative aspects. Your bank records will keep track of which card number was used with what vendor and how much was spent on that particular transaction. Everything will be in your spending history. So, not only do you never have to worry about your credit card information being compromised, you don’t have to keep track of all of the virtual credit card numbers that you create. Essentially, it’s a win-win for anyone who loves to shop online.
Looking for more information on credit cards? Visit our credit card learning and resource center.
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Trisha is a writer and blogger from Boise, ID. She is a dedicated vegan, an avid gamer, cat lover, and amateur SFX artist.
This post was updated December 26, 2017. It was originally published December 27, 2017.