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Stay Secure Online With Virtual Credit Card Numbers

14 min read
Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Aug 08, 2018 | Updated Mar 30, 2020

Virtual credit cards are digital versions of real, physical credit cards.

You can use them instead of your actual card details when shopping online or by phone, to help prevent credit card fraud and identity theft along with myriad other purposes.

Where Can I Get a Virtual Credit Card Number?

There are currently only four credit card issuers that provide virtual account numbers. We’ll summarize them here, and then go into more detail below.

There are also several digital wallet services that can perform a very similar function for online transactions (and in store as well). You can learn more about them below.

Virtual Account Provider Details
Capital One Eno
Citi Virtual Card Accounts
Apple Card (Apple & Goldman Sachs)
Brex
Stripe
  • Provided instantly after uploading your company logo into the Stripe Dashboard
Insider tip

American Express has the vPayment system, which generates virtual account numbers, but this is for corporate accounts only.

Getting a Virtual Credit Card

Setting up a virtual credit card number should be pretty easy. The process may vary a bit by issuer, but it should (usually) only take a few simple steps, like the following:

  1. Check to see if your credit card account offers virtual card numbers, or apply for a credit card if you don’t already have one. You need an open credit card account in order to use a virtual card. A card you’re currently carrying may already give you virtual account access, so do some research to see if that’s the case. If not, browse the virtual account providers we listed above, and search for an option that complements your spending habits.
  2. Log in to your credit card account online and find the virtual credit card feature. You’ll typically find this option in your account settings, so check there first.
  3. Generate the card information. You’ll get a new 16-digit credit card number and 3-digit security code every time you create a virtual card. In some cases, you’ll be able to choose the expiration date, though certain issuers with merchant-specific options will set that automatically.
  4. Use your virtual card as you would any card. Aside from a few minor differences — merchant exclusivity and the fact that they don’t physically exist, for example — virtual credit cards are pretty much the same as normal credit cards. You input the applicable information to make purchases, and those purchases are charged to your account.

Capital One Eno

Setup
Learn More
Details

You’ll need a Capital One card to use Eno, Capital One’s “intelligent assistant.” You’ll also need to use either the Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox web browser, so you can get the Eno extension.

The virtual card numbers you create with Eno will be merchant-specific, meaning each one can only be used with its paired merchant.

After installing the extension, the Eno assistant will pop up when you’re on a checkout page. Follow the instructions to create a virtual card number for that merchant. That number will be saved and used for future purchases from that same merchant.

Or, you can use Eno to create virtual cards before making purchases.

With Capital One, if you report your physical card as lost or stolen your virtual card numbers will remain active.

The Eno tool includes a unique service that allows you to get your full account information as soon as you’re approved, rather than having to wait several business days for the physical card to arrive in the mail. That includes the account number, expiration date, and CVV security code. Or, if your card is lost or stolen, Eno can provide your replacement card information instantly to help you get back on track more quickly.

Capital One Credit Cards

Capital One credit cards are available for people of all credit ranges. Check out some of Capital One’s best credit cards below.

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR14.49% - 24.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Terms & Features

  • Purchase APR: 0% intro on purchases intro APR for 12 months, then 14.49% - 24.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Annual Fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Card

 

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR15.49% - 25.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Terms & Features

  • 1.5% cash back for every purchase
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 15.49% - 25.49% Variable
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Annual Fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

 

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®

Our rating
Min. credit levelLimited Credit History
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR26.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

The information related to Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One® has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Terms & Features

  • 1% cash back for every purchase (1.25% cash back when you pay on time)
  • Access a higher credit line after making your first five monthly payments on time
  • Foreign Transaction Fee: None
  • Annual Fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Capital One Journey Student Credit Card

Citi Virtual Card Accounts

Setup
Learn More
Details

Most Citi cards are eligible for virtual account numbers. The only exceptions are the Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi (Review), along with the business version of that card, and the old Citi Dividend card (which is no longer open to new applications).

Each virtual card will be specific to a single merchant. You can set spending limits and expiration dates.

You can manage and use your virtual account numbers through Citi’s web service. Windows users can choose to download a program to manage virtual credit card accounts instead.

With Citi, if you report your physical card as lost or stolen your virtual card numbers will be canceled as well. So you’ll need to create new virtual cards to replace them. This is unlike Capital One, which allows your virtual cards to remain active when you report your card as lost or stolen.

Citi Credit Cards

Learn more about Citi credit cards, or take a look at a few of Citi’s best card offers.

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Citi® Double Cash Card - 18 month BT offer

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn cash back twice. Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time.
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% – 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • Balance Transfers do not earn cash back.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.99% – 23.99% based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Key Terms & Features

  • 2% cash back for every purchase you make (1% when you make purchases, and 1% when you make payments)
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% intro APR for 18 months on Balance Transfers, then 13.99% – 23.99% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Citi Double Cash Card

 

Citi Prestige® Card

Citi Prestige® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$495
Regular APR17.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 5X ThankYou points on Air travel and Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points on Hotels and Cruise Lines
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Rewards never expire
  • $250 travel credit
  • Complimentary 4th night free on eligible hotel stays, capped at twice per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $495 annual fee

The information related to Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Terms & Features

  • 5X points per dollar at airlines and restaurants, 3X points at hotels and cruise lines
  • 50,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • Annual Fee: $495

Read more in our Review of the Citi Prestige Credit Card

 

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Citi® Diamond Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.74% – 23.74% (Variable)
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers for 21 months from date of first transfer. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% – 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. All transfers must be completed in first 4 months.
  • 0% Intro APR on purchases for 12 months from date of account opening. After that, the variable APR will be 13.74% – 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness.
  • If you transfer a balance with this offer, after your 0% Intro purchase APR expires, both new purchases and unpaid purchase balances will automatically accrue interest until all balances, including your transferred balance, are paid in full.
  • There is a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
  • Get free access to your FICO® score online.
  • With Citi EntertainmentSM, get special access to purchase tickets to thousands of events, including concerts, sporting events, dining experiences and more.
  • Shop with confidence knowing that you have dependable protection benefits, including $0 Liability on Unauthorized Purchases and Citi® Identity Theft Solutions.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.74% – 23.74%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi’s discretion.

Citi is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Key Terms & Features

  • Purchase APR: 0% for 12 months, then 13.74% – 23.74% (Variable)
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 21 months, then 13.74% – 23.74% (Variable)
  • Annual Fee: $0

Read more in our 2020 Review: Citi Diamond Preferred Card — Best for Balance Transfers?

Apple Card

The Apple Card has a built-in virtual credit card number. You can’t manage multiple virtual credit card numbers at one time with this card, but cardholders do have the option to “Request New Card Number” if they think their cards’ information has been compromised.

This virtual card number can be used for online purchases, or anywhere a full credit card number must be entered.

The card number stored in the physical Apple Card’s magnetic stripe is different from this virtual credit card number, so one does not need to be replaced if the other is compromised.

The screen with the virtual card number is available by navigating to Settings > Wallet & Apple Pay > Apple Card > Card Information, and requires authentication with Touch ID, Face ID, or a passcode.

Apple Card virtual card number screen

The last four digits of the virtual card number and physical card number are different.

Apple Card

Apple Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelFair
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR12.74% — 23.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 3% cash back at Apple, iTunes, and the App Store
  • 3% cash back with Uber/Uber Eats when paying with Apple Pay
  • 2% cash back every time you use Apple Pay
  • No annual fee
  • Managed through the iPhone Wallet app

Brex

Brex offers three business charge cards: the Brex Corporate Card (Review), the Brex Ecommerce Card, and the Brex Life Sciences Card.

After you’re approved, all three offer instant access to virtual credit cards designed for use with online and phone transactions. You’ll be in total control of where and how your virtual cards are used once they’re issued.

You can create as many virtual cards as necessary, each with fresh credentials, plus customizable limits that can be changed in real time. And, naturally, you can close your virtual cards whenever.

Insider tip

Unlike many business credit cards, Brex charge cards aren’t available to sole proprietors.

Brex Charge Cards

Brex Corporate Card

Brex Corporate Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelBusiness credit required
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 7X points per dollar on Rideshare Services and Taxis
  • 3X points per dollar on Travel and at Restaurants
  • 2X points per dollar on Recurring Software Purchases
  • 30,000 bonus reward points and waived card fees for life
  • $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credit over a year
  • $150 in Google Ads credit
  • 15% off the list price for a U.S. WeWork office space, for 6 months
  • 20% discount on a first year subscription to Carta, and waived implementation fees
  • 25% subscription discount for Salesforce, up to $375 off
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • No annual fee
  • Not available to sole proprietors
Brex Ecommerce Card

Brex Ecommerce Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly or Bimonthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Credit limit of 50–100% of projected monthly sales
  • Charge card: Pay your balance in full within 60 days
  • 30,000 bonus reward points and waived card fees for life
  • Opt for paying your bills within 30 days and earn 1X point per dollar on all purchases
  • Instant decision on approval
  • $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credit over a year
  • $150 in Google Ads credit
  • 15% off the list price for a U.S. WeWork office space, for six months
  • 20% discount on a first-year subscription to Carta, and waived implementation fees
  • 25% subscription discount for Salesforce, up to $375 off
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability protection
  • Not available to sole proprietors
Brex Life Sciences Card

Brex Life Sciences Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelBusiness credit required
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Make Brex your exclusive corporate card to earn rewards on conference tickets, lab supplies, Brex Travel, and everything else you buy
  • $5,000 Amazon Web Services credit
  • Up to 15% off the list price for a U.S. WeWork office space, for six months
  • Instant approval for qualified applicants
  • 24/7 fraud monitoring and zero liability protection
  • Charge card – pay your balance in full within 60 days
  • Credit limit based on equity in your company, spending patterns, and cash raised
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Not available to sole proprietors

Stripe

The Stripe Corporate Card works a lot like the Brex cards. You don’t have to provide a personal guarantee or submit to a credit check to get it, but you do have to meet certain standards concerning your payment volume, your history with Stripe, and your bank account history.

Virtual cards are provided instantly once your company logo has been uploaded to the Stripe Dashboard.

Stripe Corporate Card

Stripe Corporate Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APRNot Applicable - Paid in Full Monthly
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 2% cash back in your top two spending categories per month
  • $50,000 in free payment processing after your first $5,000 in spend
  • $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credits
  • Three months of a basic Shopify Subscription for free
  • $436 in Zendesk credits per month for the first year
  • No annual fee
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No late fees
  • No personal guarantee required
  • You must request an invitation and be accepted to apply
  • Must have a Stripe account to apply

What is a Virtual Credit Card?

A virtual card functions like a disposable representative of your real card. If something happens to a virtual card, you can just delete it and get a new one.

The two main purposes for using virtual account numbers (VANs) are security and convenience. Instead of providing merchants with your actual credit card details, you can just give the virtual card number.

Then, if there’s any security issue with the website or company, you can simply cancel that virtual card. You don’t need to worry about thieves making all sorts of fraudulent transactions, because they would just have that one limited number. And you won’t need to report your card information as stolen and get a new card mailed.

Here’s a summary of just about everything you need to know about virtual credit cards:

  • They help protect your card information: If a hacker steals your virtual credit card it won’t compromise your actual account, improving your overall card security.
  • They’re only for online and phone purchases: Virtual credit cards can be used online or on the phone, but not for in-store purchases.
  • The card details are different: Your virtual card will usually have a different account number, security code, and expiration date.
  • The features vary: The features you get with virtual cards will depend on your card issuer.
  • Some are single-use only: A virtual number may be limited to a single transaction.
  • May be merchant-specific: A particular virtual number may be limited to transactions with a single merchant.
  • Might have spending limits: You can often set individual spending limits for each virtual card you create.
  • Purchases show up as normal: Any purchases or transactions you make will show up in your account as they normally would, although they may be tagged with the virtual number.
  • Returns shouldn’t be a hassle: Card issuers say that virtual card numbers shouldn’t cause problems when returning purchases made with them.

Virtual cards don’t come with any extra security measures compared to physical cards. They’re just an extra layer on top of the fraud protections you already have. The CARD Act limits your personal fraud liability to $50, and the major credit card issuers go even further by providing $0 liability policies.

A virtual card doesn’t give you anything more than that, but it does serve a bit like a first line of defense that you can easily replace. Thieves will get your disposable card details instead of your actual credit card details.

Using virtual card numbers could be a wise move if you’re making purchases from a website that you suspect is shady or unsecure.

Some credit card companies offer virtual credit cards, but not all. Keep reading to learn more and find out where you can get a virtual card number right now.

Insider tip

Are you looking for an instant card number you can use right after being approved? Jump down to read more about cards that you can use immediately.

When to Use Virtual Credit Card Numbers

How secure do you feel when shopping online? Are you willing to give your real account details to any website you might make a purchase from?

Your answers probably depend on your temperament, and where you tend to shop. If you only make purchases from big, popular merchants, you can feel safe from scams but data breaches are still a threat. When it comes to smaller companies, which might have websites that seem cheap, shady, or scammy, it’s normal to feel more skeptical about the security of your private data.

Here are some situations in which you might want to use a virtual credit card, for security or otherwise:

  • Online shopping: You may want to use disposable credit cards for all your online purchases, just to be safe or for the convenience.
  • Subscription services: Say you only want to subscribe to Netflix for six months. Pay with a virtual card that will expire by then, and Netflix won’t be able to charge you after that date.
  • Convenience: If you use virtual numbers for online subscriptions and you lose your physical card, you won’t have to reset all that payment information when you get a new physical card number (for Capital One cardholders, and perhaps some other issuers).
  • Potentially risky websites: It might be easiest to only use virtual cards for websites or companies that seem shady, or with new businesses.
  • You’re worried about data breaches: Data breaches are all too common. But if hackers steal your virtual card number, you can just sigh in relief as you create a new one.
  • You’ve been a victim of identity theft or credit card fraud: If you’ve already gone through the worry and hassle of identity theft or credit card fraud, you might want to take extra steps to help prevent it from ever happening again.
  • Give your child a spending method: You can give your kids a virtual credit card with a spending limit, instead of handing over your actual card.

Virtual Card Number Pros and Cons

Should you be using virtual account numbers? There aren’t many serious downsides, except in some rare occasions.

Pros

  • Added layer of security
  • No need to get a new physical card if the data is stolen
  • Convenient payment method
  • Easy to create and manage multiple virtual numbers
  • Some virtual account numbers can be used with some digital wallets

Cons

  • Only work for online or phone transactions (known as card not present transactions)
  • No extra fraud protections beyond the regular card features
  • May have trouble with returns (although VAN providers say returns should work normally, as long as you follow store and card policies)
  • Reservations made with credit cards, like hotels and car rentals, may require you to show the card when you arrive — impossible with virtual cards

Using Digital Wallets for Extra Card Security

Rather than giving you a virtual number to use, digital wallets store your card information in a (presumably) secure location. Then, a unique token is created whenever you make a purchase, and this is used instead of your real card information.

Digital wallets aren’t exactly virtual credit card services, but they have basically the same effect: They hide your real account details when making payments, by creating and using a one-time random number. You can only use these digital wallets with certain merchants, however.

Two networks and some credit card issuers provide digital wallets. A digital wallet may or may not also be a mobile wallet: an app you can use on your phone to make in-store purchases.

As you can see below, Mastercard Masterpass and Visa Checkout can be used with any of the major credit cards. So you can use either of these services with most credit cards. But a wallet provided by a credit card issuer can only be used with that issuer’s cards.

Insider tip

There are also digital wallets provided by other companies, like Apple Pay, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay.

Digital Wallet Details
Mastercard Masterpass
  • Accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover cards
Visa Checkout
  • Accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover cards
Amex Express Checkout
Chase Pay

 

Mastercard Masterpass

Setup
Learn More
Details
    • Digital wallet service
    • Doesn’t provide VANs, but works in a similar way
    • Accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover cards

The Masterpass digital wallet service can be used with any major credit card.

Quite a few merchants accept Masterpass, both online and in-store. Masterpass users will occasionally get special offers, like an extra $5 for loading at least $10 on your Dunkin’ Donuts DD card.

Look for the Masterpass logo to make purchases using this service, or check out the merchant directory in the table above.

The Masterpass logo at checkout.

The Masterpass logo at checkout.

Visa Checkout

Setup
Learn More
Details
  • Digital wallet service
  • Doesn’t provide VANs, but works in a similar way
  • Accepts Visa, Mastercard, Amex, and Discover cards

The Visa Checkout service replaced the old V.me payment system. After signing up you can add cards from any of the major issuers, not just Visa cards.

Like Masterpass above, Visa Checkout users will occasionally see deals with particular merchants. A recent deal was $25 off a future order at Shutterfly after making a purchase from that company using Visa Checkout.

You can use Visa Checkout at a wide variety of merchants, which you’ll find linked in the table above. Click the Visa Checkout logo to use it for your purchase.

The Visa Checkout logo at checkout.

The Visa Checkout logo.

Amex Express Checkout

Setup
  • Automatic for Amex cardholders
Learn More
Details

Amex cardholders don’t need to sign up or register to use Amex Express Checkout.

Just click the logo when you checkout with a participating merchant, and you’ll be asked to provide your American Express login details. Then you can select the card you’d like to pay with.

The Amex Express Checkout logo.

The Amex Express Checkout logo. It’s not weird to order smiley strawberries for yourself.

American Express Credit Cards

American Express has quite a few good cards. Here are a few of its best.

The Platinum Card® from American Express

The Platinum Card® from American Express

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$550
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

Key Terms & Features

  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar for flights booked directly with airlines, and flights and prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • $200 airline fee credit, $200 Uber credit, $100 Global Entry/TSA Pre✓ credit, Global Lounge Collection
  • Annual Fee: $550 (Rates & Fees)

Read more in our Review of the Platinum Card from American Express

 

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Amex EveryDay® Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR13.99%–24.99% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn 10,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $1,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Low intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable rate, currently 14.99%–25.99%.
  • $0 balance transfer fee. Balance transfers must be requested within 60 days from account opening.
  • 2x points at US supermarkets, on up to $6,000 per year in purchases (then 1x); 1x points on other purchases.
  • Use your Card 20 or more times on purchases in a billing period and earn 20% more points on those purchases less returns and credits.
  • Over 1.5 million more places in the U.S. started accepting American Express® Cards in 2017.
  • No annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.

The information related to Amex EveryDay® Credit Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Terms & Features

  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar at U.S. supermarkets and with Amex Travel
  • 20% point bonus for making 20 or more purchases with the card per month
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months, then 13.99%–24.99% Variable
  • Annual fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Amex Everyday Credit Card

 

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR16.74%–25.74% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • 6X points per dollar at Marriott Bonvoy hotels
  • 3X points per dollar at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines
  • 2X points per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • 75,000 bonus points for spending $3,000 in the first 3 months after account opening
  • $300 Marriott Bonvoy annual statement credit
  • Free Night Award every year after your card anniversary
  • Complimentary Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status, Platinum Elite status after spending $75,000 per year
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ application
  • $450 annual fee

The information related to Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card has been collected by Credit Card Insider and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of this product.

Key Terms & Features

  • 6X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points per dollar for eligible purchases charged on your Card directly with participating Marriott Bonvoy properties, 2X Marriott Bonvoy Bonus points for all other purchases
  • Perks: $300 hotel credit, Priority Pass Select membership, free nigth award, Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Annual fee: $450

Read more in our Review of the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card

Chase Pay

Setup
Learn More
Details
  • Digital wallet service
  • Doesn’t provide VANs, but works in a similar way
  • Only for eligible Chase credit cards

Only some cards and devices are eligible for Chase Pay. You can check the list of cards that work in Chase Pay here. Chase Pay is available for iPhone 5 or newer, iOS versions 9 and up. It’s also available for Android OS 4.1 and up.

With some merchants you may need to make purchases through the actual Chase Pay app if you want to use this payment method. Otherwise, like Masterpass and Visa Checkout, you should look for the Chase Pay logo when checking out online.

The Chase Pay logo at checkout.

The Chase Pay logo at checkout.

Chase Credit Cards

Here are some of the top credit cards offered by Chase.

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$95
Regular APR15.99% - 22.99% Variable

Key Terms & Features

  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Lyft rides
  • 2X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar for travel and at restaurants
  • 60,000 bonus points for spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
  • Annual Fee: $95

Read more in our Review of the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

 

Chase Freedom®

Chase Freedom®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.49% - 25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – it’s automatic
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases and balance transfers, then a variable APR of 16.49 – 25.24%.
  • 3% intro balance transfer fee when you transfer a balance during the first 60 days your account is open, with a minimum of $5.
  • No annual fee
  • Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open and there is no minimum to redeem for cash back.
  • Free credit score, updated weekly with Credit Journey℠

Key Terms & Features

  • 5% cash back in categories that change every 3 months
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 16.49% - 25.24% Variable
  • Annual Fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Chase Freedom Credit Card

 

Chase Slate®

Chase Slate®

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR16.49%–25.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Free DoorDash membership (DashPass; gets you free delivery and reduced service fees on orders over $12 and up) for three months, and then a 50% discount for the following nine months
  • 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers. After that, 16.99%—25.74% variable APR.
  • No balance transfer fee for the first 60 days your account is open. After that, the fee for future transactions is 5% of the amount transferred with a minimum of $5.
  • Monitor your VantageScore 3.0 credit score, based on your TransUnion credit report.
  • No annual fee.

Key Terms & Features

  • No balance transfer fee for transfers made in the first 60 days
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 0% intro APR for 15 months, then 16.49%–25.24% Variable
  • Annual Fee: $0

Read more in our Review of the Chase Slate Credit Card

Instant Credit Card Numbers

Need a credit card fast? Some card issuers provide instant credit card numbers that you can use immediately after being approved.

Not all issuers offer this service for all of their cards. American Express, Capital One, and USAA are the only issuers that provide it for all of their cards. Some other issuers provide it for some of their cards.

Instant card numbers are similar to virtual card numbers, but they’re not quite the same. Instant card account numbers are the same as the account numbers on their corresponding physical cards, while virtual account numbers are different than the account numbers on physical cards. So instant card numbers don’t offer the same kind of protection that virtual numbers do — you’ll be exposing your actual card details online when using instant card numbers.

There are several issuers that offer instant card numbers, at least for some of their cards:

  • American Express: You can get an instant card number after being approved if Amex can instantly verify your identity. The account number will be the same as your physical American Express card, but the other details may differ.
  • Bank of America: Three BofA airline credit cards will provide instant numbers if you apply while booking travel on their respective airline websites.
  • Capital One: Check your card details after being approved by logging in to Capital One’s mobile app.
  • Citi: Some of Citi’s co-branded cards are rumored to provide instant card numbers: the American Airlines, Costco, and AT&T cards.
  • USAA: Instant card numbers are provided for all cards, but credit lines are limited to $1,000 (the actual physical card will have your normal credit limit).

And there’s one other type of credit card that often provides instant card numbers:

  • Retail Store Credit Cards: Many store cards can be used immediately after approval — they’re often advertised at checkout counters, so you can use them for the purchase you’re making.

You can learn more about instant card numbers and find out how to get them here.

Insider tip

“Instant approval” cards are a separate but related concept. If you’re trying to get a new credit card as soon as possible, we suggest reading more about instant approval credit cards.

Virtual Prepaid Debit Card Services

There are quite a few other online services that mask, or hide, your payment information.

Some of them use prepaid virtual cards. These aren’t virtual credit cards — rather than having a line of credit, they’re tied to the specific fund that you deposit. They’re pretty much like digital versions of the prepaid cards you can buy at stores.

Other companies may use different methods. And they may be more or less secure, depending on the particular service.

Here are some of the more popular providers of virtual prepaid cards and payment masking services. Take note that we haven’t tested these companies, and we don’t vouch for their services in any way.

Insider tip

PayPal once offered a popular prepaid virtual debit card, but that product has been discontinued.

Service Details
Emburse
  • Made for businesses
  • Some fees apply
Netspend
  • Create virtual prepaid Visa cards or Mastercards
  • Some fees apply
Privacy
  • Must provide bank login details
  • Free
Samsung Pay Cash
  • Create virtual prepaid Mastercards to use where Samsung Pay is accepted
  • Free
SpectroCard
  • Create virtual or plastic prepaid Mastercards
  • Some fees apply
TangoCard
  • Create virtual gift cards for participating merchants
  • Free

Wrapping Up

Virtual credit card numbers can help keep you secure when shopping online or by phone. They don’t actually provide any extra fraud protections, but they act as an extra layer between you and fraudsters.

Consider using a virtual number if you’re making a payment to a potentially shady company or risky website. Or, if you want to take extra steps to maintain your privacy you can use virtual numbers for all of your online shopping.

If your card issuer doesn’t offer these disposable credit cards, think about using a digital wallet instead. You can go with Visa Checkout or Masterpass for almost any card.

Before entering your credit card information, stop and think: Do you feel confident sending your personal information to this company?

Now that you know how to stay secure when shopping online, find the right card for you with our Best Credit Card Picks.

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For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

At a glance

Virtual credit cards are digital copies of real credit cards that typically feature different card numbers and expiration dates. They can be used online or by phone to help protect your actual account details.

Credit Card Insider receives compensation from advertisers whose products may be mentioned on this page. Advertiser relationships do not affect card evaluations. Advertising partners do not edit or endorse our editorial content. Content is accurate to the best of our knowledge when it's published. Learn more in our Editorial Guidelines.

The information related to Capital One® VentureOne® Rewards Credit Card, Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Journey® Student Rewards from Capital One®, Citi Prestige® Card, Amex EveryDay® Credit Card, and Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant™ American Express® Card have been collected by Credit Card Insider and have not been reviewed or provided by the issuer or provider of these products.

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The responses below are not provided or commissioned by bank advertisers. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by bank advertisers. It is not the bank advertisers' responsibility to ensure all posts are accurate and/or questions are answered.