Have you ever had your credit card information stolen?can help protect you when transacting in person, but they cannot protect you when shopping online or over the phone. Replacing a compromised credit card can be difficult and stressful, especially when you know all of your credit may be at risk. Even though you can still after the fact, there is something you can do now to help prevent identity theft.
Enter virtual credit cards. These are temporary, disposable digital credit cards designed for online or phone purchases. When you use a virtual card to make a purchase, the payment recipient can only access and store that temporary card’s information, not your actual credit card account number. This protects your account from exposure in the event of a data breach and adds an extra layer of security to your online transactions.
Most card issuers do not directly offer the ability to generate virtual account numbers, or virtual credit cards, directly from your account. But apps and browser extensions like Click To Pay, Masterpass by MasterCard, American Express Go, and Capital One Eno all offer virtual card options for more secure purchases on many popular credit cards.
Click to pay
For Visa, Mastercard, Amex and Discover cardholders
Click To Pay is a joint venture launched by Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover designed to serve as a unifying service to provide more secure online transactions. It is a virtual card solution that supports cards issued by many different credit companies including all partner companies supporting the project. This means it replaces individual virtual card services including Visa Checkout, Mastercard’s Masterpass, and American Express’ Express Checkout.
To sign up for Click To Pay, you need to go through your card issuer and sign up for the service. Once your card is eligible for the virtual card feature, you will be able to use it at any online retailer that offers the Click To Pay option at checkout. If you are buying online, you should be able to select the Click To Pay option and simply log into your account. Click To Pay takes care of the rest by generating a temporary card to complete the transaction. While Click To Pay doesn’t offer a lot of control and isn’t available at all retailers, several big box stores and other notable sellers have adopted it as an option.
American Express Go ™
For Amex cardholders
American Express offers a virtual credit card service to its cardholders through a service called American Express Go. Originally designed for businesses to provide corporate card access to employees, American Express Go allows you to generate a card. credit card for any American Express account. You can also set spending limits and custom deadlines for how long the card can remain active through the portal.
The virtual card can be loaded into digital wallets like Apple Pay or Google Pay, allowing you to use your phone to pay at businesses in person that accept these payment methods. Unlike most virtual cards, American Express also offers the option of obtaining a physical version of your virtual card. This will always contain the temporary 15-digit number generated so that your main account is protected and can be useful when making payments while traveling.
Cost: There is a one-time fee of $ 2 for creating your virtual card and a fee of $ 5 for using your card in a digital wallet or for creating a physical card.
Capital One Eno
For Capital One cardholders
Capital One Eno is Capital One’s virtual credit card service, available to any Capital One credit card holder. To use Capital One Eno, which is the name of the company’s virtual assistant, you need to log into your Capital One account and install the Eno extension in your web browser. Eno is compatible with Edge, Chrome and Firefox. Once installed, the wizard will automatically appear at the checkout and offer to generate a virtual card for you.
If you prefer not to install Eno in your web browser, you can generate virtual cards through the Capital One mobile app or the Capital One website, which you can then use by copying the card information and using it at home. checkout. You cannot use Eno or any Capital One virtual card at in-person merchants – only at online retailers. But the Eno extension makes the process of using virtual cards as easy and convenient as possible, especially since Eno keeps track of the virtual cards used for specific online merchants.
Citibank Virtual Account Numbers
For certain Citi cardholders
Citi’s solution to the virtual credit card is the Citi Virtual Account Numbers feature, which is available to many Citibank cardholders. Users can register online for the Virtual Account Numbers feature and then access the Virtual Card Generator either online through the Citi web portal or through an application available for Windows computers. The service will generate a 16-digit card with a CVV and an expiration date that you can set. Every transaction you make with a Citi Virtual Card will appear on your regular monthly bank statement with the corresponding virtual account number so you can easily track each transaction.
One of the advantages of Citi Virtual Account Numbers is that you are not limited to online use. The number can be used to make purchases over the phone or to make reservations just like you would with a physical card. Citibank does not disclose which cardholders are eligible to use the Citi Virtual Account Numbers feature, so you may not be eligible. But you can sign up for the feature online to find out if it’s available to you.
Masterpass by Mastercard ™
For holders of Mastercard, Visa, Amex and Discover cards
Masterpass is Mastercard’s take on the virtual card service, although it’s actually closer to a digital wallet. Like other options, Masterpass generates a temporary card number for you to make purchases. What is different is that you can use Masterpass with cards from card issuers other than Mastercard. This means that it will generate a virtual card for you even if you are using an American Express, Discover, or Visa card, among other options. The virtual card is available through the Masterpass app, which you can get on Android or through the banking partner apps that support Masterpass.
Because Masterpass works like a digital wallet, you can make in-person purchases at a number of participating retailers that support checkout service. You will also earn rewards for using the service which is an added incentive.
Note: Mastercard is phasing out Masterpass functionality in favor of a solution called Click To Pay (see above).
Application / Extension
American Express Go
Yes, mobile (iOS / Android)
Digital wallet, optional physical card, customizable expiration date, spending limit
Fee of $ 2 for online service only, $ 5 for digital wallet / physical card
Capital One Eno
Yes, web extension
Virtual assistant, merchant specific card number
Citibank Virtual Account Numbers
Yes, Windows application
Customizable expiration date, make purchases by phone
Masterpass by Mastercard
Yes, mobile (Android)
Digital wallet, rewards
Click to pay
Available at checkout at select online retailers