A virtual credit card provides an additional layer of security for completing a virtual credit card transaction. It is important to make sure that the information that you provide online is completely secure. A virtual credit card number is actually a random 16-digit number assigned to your account without your knowledge. The virtual credit card number, however, is particularly best if you write down your credit information on invoices as it’s difficult to be sure… In the future, a virtual credit card system may eliminate or reduce the need for having a physical card number or account number altogether. However, right now most consumers still need a virtual credit card.
One of the primary benefits of virtual credit cards is that they offer consumers a chance to avoid the common pitfalls associated with most other types of credit cards. Most traditional credit cards come with their own set of problems. You’re usually required to have a spending limit, which often varies by card and/or company. Also, most companies require you to have an expiry date (the date your card will expire if you don’t use it long enough), a billing address and typically a telephone number where you can be reached in case you have any questions about your account or transactions.
With virtual card numbers, however, the issuer can’t tell if you’ve used your card all the way up to the expiry date-that is, unless you tell them. Moreover, since the issuer doesn’t know when you’ll close your account, they don’t know for sure how much money you’ve spent or what you might be buying with your credit cards-unless you provide them with the information. Virtual credit cards, therefore, offer consumers an opportunity to avoid the problems inherent in traditional credit cards while gaining some added security features. While these benefits aren’t available everywhere, issuers like one called Travelocity offers free, limited-edition virtual credit card numbers to customers who make a purchase using a certain credit or debit card.
There are other issuers, too, that offer virtual credit cards without partnering with a traditional bank. One such issuer is American Express, which does not partner with major credit card issuers; rather, it partners with companies that operate bus and train stations, as well as apartment complexes, car lots, department stores and even franchises. Since American Express has established its own niche within the consumer market, this allows it to provide its clients with a card that has extra benefits. For example, some people might prefer not to use their regular Visa or MasterCard on ATM’s, but they’d be able to use American Express’ VISA or MasterCard at a variety of places.
When you sign up for a virtual credit card, the details required by the issuer are sent to your email address. You can then access them from any computer that has an internet connection, and you can see the details in real time. You can see how much money you have in your virtual account and how much you’re spending each month, and you can decide whether or not to make any changes. If you have any old credit cards from major credit cards that you’ve stopped paying, you can just delete them or transfer the balance to your virtual card.
But what if you don’t want to use your name or email address? Some issuers still require you to create a physical card in order to use your account. But virtual credit cards are billed on a monthly basis. You pay only the difference between what your actual balance is and what your virtual credit card numbers are. So what you’re really paying for is just a membership fee for access to your virtual credit cards. You’ll pay less than you would for a membership in a traditional card store.
You can also cancel your virtual credit card at anytime if you wish. You won’t have to give a security deposit, because it’s not really tied to your name or email address in any way. And you can transfer your balance to another virtual card at any time. And since there’s no physical card associated with the account, there’s no need for security deposits.
Virtual credit cards generally don’t have any annual fees, as long as you pay your balance before the expiry date. Any fees for transferring balances are likely to be minimal too. So they’re an excellent way to keep track of your spending and not fall into the trap of issuing lots of small, frequent charges to your existing credit line. You can use your virtual card to make purchases anywhere online, in any financial institution, and with any applicable credit service. You can cancel your virtual card at any time as well, but the process involves a security code that can’t be reused if you want to remove it from your current account.