Jul 7, 2009

Virtual Credit Card Numbers for Online Purchases


Do you worry about entering your credit card info online? I try to be picky about the sites that I give my info to and I’ve never had a problem, but really you can’t be too careful with your credit card info.

In writing this, I realize that there is a big debate on whether or not those trying to live a frugal lifestyle should even HAVE a credit card. If you are one of those on the “don’t have a credit card” side, I completely understand where you are coming from and I think you have made a great choice.

Personally, I like having a credit (or debit) card for online purchases and because I’m not comfortable carrying a lot of cash with me wherever I go. You just have to be SUPER careful with it and really work on pretending like you are carrying cash instead of a card.

There are also some AMAZING trial offers, or close to free offers out there online, that I’m sure we all want to take advantage of, but we want our information to stay safe while doing it!

If you do use credit cards, but worry about giving out your credit card number online, I have a solution for you! Did you know that there are three credit card companies out there that offer Virtual Credit Card numbers??

A virtual credit card number is a number that is tied to your regular credit card, but is only good once or it has a specific limit. You can set a limit on the number (for example, $1 for the Easy Bakeware) and then feel confident using that card number that you will not be charged beyond that.

One company that has this program set up is Discover Card. I’ll step through how it works with Discover, then link to the other companies as well (they all work pretty similarly).

First, you get a Discover Card. If you don’t have one already, you can apply for one HERE.

Second, register your Discover Card with the Discover Account Center HERE.

Third, go to the Discover Deskshop Virtual Credit Card page HERE and set up your Virtual Credit Card account for free!

Then when you want to do a transaction online, you go to your Virtual Credit Card account and it will generate a one-time use credit card number with a specific limit!

Pretty awesome, huh?

The other two companies that have this feature are:

MBNA through Bank of America

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Disclosure of Material Connection: Some of the links in the post above may be "affiliate links." This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will add value to my readers. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."