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What is a Virtual Credit Card and How can it Protect You Online?

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What is a Virtual Credit Card and How can it Protect You Online?

A virtual credit card number is a randomly-generated card number associated with your actual credit card. Depending on the issuer or bank, you may be able to set a maximum charge for the virtual number, further protecting your transaction. And, typically you can set it to expire in anywhere up to a year from its creation date. To an online merchant, it looks no different from any other credit card. The charges appear on your regular bill, but the merchant doesn't have your actual credit card number and information.

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Virtual credit card (VCC) is like a burner phone number, you can create a virtual, disposable number, then deactivate it instantly if it gets stolen or used on a fraudulent website.

So, if you should use your credit card on a fraudulent website, there is no need to go through the tedious process of canceling it and waiting for the new one to be sent to you via snail mail. With a virtual card, all you have to do is to cancel the old virtual credit card number and get a new number in far less time it would take to replace a physical card, while your actual or physical credit card is safe and can still be used.

A virtual credit card number only works online. You cannot use it in a store that has a point of sale machine with a debit/credit card reader. But, it is another safeguard that can help protect you online against cyber criminals operating fraudulent websites and unscrupulous online merchants.

Where Can I Get a Virtual Credit Card?

Contact your bank or credit card company and ask if they offer such service.

Please share with us what you know or ask a question about this article by leaving a comment below. Also, check the comment section below for additional information, if there is any.

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