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Best Virtual Credit Cards for October 2022

Credit card fraud affect more than 13 million Americans by 2021, and virtual credit cards are one viable solution.

In general, a virtual credit card — or virtual account number — is a single-use credit card detail issued for one-time use to help you mask your identity when making online purchases. Virtual credit card numbers can be created directly from your credit card account with some products, and through browser apps and extensions with other people. Some of the new cards even innovate on the potential of virtual cards, so the technology is likely to become more accessible and flexible over time.

Below are the best credit cards that offer a virtual card directly through your account as an included benefit.

Read more: Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping

Best cash-back card with virtual account number

Introductory OfferFor a limited time, get $200 cash back after spending $1,500 on purchases within the first 6 months of account opening.

April16.99% – 26.99% (Variable)

APR Purchase IntroN/A

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Prize Rates

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% when you pay for the purchase.

Annual fee$0

APR Preliminary Balance TransferIntroductory 0% for 18 months for Balance Transfer

April Balance Transfer16.99% – 26.99% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee There is an intro balance transfer fee of 3% of each transfer (minimum $5) completed within the first 4 months of account opening. A balance transfer fee of 5% of each transfer (minimum $5) applies if completed after 4 months of account opening.

Late Payment Fee Up to $41

Overseas Transaction Fee 3%

April penalty Up to 29.99% (Variable)

  • Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% when you pay for the purchase.

We take

The Citi® Double Cash Card is a good choice for a virtual credit card if you want to maximize your cash-back purchases and want to avoid the hassle of the points decoding system. While the cash-back rates are generally competitive with Apple Card, this card may be better suited for someone who doesn’t own an Apple product or is less tech-savvy. To access the virtual credit card for Citi Double Cash Card, you must select “Other Services” on your account home page, then navigate to “Virtual Account Number”.

See our full review of Citi Double Cash Card for more details.

Long intro APR offer with virtual account number

Introductory OfferN/A

April16.74% – 26.74% (Variable)

APR Purchase Intro0% for 12 months for Purchase

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Prize RatesN/A

Annual fee$0

APR Preliminary Balance Transfer0% for 21 months for Balance Transfer

April Balance Transfer16.74% – 26.74% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee A balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; a minimum of $5.

Late Payment Fee Up to $41

Overseas Transaction Fee 3%

April penalty Up to 29.99% (Variable)

We take

The Citi® Diamond Preferred® card not only offers a virtual account number directly from your online account main page, but also offers an initial 0% April period. With account approval, you can enjoy 12 months of 0% introductory APR for purchases from the account opening date and 21 months of 0% introductory APR for balance transfers (even at a proportional 5% or $5 balance transfer fee, whichever is greater). After the intro period, the APR was variable from 16.74% to 26.74%. Balance transfers must be completed within four months of account opening.

See our full review of the Citi Diamond Preferred Card for more details.

The best travel card with virtual card capabilities

Introductory OfferFor a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

April18.99% – 26.99% (Variable)

APR Purchase IntroN/A

Recommended Credit Excellent, Good

Prize Rates

  • Earn 3 Points for every $1 spent in Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points for every $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

Annual fee$95

April Balance Transfer18.99% – 26.99% (Variable)

Balance Transfer Fee A balance transfer fee applies with this offer 5% of each balance transfer; a minimum of $5.

Late Payment Fee Up to $41

Overseas Transaction Fee 0%

April penalty Up to 29.99% (Variable)

  • Earn 3 Points for every $1 spent in Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points for every $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point for every $1 spent on all other purchases

We take

While the Citi Premier® Card has an annual fee of $95 — unlike our other options which don’t have an annual fee — the rewards and perks make up for the extra fee. For example, a login bonus of 80,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first three months after an account is opened (the equivalent of $800 in gift cards when redeemed on thankyou.com) is highly competitive, placing this card above our picks for the best welcome bonus credit cards. This card offers purchase protection, and you can access the virtual account number directly through your account home page. For more details on all the benefits of this card, see our full review of the Citi Premier Card.

Instant virtual credit card

Introductory OfferN/A

April10.99% to 21.99% (Variable)

APR Purchase IntroN/A

Recommended Credit N/A

Prize Rates

  • Apple Card gives you unlimited 3% Daily Cashback on everything you buy on Apple
  • With every purchase you make using an Apple Card with Apple Pay, you get 2% Daily Cashback

Annual fee$0

  • Apple Card gives you unlimited 3% Daily Cashback on everything you buy on Apple
  • With every purchase you make using an Apple Card with Apple Pay, you get 2% Daily Cashback

We take

The Apple Card is unique in that by design it has three credit card numbers integrated into one. One is the card number used by your Apple Wallet, which is stored securely, one is for your physical card (assuming you request it), and the other is considered your virtual credit card — can be used for online transactions or in-person transactions. where merchants don’t accept Apple Pay. Best of all, if this virtual credit card number is compromised, you can request and receive a free replacement number instantly without interfering with using your account via Apple Wallet or a physical card.

For some and temporary official users

Introductory OfferN/A

April15.00% – 22.00% Variable

APR Purchase IntroN/A

Recommended Credit Great/Good Credit

Prize Rates

  • Earn 2x points for every dollar spent
  • Earn 3x points for every dollar spent during the year if you spend $15,000+ in a year
  • 4X points for 30 days for every friend you invite who gets a card

Annual feeThere isn’t any

April Balance Transfer15.00% – 22.00% Variable

Balance Transfer Fee 2% of the amount of each transfer.

April penalty There isn’t any

  • Earn 2x points for every dollar spent
  • Earn 3x points for every dollar spent during the year if you spend $15,000+ in a year
  • 4X points for 30 days for every friend you invite who gets a card

We take

The X1* card, although moving through its waiting list slowly, offers unique arrangements with regards to virtual credit cards. You have to download the app for account management as there is no account access via web browser. Through the app, you can generate single-use virtual cards like the other cards featured in this list. You also have the opportunity to set an automatic expiration date for a virtual credit card, which can be useful for automatically canceling a free trial or for providing a card number to a trusted individual such as a family member or caregiver for a specific period of time. You can have several virtual credit cards active at one time.

See our full review of the X1 Card for more details.

FAQ

What is the best virtual credit card?

For the simplicity of being able to generate virtual account numbers anywhere you have internet access, the best virtual credit cards are the ones you can get directly from your online credit card account, without downloading pesky extensions or additional apps. Among them are Apple Card, Citi Double Cash Card, Citi Premier Card, Citi Diamond Preferred Card and X1 Card.

Other credit card issuers may offer additional applications or browser extensions. For example, Capital One has the Eno web extension for its cards.

What is a virtual credit card?

A virtual credit card, or virtual account number, is a temporary credit card number used to make purchases online or over the phone securely. That means you don’t have to reveal your true account information, so you avoid potential identity theft. Virtual account numbers are randomly generated and expire after a certain period of time so they cannot be misused in the future.

My credit card does not offer a virtual account number. How can I shop online safely?

There are several publisher applications and browser extensions that allow the creation of virtual credit cards for accounts that do not have the built-in feature. They require an extra step (downloading an application or extension) to use initially, and restrict you from making purchases specifically on the hardware you have the program installed on. For example, Click to Pay accounts allow Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover cardholders to choose to apply for a virtual credit card at checkout.

Our methodology

CNET review credit card by comparing them in depth across the defined criteria developed for each major category, including cashback, welcome bonus, travel rewards and balance transfers. We consider the typical spending behavior of different consumer profiles — with the understanding that everyone’s financial situation is different — and the function of the card specified.

For cashback credit card, for example, key factors include annual fees, “welcome bonuses” and refund rates (or rates, if different by expense category). For reward cards and miles, we calculate and weigh the net monetary value of each card facility. And with balance transfer credit cardwe analyze specifications such as the duration of the initial 0% APR period and balance transfer fees, while taking into account secondary factors such as the standard APR and the length of time you must make a balance transfer after you open an account.

*All information about the Apple Card and X1 Card has been independently collected by CNET and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on an objective and independent assessment by our authors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on an objective and independent assessment by our authors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.

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