What Is a Disposable or Virtual Credit Card Number?

Everything from paper cups to cameras have become disposable these days. You can go to your local convenience store and pick up a slew of products such as cameras and even cell phones that can be thrown away. In the credit card world there are also options that are essentially disposable. Virtual credit cards, also referred to as disposable credit cards can be obtained through a variety of credit card issuers on the market today.

A virtual card is essentially a number that will expire within a very short period of time or after just a few uses or even just one use. One time use card numbers are issued for the purpose of shopping online or any form of high risk transaction. The purpose of having a virtual card number is being able to shop securely online or even just over the phone. Perhaps, you are dealing with a less than reputable vendor that you would not want to have your credit card number. Simply contact your credit card issuer and ask for a virtual number. The other big advantage is that if anyone were to hack your number online the card number would no longer be good. This would make it impossible for someone to steal your number and go on a shopping spree with your dollar.. Purchases made with a temporary number will show on your statement as regular transactions or will show separately.

The main purpose an individual or company would want to use a throw away card offer number is for shopping online. Many people still fear shopping on the Internet. The concern is that hackers will get a hold of their number. However, these days, there are many secure websites that use SSL technology to encrypt credit card transactions being made online. Large online retailers such as Amazon and CVV shop spend large amounts of money every year on online security measures that will protect their customers. Consumers should also be aware that most issuers have a zero fraud liability policy that protects their customers against theft. However, for those that are still skeptical about making purchases online you can always request a temp card number from your issuer.

There are quite a few disadvantages to using a temp or throw away number. When you go to rent a car online for example, you give them a one time use card number and they will only be able to verify it once. At the end of the car rental the rental agency will need to total your millage costs, fuel costs, etc and re charge your credit card. If you give them a disposable card number that can only be used once they will not be able to finalize your charges. The same hold true when you use your card to make hotel reservations or even buy theater tickets online. The other major disadvantage to using these numbers is when you need to make recurring payments online. For example you could be purchasing vitamins online that have refills sent to you every thirty days. Your online vitamin retailer will not be able to charge your card multiple times if the number is going to expire immediately.

These days there is really no need to use temporary numbers for online purchasing. There are many precautions that anyone can take in order to minimize the risk of online identity theft from occurring. Shop online with websites that use PayPal as their card processor. PayPal provides buyer protection against theft. Should you not receive the item you ordered you can dispute it through PayPal. If the site does not offer PayPal make sure that they are using SSL technology. Just look at the URL and make sure the beginning starts with “https//” and not just “http//”. This ensures that you are on a secure site. Also go through your credit card statement every month and report any charges that you did not make. A lot of times can come from other sources besides online shopping.

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