Capital One virtual credit card — A new way to pay?

Online shopping is fantastic. It’s easy, comfortable, and it saves you from having to roam around stores with a million other people. It’s no wonder that it is gaining popularity. With numerous benefits, though, come a few potential dangers.

The primary concern has to do with the security of your financial details. Giving away your bank account and credit card information proved to be risky, as it leaves you vulnerable to fraud. Even if the merchants you are buying from are legitimate, hackers are a real threat. With cybercrime and cyber fraud becoming our new reality, the need arose for a safer way to conduct online shopping.


Virtual credit cards (VCCs) are an ideal solution to enjoy all the benefits of buying products and services on the Internet without risking any of your funds or your personal data. It is a bit surprising that there are only a few VCC providers in the States because Americans do love to spend online. Capital One is one of the providers that understand the advantages of virtual cards, so let’s take a tour and find out as much as we can about their VCC.

What is Capital One virtual credit card?

Capital One VCC is not a real credit card, meaning that you won’t be receiving a physical card for paying online. It is a series of numbers, similar to the numbers on your plastic card that you can use with online retailers.

A virtual credit card is a credit card number that meets all the demands of a proper card number. It comes with a security code and expiration date. To any merchant, it will appear as a regular card. The difference is that it doesn’t disclose your bank account or credit card details.

VCC is generated by the software and serves as a payment method for a specific purchase or a particular merchant. This means that it cannot be used for anything else, except that specific transaction.

You can think of it as a one-time token that is designed for a single payment, so even if you lose it or it gets stolen, it won’t compromise your account details or other purchases.

How does the Capital One virtual credit card work?

Virtual credit card numbers are generated by a software and have all the features of a standard credit card number. Capital One uses a credit card number generator to produce unique VCCs for every payment, or online merchant.

Your VCC will come with:

  1. A 16-digit card number
  2. Security code
  3. Expiration date

You can provide these details at the time of the transaction, and the funds will be charged as if you paid with your regular Capital One card. The difference is that the merchant will not see or be able to store your bank account details, so even if they are fraudulent, or a victim of a hack attack, your account will be safe.

How do I use my Capital One virtual credit card?

The process is simple. You must have a Capital One online account to use your virtual credit card. This particular service is provided through Capital One’s virtual assistant called Eno. What you need to do is:

  • Open Eno on your web browser 
  • Sign up using your Capital One online account information
  • When the time comes to pay for your items, click on Eno and generate a VCC
  • Use the details to pay 
  • Check the transaction on your VCC report or your regular Capital Eno account

You can add the Eno extension to your browser (it works on Edge, Chrome, and Firefox), and the virtual assistant will pop up automatically once you hit Pay. That way, you won’t have to login every time.

Capital One offers VCCs that are linked to a specific merchant. You can have an Amazon card, Netflix card, Walmart card, etc. You can name the cards as you wish. You won’t be able to mix cards and online businesses, so you’ll need a designated card for every website you buy from.

You can create one-time cards for new online stores, which is especially handy if you are not sure about the payment and privacy policy of a merchant. Eno will allow you to view your transactions, check expiry dates, and close or block your VCCs. It is relatively easy to keep track of everything because the website is user-friendly.

Where can I use the Capital One virtual credit card?

You can use the Capital One VCC to pay for all your online shopping. Since the card appears to merchants as a regular credit card, there are no limitations to what and where you are allowed to buy.

When it comes to restrictions, you should be aware that you cannot use a virtual card for in-store shopping. VCCs are only eligible for purchases over the Internet. The same goes for Capital One virtual cards. You won’t be able to buy anything offline or withdraw cash from an ATM with them.  

What are the benefits of the Capital One virtual credit card?

There are numerous benefits of virtual credit cards, Capital One VCC included. The most evident are:

  1. Safe online purchases
  2. Better overview of your spending habits 
  3. Budget control

Safety

The primary purpose of the virtual credit card from Capital One is to ensure that you won’t fall prey to fraudulent merchants and malicious hackers. Since the card is designated to a particular retailer or service provider, it cannot be used for other payments. For extra safety, you can even create single-use cards for one-time purchases.

Eno will ask for your permission for every transaction conducted by your VCC, so you can instantly detect any suspicious activity. Although it is relatively easy to spot unauthorized payments even with regular cards, VCCs serve as an additional buffer. In case there is something dodgy going on, you can report it and cancel your card, even if you paid with a regular plastic one. Unfortunately, it takes time to get a new one, and your account details must be changed as well.

With VCCs, the process is much simpler. You can close the virtual account yourself in a matter of minutes, and since the real account is not visible to the fraudsters, you don’t have to go through the trouble of changing it.

Spending habits

It is surprising how many consumers have no idea how much they spend and where, especially when it comes to online shopping. With various virtual accounts assigned to particular retailers, you can have a clear picture of where your money goes.

Capital One allows you to view your accounts separately, so you can track the amounts you spend at a specific online store. It comes in handy if you want to check or adjust your consumer habits.

Budget control

One of the best features of VCCs is that you can set limits on them. Specifically, you can restrict them to:

  • Service providers
  • Limited amounts of money
  • Specific expiry dates

This means that you can predetermine how much you are going to spend and where. You can also set expiry date, so no purchases would be allowed after a particular time. That way, you can control your budget, and it is an excellent feature if you have a joint account with someone.

Are there any disadvantages to the virtual credit card from Capital One?

The biggest drawback of the Capital One VCC is that it cannot be used for in-store shopping. If you are not a passionate online shopper, then this card will not be particularly interesting to you.

Although it is useful for purchases over the Internet, you should be aware of a few issues that may occur when you use a virtual credit card. Don’t use the card in case:

  1. You may have to ask for a refund
  2. You are buying airline tickets or booking accommodation
  3. You seek long-term subscription to a specific service provider

Refunds with Capital One VCC

Some retailers will ask for the card used for the purchase to make a refund. If your card expired, you wouldn’t be able to meet such a demand. This may force you to accept credit at the store, but it’s not the same as getting your money back. When you buy things with VCC, make sure that the expiration date is set at least a month from the time of the purchase.

Tickets and vouchers

If you are paying for airline tickets, accommodation, or other tickets and vouchers, always check the pick-up policy of the merchant. Some companies will ask for the credit card that was used for the purchase as identification. Since your regular Capital One card does not have the same number as your VCC, it won’t do the trick. You should use a plastic card for this type of payment.

Virtual cards and long-term subscriptions

If you are subscribing for something and you are sure that it will be a long-term service, paying with your VCC may not be a good idea. You should pay close attention to expiration dates because the service will be terminated if your Capital One VCC expires, and the provider uses that data to renew your subscription.

For a better overview of the pros and cons of a Capital One VCC, check the table below.

What is good about a Capital One virtual card?

What is not so good about a Capital One virtual card?
Data protection

No in-store shopping available

Connection to a specific website

Not suitable for tickets and vouchers
Limitation possibilities

Relatively short expiration dates

Does Capital One virtual credit card guarantee total safety?

Although it keeps your bank account and credit card information protected, VCC from Capital One does not guarantee complete safety. The amount of money that you authorized for purchase can be stolen if you are dealing with a fraudulent merchant.

Eno will ask you if you would like to make the payment, and if you say yes, it won’t check the credibility of an online business. You should double-check all the merchants you are dealing with before you decide to make the payment.

What VCCs can do for you is make sure that the rest of your funds are unavailable to fraudsters. You are not responsible for unauthorized payments, though, and all the funds used in such transactions will be returned to your account.

Virtual card vs. Mobile wallet

Even though people tend to think that these two payment methods are the same thing, they are designed for entirely different purposes. It is vital to make a distinction between a virtual credit card and a mobile wallet.

A mobile wallet is an app that stores your credit card details on your smart mobile device. You can use it to pay for goods and services via your phone or tablet. The idea is that you don’t have to carry cash or cards with you—just your mobile device.

VCCs cannot be used for in-person transactions. They are meant solely for online shopping.

How do I stay safe when dealing with an unknown merchant?

The best way to stay safe if you are doing business with an iffy merchant is to test their payment policy and credibility by using a fake or dummy virtual credit card. Fake VCC are virtual card numbers that are not associated with any credit card or bank account and have no real funds stored or related to them.

Dummy card numbers allow you to test merchants before you decide to make real payments. You can also use them for registration in case a website requires your card details to grant you the tour. Fake VCCs cannot be used for actual payments online.

Capital One does not offer this service, so if you need a dummy card, you need to make it yourself by using a VCC generator. There are different options available online. You should be aware that fake virtual card numbers are legal only if you restrict their use to testing purposes. If you try to purchase products or services with them, it will be considered as a criminal activity,

What is a DoNotPay Free Trial Card?

If you are a fan of free trials, but got burned with hidden fees and automated subscriptions, you should try the DoNotPay virtual credit card. It is a Free Trial Card that you can use for testing periods and free trials. Without worrying about all the nasty strings, many service providers attach to their free trials.

It is not uncommon to see subscription fees from a provider whose services you canceled miraculously appear on your bank statements. Some merchants make their cancelation policy so complicated that you cannot figure out how to unsubscribe from it.

While Capital One does send notifications when your subscription or free trial is about to expire, DoNotPay goes a step further and limits the card only to the time of the free trial. It is a unique service that allows you to subscribe to and check providers with a virtual card that does not require any funds to be deposited on it.

How does the DoNotPay virtual card work?

DoNotPay designed a card that is not linked to your account or your real card. It is a virtual card number that appears to the merchant as a standard credit card but is valid for registration purposes and trial periods only.

The process of getting the Free Trial Card is quite simple:

  1. Log on DoNotPay via your web browser
  2. Select Virtual Credit Card option
  3. Ask the app to generate a virtual card number for you

Once the time comes to hit that Subscribe button, just provide the details of your Free Trial Card and get started with the service. You don’t have to worry about anything because DoNotPay has all the angles covered. 

The Free Trial Card cannot be charged, and the app will check if you are subscribing for an actual free trial. If not, it will automatically cancel the subscription. DoNotPay will disable any automated subscriptions as well.

You should be aware that the Free Trial Card cannot be used for real purchases or subscriptions as it is not associated with your account or credit card. In case you would like to continue the subscription after the free trial, you must provide your actual details to the provider.

Standard VCC

DoNotPay virtual card
Doesn’t protect from automated subscriptions

Blocks automated subscriptions

Has funds deposited

No deposits required

Doesn’t check the websites 

Checks the websites for hidden subscriptions

Where to use the DoNotPay virtual credit card?

You can sign up for free trials with many streaming giants and other online service providers by using the DoNotPay virtual credit card. If you are interested in any of the following, the Free Trial Card will get you started:

What else can DoNot Pay do?

DoNotPay uses AI to help people who are struggling with fines, automated subscriptions, red tape, and anything else that requires lawyers, or any other pricey consultants. The app is entirely free. Access DoNotPay via your web browser.

In case you are dealing with any of the above, ask the world’s first robot lawyer to help. We at DoNotPay are excellent at: