Get a virtual credit card for free with DoNotPay!
We have all learned by now that free trials are not exactly free. The provider offers us a free trial period to test their services and make up our minds about whether we want to subscribe to them and use them to our advantage. What is often left out of the equation is the fact that, even if we do not find those services to be particularly useful to us, we will get charged for them nevertheless if we forget to unsubscribe.
This automatized renewal process costs American citizens millions of dollars each year. For example, by canceling your unused memberships in due time, you can save more than $500 annually! To make things worse, service providers store your personal information, making you more vulnerable to data breaches!
Luckily, with the invention of virtual credit cards, you no longer have to worry about the safety of your data, nor about unexpected charges on your credit card statements. DoNotPay’s free virtual credit cards take care of everything!
What are virtual credit cards exactly?
Virtual credit cards, or VCCs, are temporary card numbers used for online purchases that are linked to your physical credit or debit card. VCCs are usually generated through a mobile or web application provided by mainstream card issuers or third-party companies. More and more people started using virtual credit cards as a means of protecting their personal information from CNP (card-not-present) frauds.
VCCs come with a ton of useful features, such as fixed charge limits, single-retailer purchases, flexible expiration dates, etc.
How DoNotPay’s Virtual Credit Card works
DoNotPay’s Free Trial Card generates a short-term account number that gets linked to a single subscription you are looking to make. If the website you are subscribed to gets hacked, the fraudster will not be able to misuse your account information since it will no longer exist.
Because of the card’s temporary nature, it cannot be used for unauthorized purchases since it is linked to a single transaction, retailer, or fixed amount.
What is great about our VCC is that you can use any available address, account number, name, and expiration date for your virtual account. But that is not all. The app will offer you a temporary email address to use for online subscriptions! All messages will get forwarded to your real email address, but the tracking data, such as your location, will be removed. Safety always comes first!
By using DoNotPay, not only will you avoid getting charged via auto-renewals, but you will never again end up on spammy email marketing lists as well.
To help you understand better what DoNotPay’s Free Trial Card can do for you, here is a brief overview:
- We will generate a random card number for you
- We will automatically approve free trials and billing pages
- We will stop auto-renewals or any additional charges from happening
- We will cancel subscriptions on your behalf
Virtual credit cards—the good, the bad, and the ugly!
Virtual credit cards come in handy in many tricky situations, but they are not flawless. Whether you should use one depends entirely on your needs. To help you decide if they are the right fit for you, let us see what their main pros and cons are:
You personal banking information is protected at all times
|You can only use them for online purchases|
All merchants that allow credit card payments support VCCs
|Not all issuers allow ongoing use of one VCC|
|There is no physical card to carry around and potentially lose|
VCCs cannot be used for online purchases that require a physical card as proof of purchase
|They come with a bunch of features such as charge limits, flexible expiration dates, etc.|
You cannot use VCCs for cash withdrawal
How do virtual credit cards function?
Virtual credit cards function almost the same way as regular static credit or debit cards do, but they are virtually disposable and do a great job of preventing credit card frauds. No matter what you use your credit card for, the information imprinted on it remains the same, and that makes it susceptible to data breaches. VCCs take care of this issue.
When you are using a virtual credit card to pay for stuff online, retailers are presented with what is called “dynamic information.” The card number, expiration date, and CVV are always different, thus improving the overall safety of your personal information.
With virtual credit cards, possibilities are endless. You can lock a virtual credit card to a particular retailer, allowing only them to charge your account. You can set a maximum spend limit on your VCC that will prevent any charges above that amount from occurring.
Benefits of using virtual credit cards
Virtual credit cards can make your life easier in so many ways. Keeping your banking information secure is just a fragment of the story. The main advantages of using VCCs are:
- Hidden banking information leads to Improved data protection when dealing with fraudulent retailers
- Temporary account numbers prevent charges to your credit card when trial periods expire
- Some issuers like DoNotPay do not require you to link your physical credit card with your virtual one
- Setting charge limits prevents retailers from charging your account with unwanted services
- VCCs are widely accepted, meaning that all online retailers who accept credit card payment will allow the use of virtual credit cards
- There is no physical card to carry around, so you will not have to risk losing it
Common ways to use a virtual credit card
There are many ways to use virtual credit cards in today’s world. For example, you can use them to set up an ongoing subscription with a particular provider for a defined period of time. Some VCC issuers will allow you to set the expiration date to your own liking. Another useful feature of virtual credit cards is that you can lock them to specific online retailers. By doing this, you allow only the selected merchant to charge your account regularly.
Some virtual credit card issuers like DoNotPay allow you to create a one-time number to use for free trials. Since the card number gets linked to a single transaction (in this case, a free trial), no additional unauthorized charges can happen.
Here is a list of a few services you can subscribe to with DoNotPay’s Free Trial Card:
- PlayStation Vue
- Amazon prime
- ESPN Go
With DoNotPay, you can finally experience a truly free trial period without worrying about unexpected charges appearing on your credit card statement.
To make virtual credit card advantages more comprehensive, let us see what the main differences between physical credit cards and VCCs are:
Physical credit cards
DoNotPay’s Free Trial Card
Allow unauthorized charges such as membership auto-renewals
|Does not allow charges like membership auto-renewals|
|Make your personal banking information visible|
No one can access your personal banking information
Susceptible to data breaches and CNP frauds
|Keeps your personal information protected in case of a data breach|
|Losing hundreds of dollars each year|
Not a single penny is lost
Who should you turn to for a virtual credit card?
Nowadays, getting your hands on a virtual credit card is not that difficult. DoNotPay is by far your safest bet, as our virtual credit cards are completely free of charge, but other providers and major American banks offer VCC services as well. Here are some VCC providers you might want to check out:
|If you are a Bank of America’s Visa or Mastercard cardholder, you have access to their ShopSafe service. This service generates an image of a credit card with a new token. One major advantage of these virtual credit cards is that you can set an expiration date on them up to one year in advance. That is a great feature when you want to use a card for recurring monthly payments.|
|Almost all Citibank cardholders have access to the bank’s virtual credit card services. All you have to do is log in to your account and click enroll. Keep in mind that Citibank’s VCC’s will not be suitable for you if you want to use the card for ongoing monthly subscriptions. Unfortunately, with Citibank, you do not have the option to use virtual card numbers on an ongoing basis.|
|Capital One’s virtual credit card service is called Eno. All personal cardholders have free access to this service through Capital One’s browser pop-up window. You simply have to log in to your account via the pop-up window and generate a new virtual account number when you need it. Another great thing about Eno is that it stores all account nicknames and card numbers in one place. Because of this feature, you will never forget which number and nickname you have used for a certain service. The only downside of Eno is that it does not allow charge limits. The limit is, by default, equal to the limit of your physical Capital One card that you have linked to Eno.|
Mobile wallets or virtual credit cards?
Mobile wallets and virtual credit cards are both used for the same purpose—making secure online payments. Though very similar at first glance, these two methods are different in terms of the flexibility they provide, and the overall convenience of use. Since we have already explained what a virtual credit card is, let us define what makes a mobile wallet.
Mobile wallets are applications that are used for making both online and offline payments. The user can verify these payments with their PIN code or by using biometrics on their phone. Typically, you would either transfer the funds into your mobile wallet or link it with one or more of your credit cards. In both cases, your personal banking information remains well hidden and secure.
To better understand the differences between these two methods of online payment, let us see what their main upsides and downsides are.
Upsides of virtual credit cards
If you want to start using a virtual credit card, these are the benefits to look forward to:
- They are widely accepted
- You can set a charge limit on them
- They are temporary
Virtual credit cards can be used for all online payments
Unlike mobile wallets, virtual credit cards can be used for purchases on all online shops. You will not have to worry about them not being supported, because each shop that accepts credit cards will also accept virtual ones. This is a very important benefit since you want to have the flexibility of being able to use it for all online payments.
Setting a charge limit for a piece of mind
Another great thing about virtual credit cards is that they allow you to set a maximum spend limit. For example, if you are using the card to pay for an online membership, setting the charge limit to the amount of your membership fee will prevent your service provider from charging you with additional costs. The same goes in case the provider gets hacked, and someone tries to steal money from your account.
Virtual credit cards are temporary
Most virtual credit cards are time-limited, and that is a good thing. If you do not want a website to auto-renew your free trial and turn it into a paid subscription, DoNotPay’s virtual credit card is the perfect solution for you. As soon as you use it to apply for a free trial period, it will automatically expire.
Downsides of virtual credit cards
Despite being convenient to use, virtual credit cards come with a couple of downsides:
- VCC’s are made for online use only
- You cannot use them when collecting a purchase
No way to use virtual credit cards offline
If you want to secure your banking information when purchasing products and services offline, virtual credit cards are not a viable solution. VCC’s can only be used for online purchases.
No physical card to show as proof
When purchasing an airplane ticket or renting a car online, you will be asked to show your physical credit card as proof when you show up to collect your purchase. Despite the fact that you made your purchase online, a virtual credit card will not be of any use to you in these situations.
Advantages of mobile wallets
Mobile wallets come with a ton of useful features. These are the most important ones:
- Available for both online and offline purchases
- Simple verification of transactions
- More convenient than virtual credit cards
Mobile wallets allow offline purchases
In shops that accept contactless payments, you can use a mobile wallet for offline in-store purchases. To do this, you will have to have the wallet installed on your mobile device.
Fast transaction verification
When the app asks you to verify a purchase, all you will have to do is type in your PIN code or verify the transaction with your fingerprint (in case your mobile device supports biometrics).
Supreme convenience of mobile wallets
While virtual credit cards can be used for online purchases only, mobile wallets come with additional wallet-like features. You can store other documents on your mobile wallet, such as your driver’s license, loyalty cards, etc.
Mobile wallets and their downsides
While mobile wallets are more versatile than virtual credit cards, they are far from perfect. These are the things you will have to put up with when using a mobile wallet:
- They are not universally accepted
- They include additional fees
- They are dependant on your mobile device
Not all shops accept mobile wallets
Mobile wallets still have not reached their full potential on the market. Many online and offline shops do not accept payments through mobile wallets, which can be a real nuisance.
More expensive than credit cards?
One thing to expect with mobile wallets is being required to pay additional processing fees, which can turn out to be more expensive than if you were using a regular credit card.
No phone, no mobile wallet!
To be able to make a payment with a mobile wallet, your device needs to be charged and with you at all times. To put it short, mobile wallets are highly dependent on the devices on which you have them installed.
DoNotPay’s abundance of features
Keeping you worry-free is what we strive to achieve. You can use our app as your personal assistant to get things done fast and easy. Creating free virtual credit cards is just a smidgen of what we have to offer. DoNotPay can also assist you with:
- Disputing traffic tickets
- Taking revenge on annoying robocalls
- Canceling subscriptions or memberships
- Suing people and companies in small claims court
- Scheduling a DMV appointment fast and easy
- Making virtual credit cards to avoid being charged after your free trial
- Fighting speeding tickets
- Contesting parking tickets
- Getting refunds for delayed or canceled flights
- Jumping the phone queue when getting in touch with customer service reps
- Dealing with bills you are unable to pay for