Best Virtual Credit Cards [2024]: Added Security For Your Online Transactions

CREDIT CARDS - CREDIT CARD BASICS
Virtual credit cards help keep your online transactions secure so your personal and account information is safe while you're shopping online.
Updated April 12, 2024
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Virtual credit cards are unique account numbers linked to existing credit cards that can be used for online shopping. A virtual credit card number has its own expiration date and card verification value (CVV). When you purchase something online with a virtual credit card, the charge appears on your regular card statement.

The benefit of using a virtual credit card for online purchases versus your regular card is it protects your personal and account information if there is a data breach. This is especially advantageous for people who are hesitant about buying things online with their credit card out of fear of being hacked.

Virtual credit cards aren’t available for all credit cards. Here are some of the best credit cards that give you access to a virtual account number.

In this article

Key takeaways

  • Virtual credit cards are account numbers specifically for online shopping that are linked to your regular physical credit cards.
  • The advantages of using a virtual credit card are their ease of use when buying things online and added protection from hackers gaining access to your personal and account information.
  • Capital One, Citigroup, and American Express offer virtual card numbers that link to your existing credit card accounts.

The best virtual credit cards

Compare the best virtual credit cards

Card name Image Annual fee Rewards rate
Citi Double Cash® Card Citi Double Cash® Card $0 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24
Citi Premier® Card Citi Premier® Card $95 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels; and 1X points on all other purchases
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card $95 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25
Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card $0 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day; and 5% cash back on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel (terms apply)
Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express $0 (Terms apply) 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases

Citi Double Cash® Card

Pros Cons
  • 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24
  • $0 annual fee
  • No caps on how much cash back you can earn
  • Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back
  • 3% foreign transaction fee
  • No intro APR offer on purchases

The Citi Double Cash Card offers virtual account numbers linked to your regular credit card account for use when shopping online.

With a Citi Double Cash Card, you’ll earn up to 2% cash back cash back on all purchases, no matter what you spend your money on. The cash back you earn is rewarded to you as ThankYou points. You earn one point for every $1 you spend and then one point for every $1 you pay on your purchase balance. The card has a $0 annual fee and no caps on how much cash back you can earn.

Rewards rate: 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases; plus, for a limited time, earn 5% total cash back on hotel, car rentals and attractions booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through 12/31/24.

Introductory offer: Earn $200 in cash back after you spend $1,500 on purchases in the first 6 months of account opening. This bonus offer will be fulfilled as 20,000 ThankYou® points, which can be redeemed for $200 cash back.

Why we like it: The Citi Double Cash credit card is a good card with a virtual account number if you pay off your online purchases monthly as you make them. That way, you’ll earn the up to 2% cash back cash back within the same month when you make the purchase and when you pay for it.

What we don’t like: The 3% foreign transaction fee means this card isn’t the best choice if you’re traveling abroad.

Other benefits include: The Citi Double Cash card provides an attractive introductory offer: 0% intro APR for 18 months for balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.24% (Variable)). The balance transfer fee is 3% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) within 4 months of account opening; then 5% of each transfer ($5 minimum) after the 4 month intro period ends.

Read our full Citi Double Cash review for more details.

Citi Premier® Card

Pros Cons
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening; Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024
  • 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels; and 1X points on all other purchases
  • Annual $100 hotel savings benefit for a single hotel stay of $500 or more.
  • Annual fee of $95
  • Spend requirement to earn intro offer is high
  • 5% of each balance transfer ($5 minimum) fee on balance transfers
  • Points don’t apply to some online purchases

If you are looking for a good travel points credit card that you can link a virtual account number to, the Citi Premier card is for you. The card earns you 3X points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels; and 1X points on all other purchases.

The Citi Premier card has an introductory offer: Earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening; Plus, for a limited time, earn a total of 10 ThankYou® Points per $1 spent on hotel, car rentals, and attractions (excluding air travel) booked on the Citi Travel℠ portal through June 30, 2024.

Hotel savings: This card offers $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, that’s booked through thankyou.com. You can use this benefit once per year.

No foreign transaction fees: Foreign transaction fees can add up, so this is one less thing to worry about when you travel.

Why we like it: The Citi Premier card is great if you are looking for a travel points card that rewards you for purchases you make almost every day. 3X points per every dollar spent is on the higher end of what travel points credit cards typically offer, plus you could earn 60,000 bonus ThankYou® Points with the introductory offer. Although the required spend is on the high end, that could be attainable if you use it at the grocery store, gas station, and restaurants.

What we don’t like: If you use a virtual account number with your Citi Premier card to shop at online supermarkets, you may not earn the 3X points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels that you would at a brick-and-mortar supermarket. The online merchant must classify itself as a supermarket for you to earn points.

Read our full Citi Premier review for more details.

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25
  • Up to $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry
  • Earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Two complimentary visits per year to a Capital One lounge
  • Annual fee of $95

Capital One’s Venture Rewards travel points credit card offers the ability for you to get a virtual card number that can link to your regular card. You’ll receive all the same benefits and miles rewards with the virtual account number linked to the Capital One Venture Rewards card as you do with the regular card.

Capital One provides virtual credit card numbers through its Eno assistant, which is available on the Capital One mobile app and desktop browser extension

Rewards rate: The Capital One Venture Rewards Card is a travel miles card that will earn you 2 miles per dollar on every purchase, every day, 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5 miles per dollar on Capital One Entertainment purchases through 12/31/25. Plus, you can earn a one-time bonus of 75,000 miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Added benefits: Capital One Venture Rewards is geared toward frequent travelers by providing up to a $100 credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, two complimentary visits per year to a Capital One airport lounge, and no foreign transaction fees.

Why we like it: Capital One offers easy access to virtual credit card account numbers through its Eno assistant via a desktop browser extension or the Capital One mobile app. You can earn the same points for online purchases with virtual cards as you do with your regular cards.

What we don’t like: There is an annual fee of $95 for the card.

Read our full Capital One Venture Rewards review for more details.

Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards Credit Card

Pros Cons
  • Earn 1.5% on every purchase, every day
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Cash back rewards are lower than others available.

Capital One’s Quicksilver Cash Rewards card earns you money back on all your purchases rather than miles or points. You’ll earn 1.5% on every purchase, every day.

Capital One’s Eno assistant and virtual cards are also available with the Capital One Quicksilver card.

Introductory offer: The Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card’s introductory offer allows new account members to earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.

Annual fee: There is a $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees with the Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards card.

Why we like it: The Capital One Quicksilver has a $0 annual fees, earns cash back, 0% intro APR for purchases for 15 months (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)), 0% intro APR for balance transfers for 15 months (then 19.99% - 29.99% (Variable)), and no foreign transaction fees. Balance transfer fee applies.

What we don’t like: Other cards offer higher rewards.

Read our full Capital One Quicksilver Cash Rewards review for more details.

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Pros Cons
  • 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases
  • Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months
  • $0 annual fee (Terms apply)
  • Cash back is received in the form of Reward Dollars that can be redeemed as a statement credit
  • Virtual card numbers are only accessible via Google Chrome and Android mobile devices
  • 2.7% foreign transaction fee

With the Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express, you’ll earn 3% for U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%), which works out well if you are using a virtual card number linked to your regular card. The card also earns you 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.

Introductory offer: The Blue Cash Everyday card from American Express provides a great introductory offer for new cardholders to receive a 0% intro APR for 15 months on purchases (then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable) and a 0% intro APR for 15 months on balance transfers (then 19.24% - 29.99% Variable). There is a balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater.

Plus, you can earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months.

Rewards rate: 3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases.

Why we like it: The Blue Cash Everyday card is perfect for those who shop on Amazon and other online retailers because it earns you money back for your purchases. Your online purchase can be done securely and hassle-free using a virtual card number linked to your Blue Cash Everyday card.

What we don’t like: Virtual card numbers for American Express products like the Blue Cash Everyday card are only accessible when you shop online via Google Chrome or Android mobile devices.

Read our full Blue Cash Everyday review for more details.

How to choose the best virtual credit card

When selecting the best virtual credit card, you are limited to credit card companies that offer them. Not every credit card company has them available. Citigroup, Capital One, and American Express offer virtual credit cards, but not for all the credit cards they offer. And there are some limitations to the virtual credit cards offered by American Express because they are only accessible when purchasing online via Google Chrome and Android devices.

Some things to consider when deciding on a virtual credit card are:

  • What perks are important to you?
  • Do you prefer travel rewards or cash back?
  • What credit score do you have, and are you likely to qualify for the cards you’re interested in?
  • Is there an annual fee?
  • Is there an introductory offer?
  • Are there any restrictions to earning rewards through online purchases?

Review card details carefully to make the right choice for you.

FAQ

What are the benefits of getting a virtual credit card?

Security is one of the most significant benefits of getting a virtual credit card. You can’t lose or forget a virtual credit card at a restaurant, for example. Having a virtual credit card linked to your regular credit card also helps to protect your credit card information if the website you’re shopping online with has a data breach.

You may also be able to set spending limits for your virtual cards or opt for the card number to be for a single use.

What is the difference between a virtual and a regular credit card?

A virtual credit card is different from a real credit card in that it is primarily used for online shopping and subscriptions. Unlike a regular credit card, it can’t be used for in-store purchases. It is a separate virtual credit card number, with its own expiration date and CVV security number, linked to your regular card and used for online purchases.

When you buy something online with your virtual credit card, the charge appears on your regular card statement. Since the virtual number is separate from your regular credit card, if the website you shop at gets hacked, your regular credit card account information remains protected.

Which credit card issuers offer virtual cards?

Citigroup, Capital One, and American Express are card providers that offer virtual card numbers that can be linked to an existing regular credit card and used for online payments. However, these companies don’t necessarily have virtual cards available for all credit cards that they offer. Also, American Express virtual card numbers can only be used on purchases made via Google Chrome and Android mobile devices.

Best virtual credit cards: bottom line

Virtual credit cards provide an additional layer of security when you’re shopping online. Deciding on what virtual credit card is best for your online transactions depends on how you prefer to receive rewards for your spending — with cash back or travel points.

For example, if you're an avid traveler, you may want to opt for the Citi Premier or Capital One Venture Rewards credit cards, which reward you with travel points. But if you prefer to earn money back on your purchases, the Citi Double Cash, Capital One Quicksilver, or Blue Cash Everyday from American Express are better options.

Since you will be using a virtual account number for online purchases, you should ensure your online purchases are eligible for the credits. It’s also better to have a card that rewards you for things you usually spend money on, like gas and groceries. Earning 10X points for hotels is nice, but if you don’t spend a lot on hotel stays, you won’t accumulate as many points as you would getting 3X points every time you go to the grocery store.

Methodology

We evaluated virtual cards from our partners on a variety of factors to determine which cards to feature. These factors include annual fees, rewards for online shopping, intro APRs, rewards programs, and overall consumer value. We did not evaluate or include all cards available.

A Simple Cashback Card for Day-to-Day

4.9

Blue Cash Everyday® Card from American Express

Current Offer

Earn a $200 statement credit after spending $2,000 in purchases in the first 6 months

Annual Fee

$0

Rewards Rate

3% cash back at U.S. supermarkets, U.S. gas stations, and U.S. online retail purchases (up to $6,000 per year on purchases in each category, then 1%); and 1% cash back on other eligible purchases

Benefits and Drawbacks
Card Details

Author Details

Danielle Letenyei Danielle Letenyei is a professional writer living in Madison, Wisconsin. Her interests include budgeting, travel, credit cards, insurance, and creative side gigs. She hopes her work on these topics can help others navigate the intricate landscape of personal finance.

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