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How to Get and Use a Virtual Card Number

April 21, 2021

Woman Shopping on Her Phone

Not all card issuers offer virtual card numbers, but a few of them do, including Capital OneCiti, and Netspend.1

To get a virtual card number for your Netspend Account, sign in to your Online Account Center to create your temporary number. You’ll select which prepaid card you want to link to the virtual card number.

Once your virtual card number is generated, it will work just like your prepaid card. The merchant won’t know that you are using a virtual card number because it looks like and works just like any other card number.

More reasons to use a virtual card number

Aside from protecting your privacy, there are other reasons to use a virtual card number. Here are a few examples:

  • Signing up for a free trial— By limiting the expiration date or canceling the virtual card number, the service cannot charge your card once the free trial has ended. Read the fine print to ensure that you will not be liable for ongoing charges.
  • Replacing your card is a hassle— If your physical card number is compromised, you’ll need to get a whole new card. This could affect your access to your funds in that account while waiting for a new one. If a virtual card number is compromised, simply cancel it and create a new one without affecting your physical card.
  • Restrict your teenager’s spending— In an increasingly digital world, teenagers often ask for your card number instead of cash to make a purchase. Although you may trust your teen, sometimes it’s better to be safe than sorry by providing them with a virtual card number instead of handing over your physical card for them to use.

The bottom line

Virtual card numbers are an ideal way to better protect your Card information from scam artists. These temporary card numbers allow you to make purchases online and over the phone without sharing your actual card number, adding an extra layer of defense between scammers and your money.

Sign up for a Netspend Prepaid Card and receive access to the virtual card numbers feature when you activate your account and verify your identity.2

Sign Up Now

Card usage is subject to card activation and identity verification.