Finance

8 Best Virtual Debit / Credit Cards in 2022 [Expert Talks Must Know Before You Apply]

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What do 97% of today’s millennials, 91% of Gen Xers, and 79% of baby boomers have in common? They all have a healthy appetite for online bank transactions.

So if you are looking for the best virtual credit card or debit card today, you are not alone. You are also making the right decision.

Migrating to an online platform offers many benefits, especially with the growing problem of fraudulent card transactions. In fact, data show that:

  • Around $32 billion in total losses worldwide due to credit card fraud
  • A projection of $38.5 billion of losses in 2027

On top of the extra layer of protection, using a virtual card is more convenient than using real cards. You can generate virtual credit card numbers quickly and make contactless payments with just a few clicks.

The next question is, which of the many virtual card providers should you choose? We looked closely at every virtual credit card feature and rounded up some of your best options today.

8 Best Virtual Credit Card Providers

The best virtual credit cards have fraud protection and offer superb virtual card service and a healthy spending limit.

They also charge a reasonable transaction fee, provide free subscription cards, and use cutting-edge virtual card technology.

The following major credit card issuers stand out based on these and other criteria:

1. Divvy

divvy
Source: getdivvy.com

Divvy is one of the most popular expense management platforms today. It offers budgeting tools that small to medium businesses will find very useful.

The company also provides instant virtual credit cards for free and the software you would need to manage them properly.

What sets Divvy apart from other major issuers is that it lets you generate any number of virtual credit cards. Even better, they won’t charge you for any of their services.

The virtual business credit cards are seamlessly integrated into their spend management solution. This feature is very helpful if you want to conveniently manage all your company money in one location.

It is also easy to open a Divvy account. You can do it online or through the mobile app. All you need are your business credentials, and you can access the software for free.

However, note that an APR applies to all credit lines, and late credit payments will have corresponding fees.

Features

Here’s a some up of its most notable offerings:

  • Generate an unlimited number of credit cards in virtual form
  • Set the spending limit and date of expiration
  • Set the merchant lock
  • Total control over individual cards (delete, freeze, or unfreeze)
  • Scalable credit line
  • Generous rewards (1x to 7x)
  • No contract or hidden fees

2. Capital One

capital one
Source: capitalone.com

Capital One is one of the more recognizable names in the financial sector today. It is among 10 of the largest banks in the US both in terms of reputation and by assets.

The company’s claim to fame is it’s one of the earliest adopters of data and technology in the credit card industry.

It now offers several virtual credit card options for you to choose from, all of which work with the Eno browser extension. It is a cool feature that pops up and saves the virtual card numbers specific to a merchant and linked to your account.

One card stands out from Capital One’s extensive selection of virtual cards: the Venture Rewards. This virtual credit card offers a one-time bonus of 60,000 miles if you spend $3,000 within three months from opening an account.

It has an annual fee of $95, and you will need good credit status to qualify, but it comes with a host of benefits.

Features

Here’s a summary of the essential details you need to make a note of:

  • Earn 2x miles on any purchase and at any given day
  • No limit on miles in terms of amount or validity
  • Earn 5x miles when booking rental cars or hotels
  • Zero fees for foreign transactions
  • Option to transfer miles to one of many loyalty programs

3. Extend

extend
Source: paywithextend.com

Extend is a digital card distribution platform designed for banks, businesses, and customers of financial institutions. It was founded in 2017, making it one of the newer players in the industry.

Still, it is now one of the most trusted companies of its kind. It integrates siloed legacy banking technologies into one seamless system, redefining the online payment experience for all those who need it.

Aside from providing application programming interfaces, Extend also allows businesses and freelancers to generate virtual cards for all existing credit cards.

It can also do this for clients of other partner banks like American Express, Pacific Western Bank, Silicon Valley Bank, City National Bank, and others. Its services are currently available in the US only, but it is set to expand its operations to the UK.

Features

Here are some of the key highlights of its free-to-use financial product:

  • Generate an unlimited number of virtual credit cards for free
  • Provide virtual cards to other people using only an email address
  • Generate virtual cards for one-time use or recurring use
  • Generate up to 100 virtual cards at a time
  • Assign cards for specific purposes, like different clients, projects, or expense categories

4. Chase

chase
Source: chase.com

Chase is the banking business of JPMorgan Chase that is serving nearly half of all the households in the US. It offers a wide range of financial services, including personal banking, auto financing, investment advice, and of course, credit cards.

While JPMorgan Chase is one of the older banks in the industry, it managed to evolve with the changing times, especially when it comes to digital technology. It now has an array of virtual banking options to enhance the experience of its customers.

You can access their virtual card functionality through the Chase Digital Pay wallet. It is where you can store all the information about your virtual credit card holdings.

If you want to use this service, visit their website and go to the Profiles and Settings section. From there, add Chase Pay as a preferred virtual payment method.

Once you have done this, Chase Pay will come up on the checkout page of participating merchants and apps.

Features

To easily compare this company from the rest, here’s a quick list of its features:

  • Zero annual fee
  • Zero APR on purchases and balance transfer for the first 15 to 18 months
  • Earn bonuses after a minimum purchase (amounts vary from card to card)
  • Earn cash backs on qualified purchases
  • No minimum amount to redeem cashback

5. Venmo

venmo
Source: venmo.com

Venmo started out in 2009 as an app that facilitates financial transactions between friends. Its goal was to simplify social payments and enhance relationships instead of complicating them.

Today, it has 60 million users, with businesses and brands now part of its community of users. You can pay using Venmo virtually anywhere.

Aside from offering an actual card that you can literally put inside your wallet, Venmo also provides virtual credit cards for online transactions. You can even use your digital wallet to split credit card expenses with friends.

Features

Here’s a quick look of the critical details about this company:

  • You can use the virtual credit card while you are waiting for the physical card
  • You can use Venmo to pay for online purchases in apps
  • Compatible with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay
  • Part of the PayPal family
  • You can use one virtual credit card at a time

6. American Express

american express
Source: americanexpress.com

American Express has been around for over a century. Its business has evolved over the years, from freight forwarding to travel to cards.

It now offers a wide range of digital products and services, with 114 million total consumer cards-in-force. It is currently ranked 67th among Fortune 500 companies and has $6.8 billion in net income and $198 billion in assets.

The Amex Express Checkout was its earlier version of the digital wallet service. It allowed valid American Express cardholders to make in-app and online purchases.

However, some customers felt that the system had too many buttons and was not as user-friendly as it should have been.

Along with Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, American Express streamlined the whole process into a unified system called Click to Pay. 

With this improvement, you can hit one button every time you buy something online instead of entering your card information. In addition, online merchants won’t store your card details in their computer systems. This way, you are less vulnerable to breaches.

The Blue Cash Preferred Card is one of their most preferred cards.

Features

Here are some of this company’s highlights:

  • Earn $300 in statement credit if you spend $3,000 within the first six months
  • Earn 6% cash back for up to $6,000 per year on all US supermarket purchases
  • Earn 3% cash back on gas purchases, taxis and rideshares, buses, trains, and other modes of transit
  • Zero APR for the first 12 months
  • Waived annual fee during the intro period

7. Brex

brex
Source: brex.com

Brex is a company that provides a wide range of financial technology solutions and expense management tools to startups. It also helps businesses realize their full potential in an increasingly digital world.

With Brex, anyone can apply for financial services as easily as they can set up an email address. Everything can be done online and finished within minutes.

Today, thousands of businesses use Brex to handle their finances efficiently. These companies come from various industries, from tech to life sciences to e-commerce.

Brex offers a virtual corporate credit card that you can access using the full financial software. Business owners can issue these cards to their team members for various transactions.

Features

Here’s a summary of its offerings:

  • Set specific limits for different cards to control spending
  • Monitor expenses using the software
  • Earn points for all purchases and spendings
  • Zero annual fee and interest charges
  • Zero fees for foreign transactions

8. Netspend

netspend
Source: netspend.com

Netspend is a global payments company that offers innovative software solutions to around 68 million underbanked consumers.

Aside from being an effective financial management tool, it provides virtual credit cards. You can use this temporary credit card number to access sites that do not accept traditional debit cards.

As an added bonus, you can personalize these cards with a photo or any design.

With Netspend, you have a safe way to manage transactions all over the country as your credit card details are well protected. It also offers a convenient way to check your balance anytime, anywhere.

You can even receive transaction alerts every time you use your virtual credit card for an additional layer of security.

Features

Here are the most critical details to keep in mind:

  • Create up to six virtual cards for free
  • Get unlimited transactions for a low monthly fee
  • Suitable for transactions across the country
  • Also works internationally
  • Fully customizable virtual card

8 Best Virtual Debit Card

Debit and credit cards are similar in many ways. They both have a 16-digit card number, expiration dates, and other features. You can use either one to make purchases online or in physical stores.

One key difference is that credit cards let you borrow funds from the card issuer. In contrast, debit cards draw funds from the money you have deposited in your bank account.

If you prefer using a debit card, here are your best options today:

1. Mercury Bank

mercury
Source: mercury.com

Established in 2017, Mercury is one of the newer players in the banking industry. It has secured its place in the highly competitive market in a few short years by focusing on startups.

It is strictly an online banking platform as it does not accept cash deposits. It also does not conduct transactions with sole proprietors. 

Mercury offers checking and savings accounts in a single platform to new businesses for zero monthly fees. In addition, it provides scalable digital tools, including an application programming interface, which startups can use to customize their banking experience.

Business owners who want to manage all of their finances online find Mercury’s approach very attractive. With their dashboard, you can create virtual cards quickly and effortlessly. All it takes is a couple of clicks, and after a few minutes, you have a new virtual card.

Features

  • Cards can be created any time at the cards page of the Mercury dashboard
  • Cards can be used immediately once generated
  • Virtual cards have their own CVC codes, card numbers, and expiration dates
  • Cards can be used anywhere online where Mastercard is accepted
  • Virtual cards can be used while waiting for the physical debit card

2. Payoneer

payoneer
Source: payoneer.com

Payoneer is a global payments platform that works with freelancers, small and medium businesses, online marketplaces, and everyone in between. Using robust banking technologies and infrastructure, it aims to solve the biggest payment challenges of its clients.

Considered as one of the biggest companies of its kind, Payoneer now has five million customers, and this number keeps on growing. It supports 150 currencies and employs around 2,000 employees in its 24 offices across the globe.

Aside from being a payment processor, Payoneer now also offers virtual debit cards. Dubbed as the Digital Purchasing Mastercard, it is designed to put the company on the map in terms of virtual debit cards.

It can help businesses make payments as quickly and easily as possible. It has low fees, is accepted virtually anywhere, and offers multiple cards.

Features

  • Use the card to pay anywhere online where Mastercard is accepted
  • Use the virtual card to pay for Facebook ads, Google ads, and other marketing campaigns
  • Use the card to settle business expenses like payments for suppliers and contractors
  • Has a spending limit of up to $200,000 per day
  • Low annual account fee of $29.95

3. EzzoCard

ezzocard
Source: ezzocard.com

EzzoCard was founded in 2017. It offers virtual payment cards that people can use to shop across the globe.

With top-notch security features, fully automated services, and reliable customer services, EzzoCard is one of the most popular options today.

One of the many things that set EzzoCard apart is that it lets users pay online anonymously. This feature adds another level of security to an already safe payment method.

You can use it to transact with online merchants or websites that accept either Mastercard or Visa prepaid cards.

EzzoCard has four offerings in its selection of cards: Blue, Green, Brown, and Black. Each card has a different validity duration and a wide range of features. The application process is very easy, whichever card you prefer.

Features

  • Allows anonymous shopping for additional security
  • Register the card under any name and address for convenience
  • Zero fees for Green, Black, and Blue cards
  • Minimal fee $3 per month for Brown card
  • Create an account even without an account or credit checks

4. Revolut

revolut
Source: revolut.com

Revolut is a global financial app designed to help people optimize their finances. It started out in 2015, offering money transfer and exchange services in the UK.

Today, it facilitates over 150 million transactions a month across personal and business accounts spread over four plans: the free Standard plan and the Plus, Premium, and Metal plans.

It also has dozens of innovative products that help users improve their financial health in various ways. This includes crypto, budgeting, and analytics.

They recently extended their services in all the 50 states of the US, allowing them to reach more customers.

Another of Revolut’s most popular offerings is its virtual debit cards, which it offers through the app.

Features

  • No monthly fees
  • No one-off charges
  • Generate up to 20 virtual cards for personal use
  • Generate up to 200 virtual cards under the paid plan
  • Get the free plan or the paid plan that can charge up to $16.99 per month

5. Emburse

emburse
Source: emburse.com

Emburse is a company that offers financial solutions designed to automate expense management, especially for employees managing travel costs.

It empowers the workforce, allowing them to comply with their spending budgets. It also provides valuable insights to help all stakeholders make better spending decisions. 

By eliminating manual processes, Emburse allows business owners and individuals to focus on more value-adding activities or spend more time with their families.

Part of the company’s wide range of services is its virtual debit cards. These digital cards are cloud-based and offer security settings similar to other reputable providers.

They also come with several automation solutions that users will find very useful for online transactions.

Features

  • Set restrictions for the budget, time, and category for better management
  • Assign a separate virtual card for each online merchant
  • Compatible with popular apps like Apple Wallet and Android Pay
  • Instantaneous and easy transfer of funds
  • Generate any number of virtual debit cards

6. Chime

chime
Source: chime.com

Chime is more than just a bank. It is a technology company designed to make basic banking services as helpful and easy to use as possible. What is more, its services are free—no overdraft fees, no monthly fees, no minimum balance limits.

Chime works closely with regional banks in creating its financial products, making the market more competitive and accessible.

Anyone can open an account quickly, and you would not have to worry about paying any fees. All you have to do is visit their website and follow the instructions on their application page.

As mainly technology-driven, it is only natural for Chime to participate in the virtual debit card space.

Features

  • The Save When You Spend feature rounds up each transaction to the nearest dollar and transfers the savings to your account
  • No transaction fees
  • Use your debit card anywhere Visa is accepted
  • Compatible with mobile wallets like Google Pay and Apple Pay
  • Chime has a customer-first approach

7. Airtm

Source: airtm.com

Airtm is a peer-to-peer payment platform that allows users to convert fiat money into digital currency. It has cashiers all over the world to facilitate transactions and currency exchanges for a fee.

In addition, Airtm enables money transfers from major digital payment networks like PayPal, Apple Pay, and Payoneer.

Overall, Airtm helps protect its users’ savings from devaluation. It also helps businesses and individuals access their money safely and effortlessly wherever they are in the world and whatever currency they use.

The company relies heavily on cutting-edge technology to achieve its goal of making a wide range of financial services accessible to all. Its virtual debit card is a good example.

You can use it to send any local currency into any other currency. The base value is in US dollars.

Features

  • Purchase items from online merchants using any currency
  • Use the card to send and receive money
  • Buy cryptocurrency or convert crypto to USD
  • Zero minimum balances
  • Zero monthly fees

8. Privacy

privacy
Source: privacy.com

Privacy is a payments product designed to protect the personal information of its users. It provides highly intuitive software that keeps its users safe during online transactions.

As its name implies, it places a lot of premium on the privacy of its customers. The company goes through great lengths, implementing strict and decent security measures to protect businesses and individuals.

One of its most popular services is its virtual debit cards. These are free cards that feature the same level of protection the company is known for.

Another thing you would like about the Privacy debit card is that it is very easy to use. However, note that it is currently available to US residents only.

Features

  • The virtual debit cards are free if the funding source that you use is a bank account
  • Have total control over who can use the card, the spending limit, spending frequency, and other details using a Chrome or Firefox extension
  • Set the maximum charge for each card
  • Lock the card to a specific merchant
  • Use the free Personal plan or upgrade to Pro for $10 a month or Teams for $25 a month

Make the Switch to Virtual Cards

Virtual credit and debit cards offer many advantages over physical cards, especially in this day and age when virtually everything is going digital.

However, while switching to digital cards is easy to make, picking which one to use is not as straightforward. There are so many options to choose from, each with its own advantages and disadvantages.

Hopefully, the information outlined above will help you make the right choice.

FAQs About Virtual Cards

1. Are virtual credit and debit cards safer to use?

Virtual cards use throwaway numbers, which means that thieves and scammers cannot use them. This makes virtual cards safer from fraud. Some cards also let you pay anonymously, keeping your identity safe.

On top of all these, most issuers implement advanced security and privacy features, providing more layers of protection to their customers.

2. What are the drawbacks of using virtual cards?

Virtual cards are designed to be used online, so you cannot pay with them in physical stores.

3. What is the difference between a real and a virtual card?

Virtual and physical cards work similarly for the most part, except that you can put your plastic card in your wallet. At the same time, you keep your virtual card on your device or computer.

Physical plastic cards are more widely accepted for now, especially for in-store purchases. Still, virtual cards are rapidly gaining traction for contactless payments.

4. Where can I get a virtual card?

You can apply for virtual cards directly from your bank or e-wallet companies.

5. What are the benefits of using virtual cards?

Aside from the extra security layer, virtual cards allow businesses to control spending and cut costs on internal processes.

Uday Tank is a serial entrepreneur and content marketing leader. He has a wide variety of interests and enjoys writing, including marketing, productivity, business, health, diversity, and management.