At a Glance
Virtual credit cards have been rapidly gaining popularity due to their enhanced security and convenience. They offer an added layer of protection against fraud and unauthorized transactions, making them an attractive option for many users. Plus, they feel so space-age and sleek as they typically do not have a physical card associated with them. Instead, they provide a virtual card number, expiration date, and security code that can be used for online or mobile transactions. Finding the best virtual credit card for your needs requires considering several factors. We’ve broken down what you should look for and put together a list of some of the best ones and why they could work well for you.
In this article, you’ll learn:
Comparing the best virtual credit cards:
|Credit Card||Rewards Rate||Welcome Offer|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card||5x on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3x on dining, online grocery, and streaming services, 2x on all other travel, 1x on all other purchases||60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening|
|Citi® Double Cash Card||Earn 2% cash back on all purchases||None|
|Discover it® Cash Back||5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories, 1% back on all other purchases||Unlimited cashback match at the end of your first year|
|American Express® Gold Card||4x points on restaurants and groceries, 3x on flights, and 1x on all other purchases||75,000 Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership|
|Apple Card||3% cash back at Apple and select merchants, 2% cash back on all purchases made with Apple Pay, 1% cash back when using the physical card||None|
|Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card||10x miles on hotels and rental cars booked though Capital One Travel, 5x miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel, 2x miles on all purchases,||75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||5x on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, 1.25 miles on all purchases||20,000 bonus miles once you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening|
|Citi Premier||3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels. 1x points on all other purchases.||60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months of account opening|
A closer look at the top virtual credit cards:
Chase Sapphire Preferred Card
Rewards rate: Earn 5 points per dollar on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3 points per dollar on dining, online grocery, and streaming services, 2 points per dollar on all other travel, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $95
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 21.49%–28.49% variable
Signup bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Our verdict: The Chase Sapphire Preferred Card is one of the most popular entry-level credit cards for a reason. For a card with just a $95 annual fee, you can get a lot of value. The bonus category earning is lucrative, and you can transfer your points at a 1:1 ratio to several hotel and airline partners to maximize your redemption value. Cardholders also receive a $50 hotel statement credit each year, plus subscriptions to DoorDash, DashPass and Instacart+, along with a monthly Instacart credit, and a bonus 5 points per dollar on Lyft and Peloton purchases.
- Ability to transfer points to your favourite hotels or airlines.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- Bonus category earnings.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver is primary.
- Various trip and purchase insurance coverage.
- Annual fee.
Apply now: Chase Sapphire Preferred Credit Card
Citi® Double Cash Card
Rewards rate: Earn 2% on every purchase: unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
Annual fee: $0
Intro APR: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months.
Regular APR: 19.24% – 29.24% Variable
Signup bonus: None
Our verdict: The Citi® Double Cash Card is a no-fuss, everyday credit card that stands out with its uncapped 2% cash back on every purchase. With flexible redemption options and no annual fee, it’s a practical choice for maximizing rewards. Plus, as a virtual card, it offers added convenience and security for online transactions. While it may lack bonus categories and premium travel perks, its simplicity and consistent cash back make it a top contender for those seeking hassle-free rewards. Unlock the power of earning with the Citi® Double Cash Card, the ultimate companion for everyday spending.
- Uncapped 2% cash back on all purchases.
- Flexible redemption options.
- No annual fee.
- No bonus categories.
- 3% foreign transaction fees.
- Lack of premium travel benefits.
Overall, the Citi® Double Cash Card is a great choice for those seeking a straightforward cash-back credit card without an annual fee. It offers a competitive rewards rate and the flexibility to redeem cash back as ThankYou Points. However, it lacks bonus categories and charges foreign transaction fees, which may not be ideal for frequent travelers. Additionally, it does not provide premium travel benefits.
Apply now: Citi Double Cash
Learn more: Citi Double Cash Card Review
Discover it Cash Back
Rewards rate: Earn 5% cash back on rotating quarterly categories, 1% back on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $0
Intro APR: 0% Intro APR for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers and 3% Intro Balance Transfer Fee until December 10, 2023.
Regular APR: 17.24% to 28.24% Variable.
Signup bonus: Unlimited cashback match at the end of your first year.
Our verdict: If you’re looking for a new no-annual-fee cash back credit card, the Discover it Cash Back might be a good choice. The most appealing aspect is the cashback match at the end of your first year from account opening. This means that you can potentially decide your welcome bonus – it’s dependent on your spending. You will need to keep an eye on the quarterly bonus categories to maximize your earnings. Right now, the 5% back is for gas stations and digital wallet purchases, up to $1,500 spent. The next quarter is at Amazon and Target, up to the same $1,500 spent. If you max out these categories, you can earn $75 cash back each quarter, or $300 each year. At the end of your first year, that number gets doubled, meaning you could potentially earn $600 back on only bonus category spending.
- Potential for a high welcome bonus, depending on your spending.
- Decent intro APR period.
- Need to keep track of rotating categories, and you can’t select them yourself.
- You do not earn the welcome bonus for a full year.
- Minimal perks aside from cash back.
- Cap on bonus category spending.
Apply now: Discover it® Cash Back Credit Card
American Express® Gold Card
Rewards rate: Earn 4 points per dollar on restaurants (including takeout and delivery in the U.S.) and U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1x), 3 points per dollar on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com, and 1 point per dollar on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $250
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 21.24% to 29.24% variable APR on eligible charges for Pay over time (regular APR likely to be similar).
Signup bonus: 75,000 Points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
Our verdict: The American Express® Gold Card is an excellent choice for individuals who are passionate about dining out and traveling. Despite the high annual fee of $250, the card offers impressive rewards rates, including 4x Membership Rewards points on restaurants (including takeout and delivery) and U.S. supermarkets, as well as 3x points on flights. The ability to shop securely online using virtual card numbers adds an extra layer of protection. However, potential cardholders should be aware that redeeming rewards may have limited options, and the annual fee should be considered before applying.
- Solid dining rewards.
- Transferrable points.
- Generous bonuses.
- Limited options for redeeming rewards.
- Annual fee.
The American Express® Gold Card is a solid choice for foodies and travelers, offering competitive rewards on restaurant and supermarket purchases. With a rewards rate of 4x on dining and groceries, it’s a great card for those who spend a lot in these categories. The ability to transfer points and the attractive signup bonus add further value. However, potential cardholders should be aware of the annual fee and the limitations in redeeming rewards. Overall, if you’re willing to pay the annual fee and maximize the dining rewards, this card can provide significant benefits.
Apply now: American Express Gold Card
Rewards rate: Earn 3% cash back on Apple purchases and purchases at select merchants, 2% whenever you make a purchase with your card using Apple Pay, and 1% back whenever you use your physical card.
Annual fee: $0
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 19.24% to 29.49% variable
Signup Bonus: None
Our verdict: The Apple Card is a sleek and innovative credit card that seamlessly integrates with Apple’s ecosystem. With no annual fees and transparent interest payments, it offers a user-friendly experience. As a virtual card, it adds an extra layer of convenience and security for online and in-store purchases. The integration with features like Face ID, Touch ID, and Apple Pay makes it a versatile tool for Apple device users. While limited to Apple users and lacking an introductory APR, the Apple Card’s cash back rewards and seamless virtual experience make it a compelling choice for tech-savvy individuals.
- No annual fees.
- Integration with features such as Face ID, Touch ID, and Apple Pay makes it a versatile tool.
- Limited to users of Apple devices only.
- No introductory APR.
The Apple Card is a very popular and useful credit card, offering a virtual credit card option as well. With no annual fees and transparent interest payments, it provides users with a straightforward and convenient experience. The integration with Apple’s features like Face ID, Touch ID, and Apple Pay adds to its versatility. However, it’s important to note that the card is limited to users of Apple devices and does not offer an introductory APR. With cash back ranging from 2% to 3%, users can benefit from daily cash back rewards when using their iPhone or Apple Watch for purchases.
Apply now: Apple Card
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Rewards rate: 10 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars purchased through Capital One Travel, 5 miles per dollar on flights purchased through Capital One Travel, 2 miles per dollar on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $395
Intro APR: Not available
Regular APR: 21.99% – 28.99% Variable
Signup bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Our verdict: The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a top-notch travel rewards card with impressive benefits and a competitive annual fee. With generous rewards of 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, 5x miles on flights, and 2x miles on all other purchases, it’s a dream for avid travelers. The card also offers exclusive access to Capital One Lounges and a substantial annual travel credit. As a virtual credit card, it provides added security and convenience, allowing users to generate virtual account numbers for enhanced protection. Despite the high annual fee, the card’s perks and rewards make it a compelling choice for frequent travelers.
- High rewards rate on travel-related purchases.
- Access to Capital One Lounges and Partner Lounge Network.
- Up to $300 annual travel credit on bookings made through Capital One Travel.
- Complimentary access for cardholder and 2 guests to 1,300+ lounges.
- 10,000 bonus miles awarded on your account anniversary each year.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- High annual fee of $395.
- Does not offer bonus categories for direct airline or hotel purchases, limiting elite status earnings.
The Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card is a premium travel rewards card that offers generous benefits and a high rewards rate on travel-related purchases. With perks such as access to Capital One Lounges, up to $300 annual travel credit, and 10x miles on hotels and rental cars, it caters well to frequent travelers. However, the card comes with a significant annual fee of $395 and lacks bonus categories for direct airline or hotel purchases. Overall, it is a strong option for those who prioritize earning travel rewards and value the additional perks offered by the card.
Apply now: Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Rewards rate: Earn 5 miles per dollar on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 1.25 miles per dollar on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $0
Intro APR: 0% for 15 months on purchases and balance transfers.
Regular APR: 19.99% – 29.99% variable
Signup bonus: Earn 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening.
Our verdict: The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a fee-free gem that offers easy-to-earn miles on every purchase. With no annual fee and a generous signup bonus, it’s a great choice for cost-conscious travelers. While the reward rate is modest, the card shines with its virtual card functionality, providing added security and convenience for online transactions. Whether you’re booking hotels or rental cars, the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card ensures you earn miles while enjoying the freedom of free travel. Discover a world of rewards and financial peace of mind with this versatile virtual companion.
- No annual fee or foreign transaction fee.
- Easy welcome bonus.
- Low intro APR.
- Low reward rate.
- Requires excellent credit.
The Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice if you’re looking for a fee-free card that earns flat-rate miles on all your purchases. The easy welcome bonus and low intro APR add to its appeal. However, the reward rate is relatively low compared to other cards, and it requires excellent credit to qualify. If you’re willing to pay an annual fee and have a higher credit score, you may find other cards with more lucrative benefits.
Apply now: Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card
Citi Premier® Card
Rewards rate: Earn 3 Points per dollar at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels. Earn 1 Point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
Annual fee: $95
Intro APR: N/A
Regular APR: 21.2% – 29.24% variable.
Signup bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
Our verdict: The Citi Premier® Card is a fantastic choice for travelers seeking a well-rounded rewards credit card. With its generous 3x bonus categories and access to Citi transfer partners, it offers plenty of opportunities to earn and redeem points. The annual hotel savings benefit, and absence of foreign transaction fees further enhance its value. While the card comes with a $95 annual fee, the benefits and rewards potential outweigh the cost for frequent travelers and those who spend in the designated categories. Harness the power of travel rewards with the Citi Premier® Card and elevate your journey to new heights.
- 3x points on various categories including restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel, and hotels.
- Access to Citi transfer partners.
- Annual hotel savings benefit.
- No foreign transaction fees.
- $95 annual fee.
The Citi Premier® Card is an excellent choice for travel enthusiasts and those seeking a versatile rewards credit card. With its attractive rewards rate, access to Citi transfer partners, and annual hotel savings benefit, it offers great value for frequent travelers. The card’s lack of foreign transaction fees and the added security of virtual account numbers make it even more appealing. While it does come with a $95 annual fee, the benefits and earning potential outweigh the cost for those who maximize the rewards in the designated categories. Embrace the world of travel rewards with the Citi Premier® Card and unlock unforgettable experiences.
Apply now: Citi Premier® Card
How to get a virtual credit card number?
To get a virtual credit card number, you have a couple of options. Firstly, you can contact your card issuer and inquire if they offer virtual credit cards. Many major issuers now provide this feature to their customers. They will generate a unique virtual card number that you can use for online transactions. Alternatively, you can explore third-party services that offer virtual credit cards. These services act as intermediaries, providing you with a virtual card number that you can link to your existing credit card. This allows you to make online purchases without exposing your actual credit card details. Check the provided link for detailed step-by-step instructions on obtaining a virtual credit card number from your issuer.
How to use a virtual credit card?
Using a virtual credit card is simple, follow these steps –
- To use a virtual credit card, you will need to enter the virtual card number, expiration date, and CVV code during online checkout.
- Treat the virtual card details as you would with a physical credit card, ensuring their accuracy and security.
- Virtual credit cards work similarly to traditional credit cards, allowing you to complete online transactions securely.
- The virtual card information is typically provided to you when you receive the virtual card.
- Follow the instructions provided by your virtual credit card issuer or refer to the provided links for detailed guidance on using a virtual credit card effectively.
- Be cautious and protect your virtual card details from unauthorized access or phishing attempts.
- Enjoy the convenience and security of using a virtual credit card for online purchases.
How to choose the best virtual credit card?
When selecting the ideal virtual credit card for your needs, several considerations come into play. First and foremost, it’s crucial to define what perks are important to you. Are you seeking cashback rewards, travel benefits, or perhaps enhanced security features? Once you’ve identified your preferences, delve into the offerings of different virtual credit card providers. Assess the cashback rates, rewards programs, and any special discounts tied to specific spending categories. For frequent travelers, benefits such as travel insurance, airport lounge access, and no foreign transaction fees might be pivotal. Additionally, prioritize virtual credit cards that provide robust security features, including virtual card number generation, transaction alerts, and the ability to freeze or close a card instantly in case of unauthorized usage. Finally, be sure to inquire about annual fees and interest rates, as these factors can significantly impact the overall value of the virtual credit card. By asking yourself what perks matter most and thoroughly investigating various options, you can confidently select the virtual credit card that aligns perfectly with your financial goals and lifestyle.
The methodology for choosing the best virtual credit cards involves evaluating factors such as security features, ease of use, rewards programs, customer reviews, and fees. Financial experts and analysts assess these aspects to provide rankings and recommendations. The goal is to identify virtual credit cards that offer strong security measures, user-friendly interfaces, attractive rewards programs, positive customer feedback, and reasonable fees. By considering these factors, users can make informed decisions and select virtual credit cards that align with their needs and preferences.
The product information provided here is based on research conducted up to a specific date and may have changed. For the latest and most accurate information, we recommend you to visit the respective card’s website before proceeding.