Prepaid Virtual Credit Cards Explained

With the convenience of making purchases online, comes the option to have a prepaid virtual credit card. A prepaid virtual credit card is simply a set of numbers that can be used as a credit card for online purchases. The card is prepaid just like a regular prepaid credit card, meaning the user controls the balance on the card. While the virtual card makes it easy for online purchases to be made, it does not offer the advantages a prepaid credit card offers, and the numbers may still be compromised. 

How Does a Virtual Prepaid Credit Card Work?

Instead of issuing an actual card with numbers and requiring identification, a virtual card is issued immediately after payment. The number can be used anywhere online where the card is accepted. When the balance on the card is spent, users have the option to reload it to continue using it. It works to protect the identity of the people using the card, and works to prevent theft in the event a wallet is stolen. The card number is kept secure. Though identification is not required to obtain and use a card, if purchases requiring identification are made, such as airline tickets, the information will need to be furnished during the purchase process.

Where to Get a Virtual Prepaid Credit Card

There are several online merchants who offer a prepaid virtual credit card. It is important to make sure you understand all the terms and conditions of the card before agreeing to purchase it. Generally there are no fees incurred as the card cannot be used for in person purchases. Depending on the card issuer, there may be certain methods of funding the card that may lead consumers to purchase another card from another vendor. For instance, if the only way to fund the prepaid card is through a cash load in person but there are no local establishments to load the card, finding another card will be necessary.

Adding Money 

The policies and procedures for adding money may vary from card issuer to issuer. It is important to understand the options for loading money to the card before purchasing the card. Some cards will allow a cash deposit to be made in person at an authorized dealer while others may only accept a check in the mail, PayPal or eGold.

The PayPal Virtual Credit Card

For those who have a PayPal account, there is an option to download a browser plug-in that will issue a virtual MasterCard number so that people may use the funds in their PayPal account for purchases with merchants who do not allow PayPal as a payment option. These cards are also completely secure and come with the option to be a onetime use, or multiple use cards. Each card number is randomly generated and provides both an expiration date and CVV code for secure purchases. All the virtual cards are stored in the account. 

Though it is unlikely for the numbers to be compromised because of the appropriate online security measures in place, it may still be possible for the numbers to be compromised if purchases are made with companies or websites that do not have security certificates implemented on their servers. If you suspect your information has been compromised, contact the card issuer right away. 


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