Using a Virtual Credit Card

A Virtual credit card is a free service from your bank that allows you to create a temporary credit card number each time you make an online purchase. This number links directly to your real credit card account number but keeps your card number completely private and protected. The virtual credit card number is used just like any other credit card - a merchant never knows it's not your real credit card.

Not all banks or credit card companies offer a virtual credit card service.  After researching, here are the ones we found available:

    Citibank - Virtual Account Number - downloadable software and web access
    Fidelity - ShopSafe - downloadable software and web access
    Bank of America - ShopSafe - downloadable software and web access
    EntroPay - Prepaid Virtual Credit Card

    Discover and PayPal have discontinued their virtual programs

NOTE:  Virtual account numbers are not available for business credit cards.

  1. Here is the location within Fidelity, to use the virtual credit card application called ShopSafe.


  2. After clicking on the icon for ShopSafe, you are presented with this window:


  3. If you decide to create a virtual credit card number, you are presented with this window:


  4. Now, you enter the amount of the transaction (be sure to add for shipping and handling) and you decide how long this credit card will be good for.


  5. Click on the button to create a number: 

    Now you can enter this information into the on-line shopping cart and complete your purchase.


  6. Let's say you want to use a virtual credit card for a re-occurring payment.  If the payment is the same every month.


  7. Click on Create a new ShopSafe Number for Recurring Payments.  You are presented with this window: 


  8. Now you can create the payment amount and specify how many months it will last. 


  9. ShopSafe is presented three (3)different ways in your computer.

    9a.  Via the Website: 

    9b.  If you have downloaded the ShopSafe application and installed it on your computer, then it is available via the Start Menu button or via the icon near the clock.  When ShopSafe is running on your computer, some websites will trigger ShopSafe to open automatically for you and wait for you to log in and will automatically fill in your information for you.

    Via the Start Menu button: 

    Via an icon near the clock: 

  10. ShopSafe is also available from Bank of America.



  11. Another popular virtual credit card is from CitiBank.  You can launch the application from the website or download the application from their website: 


  12. Once the application is launched, you are presented with this window: 

  13. After entering your User Name and Password, you will see these options: 

  14. If you choose to create a virtual account number, you will see: 
    Notice the AUTO FILL option.  This is a nice feature while in the shopping cart area of the on-line purchase.

  15. There are also many pre-paid virtual credit cards available.  One of these is EntroPay.


    However, be very aware there are fees involved which are not charged by the banks with their services.  An example of EntroPay's fees is: