Many people, especially credit cardholders, are now embracing the use of virtual credit cards for making online purchases. Due to increased credit card fraud, virtual credit cards offer the best and most secure option for shopping online. Therefore, you can mask your real credit card number and use your virtual account numbers for fraud protection.
Hence, virtual credit cards are becoming a must-have, especially for those conducting online transactions.
Major card issuers, including banks and credit unions, offer their customers free and immediate-use virtual credit cards. The customer will need to request or apply for a virtual credit card from the bank if they have a credit card account. In most cases, approval of an immediate-use virtual credit card is instant and ready for use by the customer.
Thus, you do not have to wait for your physical card to start making an online transaction.
· You can request virtual credit cards from your credit card issuers or eligible bank and use them before your physical card arrives
· Mostly, your approval for a virtual credit card is immediate, allowing users to use the virtual card instantly
· Immediate-use virtual credit cards are easy to obtain and are usually free to acquire
What is an Immediate-use Virtual Credit Card?
An immediate-use virtual credit card is a digital version of your credit card that you can use in the online space. After you are approved for a credit card, it may take about 3 to 10 business days to arrive in the mail. Some may find the waiting period too long unless they request expedited shipping under certain circumstances.
Thus, a virtual credit card will step in place of your physical card before your card arrives in the mail.
Virtual credit cards have unique card numbers, different from those found on your physical card. They will also have a different security code and expiration date, which you enter while making online transactions. Therefore, an immediate-use virtual credit card will be exactly issued by the bank as one would use their physical credit card.
For example, if your credit card has a rewards program, you will receive the same rewards if you use the virtual card.
Your credit card issuer will need several requirements to approve a virtual credit card. However, instant approval virtual credit cards will offer a fast response, allowing you to make quick financial decisions. Immediate-use virtual credit cards are temporary for use and do not last long.
Although you can only use part of your credit card limit, virtual credit cards are convenient and secure to use.
However, virtual credit cards are only limited to online shopping since they exist in a digital format. Thus, you cannot make any in store purchases unless the store has a website that you can access. Also, it is important to note that not all major card issuers offer immediate-use virtual credit cards.
Therefore, you should consult with your credit card issuer to know whether they provide instant use credit cards for an online purchase.
How Does an Immediate-use Virtual Credit Card Work?
First, you will have to request an immediate-use virtual credit card from your credit card provider. Then, you will have to wait for approval of your request or application, which normally takes a few seconds. However, your application may be delayed or denied, depending on your general creditworthiness.
Denial of your application rarely happens, and your card issuer will explain the reason behind the denial.
As said earlier, your virtual credit card works just the same as your physical credit card, only for online use. Once you are approved for a virtual card, you will receive a virtual card number different from your physical card. The virtual credit card details will come with a security code and expiration date, which are necessary for transactions.
Fill in the virtual account details instead of the ones found on your physical credit card during the checkout after online purchases.
Your credit card issuer will indicate how long your virtual credit card can last after every transaction. Immediate-use virtual credit cards have a very short life span, and you can use them quickly after approval. Usually, most virtual cards can only be used by the customer once for each transaction, but you can use some virtual cards for multiple transactions.
Thus, you will need a new virtual card number to make another online transaction.
However, you can have merchant-specific instant credit card numbers for transactions through a specific website or merchant. Therefore, you will not have to request a new virtual card number if you make several transactions through the same merchant. You can replace the virtual account number for a specific merchant if the current virtual card number is compromised.
How to Complete Online Transactions Using an Immediate-use Virtual Credit Card
Use the following steps to properly use your virtual credit card numbers while making online transactions:
(i) When you are in the checkout section of the website, select the Payment Options option
(ii) If you have not saved your virtual card previously, go to the View Card option to fill in your card details manually
(iii) Enter the virtual card details and not your actual physical credit card details
(iv) Enter the virtual card numbers, including the virtual card’s expiration date and security code
(v) Follow the authentication protocol, which includes filling in the verification code, if applicable
(vi) Finish the transaction by checking out as usual
(vii) If you previously saved your virtual card number before a transaction, either on Google or your digital wallet, information is automatically filled
Who can Apply for an Immediate-use Virtual Credit Card?
Anyone with an active or approved credit card account can apply for an immediate-use virtual credit card. Thus, you will need to have already finished the application process for your card, awaiting your card's arrival. The bank you applied to will indicate whether your application process is complete and how long to wait before the card arrives.
In the meantime, you can apply for an immediate-use virtual credit card, applicable for online use.
Additionally, those who partake in online transactions at a large scale can apply for immediate-use virtual credit cards. Virtual credit cards work best for fraud prevention since they mask the user's credit card information. Therefore, you will not expose any credit card information, protecting yourself from online hackers.
Also, your statements from your virtual credit card will not reflect on your credit card statements, maintaining your anonymity.
Usually, most banks have an online platform or online banking application that their customers use to request a virtual card. For example, the Bank of America mobile app allows customers using Bank of America credit cards to apply for virtual cards. However, not all credit cards from banks can have virtual credit cards for customers to use.
Therefore, it is important to consult with the bank or credit card issuer before applying for an immediate-use virtual credit card.
What Should You Know Before Applying for an Immediate-use Virtual Credit Card?
There are several requirements cardholders should have before they apply for an immediate-use virtual credit card. They include the following:
· Know which types of credit cards are legible for an immediate-use virtual credit card application
· Understand the bank’s credit policies concerning credit cards and immediate-use virtual credit cards
· Customers should know that your bank may require more information, including making credit checks to provide a virtual card
· Ensure you have an existing credit card account or your credit card has been approved before applying for a virtual card
· Issues on your credit history, including the freezing of your credit account, may lead to delay or denial of a virtual credit card
How to Apply for an Immediate-use Virtual Credit Card
Applying for an immediate-use virtual credit card is easy and quick, with customers getting an instant response. Applicants can apply online or in person at the bank's branches or financial centers. However, online application is the fastest since most banks have an online platform or mobile banking app for application.
Approval is almost immediate as long as you meet the right qualifications and requirements.
You can use the following steps to apply for an immediate-use virtual credit card:
(i) Go to the website or online banking app of your credit card issuer
(ii) Navigate to the Virtual Cards or Virtual Account Number section of your app or website, depending on your bank
(iii) Then, select the credit card you are currently using
(iv) Fill in the necessary details as requested
(v) Verify your application by following the authentication protocol, if necessary
(vi) If your credit card issuer requires you to show proof of your successful validation, please provide the necessary details
(vii) Link your pre-existing credit card account, as required during the application
(viii) You will receive your virtual credit card details on your phone
(ix) You can choose to add your virtual card number to your digital wallet or Google for future use
(x) Select your immediate-use virtual credit card number for conducting online transactions
The process is not long, as it will only take a few minutes, with a fast response from your card issuer. However, it is important to note that the bank may take some time to review your bank details. Thus, you may wait a little longer before the bank approves your immediate-use virtual card.
The immediate-use virtual credit card is ready for use as soon as you receive your virtual card details.
What is the Difference Between Virtual Credit Numbers and Smartphone Payment Applications?
Mobile phones running on Apple, Samsung and Google offer their users payment applications for online or in store purchases. However, the customer will use a payment token instead of the primary account number on the app. Thus, the smartphone apps will use a Magnetic Secure Transmission or Near Field Communications system to make their transactions.
Therefore, the transactions will be secure and safe to use during any purchase.
A customer's token is unique, just like a virtual card number generated from a pre-existing credit card account. Thus, the token will not be traced back to the customer and will not release any account information. However, different card issuers will generate different tokens in a different manner to connect with the payment apps.
Thus, customers can create virtual numbers depending on the most-used payment app. The feature is important in tracking payment methods and spending across multiple devices.
Top Virtual Credit Cards You Can Use Instantly After Approval
An instant approval card is a credit card that can offer instant access to online financial transactions. The instant approval card has the same numbers as your physical credit card number. However, you can use your instant credit card number before receiving your credit card in the mail.
Aside from linking it to your digital wallet, you can use your instant credit cards to generate an immediate-use virtual card.
Major card issuers offer their customers instant access to immediate-use virtual credit cards. Some have more than one instant approval credit card, which offers an immediate-use virtual credit card option. Therefore, checking your bank's website to see how many credit cards are available for the virtual option is important.
Your instant virtual credit card approval will take a few minutes, which is a great advantage to the customer.
Some of the leading banks that offer instant approval for immediate-use virtual credit cards include the following:
Bank of America Immediate-use Cards
Bank of America is a renowned bank and financial institution that offers its customers various credit cards for everyday use. Therefore, many people can enjoy different benefits from different cards since they are readily available. One of the benefits of using credit cards from Bank of America is that they offer cards for instant approval.
Thus, you can use your credit card as an immediate-use virtual card before your physical card arrives.
Some of the credit cards with instant approval include:
Bank of America Premium Rewards Credit Card
The Bank of America Premium Rewards card boasts the best rewards credit card. It offers points rewards, meaning that the more you spend using the card, the more points you will receive. After the points accumulate to a certain threshold, you can redeem the points for cash.
Usually, the bank will also offer you bonus rewards on account opening, encouraging you to use the card. Members of the Preferred Rewards program will have a boost in the rewards they earn, depending on their credit balance.
You must meet a few conditions during application to receive instant virtual card numbers. First, you should have at least one open pre-existing with Bank of America. You must use the targeted promotions on the bank's mobile app during account opening.
Thus, you will be legible to an immediate-use virtual card that you can save in your digital wallet. You will continue using the card before your physical credit card arrives in the mail within ten business days.
Business Advantage Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card
The Business Advantage Credit Card is a rotating bonus category cash rewards card made mainly for small businesses. Such business credit cards allow you to choose from different categories every month to maximize your cash-back rate. Thus, you will get cashback on travel and dining purchases, gas stations, and office supplies.
You will receive cash back rewards as a check or statement credit in your bank or savings account. Therefore, it is a great option for choosing a business credit card with a rotating bonus category rewards system.
As long as you have a pre-existing bank account with Bank of America, you can readily apply for an immediate-use virtual card. Also, you can choose to move your business accounts, including your investment account, to Bank of America. Then, you will qualify to receive an immediate-use virtual credit card for online purchases.
You will still earn the benefits and rewards in the same way you use your physical credit card.
Bank of America Customized Cash Rewards Credit Card for Students
The Bank of America Customized Rewards card for students offers the best option for students due to its tiered-rate rewards. It is best for students building their credit score, as it offers rewards to encourage more card use. With a zero annual fee and low interest charged, the customized student card becomes a cheaper alternative.
The card also has a welcome bonus during account opening, making it a better choice than its competitors. However, foreign transaction fees charged on the card negatively impact students in foreign countries.
Thus, the Bank of America Customized card for students offers instant approval to its cardholders, who are mainly students. Therefore, the application process will be equally short and fast, allowing cardholders to receive virtual card numbers instantly. You can store the virtual account numbers in your digital wallet for security or future use.
Hence, you can enjoy online purchases and transactions even before receiving your physical card.
American Express Immediate-use Credit Cards
American Express has a wide variety of credit cards, with many offering instant approval to its users. The bank's great reputation encourages many to open a credit card account and receive great rewards programs. Therefore, you can make online transactions while waiting for your physical card in the mail.
Once you meet the set conditions by the bank, you can apply for instant approval and use the card. Some of the best examples of American Express instant approval credit cards include:
The Platinum Card
The American Express Platinum card is a high-value credit card provided by the bank. The card boasts exquisite cash rewards and high welcome bonuses on account opening. For example, you will have major cash-back rewards for travel purchases and shopping in grocery stores.
Also, the card qualifies for an instant approval option as long as you meet the set requirements. Therefore, you can easily generate an immediate-use virtual credit card after receiving your instant card details.
You will need a clean and positive credit history to receive instant approval. Also, you can check the bank's website to see whether you are qualified to receive instant card approval. Due to its high annual fee, the Platinum Card is a highly-coveted credit card since it has huge cash rewards.
Therefore, you will need a very high credit score to apply for the card, as well as positive spending habits.
Blue Cash Preferred Card
The Blue Cash Preferred Card is a highly-demanded tiered-rate cash back rewards card from American Express. It has high cash back rates on different categories, including online retail purchases and streaming subscriptions. However, an annual fee is charged to the card, which has relatively high interest despite its high cash-back rate.
Alternatively, you can use the Blue Cash Everyday Card, which has no annual fee charged to the card. The card also has a 0 intro APR for purchases and balance transfers, although its cash back rates are lower.
The Blue Cash Preferred Card and the Blue Cash Everyday Card are both instant credit cards from American Express. Therefore, you can receive instant card details before the physical cards arrive in the mail. You can continue to earn and redeem rewards using your instant credit card or an immediate-use virtual card.
However, you will require to meet the bank's requirements to receive instant approval for your credit card.
Capital One Immediate-use Virtual Credit Cards
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
The Venture Rewards Card from Capital One is a miles rewards card that offers its users rewards in travel. Therefore, the more eligible purchases you make with the card, the more miles you will receive. You can only redeem miles for travel purposes or for making travel purchases using your Ventures Rewards card.
Thus, the instant approval option works perfectly for the credit card due to the rewards program of the card. The Venture Rewards Card is perfect for people who enjoy traveling for business or leisure.
You can check through the bank's website to see if you are pre-approved for an instant approval card. Pre-approval generally means the bank will check whether you can apply for an instant card through the Venture credit card. Alternatively, you can use the Eno virtual assist, which is a downloadable program on your browser extension.
Eno will assist in matters online, including generating an immediate-use virtual card while waiting for your card’s arrival in the mail.
Alternative Options for Immediate-use Virtual Credit Cards
Sometimes, a few credit cards within the market are known as co-branded credit cards. Co branded credit card is created through a partnership between a bank, a credit network such as Visa or MasterCard, and other brands. Thus, the brand or retailer will give customers a Visa or MasterCard credit card supported by a bank.
Then, their customers can earn loyalty points or receive personal discounts while using the specialized card.
For example, the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature card is a Visa credit card provided to Alaska Airlines by Bank of America. Therefore, customers can use the credit card for Alaska Airlines, including booking flights using the card. Unlike other Bank of America credit cards, the card will carry its own rewards program.
You will require to access the credit card issuers, Bank of America, in this case, for your credit card history or payments.
Co-branded credit cards are more widely used than other store cards, restricting purchasing items in one store. Also, you can enjoy a card membership upgrade status for those with a tiered-membership card. The co-branded card will have the retailer's or airline's logo, allowing for easy identification of the card. However, you cannot redeem rewards from other retailers or airlines, but your cash rewards can be transferred to your savings account by the bank.
Co-branded cards also have higher APR and interest charges on the card, as compared to other credit cards in the market.
Some co branded cards can offer instant use of virtual credit card services, which link to digital wallets, such as Google Pay and Samsung Pay. They can be seen as alternatives to your immediate-use virtual credit card, especially for online purchases. Some of the credit cards include the following:
The Apple Card is a credit card that links your Apple Pay wallet, and Goldman Sachs issues it. Therefore, the card is available for instant use after approval, and you can use it anywhere Apple Pay is accepted. The credit card will get funds from your Apple wallet, and then you can use it for making purchases across different stores.
Also, you can enjoy cash back rewards on eligible purchases using your Apple Card in store or online.
PayPal Cashback MasterCard
The PayPal Cashback MasterCard card is a cash back rewards card offering its customers cash back on purchases. Thus, you will earn 3% cash back on items after you check out with PayPal and 2% cash back on other purchases. The card is issued by Synchrony Bank, which allows you to link the card to your PayPal digital wallet.
The card is also an instant use credit card, meaning you can use it immediately after card approval.
Venmo Credit Card
The Venmo credit card is also a credit card issued by Synchrony Bank, which can be linked to different digital wallets except for Apple Pay. The card lives within the app, meaning you must use the Venmo application during checkout. The Visa credit card offers rewards programs to its users through cash back rewards.
It has a rotating bonus category, allowing customers to maximize rewards in all categories.
The Reason Why an Immediate-use Virtual Credit Card Approval Can Delay
Although an instant card can offer instant card use to the customer, the application process may not always be instant. There are a few reasons why an instant use card may deny or delay processing an immediate-use virtual credit card. However, most of the issues causing a delay in the application can easily be resolved, and the process will flow smoothly. Some of these reasons may include the following:
Inability to verify the customer's information during the application
Most applications for an instant card are mainly made through online applications through the bank's website. Thus, the faster it is to retrieve the client's information, the more successful the application will be. If you have issues pending on your credit card, including the freezing of your credit card account, more time will be needed for verification.
The process will no longer be online, and the application will be handed over to a person who will review your card information. Thus, the same process will be followed when applying for an immediate-use virtual card.
High demands made to the card during the application
One of the high demands is applying for a personal loan on your instant credit card exceeding your credit card limit. Such a demand will raise eyebrows, and the bank will require more time to check whether you are legible for application. However, some cards offer overdraft protection only if you are legible to receive the service.
Also, applying for an immediate-use virtual card will delay if you request higher credit limits. Therefore, exceeding your credit lines causes a delay in approval, especially for an instant approval card.
Poor credit history
Negative credit history will greatly impact the application process, even for an immediate-use virtual credit card. Generally, a credit history with negative trends will reduce your chances of applying for and receiving a credit card. Since banks conduct background checks before issuing a credit card, your chances of receiving one will be low due to poor credit reports.
Thus, ensure you improve your creditworthiness before your credit card application, even for a virtual credit card.
An immediate-use virtual credit card is a digital format of your credit card, including your instant approval card. Some credit cards issued by banks are qualified to receive instant approval from the bank. Thus, you will receive an instant card number as you wait for the physical card's arrival in the mail.
Therefore, you can enjoy receiving rewards on your credit card and link the instant card number to your digital wallet.
You can generate an immediate-use virtual credit card from your instant card number since it is the same as the physical card. The main use of an immediate-use virtual card is to mask your credit card information for fraud protection. Additionally, you will continue receiving the rewards associated with your credit card, even when online.
However, instant approval does not ensure a successful instant application. Thus, ensure you follow the right policies and procedures before card application for the best outcome.
How long does it take to approve an immediate-use virtual credit card?
The application process greatly depends on how fast you receive instant card approval. Thus, the faster you receive your instant card numbers, the faster your immediate-use virtual card is approved. However, the application will take a few seconds or a few minutes to receive an immediate-use virtual card.
You can still have an immediate-use credit card even while waiting for your physical card's arrival in the mail.
What to do if your immediate-use card request is denied.
You should immediately contact your bank or credit card issuer for further assistance on your application. The bank or credit card issuer will explain why your immediate-use card application was denied. The application may be mostly denied if you request funds higher than your credit limit. Also, your application request may be denied if the bank fails to access your credit card information during the application.
What are issuer policies on instant credit?
Different banks and credit unions have different policies concerning issuing credit cards, especially instant approval cards. Thus, before application, ensure you follow up and understand the policies given by your credit card issuer. The main components of policies on instant credit cards include the user's eligibility. Also, the policy will dictate where and how to use your instant card number after approval.