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Virtual credit numbers prevent auto-pay, protect in online purchases

Posted December 19, 2018 6:49 p.m. EST

Everyone wants to protect against credit card fraud. One of the other common complaints about credit card use is the unwanted automatic renewals of subscriptions and memberships.

Consumers can avoid both by requesting a virtual credit card number.

A handful of card issuers offer them, including Bank of America, ShopSafe, Capitol One, Eno and Citi. Features vary. Some are for a single use, others let the cardholder set an expiration date.

Using a virtual number protects the account from fraud. Even if a hacker intercepts a transaction, the ture number remains unexposed.

The other benefit is in using a virtual credit card number for a subscription or membership. That virtual card number won't be available for automatic renewals.

Those interested in virtual credit card numbers should check with their card issuer for details and availability.