TL;DR: Privacy.com offers virtual cards for use when making online purchases to protect your real debit card or bank account information. Sign up now for free (or a paid account for more features) and receive a $5 credit when using this link: https://privacy.com/join/S7DTL
Quite a while back, my bank introduced a new feature included with my credit card account which provided the ability to create virtual cards to be used for online purchases in order to protect my real credit card from being used and compromised. Unfortunately, this service could only be linked with my credit card, but I wanted to be able to do something similar with my debit card or bank account. I did some searching and ultimately was unable to find anything.
That is until now. Just yesterday, while listening to my favorite podcast Security Now (twit.tv/sn), one of their weekly sponsors was a company simply called Privacy.com. After listening to the host talk about what their company offers, I was excited. It was exactly what I had been looking for.
Privacy.com offers the ability to create multiple virtual credit card numbers that can be used for online purchases and are linked on the back end to your real debit card number or directly to a bank account. Each virtual card can be created as a merchant-locked card or for one-time use. A merchant-locked card will automatically be locked to the first merchant where you use the virtual card to make a purchase. This means that the number will be declined if used with any other merchant. A one-time use card, as the name implies, can be used for a single purchase and then is discarded and cannot be used again.
As you can probably guess, this ability to use virtual cards allows you to shop online safely and protects your real account numbers from being compromised or leaked (accidentally or intentionally) by online merchants.
In addition to the protection that it provides, it also makes online purchases and automatic recurring payments a little more convenient to manage in case of your real account being compromised. I am sure that everyone has been affected at least once by credit card fraud. Either you catch a suspicious transaction and contact your bank, or your card suddenly no longer works and you call your bank and find out that your card was compromised. This requires that your current card be deactivated and then you receive a new card. You then have to remember every service that used your old card so you can manually login and update your billing info. In the case of your utility bill auto payment, or something similar, this could end up resulting in late charges if you forget to update your card used for auto pay.
With virtual cards, this is no longer a problem. You simply log into your Privacy.com account and update your funding source with your new account information. All of your existing virtual cards remain active, and you do not need to update your payment info with each merchant that you use online. Similarly, if one of your virtual cards does get compromised, you only have to create a new virtual card and update it with a single merchant.
Privacy.com offers a free accounts that include all of the basics, create up to 12 virtual cards per month, a pretty large transaction limit, and all the security that Privacy.com offers. They also offer a personal Pro account ($10/mo) which includes the same basic free features as the free account, but allows creating up to 36 virtual cards per month and 1% cashback on all purchases when using a virtual card. There is also a teams account ($25 per month) which is geared towards businesses or teams where shared cards are necessary.
For more information, or to sign up now, please use my referral link here and you will receive a $5 credit just for signing up which will automatically be applied to your first transaction when using a virtual card.