Using a credit card offers convenience. However, its use comes with some risks. You can have peace of mind if you use it to purchase from a giant online merchant. However, it is a completely different story if you use it to buy something from a seller in cyberspace that’s new or has little online presence. A sketchy merchant can use your information for it to buy a gadget or take a vacation. This is when the benefit of using Virtual Mastercards becomes crystal clear.

A virtual credit card, as the name suggests, is just like any other credit card. However, questionable online vendors won’t be able to use it for committing fraud. That’s because it consists of a 16-digit number that is not only randomly generated but also temporary. Yes, it is still associated with your credit card and the charges will appear on your bill as usual, but it is safer.

Here are some of the most important matters that you need to know about Virtual Mastercards before you decide to take advantage of one:

For Online, Mail or Phone Purchases Only

Unlike an actual credit card, you cannot use the virtual counterpart at brick-and-mortar stores that accept major credit cards. You can use it only for making purchases on the internet. It is also possible to use a virtual credit card for buying products via mail or phone.

What’s nice about Virtual Mastercards is that they don’t limit buyers to well-known online vendors only. Because of the security it offers, you can choose to buy from a merchant on the web whose reputation is dubious.

It Looks and Works Just Like an Actual Credit Card

Fret not that an online merchant may not accept your virtual credit card. That’s because it is not going to have an idea that the credit card number you have provided is not your actual credit card number, but rather a virtual one.

Because the seller on the internet does not have your actual credit card number, purchasing without your knowledge or consent is impossible to happen. For added peace of mind, you can set certain parameters that can help keep you protected further.

Setting a Credit Limit and Expiry is Possible

It’s not just because it is a randomly generated number of why a virtual credit card can keep you from being a victim to credit card fraud. It also has a credit limit and an expiration date that you may set—because of this, making online purchases becomes highly secure.

However, do take note that having the ability to set a spending limit and expiry is a case-to-case basis. Some providers may not allow you to do so. Before getting your virtual credit card, confirm whether the provider allows such a security feature.

It Does Not Eliminate Some Online Shopping Issues

Yes, the use of a virtual credit card can indeed help safeguard you from sketchy merchants on the internet. However, the kind of protection that it can offer is mostly about credit card fraud. This means that there is still a risk of you being a prey to an online predator.

For instance, a fraudulent online vendor may refuse to ship your item after paying for it with your virtual credit card. This is why it is still a good idea to buy only from an online merchant with a good track record.