The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Friday, September 25, 2020

Credit Card Numbers (2020): How to Get Card Numbers Online

Credit Card Numbers

credit card advice

Brittney Mayer
By: Brittney Mayer
Updated: September 27, 2019
Advertiser Disclosure

Credit card numbers are a (seemingly) magical combination of digits that unlock a whole new realm of finance options to consumers.

Sometimes it seems as though, in just a few decades, we’ve gone from having hardly any credit cards at all to living in a world in which nearly every product and service requires a credit card number to operate.

But while many of us already have a credit card or two — or 40 — there are still thousands of Americans without the necessary numerical key to access many popular services.

So, how do you get a credit card number? It starts by finding the right card. And given that your credit profile is the first thing a prospective card issuer will investigate, cards aimed at your credit type can be a good place to begin your search.

Excellent Credit | Good Credit | Fair Credit | Poor Credit | No/Limited Credit | Store | Virtual

Get a Credit Card Number with Excellent Credit

The very top of the consumer credit food chain, consumers with excellent credit have a wide range of credit cards from which to choose. That’s because they’ve shown a solid history of on-time payments, have no delinquent credit card accounts, and keep low (to no) balances on their cards.

Yes, with excellent credit, little will stand in your way to getting a credit card number — and a whole lot more. Your excellent credit can net you everything from a top-tier travel rewards card to a fee-free cash back card — and most cards in between, including our top picks below.

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

EXCELLENT CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99%-23.99% Variable
$550
Good/Excellent

Of course, nothing in finance is ever guaranteed, and even having excellent credit won’t be enough for some cards. For instance, many of the most exclusive credit cards are invite-only and require six-digit annual credit card spending, which of course isn’t a reality for many Americans.

Another common example is the Chase family of cards, the majority of which fall under its infamous 5/24 Rule. In essence, those who have opened five or more credit cards in the last 24 months will be automatically rejected for most Chase credit cards, that excellent credit notwithstanding.

Get a Credit Card Number with Good Credit

Although consumers with good credit aren’t quite as coveted as their excellent-credit counterparts, good-credit applicants are still in high demand by most credit card issuers thanks to their strong credit histories and the lack of any serious red flags on their credit reports.

As such, you’ll find a wide range of options available to you with good credit, including many of the top cash back credit cards and a range of quality travel rewards cards, too. Plus, you’ll have access to a number of good rewards cards that come without any annual fees, potentially saving you hundreds each year.

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

5.0/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on grocery store purchases (not including Target® or Walmart® purchases) on up to $12,000 spent in the first year.
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all other purchases.
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1.5% on all other purchases.
  • No annual fee.
  • 0% Intro APR for 15 months from account opening on purchases, then a variable APR of 14.99 - 23.74%.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR on Purchases 15 months
N/A
14.99% - 23.74% Variable
$0
Good/Excellent

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
5.0

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good
Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

GOOD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets and on select U.S. streaming subscriptions
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including gas, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Earn $300 back in the form of a statement credit after you spend $1,000 in purchases on your new card in your first 3 months of Card Membership
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening
  • $95 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.99% - 23.99%
$95
Good/Excellent

One of the most common differentiations between a good credit profile and an excellent profile is the length of credit history and average age of accounts. While only worth 15% of your FICO score, these factors can only be improved by time, which make them harder to grow than other parts of your score.

That said, you can still potentially reach credit score greatness by maintaining low balances, being modest about how frequently you apply for new credit, and by ensuring you always pay on time. With healthy credit behaviors — and some time — you can boost your good credit score to the top level.

Get a Credit Card Number with Fair Credit

Fair credit happens when you’re just beginning your credit journey — or have been working on rebuilding your credit after a few wrong turns. Consumers with fair credit typically have limited credit profiles, high card balances, or a semi-recent late payment or two.

Given that most issuers see a fair credit score as a sign of fairly high credit risk, the options for getting a credit card number are a bit limited. That said, there are still a number of prime unsecured credit cards and rewards-rich secured cards that can be had to help build your score.

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited
Blue from American Express® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

FAIR CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 1 Membership Rewards® point for every eligible dollar you spend
  • You can get double Membership Rewards® points on every dollar of eligible travel purchases—such as prepaid hotel stays, vacation packages, and cruises—when you use your card to book your trip through AmexTravel.com
  • Amex Offers rewards you at places you like to shop, dine, travel, and more. Simply log in to your account or use the American Express® App to add offers to your card. Then use that same card to pay and enjoy rewards directly on your statement.
  • Plan It® is a payment option that lets you split up purchases of $100 or more into clear and simple monthly payments with a fixed fee and no interest
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99%
$0
Fair/Good

Once you have your new credit card in hand, it’s important to use it responsibly so you can build up your fair credit score into a good one. The most important step is to make all of your payments on time, ensuring you make at least the minimum required payment (but more is always better).

You’ll also want to avoid any negative financial behaviors that could drop your score into the bad credit range, further limiting your options. Steer clear of maxing out your new card, and avoid opening too many new credit accounts at once. Slow and steady wins the credit race.

Get a Credit Card Number with Poor Credit

The bottom of the credit score rankings, those consumers with poor credit tend to have reports with recent delinquent payments, defaulted accounts, or perhaps even bankruptcy discharges. Since these are all red flags to issuers, bad-credit consumers will have the hardest time qualifying for a credit card number.

But while the field of options is limited, it isn’t empty. Subprime issuers who specialize in bad credit lending offer many unsecured card options, albeit with higher fees. And if you’re willing to make a refundable deposit, you can even find secured options that have low fees and/or purchase rewards.

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.0/5.0
  • No annual fee
  • Unlike a prepaid card, there is regular reporting to the 3 major credit bureaus
  • Accepted at millions of locations worldwide
  • Make the minimum required security deposit and you'll get an initial credit line of $200. Plus, deposit more money before your account opens to get a higher credit line
  • Access to an authorized bank account is required to make your $49, $99 or $200 refundable security deposit
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months with no additional deposit needed
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Limited, Bad
Bank of America® Cash Back Secured Credit Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • Earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • Unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • A minimum refundable security deposit of $300 (maximum of $4,900) is required to open this account
  • Access your FICO® Score updated monthly for free, within your Mobile Banking app or in Online Banking
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
23.99%
$0
Bad/Limited
Surge Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

BAD CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
25.90% - 29.99%
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit

When deciding what type of credit card to obtain to build up your bad credit score, carefully consider both the obvious and hidden costs. Unsecured credit cards may not require a deposit, but most subprime cards will have high APRs and annual fees, plus additional processing or program fees.

Secured credit card deposits, on the other hand, are fully refundable so long as your account remains in good standing. Some secured cards can also be upgraded to unsecured products as your credit improves, saving you a hard inquiry down the line.

Whichever way you go, be sure to practice good financial habits with your new (and any existing) card. Always, always, always pay on time, making at least the minimum required payment — or, better, more than the minimum.

Get a Credit Card Number with No/Limited Credit

Perhaps the greatest catch-22 of the credit world is that you often need credit to get credit. And while it only takes six months of credit history to be eligible for a credit score, a credit history of less than a year will typically be seen as a bad sign by most issuers.

Most — but not all. Some credit card issuers are happy to help out the credit newcomers, offering entry-level cards designed specifically to help those with no or limited credit get the credit cards they need to build up their score.

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

3.8/5.0
  • Pay no annual fee
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Fraud coverage if your card is lost or stolen
  • Use online banking to access your account, even from your smartphone, with our mobile app
  • Check out quickly and securely with a contactless card, without touching a terminal or handing your card to a cashier. Just hover your card over a contactless reader, wait for the confirmation, and you're all set.
  • Pay by check, online or at a local branch, all with no fee - and pick the monthly due date that works best for you
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$0
Average, Fair, Limited
Surge Mastercard® Review

at Celtic Bank'ssecure website

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.1/5.0
  • All credit types welcome to apply!
  • Free access to your Vantage 3.0 score From TransUnion* (When you sign up for e-statements)
  • Monthly reporting to the three major credit bureaus
  • See if you’re Pre-Qualified without impacting your credit score
  • Fast and easy application process; results in seconds
  • Free online account access 24/7
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
See website for Details
N/A
25.90% - 29.99%
See website for Details
Bad, Poor Credit

NO/LIMITED CREDIT RATING

★★★★★
4.7

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, every day
  • Earn cash rewards without signing up for rotating categories
  • Be automatically considered for a higher credit line in as little as 6 months
  • Monitor your credit profile with the CreditWise® app, free for everyone
  • $0 fraud liability if your card is ever lost or stolen
  • No limit to how much cash back you can earn, and cash back doesn't expire for the life of the account
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
26.99% (Variable)
$39
Average, Fair, Limited

Without an extensive credit history to mask any mistakes, it can be all too easy to go from no credit to bad credit with a single delinquent payment. Making use of modern technology, like automatic payments and payment-tracking apps, can make all the difference.

Of course, you don’t have to fear that every day-late payment will crash your credit score. Unless your payment is 30-days late (or more), it won’t be reported to the credit bureaus or show up on your credit reports. You’ll probably be stuck paying a hefty late-payment fee, however.

Get a Store Credit Card Number

Although most store credit cards are closed-loop cards, meaning they can only be used to make branded purchases, they can still be worthwhile additions to your credit card number collection if you have a favorite brand and are a frequent shopper.

In addition to purchase rewards or special financing, store credit card numbers can also unlock extra brand bonuses, like free shipping or early sale access. Plus, many store credit cards have flexible credit requirements that make them accessible to those with lower credit scores.

Amazon.com Store Card

The Amazon.com Store Card is mediocre at best for non-Prime members, offering only deferred-interest financing. If you have a Prime account, however, you can earn 5% cash back on every Amazon.com purchase.

Amazon.com Store Card

  • Receive special financing on eligible Amazon.com orders of $149 or more made with your card
  • Amazon Prime members get 5% cash back on Amazon purchases
  • Pay no annual card fee (Prime fee may apply)

While the card itself doesn’t charge an annual fee, you’ll need to pay for a Prime membership to make the most of it, the price of which has jumped by 10% or more every few years.

Target REDcard

Unlike most store cards, the Target REDcard doesn’t provide points on every purchase. Instead, you’ll get 5% off eligible Target purchases at the register or online check-out.

Target REDcard

  • Get 5% off your total purchase at checkout for eligible in-store or online Target purchases
  • Receive exclusive deals & discounts
  • Pay no annual fee

Certain purchases won’t qualify for the 5% cardholder discount, including gift card purchases, in-store restaurants (like Starbucks), gift wrapping, and shipping charges.

My Best Buy Credit Card

The My Best Buy Credit Card allows cardholders to earn 2.5X points per dollar spent on eligible in-store and online purchases. Every 250 points can be redeemed for a $5 reward certificate.

My Best Buy Credit Card

  • Earn 2.5X points per dollar on in-store and online Best Buy purchases
  • Receive special financing deals on eligible purchases
  • Pay no annual fee

If you use the special financing deal, be sure to pay it off in full before your due date. Best Buy uses deferred interest, which means you’ll be on the hook for interest on the entire purchase if any of the balance remains unpaid when the terms expire.

It can be really tempting to open a new store credit card while checking out, especially when the clerk makes the card sound so fantastic. But store card reviews are full of consumers who thought they were getting one thing — and ended up with something much more expensive.

Before opening any credit card, even a store card with a shiny signup bonus, be sure you do your own research into what the card offers — and what it doesn’t offer.

This can be particularly important when looking to take advantage of a low- or no-interest offer, as store cards often operate with deferred financing, which can end up costing you hundreds if your financed purchase is not paid off in time.

Get a Virtual Credit Card Number

While EMV chip cards have made card present (CP) credit card fraud less common, those tricksy fraudsters have simply refocused their efforts on card-not-present (CNP), or digital, card fraud.

One popular way of combating CNP fraud is through the use of virtual credit cards, which are randomly generated one-time use (or one-merchant use) credit card numbers that limit access to your real account information. Despite its growing popularity, however, only a handful of issuers offer virtual credit card numbers.

BEST OVERALL RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • Earn 100,000 bonus miles when you spend $20,000 on purchases in the first 12 months from account opening, or still earn 50,000 miles if you spend $3000 on purchases in the first 3 months
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✔®
  • Redeem on travel—from vacation rentals to car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 10+ travel loyalty programs
  • No foreign transaction fees
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
17.24% - 24.49% (Variable)
$95
Excellent, Good

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.6

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • The Citi Rewards+℠ Card - the only credit card that automatically rounds up to the nearest 10 points on every purchase - with no cap.
  • Earn 15,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in purchases with your card within 3 months of account opening; redeemable for $150 in gift cards at thankyou.com
  • 0% Intro APR on balance transfers and purchases for 15 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance transfer fee — either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • Earn 2X ThankYou® Points at Supermarkets and Gas Stations for the first $6,000 per year and then 1X Points thereafter. Plus, earn 1X Points on All Other Purchases.
  • The standard variable APR for Citi Flex Plan is 13.49% - 23.49%, based on your creditworthiness. Citi Flex Plan offers are made available at Citi's discretion.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
0% for 15 months
13.49% - 23.49% (Variable)
$0
Good/Excellent
Bank of America® Cash Rewards Credit Card Review

at Bank Of America'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • 3% cash back in the category of your choice: gas, online shopping, dining, travel, drug stores, or home improvement/furnishings
  • 2% cash back at grocery stores and wholesale clubs
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases
  • Enjoy a $200 cash rewards bonus after spending at least $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days of account opening
  • Introductory 0% APR for your first 12 billing cycles for purchases and balance transfers made within 60 days of account opening (balance transfer fee applies)
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months
13.99% - 23.99%
$0
Good/Excellent

In addition to some of the major credit card issuers, several third-party companies have come onto the virtual credit card scene — although “credit card” may be the wrong term, as most of these programs act more like prepaid cards than actual credit cards.

Regardless of where you get your virtual credit card number, there is one important thing to remember: your virtual credit card is only as safe as the company that issues it. Since no company is too large to be hacked, be aware of the risks before you buy.

How to Protect Your New Card Number from Fraud

In today’s world, not having access to a credit card number can exclude you from any number of products and services, making it worthwhile to have at least one good card in your wallet.

But while credit cards have a ton of great benefits, they are subject to fraud just like any other financial product. Luckily, the law limits your liability for fraudulent credit card purchases, and most card companies will eliminate your financial liability entirely.

Even so, it’s important to practice safe credit card use; fraud protection takes diligence on all sides. Never give your credit card number to a website or business you don’t trust and always keep an eye on your transactions so you can spot unauthorized purchases.

If you do find charges you don’t recognize, report them promptly to your credit card issuer. The sooner fraud is spotted, the easier it is to keep it from escalating.

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