The Ultimate Guide to Credit Cards
Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Credit Cards With Disposable Numbers in 2021

Credit Cards With Disposable Numbers

credit card advice

Eric Bank
By: Eric Bank
Posted: June 9, 2021
Advertiser Disclosure

If you prioritize cybersecurity (and you should!), this review of 15 credit cards with disposable numbers should soothe some of your concerns. Disposable (or virtual) card numbers are designed to frustrate the efforts of hackers and shady merchants because any credit card information they steal will be of little or no use.

Read on to see how five different credit card issuers implement their disposable card number strategies, followed by descriptions of their top-rated cards.

Capital One | Discover | Chase | Citi | Amex

Capital One Cards With Disposable Numbers

Eno generates an instant card number upon request to stand in for your actual credit card number, thereby guarding you against hacking and fraud when you shop online. Capital One Bank provides its free Eno browser extension to its cardmembers to help keep their credit cards more secure.

Eno supports virtual credit card number generation for our three top-rated Capital One cards reviewed below. It can generate an instant card number right at the checkout page, without any extra effort on your behalf.

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • 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 $3,000 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—including flights, vacation rentals, car rentals and more. Plus transfer your miles to over 15+ 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

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a one-time $200 cash bonus after you spend $500 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
  • Earn unlimited 3% cash back on dining, entertainment, popular streaming services and at grocery stores (excluding superstores like Walmart® and Target®), plus 1% on all other purchases
  • No rotating categories or sign-ups needed to earn cash rewards; plus cash back won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how much you can earn
  • 0% intro APR on purchases for 15 months; 15.49% - 25.49% variable APR after that
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • No annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 15 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • $0 annual fee and no foreign transaction fees
  • Earn a bonus of 20,000 miles once you spend $500 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $200 in travel
  • Earn unlimited 1.25X miles on every purchase, every day
  • Travel when you want with no blackout dates and fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime
  • Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
  • Transfer your miles to over 15+ travel loyalty programs
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
15.49% - 25.49% (Variable)
$0
Excellent, Good

You start by installing the Eno extension into your browser. When you’re ready to check out, Eno pops up and allows you to sign in, after which it generates a merchant-specific virtual credit card number tied to your credit card account. Eno saves the virtual number for your future in-store and online purchase activity with the merchant and lists the online purchase transactions separately on your credit card statement.

Discover Cards With Disposable Numbers

Discover cards implement virtual card numbers through any of several compatible digital wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay. A digital wallet is an app for your tablet, smartphone, wearable, and other devices, letting you check out purchases online or in-store without your physical card.

All Discover credit cards, including the three reviewed below, provide digital wallet integration to protect your card’s account number.

Discover it® Cash Back Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.9

OVERALL RATING

4.9/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. You could turn $150 cash back into $300.
  • Earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places each quarter like Amazon.com, grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations and when you pay using PayPal, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate.
  • Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases - automatically.
  • Redeem cash back in any amount, any time. Rewards never expire.
  • Use your rewards at Amazon.com checkout.
  • #1 Most Trusted Credit Card according to Investor’s Business Daily.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® Miles Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • UNLIMITED BONUS: Only Discover will automatically match all the Miles you’ve earned at the end of your first year. For example, if you earn 35,000 Miles, you get 70,000 Miles.  There’s no signing up, no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a Miles-for-Miles match.
  • Automatically earn unlimited 1.5x Miles on every dollar of every purchase - with no annual fee.
  • Redeem Miles to pay any part of your monthly bill, including your minimum payment.
  • Turn Miles into cash in any amount, any time. Or redeem as a statement credit for travel purchases like airfare, hotels, rideshares, gas stations, restaurants and more with no blackout dates. However you redeem, Miles keep the same value. And Miles never expire.
  • No Blackout Dates. Simply pay for travel purchases like airlines, hotels, rental cars, and more with your Discover it® Miles card.
  • Discover is accepted nationwide by 99% of the places that take credit cards.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% Intro APR for 14 months
10.99% Intro APR for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent
Discover it® chrome Review

at Discover Card'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • INTRO OFFER: Unlimited Cashback Match – only from Discover. Discover will automatically match all the cash back you’ve earned at the end of your first year! There’s no minimum spending or maximum rewards. Just a dollar-for-dollar match.
  • Earn cash back on your next road trip with 2% cash back at Gas Stations and Restaurants on up to $1,000 in combined purchases each quarter. Plus, earn unlimited 1% cash back on all other purchases – automatically.
  • Redeem your cash back for any amount, any time. Cash rewards never expire.
  • 100% U.S. Based Customer Service available any time.
  • Get your free Credit Scorecard with your FICO® Credit Score, number of recent inquiries and more.
  • Get an alert if we find your Social Security number on any of thousands of Dark Web sites.* Activate for free.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 14 months
0% for 14 months
11.99% - 22.99% Variable APR
$0
Good/Excellent

A digital wallet uses tokens to substitute for account numbers whenever you use it to make a purchase. This prevents merchants and online hackers from stealing your real card information, either individually or through a massive data breach.

Chase Cards With Disposable Numbers

Chase recently decommissioned its Chase Pay digital wallet, but you can still use eligible Chase credit cards with several wallets, including Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung pay. These digital wallets substitute one-use tokens for your account number when you make purchases online or in-store.

Our top-three Chase cards reviewed below all work with eligible digital wallets.

Chase Freedom Flex℠ Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • Earn 5% cash back on up to $1,500 in combined purchases in bonus categories each quarter you activate. Enjoy new 5% categories each quarter!
  • Earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase, 3% on dining at restaurants and drugstores, and 1% 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%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
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

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn a $200 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening.
  • 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%.
  • No minimum to redeem for cash back. Cash Back rewards do not expire as long as your account is open.
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

EXPERT'S RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Our best offer ever! Earn 100,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,250 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
  • Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
  • Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 100,000 points are worth $1,250 toward travel.
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 22.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent

You can add your card directly to a digital wallet or through the Chase mobile app. For instance, to directly add a Chase card to your Google digital wallet, you snap a picture of the card or enter the details manually.

Citi Cards With Disposable Numbers

A select group of Citi credit cards support disposable account numbers in two ways. You can enroll your eligible card to create virtual account numbers for online and mail-order purchases. Alternatively, you register an eligible Citi credit card with a digital wallet such as Apple Pay, PayPal (PayPal key required) Samsung Pay, or Google Pay to generate disposable tokens for online or in-store purchases.

You can enroll any Citi card, including the Citi card trio featured below, to use disposable account numbers. The credit card company generates virtual account numbers, making it almost impossible for a hacker to steal your real account number through individual targeting or via a large data breach.

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn cash back twice! Earn 2% on every purchase with unlimited 1% cash back when you buy, plus an additional 1% as you pay for those purchases.
  • To earn cash back, pay at least the minimum due on time
  • Balance Transfer Offer: 0% intro APR on Balance Transfers for 18 months. After that, the variable APR will be 13.99% - 23.99%, based on your creditworthiness. Balance Transfers do not earn cash back and will have a fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
  • If you transfer a balance, interest will be charged on your purchases unless you pay your entire balance (including balance transfers) by the due date each month.
  • 24/7 access to customer service representatives
  • $0 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
0% for 18 months
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0
Excellent/Good
Citi Premier® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.6/5.0
  • Earn 60,000 Bonus Points after making $4,000 in purchases with your card within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3X Points at restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, and on air travel and hotel purchases — all other purchases earn 1X Points
  • Enjoy $100 off a single hotel stay of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, through thankyou.com, once per calendar year
  • Transfer ThankYou® Points to participating airline loyalty programs including TrueBlue®, Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and Singapore Airlines KrisFlyer, to get flights faster. There is no fee, and the minimum transfer is only 1,000 points.
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $95 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
15.99% - 23.99% Variable
$95
Good/Excellent
Citi Prestige® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CITI® RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening. That's a $500 value in travel, anytime, with no blackout dates when booked through the ThankYou Travel Center!
  • Earn 5X Points at restaurants and on air travel
  • Earn 3X Points on hotels and cruise lines, all other purchases earn 1X Points
  • Complimentary 4th Night at a hotel of your choice after a minimum 4 consecutive night booking through ThankYou.com (benefit can be used 2X per calendar year)
  • Up to a $250 travel credit every calendar year, no need to enroll
  • Enjoy complimentary access to hundreds of VIP lounges through Priority Pass™ Select
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
16.99% - 23.99% Variable
$495
Excellent

The virtual credit card number feature uses randomly generated account numbers to substitute for your real account number. Purchases made this way appear separately on your monthly credit card statements along with the virtual account numbers used.

American Express Cards With Disposable Numbers

American Express has three separate paths to virtual numbers. Amex virtual card numbers can be used without the physical credit card for online checkouts displaying the Click to Pay icon, or you can use your Amex card in the popular wallets that substitute tokens for account numbers.

The following three top-rated American Express cards can be used for purchases with disposable account numbers. Participating digital wallets include Apple Pay, Fitbit Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay.

Blue Cash Preferred® Card Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.8/5.0
  • Earn up to $400 Back in the form of statement credits: Earn 20% back on Amazon.com purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership, up to $200 back - plus, earn $200 back after you spend $3,000 in purchases on the Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 6% cash back at U.S. supermarkets on up to $6,000 per year on purchases (then 1%). Also earn 6% cash back on select U.S. streaming subscriptions.
  • Earn 3% cash back on transit, including U.S. gas stations, taxis/rideshare, parking, tolls, trains, buses, and more. All other purchases earn 1% cash back.
  • Access to Global Assist® Hotline - 24/7 medical, legal, financial and other select emergency assistance and coordination services
  • 0% intro APR for 12 months from the date of account opening, then a variable APR applies
  • $0 intro annual fee, $95 annual fee thereafter
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
0% for 12 months
N/A
13.99% - 23.99% Variable
$0 intro; $95 thereafter
Excellent Credit
Business Platinum Card® from American Express Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.5/5.0
  • Earn 120,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $15,000 on eligible purchases with your Card within the first 3 months of card membership
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights and prepaid hotels on amextravel.com, 1.5X points on each eligible purchase of $5,000 or more (that's an extra half point per dollar) up to 1 million additional points per calendar year, and 1X points for each dollar you spend on eligible purchases
  • Select one qualifying airline and get up to $200 in statement credits each calendar year for baggage fees and other incidentals charged by the airline to your Business Platinum Card®
  • Access to more than 1,300 lounges across 140 countries and counting with the American Express Global Lounge Collection®
  • Use Membership Rewards® Pay with Points for all or part of an eligible fare and get 35% of those points back, up to 500,000 points back per calendar year
  • $595 annual fee
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$595
Excellent
The Platinum Card® Review

at the issuer'ssecure website

CATEGORY RATING

★★★★★
4.8

OVERALL RATING

4.7/5.0
  • Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 10X Membership Rewards® points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Also earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels (booked and paid in advance) on amextravel.com. Earn 1X points on all other eligible purchases. Terms apply.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue or saks.com on your Platinum Card®
  • Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees, such as checked bags and in-flight refreshments, are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card® Account plus $100 hotel credit to spend on qualifying dining, spa, and resort activities. Qualifying activities vary by property.
  • Platinum Card Members have unlimited complimentary access to all locations of The Centurion Lounge
Intro (Purchases)
Intro (Transfers)
Regular APR
Annual Fee
Credit Needed
N/A
N/A
N/A (Charge Card)
$550
Excellent

Corporate Amex cards can also get virtual account numbers through American Express Global Business Travel, where clients can make use of Virtual Payment Expert and Conferma Pay to generate disposable account numbers instantly.

What is a Disposable Credit Card Number?

A disposable, or virtual, credit card number is a temporary account number or token used for either a single transaction or for a single merchant.

You can generate disposable credit card numbers using an online service from the issuer or through a digital wallet. Although the technology enabling virtual card numbers generated by a credit card company differs from that for digital wallets, the effect is the same: To limit circulation of your real account number and reduce your exposure to hacking and theft.

Capital One Eno

Virtual card numbers protect cardholders from fraudulent transactions.

Digital wallets do not share your real account number with merchants. A cardholder can use digital wallets to make in-store purchases at participating merchant locations. Some apps support digital wallets for in-app purchases, and many online sites offer a digital wallet option when checking out without a physical card.

By the way, some debit card issuers also provide virtual card numbers to protect your bank account data, including the checking account number.

In addition, some prepaid card issuers offer virtual card numbers. One such prepaid card issuer is Netspend. We are not aware of any virtual card number features for gift card transactions.

Where Can I Get a Virtual Credit Card?

First, understand that almost all credit cards can generate virtual account numbers — the only prerequisite is that the card must be compatible with one or more digital wallets. The wallet sends merchants a token instead of a real account number, making your transactions more secure and convenient.

If you would rather use a temporary credit card number supplied by the card issuer, your choices are more limited. Citi and Capital One Bank generate a temporary credit card number on demand for select cards, but this approach requires more steps than are required for a digital wallet.

Some co-branded cards, including those from Amazon.com, Apple, Target, and Walmart, support virtual card numbers as well. If you are a cardholder of any of these, check the procedures for generating a virtual card number.

Which Banks Offer Virtual Account Numbers?

Only Citi and Capital One offer free virtual account numbers upon cardholder request.

To obtain a virtual account number, Citi customers must log onto their account and find the Virtual Account Numbers feature. Upon request, the feature will generate a virtual account number, expiration date, spending limit, and three-digit CVV/CVC.

Citi and Capital One Logos

Citi and Capital One are the only issuers that offer free virtual account numbers by request.

You can use the temporary virtual account number as often as you wish and can replace it with another one at any time. Simply provide the virtual number wherever you would use your actual credit card number when making a payment online, in-app, through the mail, or over the phone. Your real credit card number is part of the transaction.

Eno from Capital One generates merchant-specific virtual credit card numbers. You can lock and unlock the virtual account number at any time. Access to Eno is available through online banking, via the Eno web-browser extension, and through the Capital One Bank mobile apps.

Is Entering Credit Card Numbers Online Safe?

We’ll go out on a limb to say that it’s pretty safe to enter credit card numbers online. However, online shopping with a credit card can be dangerous if you inadvertently do business with a shady merchant or are attacked by a hacker.

Here are steps you can take to reduce the risk considerably:

  1. Privacy: Shop on a private device away from prying eyes. The last place you want to shop from is a communal computer available to the public. Hackers may have placed malware on the computer to harvest credit card account numbers and passwords. If you don’t already have one, load a virtual private network tool onto your devices and use it whenever you log into an unsecured WiFi network.
  2. Links: Do not click on links embedded in an email, even if they appear to come from a trusted source. The links could represent a phishing attack attempting to steal your credit card information and other data. Instead, go to the sender’s website and continue from there. If you are shopping online, look for a lock symbol just before the site’s URL displayed in your browser. This ensures the identity of a remote computer and proves your identity to a remote computer.
  3. Payments: Whenever possible, use your digital wallet instead of your real credit card number when you check out online, in-store, or in-app. This will ensure you use a one-time token of little value to fraudulent merchants and hackers. If you use a Citi or Capital One credit card, you can obtain merchant-specific virtual account numbers from the issuer online that will limit your exposure to credit card fraud, even if the website doesn’t accept digital wallets.
  4. Authentication: Two-factor authentication requires you to respond to a message or email before you can access your credit card account online. This prevents thieves who’ve stolen your account details from getting into your account. Always use unique passwords for each account and don’t reuse those passwords elsewhere. Also, most credit cards will let you request account alerts for online purchases, allowing you to immediately spot unauthorized use of your credit card.
  5. Maintenance: Use strong passwords and change them regularly. Make sure your browser, apps, and malware protection software are up to date. Review your credit card statements for any activity you don’t recognize. Consider using personal financial software, such as Quicken and Moneydance.

No one is 100% safe from all cyber threats, but following these five steps can minimize your exposure to online risks.

Credit Cards With Disposable Numbers Provide an Added Layer of Security

You can increase your security against credit card fraud and hacks by using credit cards with disposable numbers. Citi and Capital One offer virtual card numbers on demand, while almost all credit cards can work with digital wallets to provide disposable account numbers.

It’s a risky world out there, but virtual account numbers can make it a little safer.

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