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Capital One virtual credit card: How does it work?
A cool security feature for those who often shop online.
When you use your credit card online, you’re potentially exposing your card information to fraudsters or hackers. To avoid such risk, card providers like Capital One offer virtual credit card numbers to replace your real details. This way, if your virtual card numbers are compromised, your real credit card remains safe.
Does Capital One have a virtual credit card?
Yes. Capital One is a rare card provider that offers this feature to personal cardholders. To take advantage of it, you must use Capital One’s virtual assistant, Eno.
How to use a Capital One virtual credit card
You need a Capital One online account to sign up for a virtual card. Then create a virtual credit card in five steps:
- Add the Eno from Capital One extension to your Chrome, Microsoft Edge or Firefox browser.
- Click the extension and sign in with your Capital One online account details. You may need to verify your identity and account.
- Visit any shopping website, and add the items you wish to buy to your cart.
- Eno automatically pops up at checkout to create a virtual credit card number for order.
- Name your virtual card — such as “Amazon” or “Walmart” — for later use at the same retailer.
You can use the unique virtual card number that appears at checkout on future orders with the same online merchant.
Compare Capital One credit cards with a virtual credit card option
Benefits of a Capital One virtual credit card
Shopping with a Capital One virtual credit card keeps your personal and financial details safe:
- Secure online shopping. If your card number is compromised, you can lock your virtual card with no effect on your physical credit card.
- Create one virtual card per retailer. When you create a virtual credit card number with Eno, you can use that number for future orders at that vendor only. If a hacker steals your credit card info, they can’t use it anywhere else.
- Lock your virtual cards. Capital One allows you to lock and unlock your virtual cards. If you don’t plan to use it soon, simply lock it for now and unlock it when you’re ready to shop.
What to watch out for
One drawback to consider when using a virtual credit card through your Capital One account is that getting money back on returned items might be more difficult.
Retailers typically reimburse money to the card number you originally used to make the purchase. If that card is no longer active, it may require a call or email to designate an alternate form of reimbursement.
When shouldn’t I use my virtual credit card?
Try not to use virtual card numbers for purchases where you may have to show your card for verification. For example, if you buy will-call tickets online with a credit card, you may be required to show your physical card at pick-up. In such an instance, it’s best not to use a virtual credit card.
Capital One is one of the rare card providers that offer virtual credit card numbers to keep your physical details secure while you shop online. You can create a virtual card for each online retailer you shop at through a browser extension.
If you aren’t a Capital One cardholder and aren’t interested in becoming one, compare other providers that offer virtual credit cards.
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