What Is A Virtual Credit Card?

virtual credit card

A virtual credit card is a card number used to make purchases without the need for a physical card. Imagine you are making a purchase online but you haven’t received your physical card in the mail yet. If the card issuer provides the virtual credit card option, you can use this feature and not worry about waiting for the arrival of your new card.

Read on to find out more about virtual credit cards and other types of virtual payment options.   

How do virtual credit cards and virtual debit cards work?

So how does a virtual card work? Well, they work just like your regular credit cards without the physical card. Your card company provides you a randomly generated number, expiration date, and a secured code. You can use this card information at checkout like you normally would and the funds will come directly from your account. You can even have a virtual debit card. 

With your RoarMoney account, you have access to a virtual debit card. Hate dealing with the hassle of waiting for a new debit card when you open up a bank account? This is another great benefit of the RoarMoney account. You have instant access to your virtual debit card while waiting on your physical card.  Not only is the card convenient but it is also secure. No need to worry about someone having your debit card number, security code, and expiration date. 

How are virtual cards used?

Virtual cards are used to make online purchases, specifically to make secure purchases. Using a virtual card online ensures that your physical credit card number is not accessible to the merchant or even potential scammers. Not all accounts offer the virtual credit card feature though. When you open your RoarMoney account, you not only gain access to a free virtual debit card in seconds but you still have access to a physical card just in case you need one. 

Where can I get a virtual card?

With a RoarMoney account, you have access to a virtual debit card to start using right away. Similarly, the added benefits of the account start the moment you sign up. Once you set up a direct deposit, you can access your paycheck funds two days early. You also can get access to 0% APR cash advances with Instacash up to $1000 with direct deposit. Sign up is quick and easy and there are no fees!

How to use a virtual card when shopping in-person 

The appeal to the virtual credit card is the added security and convenience that can still happen in person. Most merchants allow for touchless pay. This means you could have your virtual card, for example, your RoarMoney card, on your phone via a mobile app or your mobile wallet and simply scan it at checkout. This also cuts down on direct contact and passing your card to others. 

How to withdraw money from a virtual debit card?

Most ATMs have a contactless payment symbol that allows you to hold your phone across the symbol and you now have access to your checking account. With your RoarMoney account, you have access to over 55,000+ Allpoints ATMs with surcharge-free withdraws. 

What do I do if my virtual card has been compromised?

Virtual cards are not immune to being compromised, but MoneyLion offers liability protection. If your card is compromised or stolen, follow these simple steps to replace your card.

Step 1. From the MoneyLion app select “Finances”

Step 2. Select “RoarMoney”

Step 3. Then select “More” 

Step 4. Finally, select “Lock Card”. If you want to replace a virtual or physical card, and then finally select “Replace card”. 

Once you receive a replacement card, you can unlock your account through your mobile app.

Virtual card factors to consider

Before you sign up for a virtual debit card or credit card here are some things to consider, both good and bad. 


When considering virtual debit or credit cards, it is important to consider who offers them, though most banks and credit card companies offer the virtual option. Unless you are looking to open up a new card to use and  consolidate your debt, you might have to apply with a new provider to get access to the virtual card option. 


Though they are gaining popularity, not all merchants accept virtual cards. If your favorite shops accept them, no worries. If not, you might need to hang on to your physical cards a bit longer. 

It is important to note that there might be some added steps when making returns on a virtual card. Some merchants want to return to a physical card number even though they accepted a virtual card as payment, this is challenging as there is no set card number on a digital card. In most cases, the merchant would provide a store credit.  

Easy to manage 

The idea of having a virtual card may seem a little cumbersome but they are actually easy to manage. The key is having a smartphone. This allows you to keep your virtual card nearby and use it when shopping in person. 

Added safety 

The added safety feature of a virtual debit card is the lack of a physical card. This means less to lose. Additionally, in the virtual world, it decreases the ability to have your card number hacked on the internet. Though there is added security, don’t let your guard down. It is important to still be cautious when using any information online. 

Benefits of a virtual card

  •  No need to wait for a physical card to be mailed to you 
  •  Provides added security when making online purchases 
  •  No worries about losing your debit or credit card
  •  Convenient to use 

Virtual vs. physical card

In terms of making a purchase, virtual and physical cards are similar in that the funds come directly from your account. Virtual cards offer the convenience of not having to carry physical cards and added safety. While physical cards offer consistency. You have your physical card number and can even store it in your memory. Physical cards are accepted everywhere that accept cards, while virtual cards might not be as easily accepted. 

Have the best of both worlds with MoneyLion

It is really up to you which card you should use, physical or virtual, but virtual cards are a thing of the future. Fortunately, your RoarMoney account lets you have both. Taking it a step further, RoarMoney helps you keep your finances in order with the Safety Net feature which allows for up to $1,000 0% APR cash advance if you need some extra cash. 

Simply set up your direct deposit and gain access to a heap of benefits to keep you on top of your finances, particularly making sure there are no unknown charges. With a virtual credit card, you have an added layer of security but it is important to still stay on top of your charges.


Are virtual cards secure?

Yes, virtual credit cards are secure but still be cautious where you use them. A RoarMoney bank account is a great way to stay on top of your finances but keep up with the ins and outs of your funds.

Are virtual credit cards illegal?

No, virtual credit cards are not illegal. Just be sure that you are getting the card from a known merchant. For example, MoneyLion is a secured site that provides you with a legitimate virtual card.

Sign Up
Sign Up

Safety Net from MoneyLion

Easily visualize all your available funds with RoarMoney, Instacash, and your MoneyLion investment account all in one place.

Sign Up