What are virtual credit cards and why are so many people using them?


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Masked CardsVirtual credit cards – also known as one time use cards, disposable cards, or for Abine’s Blur customers, Masked Cards – are all very similar to the prepaid or gift cards one sees on the racks in drugstore chains or other retail stores. These cards make a great birthday gift for someone that you may not be that close with, and they’re ideal for online shopping, because most of them cannot be “reloaded”, and can only be used for the original amount that the card is funded with.

As data breaches are rapidly becoming more frequent, more and more people (and businesses) are turning to virtual credit cards as an additional layer of protection from thieves and hackers online. At Abine, we strive to make easy-to-use tools for consumers to control what personal information companies, third parties, and other people see about them online.

With our software Blur, you can create virtual credit cards in just a few clicks; we call these “Masked Cards”. Masked Cards are unique, disposable and anonymous credit cards that you create in the amount that you specify, on-the-fly, as you’re shopping online. Each Masked Card comes equipped with its own unique credit card number, expiration date, and CVV security code. For a demonstration, check out our one-minute YouTube video about Masked Cards.

Personal Benefits of paying online with Virtual Credit Cards

Problem: 1) You’re unfamiliar with a merchant, and worried that their site is insecure or 2) you don’t want to get charged for a recurring subscription without your permission, or you don’t want to be charged for a subscription service after a free trial lapses or charged too much unfairly….

Solution: Sign up for the service using a virtual card, or a Blur Masked Card. This way, the company will not be able to charge you beyond the amount that you’ve loaded onto the cardCredit-Card-with-Chains-and-Lock-01-1024x854

As a consumer, on a personal level, Masked Cards provide an additional layer of security when you’re browsing and shopping online. With Masked Cards, you’re never giving out your real credit card information. If you’re looking to make an online purchase, but it’s through a merchant that you’re not personally familiar with, or one that has some mixed, “concerning”, reviews online, the safe bet is to use a Masked Card instead of using your real credit card online.

After using a Masked Card with an unfamiliar merchant, even if that merchant’s servers were to get hacked and their customers’ credit card information was leaked, the Masked Card information that a hacker gets their hands on would be completely useless to them, as it was only ever created in the amount that you originally specified.

In addition, for whatever reason, you can always “close” a Blur Masked Card, which immediately renders the Masked Card invalid, making it unavailable to be used for additional transactions.

Close & refund

Another great benefit of using virtual cards, or Masked Cards, is the ability to sign up for free trials without being roped into costly recurring subscription charges and having to go through a lengthy cancellation process just to get your money back (even when the merchant didn’t have the right to take it in the first place). A recent example of this in the news has been the backlash against Kate Hudson’s “Fabletics” brand. Fabletics, a subsidiary of the larger Just Fab (also, Fabkids and FL2), is an extremely popular clothing subscription service where they send you “custom outfits” based on your personal preferences. While they advertise their discounted prices all over the place, they don’t necessarily make it clear that you’re signing up for a subscription service when you’re buying clothes from them. Sign up for Fabletics using a Masked Card, and never get charged more than you expect.

Corporate Benefits of Virtual Credit Cards

Problem: You want to give your employees access to a super-fast and controlled corporate expense account without going through the hassle of giving each employee their own personal company credit card.

Solution: Sign up for Blur for Business (register for Blur for Business here), and each employee can create virtual cards (Masked Cards) for every purchase that they need to expense.

As a business, you want to give your employees access to an expense account. With Blur for Business, you can control which of your employees has access to your company virtual cards (Masked Cards). You can even control how much each employee is able to spend, and where they’re able to spend it. company card

Additionally, you can set real-time alerts, and get reports for every Masked Card purchase, giving you instant, easy access to see who is spending what, and where it’s being spent. Just like using Masked Cards on a personal level, by using Blur for your employees’ expenses, you will never be subject to getting the real company credit card compromised, because your employees are giving out a unique card number for each online purchase.

With Blur for Business, each employee can download the Blur mobile app for their iOS or Android smartphone or tablet, and get access to their “expense accounts” right from their mobile device; they can begin creating virtual cards for expenses when they’re in the field.

Finally, with Blur for Business, you can securely share company login and password information for that seemingly never-ending list of accounts that you have to login to on a daily basis; stop using “password” to view secure information and stop emailing passwords!

To summarize, there are a variety of benefits from using virtual credit cards and Blur Masked Cards online from both a personal and a business point of view:

  • Keep from compromising credit card information
  • Easily track online spending
  • Stop slimy companies from charging you for services that you didn’t sign up for
  • Convenience of creating virtual cards when not at a computer


Register for Blur for Business today. Sign up for Blur and receive a 30-day free trial of Blur Premium (p.s. we won’t try and charge you for a subscription that you don’t want a the end of the 30-day trial)


One Reply to “What are virtual credit cards and why are so many people using them?”

  1. Ed Mann says:

    I know this is probably bigger than you’re capable of undertaking, but I believe it is an unfair business practice that I can create virtual cards for free using my Bank of America online portal, but if I want to create a virtual card on my Bank of America credit card using Blur, the bank surcharges.

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