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What are Virtual Credit Cards? How to Get Free Virtual Card?

Updated on June 13, 2024 , 18957 views

From a credit card to a Virtual Credit Card, technology is making our life simpler and efficient day by day. With normal credit cards, there was some kind of risk involved in online payment. But, with virtual, it is becoming much safer and secure.

Virtual Credit Card

What is a Virtual Credit Card?

When you pay bill online, the merchant has access to your card details, billing address and authentication code, which is more than what is required for online fraud. This is where a virtual card creates a big difference.

A virtual credit card is basically a randomly generated credit card number that you can get based on your primary credit card. This number is for one-time use only. A virtual card generator program is installed on the user’s computer. This program generates the virtual number, which is used for online transactions.

The security that these numbers offer is quite high compared to a credit card. A virtual card comes with a secure Facility where the merchant can’t trackback. This keeps your credential data safe from hackers.

How to get a Virtual Credit Card?

You either apply online or visit the nearest banks who issues a virtual credit card.

Note- Once you get a virtual card, avoid excessive spendings as this is issued based on a primary card itself.

How to get a free Virtual Credit Card?

You will be provided with a free virtual card if your credit card has a zero annual fee. You can get free virtual cards from various banks as well as NBFIs (Non-Bank Financial Institutions). Furthermore, some banks offer e-wallets or a digital balance that you can use to apply for virtual cards.

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Different banks offering Virtual Credit Cards

Here are some of the banks Offering virtual credit cards-

HDFC Netsafe

It is a unique online secure payment service provided by HDFC bank. The service generates a random virtual card number that can be used to shop online at any merchant website.

SBI Virtual Card

SBI aims to provide a safe and secure medium for transacting online without the need to provide a primary card or your account details to the merchant.

AXIS Bank Virtual Card

You can choose from various options according to your preference. Axis bank also offers loyalty rewards for their virtual cards that can be redeemed.

Kotak Mahindra Netc@rd

Kotak offers a facility of a one-time-use virtual card to all its account holders. Users can use for secure online shopping at merchant websites that accept VISA cards.

ICICI Bank Virtual Credit Card (VCC)

It is a feature that ICICI Bank provides to its account and credit card holders. They offer various rewards and benefits on their virtual cards. You can set the validity of the card and the limit of usage. You’ll earn one point for every Rs. 200/- you spend.

How to shop using a Virtual Credit Card

Shopping using a virtual card can be quite a task for you if you’re used to a usual credit card. Here are some guidelines on how you can use your card for shopping-

Note- Virtual cards can be used only online, therefore all your purchases should be online only.

  • Step 1- While doing a transaction, open your virtual card window.

  • Step 2- Sign in to your account with the respective credentials, set the expiration date and generate the virtual card number.

  • Step 3- You can set a limit on the amount you spend using the card.

  • Step 4- Once you proceed you can use your virtual number for online payments.

Every time you return a product that you’re unsatisfied with, the amount will get refunded back into your linked credit card.

Features of Virtual Credit Card

Some of the features are-

  • It cannot be traced back.
  • They are valid for a specified time duration.
  • A limit can be set for the amount of transaction that is permitted.
  • The remaining balance of the card after the transactions is credited back to the account.
  • As these cards are virtual it is not possible to replicate them.


A virtual credit card is a quite secure alternative to normal credit cards. However, you must remember that virtual cards can’t be used offline, and also not all companies offer it. Still using a virtual card will keep your data safe and secure.

All efforts have been made to ensure the information provided here is accurate. However, no guarantees are made regarding correctness of data. Please verify with scheme information document before making any investment.
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