What You Should Know About Citibank Virtual Credit Cards

Learn to use a Citi virtual credit card for peace of mind when you’re shopping online.

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Shopping online is now easier than ever, but with that convenience comes the increased risk of security. As a benefit for credit card customers Citibank offers a service that generates a temporary and unique credit card number you can use to shop online.

If you’re shopping on an unknown retailer’s website or concerned about your credit card number being compromised, using a virtual credit card — aka a virtual account number — can provide peace of mind because it ensures your account number remains secure. Here’s what you need to know about getting a Citibank virtual account number to minimize the risk of credit card fraud.

Understand What a Citi Card Virtual Account Number Is

A Citi virtual credit card is a random, temporary account number that’s linked to your real credit card account. The temporary number allows you to make a purchase online while protecting your privacy — your actual credit card number is never revealed to any merchant. Everything you purchase with your virtual account number will appear on your regular monthly credit card statement — and will include the virtual account number that was used for each transaction, according to the Citibank website.

Not all Citi cards offer virtual card numbers, according to the Citibank website. Log in to the Citi website and check if your card is eligible.

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Related: Virtual Credit Cards Explained — 6 Tips for Using Temporary Cards

How to Get a Virtual Credit Card Number From Citi

Opening a virtual account number is straightforward at Citi. Once you’ve determined that your Citi card is eligible for a virtual account number, log in to your credit card account to get your randomly generated virtual account number.

Follow these steps to get a virtual credit card number from Citi:

  1. Visit the Citi credit card website.
  2. Sign in by entering your Citi user ID and password. If you don’t have a Citi user ID and password, click on the “Register” button to set up your online access.
  3. Click on “Account Management.”
  4. Select “Virtual Account.”
  5. Be prepared to answer a few questions about how you plan to use your virtual account number. You’ll be asked about things such as spending limits and expiration times for the card.

Up Next: Here’s Your Citibank Routing Number

What Other Banks Offer Virtual Credit Card Numbers?

Not all banks offer virtual credit card numbers to their customers. For example, a Chase virtual credit card is not available, but the bank’s business customers might be eligible for a single-use account. A Bank of America virtual credit card is available through the bank’s ShopSafe program. A TD Bank virtual credit card and Wells Fargo virtual credit card are not yet available. The U.S. Bank virtual credit card option is called virtual payment, and is available for business and organization clients.

Don’t Miss: See If You Might Accidentally Be Committing Credit Card Fraud

How Easy Is It to Use a Citibank Credit Card Number?

It might take you only a few minutes to get your Citi virtual account number, but it’s not always convenient to use. Because each virtual credit account provides you with a single-use credit card number, it can be used only for purchases from one merchant. If you’re doing a lot of shopping on different sites at once, it might take some time to get multiple numbers.

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On the other hand, if you think the process of generating more than one virtual account numbers is an inconvenience, keep in mind that having your credit card number stolen is a much bigger hassle. If you feel unsure about the online retailer you’re buying from, err on the side of caution and take the few extra minutes to generate a virtual account number.

Editorial Note: This content is not provided by Citibank. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author alone and have not been endorsed by Citibank.

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About the Author

Krista Baum

Krista Baum is a Pennsylvania-based freelance writer who has held management-level positions at financial institutions in New York.  In addition to her broad banking background, she has worked with government agencies and banking executives to ensure processes and polices are in place to prevent, detect and report money laundering activities in the fight against financial crime. Along with GOBankingRates, her work has appeared on major sites like AOL.com and the Huffington Post.

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