The Best Virtual Card Providers in the UK: Top 10+ Compared for 2024

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The best virtual card providers offer super secure and easy-to-use virtual cards, which are mostly either merchant-specific or for one-time use only, minimizing any chances of fraud or services trying to overcharge you with hidden fees. They also come with additional perks like cashback and points on flights, hotel, and restaurant bookings.

With that said, the market is flooded with virtual card providers, making it difficult to zero in on an ideal one for your needs. We’ve done the hard yards for you by comparing dozens of companies while preparing this guide of the eleven best virtual card providers. We took into account factors like subscription costs, the number of virtual cards offered, and rewards. Keep reading to learn why Revolut Business and Wallester Business are at the top of our list.

The Top Virtual Card Services Ranked

All eleven virtual card providers hand-picked by us are quite different from each other and offer something unique. Our quick round-up below aims to highlight their unique selling points before we dive deeper into their services a little later on:

  1. Airwallex – Overall, the best virtual card provider with promotional cashback rewards, global accounts in various currencies and integration with online stores like Shopify and eBay.
  2. Moss – Offering unlimited virtual smart cards, Moss is targeted at small to medium-size businesses which offers an intelligent digital platform featuring an employee expenses solution and invoice management, that can greatly reduce accounting and admin time.
  3. Revolut Business – Virtual card provider, offering disposable virtual cards for class-leading security. It also lets you invest in crypto and commodities with a low exchange rate and offers commission-free stock trades every month.
  4. Wallester Business – The best virtual card provider for businesses, with up to 3,000 virtual cards on its most basic paid plan. You can give every employee a card and use its built-in fraud monitoring and expense tracking for proper management.
  5. Anna MoneyOffers an ANNA card that, in coalition with the mobile app, provides a robust expense solution and invoice management interface.
  6. Multi Pass – Global business account provider that offers virtual and plastic business cards that fit a person’s daily requirements. Also offers a good exchange rate for overseas transactions.
  7. Tide – Offers a simplified expense card that supports 50 people per account. Also offers the ability to protect and manage access and set spending limits.
  8. Monese Offers travel-oriented virtual cards to make payments easy on the go. Plus, you can benefit from its interest-free loans, which will help you boost your credit score.
  9. Wise – A super secure and FCA-regulated virtual debit card provider with no load, reload, or service fees. Extra security is available in the form of an option to freeze your virtual card after every transaction with just a single click.
  10. American Express – Highly secure virtual card numbers for a worry-free online shopping experience. It also offers credits on hotel and travel bookings, and you can get up to 5X Rewards points on flight bookings.
  11. US Unlocked – A must-have for shopping enthusiasts who want access to US-based businesses, retailers, and streaming services. It’s present in 165+ countries and offers merchant-specific and one-use virtual cards.
  12. Monzo A popular virtual card provider that lets you create pots for different expenses. Having the option to auto-delete your card after a certain period is an added advantage.
  13. Starling You can use the Bill Manager tool to automate payments through dedicated Savings Spaces, as well as holding money on your account.
  14. iCard Recommended if you want Mastercard and Visa virtual cards, which are protected by 3D Secure technology. Plus, you get 1% cashback on all purchases with the Metal Plan.
  15. Skrill A great loyalty program with one point for each £1 spent. It’s also fantastic for travellers, as you can send money to 185 countries in 40 different currencies with better exchange rates than most other platforms.

How Do Virtual Cards Work?

Virtual cards, also known as digital or electronic cards, operate similarly to physical credit or debit cards but exist solely in a digital format. These cards are typically issued by financial institutions or payment service providers and are linked to your existing accounts or credit card accounts.

To use a virtual card, you’ll need to first get your hands on the card details, including the card number, expiration date, and security code, which you can access via a mobile app or website.

It’s worth noting that these details are often temporary, given that many providers offer single-use virtual cards. The last step is to enter the virtual card information instead of your actual card details when making online purchases or payments.

Virtual cards offer enhanced security as they’re often disposable or can be locked or deleted after use, reducing the risk of fraud or unauthorized charges on your primary accounts.

They’re widely used for online shopping, subscription services, and other digital transactions, providing convenience and added protection for your financial transactions.

Virtual Card vs. Physical Card: The Key Differences

While both serve the purpose of carrying out transactions, they differ significantly in several aspects. Here’s a concise outline of the main differences, along with the pros and cons of each option.

Virtual Cards

Let’s first look at the upsides and downsides of virtual cards:

Pros 

  • Virtual cards offer superior security as they’re often disposable, reducing the risk of fraud or unauthorized transactions
  • You won’t have to physically carry virtual cards, reducing the risk of loss or theft and simplifying your wallet
  • They’re easily accessible via the provider’s mobile app, browser extension, or web interface, making them ideal for mobile transactions
  • Ideal for online transactions, one-off subscriptions, and digital services, offering convenience and protection against hidden charges
  • Virtual cards protect your privacy as they use an alias or a randomly generated card number, shielding your actual financial information during online transactions

Cons

  • Some merchants may not accept virtual cards, particularly for in-person transactions
  • Relies on an internet connection for generating and managing virtual cards
  • Virtual cards are often tied to regular credit cards, and a lot of companies don’t issue virtual cards unless you have a credit card with them

Physical Cards

Onto the benefits and drawbacks of physical cards now:

Pros 

  • Physical cards are universally accepted, making them suitable for all online and offline transactions
  • You can use physical cards without internet access for transactions
  • Having physical cards is often a matter of pride for holders, as these providers have stringent acceptance criteria
  • Many physical credit and debit cards offer fantastic rewards programs, cashback, and travel benefits, providing incentives for cardholders

Cons

  • Physical cards can be lost, stolen, or cloned, putting your finances at risk
  • Carrying multiple physical cards can be inconvenient and create clutter
  • You have limited control over physical cards, and they can’t be easily disposed of or locked/unlocked like virtual cards

The Market’s Top Virtual Card Services Compared

Here’s a table highlighting the main differences between the best virtual card providers so that you can single out the best one for your needs in a matter of minutes:

Virtual Card Provider Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Airwallex Overall best Free Plan / £5 per cardholder/month (first 5 cardholders free) Yes Multiple free features, Low FX conversion fees No
Moss Small and large businesses Vary by transaction count and options chosen No Unlimited virtual cards N/A
Revolut Business Virtual credit cards Free Plan / £19/month Yes Travel insurance and commission-free investing No
Wallester Business Businesses Free Plan / £169.95/month Yes, with 300 virtual cards Expense tracking No
Anna Money Small and large businesses £14.9 + VAT per month for the business plan Yes ANNA Debit card Yes
Multi Pass Small and large businesses £29 per month No Up to 15 cards N/A
Tide Small and large businesses 1 month free and then £9.99 Yes Up to 50 cards N/A
Monese Dedicated travel card Free Plan/ £5.95/month Yes No-interest credit builder No
Wise Virtual debit cards Physical debit card costs £7, which is necessary to get a free virtual card Digital cards are free Freeze your virtual card after each transaction Yes
American Express Shopping from multiple merchants with the same virtual card number £160/year for American Express Gold Card Gold Card is free for first year Faster checkouts Yes
US Unlocked Shopping from US merchants £2.89/month maintenance fee, £0.41 transaction fee Virtual cards are free once you have funds in your account Access geo-restricted retailers and streaming services No
Monzo Auto card deletion Free Plan/ £5/month Yes Connect cards to managed money pots No
Starling Automated payments No monthly charge for current account Yes Dedicated savings spaces No
iCard Access benefits of Visa and Mastercard Free Plan/ £8.65/month Yes 1% cash back on all payments No
Skrill Loyalty program £0.72 /month (annual) No Great exchange rates No

The 11 Best Virtual Card Providers Reviewed

Let’s now dig deep and discuss each of the eleven best virtual card companies in detail, including their best features, pricing, pros, and cons. Ready?

1. Airwallex – The Best Virtual Card Provider Overall

Airwallex is our top pick for virtual credit cards because of the plethora of features you get as a business owner. For example, businesses with international operations enjoy global accounts in 11 currencies on which you can invoice overseas customers. Some of the global accounts include the US, UK, Singapore, Japan, Europe and Hong Kong.

The card provider charges 0.5% or 1.0% above the interbank rate to bring you the best conversion rate and save you money.

With Airwallex, you get multi-currency cards for your employees within minutes. Monitor their purchases and manage expenses in real-time on your dashboard.

airwallex

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Best Overall Free Plan / £5 per cardholder/month (first 5 cardholders free) Yes Multiple free features, Low FX conversion fees No

If your business requires a connection with online stores, you’re in luck. Airwallex supports Amazon, eBay, Shopify and PayPal integrations with your currency accounts.

Bookkeeping with Airwallex is also a breeze. The company supports free integration with Xero and Quickbooks, while Netsuite integrations may have some requirements.

Airwallex also offers financial services for your global customers. For example, you get:

  • Extend credit lines for your customers
  • Streamlined KYC process for businesses and individuals
  • Physical and virtual cards

Moreover, the Airwallex team offers powerful APIs to help you automated almost every aspect of running your business. And the best of all, there’s a free plan with multiple free features available for use.

Pros 

  • The best virtual credit card providers
  • Physical and virtual cards
  • Free plan
  • Low forex conversion fees
  • Global accounts with multiple currencies

Cons

  • Some users have complained of slow customer support

2. Moss – Unlimited Virtual Smart Cards for All Businesses

Moss is a virtual card provider and all-in-one expense management solution aimed at small- and medium-size businesses. With a streamlined card request and approval system, organizing unlimited virtual corporate cards has never been easier.

Moss employs smart digital mapping between cards, users and merchants to control the payment process and intelligently categorize employee expenditure. With Moss’s highly customizable system managers can set different limits for different employees, cards and purposes—all of which can be adjusted on the go.

Moss Homepage

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Small- to medium-size businesses Vary by transaction count and options chosen No Unlimited virtual cards N/A

Per diem items, like mileage, food, accommodation, and out-of-pocket expenses, can easily be submitted and approved with just a few taps on the Moss mobile app. For receipts received via email, Moss can automatically fetch them from the email account and apply them to the correct transaction.

All of this automation and intelligent expense management allows for faster employee reimbursements and can reduce the time spent on submitting expenses by more than 50%.

In addition to providing unlimited virtual corporate cards and employee expenses management tools, Moss also offers end-to-end invoice management services which brings a customizable, automated flow for invoices, and automated month-end pre-accounting, which can all help to reduce month-end accounting processes to just 1 day per month.

Pros 

  • Unlimited virtual cards
  • Intelligent expense categorization
  • Easily adjustable card settings, customizable for each employee
  • Automatic matching of receipts and transactions
  • Easily submit and approve per diem expenses in the mobile app

Cons

  • Plan prices are, partially, based on transaction count and unknown until given a quote

3. Revolut Business – Tailor-Made Virtual Cards for Your Business

Revolut Business, a UK-based fintech company, offers class-leading security thanks to its disposable virtual cards. While your actual virtual card details can be used repeatedly, you can generate a disposable virtual card that’ll bear a different card number than your actual virtual card.

Once you use it for a transaction, it’ll have served its purpose, following which you can generate a new disposable card for another one-off purchase.

It’s worth noting that while Revolut Business allows you to have 20 virtual cards at a time, you can only have one active disposable card linked to your account – but given that a fresh one can be generated within seconds, that shouldn’t be a concern in the slightest.

Revolut

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Best Overall Free Plan / £19/month Yes Travel insurance and commission-free investing No

Revolut Business virtual cards are tailor-made for people who want to grow their money. On the Plus plan, you get three commission-free stock trades a month, and you can start investing in globally renowned companies like Apple and Amazon for as little as £1 or 0.25% fees.

You can also invest in crypto and commodities with low exchange fees of just 0.99% and 1.49%, respectively, for Metal and Premium accounts. Another superb offering is the Spare Change round-ups.

Let’s say you spend £13.60 on a dress. Revolut Business will round it up and add an extra 40 pence to a Pocket (Revolut’s way of simplifying expenses for you) of your choice. You can also make money off your savings, thanks to its 4.75% annual interest rate paid daily.

Cashback options are great, too. For instance, depending on your plan, you can expect cashback on hotel bookings of 3% to 10%, which is comparable to Amex’s offering.

However, an unmissable offer from Revolut Business is its travel insurance. Starting with the Premium plan, you can opt for:

  • Lost or damaged baggage protection
  • Dental and medical coverage, and
  • Protection against trip cancellation and delays

This will allow you to explore the world and have a worry-free experience. If you need more options, there’s even a Revolut Business credit card you can apply for.

Beyond this, Revolut Business also offers a dedicated service for teenagers. With this, you can teach your kids healthy financial habits, like how to save money and track their expenses, on the Revolut Business app. Each Revolut Business plan comes with up to five under-18 accounts.

Pros 

  • Easily one of the very best virtual credit card providers
  • Disposable virtual cards for extra security
  • Commission-free investing in stocks and crypto
  • Separate features for teenagers
  • Up to 4% annual interest paid daily on savings

Cons

  • Limited cashback options

4. Wallester Business – Best Virtual Card Provider for Businesses of All Sizes

Wallester Business is the ideal virtual card provider for businesses looking for an easier way to spend and track payments, as it offers 300 virtual cards and an unlimited number of physical cards, even on its free plan – so it’s a great pick to get a virtual card free.

What’s more, the cards are created in collaboration with VISA, so security and reliability remain rock-solid. Once your account is funded and ready, your employees can make purchases for the company using their Wallester Business virtual card.

All their transactions will automatically be tracked and recorded on your Wallester Business account, where you can easily approve transactions, monitor expenses, and generate reports using Wallester Business’s easy-to-use mobile app.

Wallester

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Businesses Free Plan / £169.95/month Yes, with 300 virtual cards Expense tracking No

Plus, you’ll get a real-time notification after every transaction is processed. This way, you’ll know where your money’s going and who’s spending it so that you don’t have to worry about your employees misusing company funds.

As an extra layer of protection, you can set spending limits on individual cards. After all, a new employee won’t need the same spending limit as a senior executive who frequently travels for work.

These virtual cards can even be used to pay short-term employees. So, instead of sending an invoice to your finance team, you can create a virtual card, load it up with the required amount of money, and hand it over to the concerned employee.

What’s more, unlike Revolut Business, Wallester Business allows you to make ATM cash withdrawals using your virtual card, which makes them even more handy and on par with a physical card. Better still, payments are secure with Wallester’s built-in fraud detection tool.

This system analyzes your regular spending habits and then looks out for anomalies. If it finds an anomaly, the payment is blocked until it’s verified – a pretty solid feature if you’re planning to hand over some financial control to your team.

Pros 

  • 300 free virtual cards and unlimited free physical cards
  • Built-in fraud monitoring
  • You can set individual card limits on employee cards
  • ATM cash withdrawal with virtual cards
  • Expense tracking is on par with the best expense management tools

Cons

  • While ideal for businesses, it’s not so good for personal use

5. Anna Money – Offers an ANNA Card with Robust Expense Management Solution

Anna Money is a virtual card provider with a more simplified approach to providing card solutions. The platform offers an ANNA card that has to be used with the mobile application in order to gain access to expense management services.

Fit for startups, freelancers, and creatives, Anna Money only takes 10 minutes for account creation. Once the account is created, users get access to a mobile business account with robust expense management features.

Anna Money

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Small- to medium-size businesses £14.9 + VAT per month for the business plan Yes ANNA card Yes

Anna Money’s debit card can be leveraged for a variety of purposes, from paying for daily expenses to paying for things on an international scale. The card also facilitates immediate payments and allows users to make use of money-saving pots.

Another major benefit of the ANNA debit card is that users will get a 1% cashback on various business expenses.

With features like an instant invoice generator and simplified tax filing, Anna Money is fit for businesses of all levels. Additionally, investors will also be happy to find that the starter version of this platform is free to access.

Pros 

  • Offers an Anna debit card
  • Good expense management system available
  • Simplified app
  • Expenses approval easy

Cons

  • Only offers a 1% cashback

6. Multi Pass – Global Business Account provider Offering Virtual and Plastic Business Cards

Multi Pass is a virtual card provider offering a multi-currency account allowing users to engage in transactions worldwide. As a result, the virtual and plastic cards issued by this platform support international transactions.

With the cards, users can handle their daily business needs. Virtual cards are 100% online and allow users to handle all kinds of daily expenses as well. These cards can be easily managed online through the mobile application.

Multi Pass

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Small- to medium-sized businesses £29 per month No Up to 15 cards are available N/A

There are 15 corporate cards available, and users can start spending instantly upon getting them. While virtual cards are issued instantly, it takes 1 – 7 business days for the plastic cards to be delivered.

Other key features of the card include the nonpresence of any hidden fees. The card facilitates transactions in over 30 different currencies and is available in more than 180 countries.

While there is no free model available with this platform, the international transactions facility makes up for it. Furthermore, it also supports local payouts in 20 markets using Swift. Another positive for this platform comes from it providing good exchange rates for foreign transactions.

Pros 

  • Offers virtual and physical cards
  • Up to 15 cards can be issued
  • Card settings adjustable through the mobile application

Cons

  • The plan pricing could have been better

7. Tide – Offers a Simplified Expense Supporting 50 people per Account

The Tide card has been designed to simplify business expenses through the mobile application. The virtual card itself is a great addition to businesses, making it suitable for all types of business entities.

At once, there could be 50 cards activated. The charges per card are nominal, and it allows users to set limits on the card. The Tide card also eliminates the need for form filling, as the team can scan and upload multiple receipts at once.

Tide

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Small- to medium-sized businesses 1 month free and then £9.99 + VAT No 50 cards N/A

Another key attribute that makes the Tide card stand out from the rest is the addition of security features like access management. With the Tide app, all the Tide Expense cards can be managed, allowing the administrator to view and manage pins or freeze the cards altogether.

Transactions are automatically categorized, and users are free to add notes to them. Furthermore, the card can also be used to track company expenses.

Other than virtual cards, the key feature that makes Tide stand apart is the presence of multiple subscription models. There is a Tide Plus Account available as well as a cashback account. In terms of expense management systems, Tide offers robust facilities ranging from account integrations to card readers to invoicing.

Pros 

  • Up to 50 cards can be activated at the same time
  • Automatic expense categorization is available
  • Card settings are adjustable
  • Automatic matching is supported

Cons

  • No cashback on using the cards

8. Monese — Offers Virtual Travel Cards for Discounts and Easy Payments on the Go

Monese’s virtual cards are available in two formats – a regular debit virtual card and a virtual card. The virtual version of your debit card is ideal for online shopping and transactions, while the virtual card can handle multiple currencies during trips.

It’s great to have two separate cards for regular payments and vacation spending – you can take a closer look at your spending on each.

Monese lets you link your virtual card with your PayPal Wallet, which will make your checkouts faster and easier if you use the service. For even faster checkouts, you can make Monese your primary card. All of this pits Monese favourably against the likes of Wallester Business and Wise.

Monese Virtual card

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Dedicated travel card Free Plan/ £5.95/month Yes No-interest credit builder No

The best feature of Monese’s virtual card is its auto-renewal function. When your physical card expires, so does your virtual card. When you activate the plan again, your old virtual card is automatically replaced with a new one, even if it was connected to Google Pay or Apple Pay.

Monese’s virtual cards can help you with a lot more than just regular day-to-day transactions, as well. You can use your Moneses account to get a personal loan, and the service will connect you with the best personal loan providers in the industry.

The platform can also help you build your credit score. All you have to do is choose an amount you’re willing to pay for the next 12 months, and Monese will create an interest-free loan for that amount, reporting your monthly payments to credit reference agencies so you can benefit from credit score boosts.

Pros 

  • Helps you keep your travel money safe
  • Auto-renewals for all virtual cards
  • Helps you increase your credit score
  • Multilingual customer support

Cons

  • Doesn’t have a banking license yet

9. Wise – Super Secure Virtual Debit Card Provider

Wise virtual cards ensure top-of-the-line security when shopping online. After each purchase, you’ll have the option to freeze your virtual card, and then you can unfreeze it just as easily the next time you make a purchase.

Doing so reduces the chances of fraudulent transactions and protects you from being overcharged by an online e-commerce business. A notable point about Wise virtual cards is that they’re debit (prepaid) cards.

This is very different from other providers that offer digital cards that either work like a credit card or are linked to an already-issued credit card.

Wise

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Virtual debit cards Physical debit card costs £7, which is necessary to get a free virtual card Digital cards are free Freeze your virtual card after each transaction Yes

Also, while regular prepaid virtual cards come with different types of fees, such as reload fees, initial load fees, and service and inactivity fees, the Wise virtual debit card comes with no such charges.

Wise is able to hold funds in your virtual debit cards as it’s an FCA-regulated and authorized Electronic Money Institution, so it’s legally required to keep customers’ money dage by keeping it in extremely safe financial institutions like Barclays and Deutsche Bank.

Wise allows you to have three virtual cards at a time, which is admittedly less than some of the big names on our list. However, the silver lining is that you’re not mandated to use one virtual card with only a single merchant, so it offers maximum flexibility.

Pros 

  • Compatible with Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Garmin Pay
  • Among the best virtual debit card providers
  • You can freeze your digital cards after every online purchase
  • It’s FCA-regulated, which ensures top-notch security
  • A virtual card isn’t limited to a single merchant

Cons

  • 40 available currencies are quite a low number

10. American Express – Secure and Rewards-Heavy Virtual Credit Card Provider

American Express virtual cards aren’t standalone payment cards. Instead, they work like an extension of your physical Amex card – you can enrol your physical card to apply for a virtual card number.

This way, you won’t have to share your actual credit card details with every merchant you shop from. That said, the biggest benefit of using an American Express virtual card is speedy checkouts.

On the payment portal, when you enter your Amex virtual card number, the company will automatically fill in the 4-digit code, allowing you to securely complete the transaction.

American Express

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Shopping from multiple merchants with the same virtual card number £160/year for American Express Gold Card Gold Card is free for first year Faster checkouts Yes

It’s worth noting that while you can use an American Express virtual card to earn Membership Rewards Points, you’ll only be able to benefit from those Points when you use your credit card, but American Express isn’t short of rewards.

You’ll be able to sign up for free with the Gold Card. Despite being free for the first year, you can earn 3x points on American Express Travel, 2x points on direct spend with airlines, and 20,000 bonus points for £3,000 spend in the first three months.

The best bang for your buck, though, is available with the Platinum Card that gives you 30,000 Membership Rewards points if you make £4,000 in purchases in the first three months of the membership. What’s more, you’ll also earn 12,000 points if you refer a friend.

This means that for every pound you spend on airline bookings, you’ll earn five reward points. All in all, American Express virtual cards are the go-to choice if you don’t want to use your actual credit card details for every purchase you make.

Plus, Amex allows you to use the same virtual card number for multiple merchants, making it a simpler and one-stop solution for those who like to keep things simple.

Pros 

  • Tons of Membership Rewards points and perks
  • Use the same virtual card number with various merchants
  • Secure and reliable handling

Cons

  • Other cards have better benefits

11. US Unlocked – Superb for Shopping with US Retailers

US Unlocked virtual cards are tailor-made for non-US citizens who want to shop from US retailers. Shopping from a foreign country is difficult – for example, let’s say you’re from India, you’ll find that certain products or stores aren’t available in your location.

That’s because they don’t trust foreign credit and are afraid of fraud. To overcome that, you can use a US Unlocked virtual prepaid card (it’s prepaid, just like how Wise works) that’ll give you access to thousands of US retailers instantly.

Its retail partners include Walmart, Walgreens, Pandora, Gap, and LG, amongst many others — all popular brands so that you can shop your heart out. Not just that, you can also subscribe to foreign streaming services.

US Unlocked Dashboard

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Card Needed for a Virtual Card?
Shopping from US merchants £2.89/month maintenance fee, £0.41 transaction fee Virtual cards are free once you have funds in your account Access retailers and streaming services that are unavailable in your region No

Since the billing address will be a US address, you’ll be able to access your favourite movies and TV shows — without needing to subscribe to one of the best VPNs — even if they’re not available in your geographic location.

You won’t just gain access. You’ll also get all the exclusive deals and discounts that are reserved for US citizens only. Even if the merchant denies shipping, US Unlocked has its own freight forward partners to take care of that.

What’s more, its services are available in 165+ countries, which is one of the largest geographical ranges compared to all other options on this list. If you’re someone who travels around the world a lot, US Unlocked is certainly a go-to choice.

Unlike other providers that offer either merchant-specific virtual cards or one-time-use virtual cards, US Unlocked offers both. Plus, it’s also one of the cheapest services on our list, with a monthly maintenance fee of just £2.89 – nothing extra for the cards.

Pros 

  • Super affordable
  • Available in 165+ countries
  • Offers both merchant-specific and one-time-use virtual cards
  • Access to thousands of US retailers, brands, and streaming platforms

Cons

  • Too centred around online shopping

12. Monzo — Create Virtual Pots for Expenses to Better Manage Your Finances

Monzo is a fully regulated UK bank, so if you’re looking for a more formally accredited option, there are few better for a mobile bank with a virtual debit card than Monzo.

Its virtual cards are a fairly new addition to the Business plan. Currently, every Monzo user can create and manage up to five virtual cards at once. If you have multiple business members, each member will get five cards each, making it ideal for large businesses.

Monzo Virtual Card

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Cards Needed for a Virtual Card? 
Auto card deletion Free Plan/ £5/month Yes Connect cards to managed money pots No

To make payments easier for you, Monzo lets you link each card with a virtual money pot – a sub-account within the main account, which lets you set aside money.

You can, for example, create a pot and fund it with money for new tools and software for your business. You can then connect it with a virtual card so that every time a payment is made, the card will only draw funds from the designated pot.

This makes budgeting simple and prevents you from overspending. You can also create a Tax Pot, where a certain percentage of funds will be set aside from each transaction you complete.

Auto-deletion is a particularly useful feature. With this, you can set a date when you want the card to automatically expire. If you’re creating a virtual card for a free software trial, you can set an auto-deletion date so it disappears before the company can start charging your card, for example.

One thing you need to keep in mind is that you only see the cards you create – so if you want to keep an eye on your team’s spending, you’ll have to create their cards yourself. If you want more comprehensive expense management, consider a service like Revolut Business.

Pros 

  • Free Xero Account for six months on the paid plan
  • Dedicated pots for different expenses
  • Up to five virtual cards for every user
  • Automatically deletes cards with a set date

Cons

  • You can only view cards you create

13. Starling — Highly Flexible Virtual Cards with an Off Switch

Starling is a digital bank based in the UK, and its virtual cards work a lot like Monzo. You get to create dedicated Savings Spaces for different types of expenses, and then you can connect your virtual cards to them.

Starling lets you lock and unlock your card at will, much like Wise. Once you’re done paying for a service, you can lock your virtual card and only unlock it when you have to make a new payment. This ensures no one can steal funds from your card while it’s sitting idle.

Starling Virtual card

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Cards Needed for a Virtual Card?
Automated payments No monthly charge for current account Yes Dedicated Savings Spaces No

You can also set automated payments with your Starling virtual card using the Bill Manager tool. Just create a dedicated Savings space, connect your card, and set the date and amount. Starling will automatically take out the money and pay your bills on time.

You don’t need a physical card to get a virtual card from Starling, either – though you don’t even need one, given that these virtual cards can be used for in-person shopping as well.

For over-the-phone and in-person transactions, you just have to add your card to your mobile wallet. It’s no different than paying through mobile payment apps like Apple Pay.

The icing on the cake is the fact that your savings are protected by the FSCS up to £85,000 with a Starling account.

Pros 

  • Can be used for in-person shopping
  • Supports joint accounts
  • Great Bill Manager tool
  • Totally free to create, and you don’t even need to have a physical card

Cons

  • £500 daily limit on individual transactions

14. iCard — Secures Your Virtual Cards with 3D Secure Technology

iCard, unlike other service providers on this list, doesn’t have its own virtual card program, like Revolut Business, Wallester Business, and Wise. Instead, it provides Mastercard and Visa virtual cards.

You could sign up with Visa or Mastercard and get virtual cards directly from them – but the benefit of using iCard is you can access both cards with a single account.

iCard takes security very seriously and has some interesting features. For example, every time you make a payment with your iCard virtual or physical card, you’ll have to confirm the transaction with your iCard app.

iCard Virtual Card

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Cards Needed for a Virtual Card? 
Accessing benefits of Visa and Mastercard Free Plan/ £8.65/month Yes 1% cash back on all payments No

Your cards are protected by 3D Secure technology, under which iCard analyzes over 100 data points about your transaction before it allows it to pass. In some cases, it also checks contextual data from merchants to understand the purpose of payments and minimize fraud.

It’s also quite reasonably priced, making it perfect for people on a budget. The first two virtual cards are available for free. If you need more, you can order up to 20 for just £0.85 each. Besides that, there are no hidden annual or monthly fees on the free plan.

There are also some additional perks to using iCard’s virtual cards. If you choose the Metal plan, you’ll get 1% cashback on all your payments.

The Metal and the Infinite plan also offer Concierge Services. And if you use Group Plus, Union Ivkoni, or Etap Address for bus bookings, you’ll get a 10% discount on your final bill regardless of the plan you pick.

Pros 

  • Offers two free virtual cards
  • Preferential offers from Visa
  • 1% cash back on all payments
  • 10% discount on bus bookings

Cons

  • Free plan is limited compared to the Infinite and Metal plan

15. Skrill — Rewarding Loyalty Program with a Range of Rewards

Skrill has one virtual card product – the prepaid Mastercard virtual card. As you might guess from the name, any online service that accepts Mastercard will accept this virtual prepaid card. The application process is pretty simple, and you’ll get your virtual card almost instantly.

Our favourite thing about Skrill is its Skrill Knect loyalty program, which awards you points for every transaction you make through Skrill, so the more you use Skrill, the more you earn.

Skrill Virtual card

Best For Fees Free Plan Top Feature Physical Cards Needed for a Virtual Card?
Loyalty program £0.72 /month (annual) No Great exchange rates No

For every £1 you spend, you get 1 point. Once you accumulate enough points, you can exchange them for rewards, including cash, gift cards, and discounts on future transactions.

If you’re looking for the best rates for currency exchange, Skrill is the right place. It offers much better exchange rates than most banks and also has a team of money transfer specialists who ensure that exchanges go smoothly.

You can send money to 185 countries in 40 different currencies – among the most we’ve seen – and transactions are highly transparent. Before the money is sent, you get a preview of exactly how much the recipient is receiving in their currency.

Skrill also provides excellent support. They have a dedicated phone line available 24/7 for you to report lost and stolen cards. They’ll immediately disable the compromised card, covering both the physical and virtual versions, and issue you with a new one so you can keep making payments.

If there’s one drawback, it’s that verification can take some time.

Pros 

  • Dedicated 24/7 customer support
  • Competitive exchange rates
  • Great loyalty program
  • Accepted everywhere Mastercard works

Cons

  • Verification can take time

Can I Gеt a Frее Virtual Card?

Virtual cards are often free if you have a physical debit or credit card with the provider. It’s only when you have to pay to get a physical card before you can be issued a virtual card that you’ll essentially be paying for a virtual card.

However, that’s still quite indirect, and there are obvious benefits to be had from the physical card you purchase, too. Most offer free credit cards, which essentially makes their virtual cards free as well.

However, the most value-packed credit cards of the providers above may cost you anywhere between £95 to £1,500 per year, but the virtual cards generated therein are still free. As far as free plans go, Revolut Business and Wallester Business are at the top of our list.

Revolut Business, for example, offers a free forever plan that comes with a virtual card and a lot of benefits, including disposable, one-time virtual cards for extra protection, 5-10% cashback on hotel bookings, fee-free investing and trading, and under-18 accounts for your children.

Arе Virtual Crеdit Cards Safе?

Yes, virtual credit cards are very safe for online transactions, provided that you choose reputable providers, like the ones on our list, practice healthy cybersecurity and financial security habits, and are vigilant in monitoring your card activity.

Here are some key features digital credit cards offer to secure your payments:

  • Most instant virtual card providers use robust encryption to protect your card details when transmitted online. These services employ SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) or TLS (Transport Layer Security) protocols to ensure secure data transmission.
  • Virtual cards often have limited validity or usage (such as merchant-specific or one-time use cards), adding an extra security layer. Once used or expired, the card can’t be used for further transactions, reducing the risk of unauthorized charges.
  • They can’t be lost or stolen since virtual cards exist only in digital form, which eliminates the risk associated with physical card theft.
  • Some virtual card providers offer 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) for added security. This requires you to provide a second authentication factor, like a one-time code sent to your mobile device, before completing a transaction.
  • Almost every virtual card service has built-in fraud detection that monitors transactions for suspicious activity. They flag or block unusual or inconsistent transactions, depending on your spending patterns.
  • Some providers offer transaction alerts via email or mobile notifications, allowing you to monitor your card activity closely and detect any unauthorized charges. This is particularly helpful for businesses that offer employees virtual cards.
  • Virtual cards can be loaded with a specific amount of funds, reducing the potential financial impact in case of unauthorized use, which will most likely be prevented in the first place.

How We Ranked the Best Virtual Card Services

Here are the key features we considered when ranking the best virtual card services, and which you should consider, whether you’re looking at a Capital One virtual card, an Eno virtual card, or an instant virtual credit card:

  • The safety of your financial information is paramount. We evaluated services with robust security measures, including SSL/TLS encryption, 2FA, and proactive fraud detection systems, to ensure that your transactions are always secure.
  • We understand that ease of use is essential, so we prioritized services with intuitive interfaces, browser extensions, expert help, and mobile apps, making it simple for you to generate virtual cards, manage them, and access transaction histories.
  • Users often worry about hidden fees. We carefully examined each service’s cost structure, looking for transparency, competitive pricing, and options for free virtual cards or cost-effective plans to alleviate cost-related concerns.
  • To eliminate doubts about accessibility, we considered services available in almost every geographical location and their compatibility with hundreds of different currencies.
  • We sought to add value by considering extra features. Services that offer value-added benefits like real-time transaction alerts and rewards and perks, including cash back, points on flights, and fee-free investing (Revolut Business), were preferred.
  • Trust is paramount in financial services. We considered the reputation of top virtual card services and only included those that offer maximum reliability. User experiences and other expert opinions played a significant role in our rankings.
  • Support is another factor we took into account to ensure that any issues you have are resolved. We assessed the responsiveness of each one, and those with helpful support channels, including live chat and phone support, were favoured.

How to Use a Virtual Card – A Quick Guide

Using a virtual card is straightforward, and it offers added security and flexibility for online transactions. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use a Revolut Business virtual card:

Step 1. Download and Install the Revolut Business App

If you don’t already have the Revolut Business app, download it from your device’s app store and complete the registration process to create a Revolut Business account.

Step1

Step 2. Fund Your Revolut Business Account

Ensure that your Revolut Business account has sufficient funds. You can top up your account using various methods, including bank transfers, debit cards, or credit cards.

Step 3. Apply for a Virtual Credit Card

Орen the Revolut Business app and navigate to the “Cards” section. Then, select “Add New Card” to create a virtual card online. Simply follow the prompts to set card limits, assign a name (e.g., “Online Shopping Card”), and choose the currency (if applicable).

Step3

Step 4. Retrieve Card Details

Once your virtual card is created, you’ll receive the card number, expiration date, and security code within the app. You can also view these details by tapping on the virtual card.

Step4

Step 5. Use the Virtual Card for Online Transactions

When making online purchases or payments, enter the virtual card details, just like you would with a physical card. Ensure the transaction amount is within the card’s limits.

Step 6. Monitor Transactions

Stay informed about your virtual card transactions by checking the Revolut Business app. You’ll receive real-time notifications for each transaction, including the merchant’s name and the amount spent.

Revolut Analytics

Conclusion – What is the Best Virtual Card Provider to Use in 2024?

Our guide contains virtual card providers of various kinds, including those that offer dedicated virtual card services for businesses, those that provide merchant-specific virtual credit card numbers, and even those that offer one-use virtual cards.

Whatever your requirements are, you’ll certainly find one that’s ideal for you. That said, Airwallex is the pick of the lot and the #1 virtual card provider, thanks to all the feature it offers. Nevertheless, it might be the easiest virtual credit card to get.

Virtual Card FAQs

Who has the best virtual credit card?

Which is the best virtual debit card?

Who provides virtual cards?

Is a virtual card worth it?

Do ATMs work with virtual cards?

Where can I get a free virtual card?

Are virtual credit cards legal?

References

Krishi Chowdhary
Tech Expert
Krishi Chowdhary
Tech Expert

Krishi Chowdhary has half a decade of experience writing buying guides and product reviews for numerous leading technology websites. He spent two years writing for Business2Community.com before joining Techopedia.com. He has a degree in Commerce and extensive experience in the technology industry. He's also the key driver behind TechReport.com's news content, delivering expertise insight into the latest tech and cybersecurity news daily.