Published on April 28th, 2015 | by William Charles21
Create A Virtual Account Number (VAN) With Citi – Limit It To One Use, Spending Limit And More
One of the less known features about Citi and Citi credit cards is that it’s possible to create something known as a virtual account number or VAN for short. A virtual account number is a temporary virtual credit card number that is linked to your actual credit card number.
Typically these VAN’s are useful in a few different situations:
- You want to make a purchase from a merchant and you’re unsure about their payment security
- You want to enroll in a free trial/paid trial but are worried it will be difficult/impossible to cancel
In both of these situations you could use a VAN to make your purchase, after the purchase is made you can cancel that VAN. That way if the merchant does have their data compromised, the attackers will end up with a credit card number that no longer works. Similarly if you sign up for a free trial and you can’t cancel, instead you just cancel the VAN and they are unable to continually charge you.
It’s also possible to limit how much can be spent on the virtual card and how long the card is active for. This could be useful if you wanted to give a dependent a virtual card with a preset spending limit. Below is a video that explains how Citi’s virtual credit card numbers work.
Have you used Citi’s VAN feature before? What are your thoughts on it? How could it be improved? Let me know in the comments. If there is interest I’ll do similar posts on other little known card benefits.
Obviously you’ll be unable to provide this proof. Reader Bobbie has ran into troubles using a VAN for bus tickets and concert tickets in the past for example.