Credit Card vs. Virtual Credit Card:
What’s the Difference?

Virtual credit cards offer many advantages over traditional credit cards. What are the pros and cons of these types of credit cards? We reveal everything in our blog.

Credit Card vs. Virtual Credit Card: What’s the Difference?

Credit cards have become a ubiquitous form of payment in today’s world. They offer convenience, security, and even rewards for using them. However, with the rise of online shopping and data breaches, virtual credit cards have emerged as an alternative for those who want an extra layer of protection.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using traditional credit cards vs virtual credit cards.

What Are Credit Cards vs. Virtual Credit Cards?

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What Are Credit Cards vs. Virtual Credit Cards?

A credit card is a physical payment card issued by a financial institution that allows the cardholder to make purchases or borrow funds up to a specific credit limit. It works as a revolving line of credit, and cardholders are required to make monthly payments to repay the borrowed amount along with any accrued interest.

On the other hand, a virtual credit card is a digital form of payment that functions similarly to a physical credit card but exists only in electronic form. It is typically generated for a specific transaction or limited duration and can be used for online purchases or payments. Virtual credit cards provide an added layer of security as they are not tied to the cardholder’s physical card or account details.

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What Are the Advantages of a Credit Card?

Credit cards offer convenience, allowing cardholders to make purchases without carrying cash. They provide a line of credit that can be helpful for managing expenses and making large purchases. Credit cards often have additional benefits such as rewards programs, cashback offers, and travel perks. In addition, proper use of credit cards can help build a positive credit history and improve credit scores.

What Are the Advantages of a Virtual Credit Card?

Virtual credit cards offer enhanced security as they are not tied to the cardholder’s physical card or account details, reducing the risk of fraud. They control online transactions by generating unique card details for each transaction, limiting potential unauthorized use.

Virtual credit cards can be easily generated and used for one-time or limited-duration purchases, making them suitable for online shopping or subscription services. They can help manage and track online expenses separately from the primary credit card, aiding budgeting and expense management.

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The Pros of Using Credit Cards

Traditional credit cards have been around for decades and still have many benefits. The most significant advantage of using credit cards is the convenience that comes with them. They are widely accepted at most retailers, and you do not need to carry cash around, making them ideal for traveling and shopping.

Another advantage of using credit cards is that they often come with rewards programs. These programs incentivize you to spend money, giving you cash back, hotel stays, and even airline miles. If you regularly use your credit card for purchases, taking advantage of these rewards can save you money in the long run.

The Cons of Using Credit Cards

One significant disadvantage of using credit cards is the high-interest rates that come with them. If you don’t pay off your balance in full each month, you can quickly accumulate debt and pay much more interest charges over time.

Additionally, credit cards are also susceptible to fraud and data breaches. If your credit card information falls into the wrong hands, you could be responsible for paying for unauthorized transactions. This can be a significant headache and can even harm your credit score.

The Pros of Using Virtual Credit Cards

Virtual credit cards are an increasingly popular choice for those who want an added layer of protection when shopping online. The primary benefit of virtual credit cards is that they offer one-time-use numbers. This means that even if someone were to steal your virtual credit card number, it would be useless after one use. This added security can give you peace of mind when shopping online.

Another benefit of virtual credit cards is that they can often be used to create a spending limit. This can be helpful if you’re trying to stick to a budget or concerned about unauthorized charges. Virtual credit cards can be restricted to a set amount, preventing overspending or accidental purchases.

The Cons of Using Virtual Credit Cards

One of the main drawbacks of virtual credit cards is that they are less widely accepted than traditional credit cards. This can be frustrating if you are trying to make a purchase and must switch between your virtual credit card and a traditional one.

Additionally, some virtual credit cards come with fees or require a subscription. This can be an added cost to consider when deciding whether to use a virtual credit card.

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What is the Best Virtual Credit Card?

Determining the best virtual credit card depends on your specific needs and preferences. Here are a few popular options to consider: offers virtual credit card numbers that can be used for online transactions. It allows you to create multiple virtual cards linked to your bank account and offers features like spending limits, transaction controls, and the ability to freeze or close cards at any time.

Capital One Eno

Eno is a virtual assistant offered by Capital One that provides virtual credit card numbers for online transactions. It offers features like instant virtual card generation, transaction alerts, and the ability to lock and unlock your virtual card.


EntroPay is a virtual credit card provider that allows you to create virtual Visa cards for online payments. It offers features like instant card creation, multiple currency support, and managing and funding your virtual cards through the EntroPay platform.


Netspend offers virtual prepaid Visa cards that can be used for online transactions. It provides features like real-time transaction alerts, mobile app access, and the ability to load funds onto your virtual card through various methods.

Remember to research and compare the features, fees, and security measures of different virtual credit card providers to find the one that aligns with your requirements and offers the best overall value for your needs.


How to Accept Virtual Credit Cards?

Accepting virtual credit cards typically involves following these steps:

  • Confirm acceptance: Determine if your business accepts virtual credit cards as a form of payment. Review your payment policies and ensure that virtual credit cards are included.
  • Update payment processing system: Ensure that your payment processing system is compatible with virtual credit cards. Verify that it can securely process virtual credit card transactions and validate their authenticity.
  • Communicate with your payment processor: Contact your payment processor or merchant service provider to inform them that you want to accept virtual credit cards. They can guide you through the necessary steps and assist with technical requirements.
  • Train staff: Educate your staff about virtual credit cards and how to process transactions involving them. Ensure they know any specific procedures or security measures to follow when accepting virtual credit card payments.
  • Verify customer information: When accepting virtual credit card payments, carefully verify the customer’s information to prevent fraud. Match the cardholder’s name, billing address, and other details with the information provided during the transaction.
  • Maintain security measures: Implement robust security measures to protect customer data and ensure secure payment processing. This may include using encryption technology, complying with Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements, and regularly updating your systems to prevent data breaches.
  • Monitor and reconcile transactions: Regularly monitor and reconcile virtual credit card transactions to ensure accuracy and promptly identify discrepancies or issues. Keep records of all virtual credit card payments for accounting and reconciliation purposes.

Remember to consult with your payment processor or merchant service provider for specific instructions and ensure you meet all the requirements for accepting virtual credit cards.

Accepting Virtual Credit Crds with ArtsylPay

Accepting virtual credit cards with ArtsylPay is a straightforward process that offers several benefits for businesses. ArtsylPay offers integration capabilities with various payment systems and platforms, making connecting with your existing infrastructure easy. You can integrate ArtsylPay into your e-commerce website, mobile app, or point-of-sale (POS) system to enable virtual credit card payments.

With ArtsylPay, virtual credit card transactions are processed quickly and efficiently. The platform offers real-time authorization and verification, reducing the risk of fraud and ensuring a seamless payment experience for your customers.

ArtsylPay prioritizes security and compliance to protect both you and your customers. The platform employs robust encryption methods and adheres to Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) requirements, ensuring sensitive payment data’s safe transmission and storage.

All you have to do now is to clearly communicate to your customers that you accept virtual credit cards as a payment method. Update your website, marketing materials, and checkout process to include virtual credit card logos or labels to inform customers that they can use this form of payment.

By accepting virtual credit cards with ArtsylPay, you can provide your customers with a secure and convenient payment method while streamlining your payment processing operations.

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Final Thoughts: Credit Card vs. Virtual Credit Card

There are pros and cons to traditional and virtual credit cards. Traditional credit cards offer convenience and rewards but come with higher interest rates and are more susceptible to fraud. On the other hand, virtual credit cards offer added security and the ability to set spending limits but may be less widely accepted and may come with additional fees.

Ultimately, whether to use a traditional credit card or a virtual credit card depends on your personal preferences and needs. A virtual credit card may be better if you want added security when shopping online or want to set spending limits. If you want convenience and rewards, a traditional credit card may be the way to go.

Whatever you choose, use your credit responsibly and make payments on time to avoid racking up debt and harming your credit score.


Can I use a virtual credit card for in-person transactions?

Generally, virtual credit cards are designed for online transactions and may not be suitable for in-person purchases. However, some financial institutions may offer mobile payment solutions that allow virtual credit cards to be used with compatible devices at physical point-of-sale terminals.

Are virtual credit cards widely accepted?

Virtual credit cards can be used for online purchases wherever regular credit cards are accepted. However, checking with the merchant or payment processor to ensure their acceptance of virtual credit cards before making a transaction is essential.

Can I use a virtual credit card for recurring subscriptions?

Some virtual credit card providers allow subscriptions to be set up using virtual card details. However, it is advisable to confirm with the service provider or merchant if virtual credit cards are accepted for such transactions.

Can I use a virtual credit card for recurring subscriptions?

Can I use a virtual credit card for recurring payments?

Virtual credit cards are typically designed for one-time or limited-use transactions. They may not be suitable for recurring payments, such as subscription services, as the card details may expire or become invalid after a specific period. Using your traditional credit card for recurring payments is recommended in such cases.

Are there any fees associated with virtual credit cards?

The fees associated with virtual credit cards can vary depending on the financial institution or provider. Some may charge a nominal fee for generating and using virtual credit cards, while others may offer them as a complimentary service. Reviewing the terms and conditions of your specific virtual credit card offering for any associated fees is advisable.

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