Do you use one time CCN's or Virtual CCN's?

I love one time CCN’s that can only be used once. No chance of getting the useless number stolen or hacked.

B/A had the very best with ShopSafe. A really clever and very safe online purchasing method. Then it was dropped. [B/A claimed their CC security was so good, ShopSafe was unnecessary]

Tried Discover Bank one time CCN but that one number can be used over and over by the original seller. Discover called that a “feature”. has Virtual Card Numbers. Each one can be set for max value, $50, $100, whatever, along with the expiration date.

One can generate a VCN now, July/2022, buy something online and set the expiration date Aug/2022. This is ideal for stopping those annoying “auto-renewal” products.

You can log in online and change those values.

Take a few seconds to generate a new one time VCN.

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I use virtual card numbers with capital one. I rely on them to be used indefinitely (or you can set a time limit) with only 1 merchant for each of them. All of my “mission critical” utilities and other vital services have their own VCN. I never use the physical card for anything. I have never exposed that number in the wild.

It’s impossible for fraud to bring down more than one of my vital services. Only if the fraud is an inside job at capital one!

If I get hit with fraud I just generate a new VCN and keep going. No fraud in 12 years though on this account.

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That is also how I do it. One VCN per merchant.

I’ve all but stopped since Citi makes it such a pain to generate them. I’m not sure if it still takes 10 clicks, entering your username and password twice, and waiting for a confirmation call or text, but that process drove me to cut back on it. At one point, I’d log in and generate a handful at time, taking screen shots I could use later. I’d do that about once per month. Now I just use them occasionally, for particularly sketchy vendors (I’m looking at you, Colorado toll roads).

“I’ve all but stopped since Citi makes it such a pain to generate them.”

I don’t understand that. Last night I created a new VCC on Citi, and once logged into my account, took 5-10 seconds to get a VCN.

One oddity. There is a copy button on the new VCC and it works, but when pasting into Excel, it creates some mathematical result. Changing that to a number format and the last digit is changed. I’ve learned to paste into notebook, then copy that to paste into Excel.

I would not keep any confidential or financial info in plain text (unencrypted) anywhere on my computer or distributed storage. Excel would count as plain text in my book

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My Excel files are all encrypted with VeraCrypt.


It looks like they’ve simplified it, so I now only have to log in once. I just timed it at 8 minutes, but about two of those minutes were spent writing down the steps. So let’s say it only takes me six minutes to do all this:

  1. Open
  2. Open keepass, type in password.
  3. Use auto-login to log into to
  4. Wait 2 minutes, tell browser (which thinks web site crashed) to keep waiting twice.
  5. Click “no thanks,” I don’t want a balance transfer offer.
  6. Click X to skip the tutorial on how to use Citi’s web site.
  7. Click on a card that can use virtual account numbers.
  8. Locate link to generate virtual account number (it’s halfway down in smallish print).
  9. Click Generate New Number.
  10. Select which card I want to use (again).
  11. Set time limit and dollar amount.
  12. Citi verifies my identity with a phone call, because for some reason, they can’t send text messages to Google Voice (which is the number I use for everything). I have to wait through bilingual instructions before getting the code, then press #.
  13. Type number into web site.
  14. My virtual card pops up.

If I’m on a bill pay site in another tab, such as for a doctor’s office, I’ve probably been logged out of that site by this time, and so have to start that one over. Then when I want to pay another bill, I’ve been logged out of Citi. That’s why I used to just take screen shots of a few VANs all at once for later use.

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And of course you can’t do it with their app, which is otherwise pretty good. There’s a link for Virtual Account Numbers, but it just opens a browser window on my phone, where I get to do all of the above steps with a tiny touch keyboard, on the device receiving the call. I did it once when I really needed one (again, looking at you Colorado), but I hope to never do it again.

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That’s why I create about ten VCC’s at a time, and name them ready1, ready2, etc., then later rename them to the merchant name.

I bragged about Citi’s virtual CCN but was hit last night with a MAJOR FLAW…!!!

I had about 12 VCC’s, one for each merchant since Feb and it worked perfectly. At 12:33 am today, got an email and text noting a suspicious charge on one of my cards. It was from a cosmetic place so when asked if it’s mine, I naturally clicked NO.

Then got boilerplate how Citi is watching out for my security.


About fifteen phone calls later [from 1 am to 3pm today] and the reps boasted how their security is so good.

No matter who talked with [probably ten people] they were all proud of their wonderful security. I tried to explain having separate nos for merchants ensured they would not “cross contaminate” in case of fraud.

Then they happily explained how I get new VCC’s.

They are completely unclear on the concept.
I don’t think I’ve ever been so mad that my hands shook.

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I should use them more, but my primary card doesn’t offer them. I do use Citi or CapOne’s versions on occasion. They are an absolute must for sites with auto renew that make you call to cancel or otherwise make turning off the auto renew difficult. This is one gripe I have with Clark’s recommendation of Ooma.

Some companies seem to be on to this and won’t allow transactions from the VCN/CCN BINs. Not sure if others have come across that, but if there was any doubt that is a further indication to take my business elsewhere.

Yes, all my software wants auto renew but I have the exp date before the deadline. So, they have to contact me, “Your CC was rejected.”

Then I can decide if I want to renew with a new VCC.

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Yes a lot of software–Quicken, Adobe, …–is trying to move to a subscription model. There are pros and cons. I usually try to find a non-subscription competitor.

Yeah, I have several computer s/w progs on subscription. Anything happen to me, the auto renew will go on forever…

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