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Bank of America, Citi and Discover card provide one-time card number or virtual card number that can be used online in order to buy something while not using one's own real credit card number. I wonder how one can set up his own 'expiration period' for that virtual card number.

I know that I can select 2~12 month for Bank of America ShopSafe program. But I don't know about Citi and Discover. What's the minimum period that I can set up for my virtual card number for Citi and Discover?

Please let me know if there is another card that provide such a service.

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If you know BOA works the way you want, why aren't you just using them? –  JoeTaxpayer Sep 27 '12 at 2:26
    
Maybe he gets a better rebate from Discover card or Citibank, or his credit limit is higher. –  mhoran_psprep Feb 10 '13 at 13:06
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3 Answers 3

up vote 7 down vote accepted

For Discover Card's Secure Numbers, the rule is

Secure account numbers always expire on the same date as your actual Discover Card account number. When your Discover Card is reissued with a new expiration date, it will be necessary to update the expiration information on any retailer's Web site where you have stored your actual card number or any secure account numbers.

But there is also the restriction that each secure number can be used with only one on-line retailer (it can be saved on the retailer's web site for repeated use, if you wish) whereas the "real" credit card number can be used wherever Discover cards are accepted on-line. So, if the web site is hacked and the secure number is stolen, presumably the account number cannot be used except for purchases from that merchant.

Edit I just received e-mail from Discover Card services that they are discontinuing their secure online card number service in a couple of months. All the secure numbers will expire on March 15, 2014 and cannot be used thereafter.

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But one of the reasons to use a "secure" number like that is that you don't entirely trust the merchant not to pull some crazy stunt and charge you money that they really oughtn't: thus you set an early expiration date and a low spending limit (if such features are available to you). –  fennec Oct 2 '12 at 18:34
    
@fennec I merely reported what Discover Card provides for its secure numbers without commenting on whether the service is missing useful features. In my opinion, a single-use number on which no more than a specified amount can be charged is better than what they provide. –  Dilip Sarwate Oct 3 '12 at 20:42
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The Citi Card Virtual Account Numbers app allows you to choose the expiration time and dollar limit. Unfortunately they recently changed the app so you have to log in twice and go through 9 or 10 steps to access the web page! I wouldn't recommend it unless you want to get really annoyed.

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You can select expiration date in Citibank's "Virtual Account Numbers" web app by first clicking "Generate (...)" link, then clicking "Advanced Options".

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