We have joy and high hopes when we sign up for a new app. Then we use it for a few weeks and forget that it will auto renew. Six months later we realize we are not using the tool and we’re paying $15 a month for no reason.
This week Google also announced it will offer built-in virtual credit cards through the Chrome browser as well (rolling out throughout the year).
Virtual Credit Cards for Free
A service called Privacy is a brilliant way to start limiting your card liability. The free level lets you create up to 12 virtual cards a month, limit spending, allow just one use and more.
Note: Other virtual credit card services are, well, credit cards. Privacy hooks up to your bank account, so you’re really paying straight out of your available funds rather than putting something on credit. You can only link to one funding source at a time, so I chose my business account.
Setting up a Virtual Credit Card Step By Step
Here’s a quick step-by-step on how easy it is to create a card that limits your monthly spending on a subscription so you don’t get charged extra if the price goes up.
After you have linked your bank account to Privacy through a service called Plaid, you can set up cards. I had previously set up Plaid for another service, so it took no time at all. But it may be a little annoying if it’s new to you.
2. Click on New Card
You can create a new card for all your services to limit the amounts charged or only pay once.
3. Name and Limit Your New Card
You can make a generic card or search for a brand.
4. Sample: Limits for the New York Times
I have to keep an eye on the subscription fee for the New York Times because I’m always on a promotional price, and when the promotion ends after a year or so, it increases a lot. So I searched for NYT and found the logo to label my card.
5. You can choose the logo or add your own picture or keep it blank.
6. Click on Save
7. You can also rename the cards… I like calling it New York Times, not NYT.
8. Click on Save
9. Click to Limit the Transactions
10. Choose Your Limits
11. Click on Set $20 Spend Limit
12. Click on Create Card
13. Use Your Virtual Card
I closed this one out right away since it was a sample. Closing is as simple as pushing a button. Then BAM… the company no longer has your credit card and can’t charge you again.