May 13, 2022

Set Spending Limits with Virtual Credit Cards

1  comments

Virtual Credit Cards

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 is such a common problem in 2022 that virtual credit card options are growing. Several credit card companies offer them with your account, including Citibank, Apple and Capital One.

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.

Click by Click: Set Up a Virtual Card with Privacy

1. Go to Privacy

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.Click on New Card

3. Name and Limit Your New Card

You can make a generic card or search for a brand.Name and Limit Your New Card

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.Sample: Limits for the New York Times

5. You can choose the logo or add your own picture or keep it blank.

You can choose the logo or add your own picture or keep it blank.

6. Click on Save

Click on Save

7. You can also rename the cards… I like calling it New York Times, not NYT.

You can also rename the cards... I like calling it New York Times, not NYT.

8. Click on Save

Click on Save

9. Click to Limit the Transactions

Click to Limit the Transactions

10. Choose Your Limits

Choose Your Limits

11. Click on Set $20 Spend Limit

Click on Set $20 Spend Limit

12. Click on Create Card

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.Use Your Virtual Card

14. Click on Close

Click on Close

15. Click on OK

Click on OK


This workflow was created with Tango.


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