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Citi offers you the chance to create Virtual Account Numbers for any of your credit cards to add an extra level of security for online purchases.

You can set how long you want a new virtual account number to last and how much can be charged to it. With your new virtual account number, virtual account expiration date, and virtual account three-digit code on the back, you can make purchases wherever cards don’t need to be swiped, and the purchases will be charged to your account.

The merchant never knows your “real” account details.

How to Create a Virtual Account Number for Your Citi Card

Inside your account, click Virtual Account Numbers on the right hand menu.

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Don’t worry if the top of the next page features one of your credit cards and you want a Virtual Account Number for a different card; you have the chance to choose later.

Both times I’ve tried to create a Virtual Account Number, Citi has made me type in an identification code that they text to the phone number in my account.
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After entering the Identification Code, I chose to launch the Virtual Account Number generator. Then under Virtual Account Numbers, I chose Advanced Options to select the card for which I want a virtual number.

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My three active Citi cards were listed, and I chose my American Airlines Executive card by number.

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I chose to generate a Virtual Account Number with both a time and dollar limit.

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The time limit must be between two and 12 months.Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.14.25 PMAfter clicking a few times that I really, really wanted the Virtual Account Number generated, it finally appeared on a generic blue credit card on my screen. The card lists a new credit card number, expiration date, and three-digit code.
Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.19.13 PM Screen Shot 2015-05-07 at 6.19.23 PMI can use this number for the next two months for up to $100.01 in spending. All charges will go to my American Airlines Executive card statement.

Citi Virtual Account Numbers are easy to create and can be very useful. If you are buying something online from a site about which you have your doubts, you can create virtual number, so the site doesn’t have your details. If you want your kid at college to buy something online with your credit card number, but don’t want him to buy anything else, use a virtual account number.


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