5 Best Virtual Debit Cards (Including Instant & Low-Fee Options)

Man using a virtual debit card to shop online with a smartphone and laptop

Virtual debit cards can be used online and are considered to be safer than physical cards because they cannot be stolen or misplaced. These cards also typically come with relatively low fees for usage and account maintenance.

Below, we explain what to know before opening a virtual debit card and list the best cards currently available.

Opening a Virtual Debit Card Account

To apply for a virtual debit card, you must set up an account online with the card provider.

Most virtual debit cards are available immediately once your account is approved, which typically happens within minutes of applying. Virtual debit card issuers typically do not conduct credit checks since their cards do not operate on credit.

The main benefit of using a virtual debit card is that users can minimize the personally identifiable information they share with sellers. Physical debit cards are more easily lost or stolen.

Some virtual cards even generate new card numbers for each transaction. For extra security, single-use virtual debit cards automatically close after you make one purchase.

Once approved for the card, you’ll be able to create a four-digit PIN to use the card at online stores, as well as by phone or through Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay, where available.

Most of the providers we researched offer virtual cards that you can use at any location that accepts debit cards from that provider, though some do offer merchant-specific or single-use cards.

What We Recommend

We found the best overall option to be the MoneyLion RoarMoney Account’s instant virtual debit card.

Compared to other debit cards, it offers various ways to fund the card, you can obtain it instantly, the monthly fee is low ($1), and it has a cash-back rewards program. Additionally, you do not need a bank account to obtain a virtual debit card with MoneyLion.

Note that none of the debit cards appearing on our list are entirely free, though some do offer fee waivers under certain conditions. For example, BlockCard waives its monthly fee for users that spend over $750 per month, and Privacy Card offers a $0 per month personal plan.

Comparison Table

Use the table below for a quick comparison of the available virtual debit cards, then select any card name or scroll for more details.

Issuer Instant card? Requires bank account? Card Type Membership fees
Privacy CardYes Yes Merchant-specific or single-use $0 to $25 per month
NetspendNo No Deposit account with virtual card $0 to $10 per month
MoneyLion RoarMoney AccountYes No Deposit account with virtual card $1 per month
BlockCardYes No Deposit account with virtual card $0 to $5 per month
US UnlockedYes No Merchant-specific or single-use $15 one-time fee
WordPress Tables Plugin

The List

1. MoneyLion RoarMoney Account

  • Type of card/account: FDIC-insured mobile deposit account including both virtual and physical debit cards; note that you cannot get a virtual card only[1][2][3]
  • Instant approval and use? Yes[2]
  • Need a bank account to open? No, but it is recommended[4]
  • How to qualify: Must be at least 18 years old; no credit check required[5]
  • How to apply: Get the MoneyLion app and sign up with your personal and contact information. Your digital debit card will then be available in a few minutes. (Note that you will also receive a physical debit card in the mail within 10 business days.)[2]
  • How to fund: Direct deposit, mobile check deposit, cash reload, or linking an external checking account/debit card[6]
  • Spend/load limits: Up to $2,500 per day and $10,000 per month for transfers from your account at another bank into your MoneyLion account made via the MoneyLion app[7]; none for transfers or direct deposits into your MoneyLion account initiated by another bank.[7]
  • Where to use: Any online retail location, and also by phone, where debit payments are accepted[1]
  • Fees:
    • Overdraft transactions are not allowed, so there are no overdraft fees.[1]
    • No transaction fees for loading money or making purchases except for cash reloads at retail locations ($4.95 fee may apply)[1]
    • $1 monthly administrative fee for having the MoneyLion account[1]
  • Rewards: Cash back at participating merchants[8]
  • Apply

2. BlockCard

  • Type of card/account: FDIC-insured mobile bank account with virtual card[9][10]
  • Instant approval and use? Yes[9]
  • Need a bank account to open? No[11]
  • How to qualify: Must be at least 18 years old[12]
  • How to apply: Create an account online and Provide your name, address, date of birth, and Social Security number online and provide documents to prove your identity. You will instantly receive your virtual debit card.[10]
  • How to fund: Cryptocurrency, direct deposit, ACH transfer from an external bank account, or cash load at a retailer[9]
  • Spend/load limits:
    • Point-of-sale limit of $5,000.00 per day[13]
    • Combined cash withdrawal and point-of-sale limit of $5,000.00 per day[13]
    • Cash withdrawal limit (ATM or cash advance at a bank) of $500.00 per day; also applies to PayPal cash withdrawals and Venmo transactions[13]
  • Where to use: Wherever Visa, Apple Pay, Google Pay, or debit transactions are accepted[14]
  • Fees:
    • No deposit, exchange, or point-of-sale transaction fees[15]
    • $5 monthly fee (waived if you spend at least $750 per month on purchases with the BlockCard)[15]
    • PIN transaction fee $1 (domestic) or $2 (international)[15]
  • Rewards: Cash back[16]
  • Apply

3. Netspend

  • Type of card/account: FDIC-insured demand deposit account with a physical debit card and up to six associated virtual card accounts[17]
  • Instant approval and use? No — you need to wait to receive a physical card before you can get a virtual one.[18]
  • Need a bank account to open? No[18]
  • How to qualify: Must be at least 18 years old[18]
  • How to apply: Provide your name, street address, email address, and identifying information online. You will receive your physical card in seven to 10 business days and can then request a virtual card.[19]
  • Where to use: Any online retailer where debit Visa and debit MasterCard are accepted;[19] also supports Google Pay, Apple Pay, and Samsung Pay[20]
  • How to fund: Direct deposit, mobile check deposit, cash reloads at retail partners, bank transfers, PayPal, transfers from other Netspend accounts[21]
  • Spend/load limits:
    • Maximum load limit of $7,500 in 24 hours or $10,000 in 30 days[20][19]
    • Maximum deposit of $15,000 in 30 days[20][19]
    • $4,999.99 maximum daily spend and cash withdrawal limit[20][19]
  • Fees:
    • No minimum balance requirement or activation fees[20][22]
    • $2.50 ATM fee per withdrawal[20][22]
    • Cash reload fees of $0 to $3.95 depending on the retailer[20]
    • Monthly fees of $0 to about $10 depending on your plan[20][22]
    • $2 for pin or debit purchases and $1 for signature or credit purchases for pay-as-you-go plan members[20][22]
  • Rewards program: Cash back[23]
  • Apply

4. Privacy Card

  • Type of card/account: Merchant-specific and single-use virtual debit cards funded from your checking account[24]
  • Instant approval and use? Yes[25]
  • Need a bank account to open? Yes[26]
  • How to qualify: Must be a U.S. citizen or resident aged 18 or older with a U.S. checking account and cell phone[27]
  • How to apply: Provide basic personal information and a U.S. bank account for funding transactions. You’ll receive an instant decision and get your virtual card immediately[25]
  • How to fund: U.S. debit card or checking account; when you use your virtual card, your checking account is automatically debited.[28]
  • Spend/load limits: You can set customized spending limits;[29] transaction limits are typically based on an algorithm on a per-account basis.[30]
  • Where to use: Any merchant that accepts prepaid Visa cards, including internationally[31]
  • Fees: Privacy makes money from merchant fees[25] and monthly plans ($10 per month for Pro and $25 per month for Teams). You can get a personal plan with no monthly fee.[32]
  • Rewards: None for the Personal plan; 1% cash back rewards with Pro and Teams Plans[32]
  • Apply

5. US Unlocked

  • Type of card/account: Merchant-specific or single-use virtual prepaid debit card[33]
  • Instant approval and use? Yes[33]
  • Need a bank account to open? No[33]
  • How to qualify: Must be at least 18 years old; you do not need to be a U.S. resident/citizen[34]
  • How to apply: Create an online account and verify your identity by uploading a government-issued document like a driver’s license[35]
  • How to fund: Bank transfer or money app (compatible with Ideal, Sofort, Yandex, WeChat Pay, ArgenCard, Banco Do Brasil, Bancontact, Boleto Bancario, DirectPayEU, eps, giropay, MyBank, POLi, Prezelewy24, TrustPay, Teleingreso, and Verkkopankk)[33]
  • Spend/load limits: $3,500 per day (which is also the maximum account balance)[33]
  • Where to use: Almost any online U.S. merchant where prepaid cards are accepted[36] However, you may not be able to purchase from retailers who specifically sell pharmaceuticals and weapons.[33]
  • Fees:
    • $15 lifetime membership fee[37]
    • $3.50 monthly maintenance fee[37]
    • $0.50 per transaction[37]
    • $0.65 for declined transactions[37]
    • $3 plus 3% of the amount for loading; $11.50 for unloading[37]
  • Rewards: None[36]
  • Apply
  1. MoneyLion customer service (801) 252-4427[][][][][]
  2. https://www.moneylion.com/learn/how-to-get-an-instant-debit-card-online/[][][]
  3. https://www.moneylion.com/learn/free-checking-accounts/[]
  4. https://www.moneylion.com/banking/[]
  5. https://moneylion.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360042645591-Why-am-I-not-eligible-for-a-RoarMoney-account-[]
  6. https://moneylion.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360042642011-Can-I-deposit-checks-into-my-RoarMoney-account-[]
  7. https://moneylion.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360042642031-Are-there-limits-to-how-much-I-can-transfer-into-and-out-of-my-account-[][]
  8. https://moneylion.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/articles/360033526531-How-can-I-earn-rewards-[]
  9. https://getblockcard.com/how-ternio-blockcard-works/#1528984471058-5098e802-1adb1581640474271[][][]
  10. https://getblockcard.com/the-card/[][]
  11. https://getblockcard.com/faq/[]
  12. https://getblockcard.com/terms-of-service/[]
  13. https://getblockcard.com/faq/#are-there-any-daily-limits-on-the-atm-and-pos-merchant-dollar-amounts-or-number-of-transactions[][][]
  14. https://getblockcard.com/faq/#are-the-card-numbers-different-for-the-virtual-and-physical-cards[]
  15. https://getblockcard.com/faq/#what-are-the-fees-to-use-blockcard[][][]
  16. https://getblockcard.com/rewards/[]
  17. Netspend customer service at (866) 387-7363)((https://www.netspend.com/help/faqs/[]
  18. Netspend customer service at (866) 387-7363[][][]
  19. https://www.netspend.com/help/faqs/#getting-started[][][][][]
  20. Netspend customer service (866) 387-7363[][][][][][][][][]
  21. https://www.netspend.com/prepaid-debit/how-it-works/[]
  22. https://www.netspend.com/prepaid-debit/[][][][]
  23. https://www.netspend.com/prepaid-debit/features/payback-rewards/[]
  24. https://support.privacy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012402893[]
  25. https://privacy.com/virtual-card[][][]
  26. https://privacy.com/terms[]
  27. https://support.privacy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012046934-Who-can-use-Privacy-[]
  28. https://support.privacy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360015788853-What-can-I-use-to-fund-my-Privacy-Account-[]
  29. https://support.privacy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012285094[]
  30. https://support.privacy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360012405933-How-much-can-I-spend-using-Privacy-[]
  31. https://support.privacy.com/hc/en-us/articles/360041865893-Can-I-use-Privacy-Cards-on-international-purchases-[]
  32. https://privacy.com/pricing[][]
  33. https://www.usunlocked.com/faqs/[][][][][][]
  34. https://www.usunlocked.com/terms-of-service/[]
  35. https://www.usunlocked.com/set-us-unlocked-account-new-flow/[]
  36. US Unlocked customer service at [email protected][][]
  37. https://www.usunlocked.com/pricing/[][][][][]

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