Credit Facilities

Virtual Credit Cards: Are They Among the 10 Best Credit Cards for Rebuilding Your Credit Score?

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Virtual credit cards has introduced a new dimension to the financial landscape, offering consumers enhanced security and convenience. As more people explore options for rebuilding their credit scores, it’s essential to understand how virtual credit cards stack up against traditional cards. This article examines the effectiveness of virtual credit cards in rebuilding credit scores and evaluates whether they belong among the ten best credit cards for this purpose.

Understanding Virtual Credit Cards:

Virtual credit cards are digital versions of traditional credit cards. Instead of receiving a physical card, users get a unique card number, expiration date, and CVV code for online and over-the-phone transactions. These virtual cards can be used for specific transactions or set to expire after a certain period, adding an extra layer of security.

Benefits of Virtual Credit Cards:

Enhanced Security:

One of the primary advantages of virtual credit cards is enhanced security. Since these cards are not physically present, the risk of card theft is minimized. Additionally, the temporary nature of virtual card numbers makes it difficult for fraudsters to use them for unauthorized transactions.

Convenience and Control:

Virtual credit cards offer users greater control over their spending. They can set spending limits and expiration dates, which helps in budgeting and preventing overspending. This control is particularly beneficial for individuals looking to rebuild their credit scores, as it encourages responsible financial behavior.

Reduced Risk of Fraud:

The disposable nature of virtual credit cards means that even if a card number is compromised, it can quickly be deactivated without affecting the user’s primary account. This feature reduces the risk of fraud and protects the user’s financial information.

Rebuilding Credit Scores with Virtual Credit Cards:

Rebuilding a credit score involves demonstrating responsible credit behavior over time. Key factors influencing credit scores include payment history, credit utilization, length of credit history, and types of credit used. Virtual credit cards can contribute positively to these factors in several ways:

Timely Payments:

Just like traditional credit cards, virtual credit cards require users to make timely payments. Consistently paying off balances on time can significantly improve one’s payment history, a crucial component of a good credit score.

Controlled Spending:

The ability to set spending limits on virtual credit cards helps users maintain low credit utilization ratios. Keeping credit utilization below 30% of the total available credit is essential for rebuilding credit scores.

Diverse Credit Mix:

Using virtual credit cards adds diversity to the types of credit accounts a user has. A diverse credit mix, including both revolving credit (like credit cards) and installment credit (like loans), can positively impact credit scores.

Comparing Virtual Credit Cards to Traditional Credit Cards:

While virtual credit cards offer numerous benefits, it’s important to compare them to traditional credit cards to determine their effectiveness in rebuilding credit scores.

Availability and Acceptance:

Traditional credit cards are widely accepted for both online and in-store purchases. In contrast, virtual credit cards are primarily designed for online transactions. This limitation can affect their practicality for everyday use, making traditional cards a more versatile option for some users.

Credit Building Features:

Many traditional credit cards designed for rebuilding credit come with specific features to help users improve their scores. These features include secured credit lines, regular credit line increases, and credit score monitoring tools. Virtual credit cards, while secure and convenient, may not offer the same targeted features to aid in credit building.

Reporting to Credit Bureaus:

For a credit card to help rebuild credit, it must report to the major credit bureaus—Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion. Traditional credit cards typically report monthly account activity, which directly influences credit scores. Virtual credit cards, depending on the issuer, may or may not report to credit bureaus. Ensuring that the virtual card you choose reports to all three bureaus is crucial for effective credit rebuilding.

Evaluating the Top 10 Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit:

To determine if virtual credit cards belong among the top ten best credit cards for rebuilding credit scores, let’s evaluate the key criteria for the best credit cards for this purpose:

Approval Odds:

The likelihood of approval for individuals with poor or limited credit history.


Annual fees, late payment fees, and other charges.

Interest Rates:

Annual percentage rates (APRs) for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances.

Credit Reporting:

Whether the card issuer reports to all three major credit bureaus.

Credit Building Features:

Rewards programs, credit score monitoring, and credit line increases.

Top 10 Traditional Credit Cards for Rebuilding Credit:

Discover it® Secured Credit Card

No annual fee, cash back rewards, reports to all three bureaus.

Capital One Platinum Secured Credit Card

No annual fee, flexible security deposit, credit line increases.

OpenSky® Secured Visa® Credit Card

No credit check, reports to all three bureaus, low annual fee.

Citi® Secured Mastercard®

No annual fee, reports to all three bureaus, refundable deposit.

Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit

Cashback rewards, regular credit line reviews, reports to all three bureaus.

Green Dot primor® Visa® Gold Secured Credit Card

Low fixed APR, reports to all three bureaus, reasonable annual fee.

First Progress Platinum Prestige Mastercard® Secured Credit Card

Low APR, reports to all three bureaus, straightforward fee structure.

Indigo® Platinum Mastercard®

Pre-qualification without a hard inquiry, reports to all three bureaus.

AvantCard Credit Card

No deposit required, reports to all three bureaus, modest annual fee.

Petal® 1 “No Annual Fee” Visa® Credit Card

No annual fee, cash back rewards, reports to all three bureaus.

Virtual Credit Cards:

Do They Make the Cut?

While virtual credit cards offer enhanced security and convenience, their effectiveness in rebuilding credit scores compared to traditional cards depends on several factors:

Credit Reporting:

Only virtual credit cards that report to all three major credit bureaus can significantly impact credit scores.

Credit Building Features:

Virtual credit cards need to offer features like secured credit lines, credit score monitoring, and credit line increases to match the benefits of traditional cards.


Limited acceptance for in-store purchases can make virtual credit cards less practical for everyday use.
Given these considerations, virtual credit cards can be a valuable tool for rebuilding credit scores if they meet the necessary criteria. However, traditional credit cards with targeted credit-building features and wider acceptance generally provide a more comprehensive solution for individuals aiming to rebuild their credit.


Virtual credit cards offer enhanced security and convenience, making them an attractive option for online transactions. However, their effectiveness in rebuilding credit scores depends on factors like credit reporting and available credit-building features. While virtual credit cards can contribute to improving credit scores, traditional credit cards remain the more robust choice for comprehensive credit rebuilding efforts. By understanding the strengths and limitations of both options, consumers can make informed decisions to achieve their financial goals.

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