Article Written by
John P.

John P. is CEO of Livid Lobster and co-host of Geek Beat TV. You can also find him on Twitter, Facebook and Google+.

Comments

  1. Jonathan says:

    Old article, but I love this feature of Citi.

    I really, really wish they would release Chrome, Firefox, IE, and Safari extensions to integrate with this feature of CitiBank. Being able to generate a CC number on the fly while I’m staring at the checkout screen of a website?

    Yes, please.

  2. Mayla says:

    Is Citibank the only bank that offers virtual account numbers. I love this system. I keep a Citibank card, with a low credit limit, specifically to order online. It’s the only card I use and I use a virtual number each time.

    In the past I have use my other credit cards, and three times my card have been lifted. Never again. I’ve gone back to shopping locally and very minimal internet shopping. If websites can’t protect us then they don’t deserve our loyalty.

  3. tatz says:

    Is the Citibank VAN feature available worldwide or just in the US? We have CITIBANK here in Philippines but when i called up and inquired about this, they do not have any idea what a virtual account number is!

  4. impNERD says:

    That is a pretty awesome feature. I’m not much of a Citibank fan, but this is definitely a move into the right direction.

  5. Tony says:

    Busn Checking account number:

    routing: 271972899

    Checking: 7117000865

  6. nitinsingh says:

    its nice, but can softw give any type of credit card no.!!

  7. Arvind says:

    I used to use this feature from American Express till a few years ago when they switched this feature off – and I HATED Amex for that !

    Literally the very next year, my Amex credit card got hacked and I got several weird charges on my account that totalled almost $10K ! The good thing with Amex though, is they reached me on my cell phone, asked me about the charges and denied them !

    What I’d love to hear about is which specific credit card I should get from Citibank for this feature. I am really looking forward to getting a Visa credit card with this feature but the only Visa card I can see being offered by Citibank is the Hilton Visa card :(

  8. TheDane says:

    That sound pretty cool, my bank has called me a couple of times when I do late night shopping sprees online asking if that was really me buying a lot of stuff at 3am…

    Tonight it was 5000 Copyscape credits, subscription to Wordtracker and 2 round trip plane tickets within 30 minutes… That is almost certain to get a call form the bank…

    Kim:)

  9. Oh, and yes now I use a Virtual Account Number when I pay AT&T online, for both my home phone / DSL as well as my iPhone. No one has EVER seen my real credit card number on my Citibank card. And they never will.

  10. The Citibank Virtual Account Numbers are the greatest invention since Al Gore invented the Internet. Seriously, my previous credit cards had been stolen TWICE, and I never shopped but with reputable online stores, restaurants, etc. Turns out, folks — and listen carefully — the company who divulged my CC numbers to thieves was none other than AT&T. That’s right! Remember the news story? They lost hundreds of thousands of them to a hacker. So don’t think your number is safe, or that you’re “covered” when it the number gets stolen by the credit card company zero-liability policy… they run you through a virtual lie detection system and make you do backflips before you get them to believe that you didn’t actually authorize that $5000 charge in London through Western Union (a popular conduit for credit card thieves). You will cry real tears of frustration before the problem goes away. PREVENT IT! Get a Citibank card and use Virtual Account Numbers, I use it CONSTANTLY. You can limit the amount of the purchase, it can only be used by THAT merchant, and it vanishes forever afterward. Magic. Pure magic.

  11. Cheryl Gribskov says:

    I’ll do it – in fact I’ve already got a handheld recorder so I’m set. I’ll keep you posted. Thanks!

  12. John P. says:

    Cheryl,

    That is horrible! Ok, here is what I would do…

    First go to Best Buy or Office Depot or somewhere and pick up a digital audio recorder. Personally I recommend the Olympus WS100.

    Next give them a call back from a speaker phone and make sure and record the whole conversation. The first thing you should do when you call in is ask to speak to a supervisor. When they try to prevent you just tell them very politely that you’ve already spoken to 5 people who were unable to help and you don’t want to continue telling the story.

    Make sure that you have each person say their name to you so that you have it on tape.

    When you get a supervisor, go ahead and relate the entire story to them again. Hopefully they will be willing to take some ownership and get you taken care of, but if not at least you’ve got the discussion recorded now.

    If you are still not getting satisfaction I would recommend that you call the Citibank number here, skipping all the menus and begin asking for the VP of customer service. It is going to be a battle of wills, but you need to continue being polite yet firm and keep recording every conversation and making notes of each persons name you speak with.

    At some point you are either going to get the issue resolved, or you are going to have some incredible recordings to share with the newspaper or some blogger demonstrating how ridiculous the situation is.

    If you end up with something really bad recorded you can report it to The Consumerist, or shoot me an e-mail and I’ll post it for you. Just make sure that you edit your sensitive details out of the audio before you give it to anyone. You can do that with one of the free audio editing programs here. My favorite is MP3DirectCut.

    Good luck!

    John

  13. Cheryl Gribskov says:

    I got an email this week from Citi Bank telling me that I may have some problems with my statement transactions. They encouraged me to sign on – which didn’t work. I called Citi Bank today and five different people over the course of one hour and a plethora of inaccurate referrals told me that there is no record of my account with Citi bank and that they can’t tell me anything about the email because I don’t show an active account. I use my card all the time, I pay my bill monthly on time and each person was absolutely uninterested in whether I found help. Any suggestions?

  14. Steve "The Credit Card Debt Man" B says:

    Thank you that was a great post, I didnt know anything about the randomized numbers like that. I guess when dealing in such large numbers its smart to have everything randomized

  15. Emily says:

    Bless you for figuring that out. Oddly JavaScript was enabled, so it must have been the pesky pop-up detector.

    Thanks!

  16. The Man says:

    Emily,

    I’m sorry you had that problem. I’m not that thrilled with their Web site or how it is organized either…

    I just tried it out and it worked for me. There are two things which might be causing you a problem. After you sign your life away a small little login window pops up. That is what you are supposed to log into again. If you have popup blocking software on your computer you may have to disable it for the Citibank site.

    The other thing is that the page uses JavaScript, so if you have that disabled you’ll need to turn it on.

    Hope that helps,

    John

  17. Emily says:

    I tried the virtual account number thing with Citicards and after clicking a button stating that I had read the thingamajiggy and agreed to sign my life away, it told me I had to “log in”. Log in where?!? Thinking I had to log out and then back in, I clicked on “generate accuont number” and I was back at square one.

    I hate Citibank’s websites.

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