Earlier this year, I wrote about a way to save money that involved reviewing and removing subscription apps on your phone as well as other auto-renewing subscriptions that you might not be using.
I suggested cancelling those subscriptions that are note being used as a method of getting more money back in your pocket. For those auto-renewing subscriptions, I also recommend setting a future calendar reminder for a year out to generate a reminder to cancel the subscription if isn’t being used prior to the auto-renew. But that can be a hassle and the task to enter the calendar reminder might be forgotten.
Recently, another option was brought to my attention that can help with these money leaking applications.
More and more banks are offering a service in order to avoid fraud with online credit card payments. They offer something called a virtual credit card. This is a combination of a credit card number, an expiration date, and a CVV code that is generated for a fixed time period. It may be a single use, or it may be good for a fixed amount of time before it expires.
The purpose behind the virtual card number is that it will link to your actual card without having to divulge the actual card number. It is also one-time or fixed-time so if it collected as part of a data breach, it will be useless to anyone else.
Here’s the trick: When signing up for an application that wants credit card information (even if it is for a trial period before charging your card), use a virtual card number for the subscription. Since this is a one-time card number, if the company tries to use it again to renew the subscription or to start charging the card, it won’t work. The subscription will eventually be cancelled due to inability to charge the card on file!
If you want to continue to receive the subscription, then update the credit card information with a new virtual card number. A pretty interesting use of virtual card numbers that can save some money as well.