Credit Cards Reviews

Privacy.com Review: Making Shopping Online Safer for Everyone

Privacy.com allows you to create “virtual” cards locked to a single vendor, or “burner” cards. Here's our full review with Pros & Cons
Pinterest LinkedIn Tumblr

Normally, when you are online shopping, your credit card information will be used all over the web. There is the possibility that your important personal information will fall into the hands of bad actors, but Privacy.com is working to keep private information safe.

There have been major data breaches at popular retailers, websites, and other services like credit rating agencies. When you share your sensitive data online, you need to be sure that it will be kept safe.

Privacy.com has a solution to this problem and will allow you to create “virtual” cards that are locked for use with a single vendor, or “burner” cards that are valid only for one-time use.

Instead of handing out your actual debit and credit card numbers, Privacy.com users will have unique card numbers they can use to conceal their actual info and keep their financial life safe. In addition to this super handy feature, Privacy.com brings other benefits to its clients!

Visit Privacy.com

What is Privacy.com?

Privacy.com was created in part by Andy Roth, the former chief privacy officer for American Express, along with current co-founders Bo Jiang, Jason Kruse, and David Nichols. The firm’s idea has attracted prominent investors. Jim Messina, former White House deputy chief of staff and the main driver of President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, participated in funding the company.

In addition to keeping your personal data safe, it also has the potential to save you money. Privacy.com has a free option, and also some pay-to-use features.

By taking a cut from the interchange fees that merchants pay to Visa and the banks, you can make a little bit of money. The platform works as a web app as well as a mobile app on smartphones. You can create a new temporary card quickly so that your personal info is kept safe.

Privacy.com Homepage
Privacy.com Homepage

Privacy.com is another example of a company that is solution-oriented.

Instead of creating a system with plastic cards that would cost a fortune, you can generate a card number and get into the secure payment system in seconds. You won’t have to link the new cards with your bank account, and there is no way that the info can be used to harm you in the future.

How Does Privacy.com Work?

Privacy.com has a multi-tiered system that offers its clients a range of tools. Here is how you can get going with the platform.

The core features of Privacy.com are free, and there are also upgrade options for people that need more.

Signing Up

The sign-up process for Privacy.com is very simple. You start by entering your e-mail address and creating a password like with most websites. You then are also asked to verify that the e-mail address you provided is yours, then you are basically done with the first step.

To create card numbers using Privacy.com, you need to connect a funding source that will be tapped whenever one of your proxy cards are used. To connect a fund source, you need to select your bank and log into your online banking account.

Once a funding source is connected, you will able to start creating cards.

In addition, you can also link additional funding sources and select which account you’d like each card to pull from. Notably, funding sources can only be bank accounts and debit cards at this time, credit cards are not currently supported.

Privacy Features
Privacy Features

Creating New Cards

Before you start creating cards, there should be a window that tells you to click Account at the top of the Privacy.com dashboard and set-up Two-Factor Authentication (2FA).

In order to get 2FA going, you will need an authenticator app on your smartphones, such as Google Authenticator or LastPass Authenticator. 2FA adds an extra layer of security to your account which makes it much harder for hackers to break in.

Now, it’s time to create a card.

You will see a section called “My Wallet” on the left side of the screen when logging into Privacy.com. In this area you will any cards that you have created, and also a link to make new ones. These cards can be assigned to a certain recurring expense such as for Netflix, iTunes, and Spotify.

You can click the flame icon and create a one-time use burner card.

To set up a new card, you can assign a nickname to your card to help remind you what it’s used for or also select from a library of commonly-used logos to make it even easier to identify which card is which, such as Amazon, Postmates, and Groupon.

Create a Card
Create a Card

After that, you can set a spending limit.

The limits you can choose from are per transaction, per month, per year, or total.

If you only want to spend money once, you can create a “burner” card by clicking on the “single-use” option on the bottom left of the Spend Limit window.

Once you are done with all those options, just complete the last step by clicking “Save Limit”.

You set a purchase limit by clicking the dollar sign icon.

In the final step, after you confirm which source you want the card to use, you can hit “Create Card” and see it appear in your wallet. Now you are all set, and you can start spending!

Using Your Privacy.com Cards

There are several ways that you can use the cards you create on Privacy.com, including visiting its desktop site and installing the browser extension or mobile app. All you need to do is copy the credit card number assigned to you, complete with expiration date and security code.

To make this easier, all you need to do is click on the card number and Privacy.com will automatically copy it to your clipboard. For mobile app users, the same functionality can be accessed by tapping and holding on the card. Single tapping will merely toggle the full card number display on and off.

As for the expiration and CVV, you will need you to enter those manually.

There are also two ways to make your checkout process easier.

The first is to click the Privacy.com extension icon on the right side of your browser to gain quick access to your Wallet to view existing cards or create new ones.

Also, clicking the “Transactions” tab to view recent purchases that you’ve made with your cards can make your online shopping experience easier.

When you encounter a checkout form asking for a card number, a Privacy.com icon may appear in the card number field. Clicking this will launch a tool that allows you to select or create a new card and have the information automatically entered for you.

Making Changes to Your Cards

If you want to, you have the ability to pause your card from being used, increase or decrease your spending limits, change a funding source, or delete a card entirely. All of these features will probably in handy once you start to actively use the service.

Spend Limits

You can set weekly and monthly spending limits with your Privacy.com account.

According to the FAQ on the site, these limits are determined on a per-account basis. People who frequently use their accounts have recurring payments set up on the site, and also people who reach their spending limits will probably see increases to these caps.

Upgraded Plans

Privacy.com’s main service is free to use for individuals, and also offers upgraded plans for people that need to use some of the features on a regular basis.

Here are a few of the upgraded plans:

  • The $10-a-month Pro plan: You can generate up to 36 cards a month instead of the regular 12, receive priority support, and more. In addition, there is a 1% cash back that you will earn on your first $4,500 in purchases using Privacy.com cards.
  • The $25-a-month teams plan: Besides dedicated account management, this plan allows for up to 60 cards to be created a month. it is informed these features such as Multi-user support and exports to software such as Quickbooks and Xero will be coming to this tier in the future.

If you want to learn more about all the options, please click here.

Pricing Plans
Pricing Plans

How Privacy.com Could Save You Money

It should be clear by now that Privacy.com offers a lot of useful tools. Here are some of the ways that it can help just about anyone who uses credit cards online.

Cut the Risk of Fraud

The main way that Privacy.com could potentially save you money is by helping protect you from fraud. In case retailers or other entities get hacked, your credit card information could be exposed. By using a proxy card number, you can limit what funds thieves can get access to if they attempt to use stolen data.

Keeping Track of your Memberships and Subscriptions

By using one-time cards to sign-up for free trials, you can ensure that you will not see subsequent charges that you do not want. Also, you should often follow up and formally cancel any trials that unintentionally convert to memberships so you do not continue to receive annoying e-mails from companies demanding your money.

On the other hand, Privacy.com could help you keep track of all the various subscriptions you do have. You can create a master list of memberships and periodically reviewing them to see where cuts can be made.

In addition, by setting your monthly spending limits to match what your charges should be, you will be notified if the cost of your subscription were to suddenly go up and allows you to consider whether the service is still worth the higher price.

Referrals and Cashback

Similar to many financial tools and apps these days, Privacy.com incentivizes users to spread the word.

First, by sharing your custom referral link with friends, family, and whomever else, they’ll receive $5 USD in credit that can be used when they make their first purchase using the platform. You will also receive a $5 USD credit when anyone you send the link to signs up and completes their first qualifying transaction.

This seems like a clever way to not only get users to help raise awareness for Privacy.com but to also encourage them to use the service more themselves.

Cashback
Earn 1% Cashback

Privacy.com: The Rundown

Privacy.com offers people a lot, especially with the free core program. You can ensure that your credit card information is kept safe online, and no bad actors have access to your important personal data.

Pros

  • Greater security when shopping online: It is a fast, simple way to keep your actual debit cards out of the hands of online retailers with virtual plastic that is locked to a specific merchant.
  • Helps you keep track of subscriptions and memberships: Privacy.com helps you keep up with all of your subscriptions. Privacy.com streamlines the whole operation and installs plenty of fail-safes to ensure costly recurring fees don’t slip through the cracks.

Cons

  • You need to trust the site to sign up: some users might be scared off by needing to enter their banking info before getting started.
  • No credit card rewards: it is important for anyone who earns significant cash back from credit card rewards to understand they won’t be able to gain any.
  • If you are not comfortable handing over your bank info to Privacy.com, this service is not for you.

Privacy.com includes clever functionality and make online shopping a lot safer, as long as you are willing to trust its platform. The service is available for both mobile and desktop devices, and also has handy features like automatically filling in payment information.

It is very easy to get started with Privacy.com, and you don’t have to pay a thing to get started. If you find that you need more access to its services, there are a number of upgrade options available.

Visit Privacy.com

Privacy.com

9

Ease of Use

9.0/10

Fees

9.0/10

Reputation

9.0/10

Customer Support

9.0/10

Design

9.0/10

Pros

  • Greater security when shopping online
  • Helps you keep track of subscriptions and memberships
  • Create 12 Cards Per Month for Free
  • Easily Cancel Subscriptions with one click
  • Cashback & Referrals

Cons

  • You need to trust the site to sign up
  • No credit card rewards
Avatar

Nicholas is an experienced Finance Journalist who has written for a number of prominent online publications. He grew up in Ann Arbor, Michigan with a father that would read him the Wall St. Journal along side of other bed-time fare. He has traveled extensively, and been lucky enough to study a changing global economy in person. Nicholas spent many years in the Southern Cone of South America, sometimes in the middle of the countryside where livestock starts its journey to all points of the globe. Today he is thoroughly bemused with the stance that Central Banks have taken in the wake of the 2008 meltdown. There is no telling what will come out of the global financial system next, but he is glad that he lives somewhere that gold can be bought and sold readily! nick@moneycheck.com


Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank or credit card issuer and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.


Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.


Leave a Reply