The American Express virtual card is a type of virtual credit card that can be used on the Internet to pay for purchases without having to provide your real account number. It’s linked to your regular credit or debit card, which you enter at checkout just like any other payment details. All online transactions are made using the American Express network and the charges will show up on your normal card statement.

It is very important to understand that the Amex virtual card checkout process is different than your regular Visa or Mastercard. We at Slickdeals strongly recommend you not provide the number shown in the picture below, as this checkout method will work for most people (and will prevent possible issues). The safest way to use your Amex virtual card is the following:

  1. Go to your online American Express account and click on “Amex Virtual Card” near the top right corner.
  2. On the next screen, enter your real credit or debit card information (i.e., do NOT use the one in the picture below).
  3. Make sure you enter the correct billing address and zip code, as American Express uses it to verify your identity.
  4. Once this is done, log in with your card information and click on “Add Virtual Card for Online Purchases” at the bottom of the screen (do not complete any purchase yet).
  5. You are now provided with your new Amex virtual card number AND your security code for this card. MAKE SURE YOU PRINT YOUR CARD IMAGE ASAP SO YOU CAN EASILY RESOLVE ISSUES DOWN THE LINE!
  6. Once printed, log in once again with your American Express account and click on “Add Online Payment Method” on the right side of your screen.
  7. Enter your credit or debit card number and click “Confirm,” then enter the name that appears on your statement and click “Submit.” You should then see a confirmation that your virtual card has been linked to this account, so go ahead and complete any purchase you want right away.

Do not provide the virtual card number you see in this picture below, as it is a known scam and will likely result in your account being compromised. If you click on “Add Online Payment Method,” a menu like the one above should appear instead. For more details on successfully linking your Amex virtual card to your American Express account, visit this Slickdeals forum thread.

By using your Amex virtual card for purchases on the Internet, you can maintain the same level of security you currently have with your regular credit card. As long as you trust American Express and its payment service to handle all sensitive information (which is very unlikely), I recommend any of my fellow Slicks Dealers to take advantage of this feature.

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