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  1. Ed says:

    Great. Now get American Express to bring them back too and I’ll be a happy camper.

  2. Tunnen says:

    I wish I had something like this available for my bank’s Visa card…. Oh well, I’ll just fall back on keeping it maxed out to prevent anyone from being able to scam money from me. =P

  3. usa_gatekeeper says:

    BofA offers this with their Visa, but I’m probably the only Consumerist follower still banking with them.

    • Herbz says:

      Is it single-use though? I have BoA and it seems you put a limit on the cards it generates, not a single use thing.

      • usa_gatekeeper says:

        It’s better than ‘single use’ as I can set amount and time limits against the number. Once I use the number with one supplier, it can’t be used with anyone else but I can continue to use it with that original supplier until it hits the time or dollar limit I set.

        I use several for monthly payments. For example, in one case I use a number for an economical cell phone company. I had read where its employees had been known to scarf CC numbers – but my CC number wouldn’t do them any good. Just one example.

  4. k-swiss reject says:

    They sent out an email explaining that customer feedback was why they were bringing them back.

    Regardless of the reason, I am happy.

  5. scoosdad says:

    That’s the one thing I like about my BofA credit card. I use their disposable numbers for stuff I don’t want to be auto-renewed, and that’s saved me hundreds of dollars of automatic price increases from Sirius over the years, for example.

    They fail at trying to auto-renew at their new monthly rate on the previous year’s card number, so they send me a message and tell me to call. And I do (I ask for the cancellation department) and every year for three years running they’ve offered me a much better than the rack rate if I renew again, and I repeat the process with a new disposable number (just don’t mention to them that it’s disposable). Same with my VOIP phone service and a couple of magzines that I still subscribe to.

    • frank64 says:

      I have BOA Platinum Plus, I just looked on my account and I don’t see the option. Am I looking in the wrong place?

      • frank64 says:

        Found it. I clicked on Customer Service and found Shopsafe.

        I will use if I ever buy anything from America’s Test Kitchen again. They enter you into a subscription, and it is tough to get rid of them.

  6. LandruBek says:

    I never used the Discover disposable numbers because (last I checked) one cannot set the expiration date; or maybe it was dollar amount. Anyway, my other CC’s one-time-use numbers let me set both, so I started doing all my online purchases and bill payment with that card.

    The only reason I still have a Discover card is inertia. Back in 1990 there weren’t any other good rewards programs, and I liked getting a tiny bit of cash back.

  7. Rocket says:

    PayPal used to offer this too. Not sure if they still do.

  8. Loias supports harsher punishments against corporations says:

    PR bullshit leads to public backlash, leads to company reversing previous illogical stance on disposable account numbers.

  9. John says:

    I miss the Amex one. Only CitiBank still has it for me, and I actually do take some opportunities to use my CitiBank card, that I would not otherwise do, just because of that. The ability to charge something for $2, by placing a $2.10 cap on the card, does wonders for ensuring you don’t get hit with undisclosed overages or recurring subscriptions.

  10. llsee says:

    The VISA card issued by my Credit Union offers this. The card is serviced by FIA the former MBNA.

    • Ed says:

      I bet you’ll be getting a BoA card soon. BoA seems to be phasing out FIA cards. I just got my notice a few weeks ago and effective Nov 1, I’ll have a new BoA card. Effective Nov 2, I’ll probably shove it in a drawer or cancel it entirely.

    • Tangurena says:

      They are also the folks who do the Fidelity Amex cards that put the “cash back” into your IRA.

  11. zantafio says:

    If only Paypal would bring them back as well…

  12. alternety says:

    I have used Discover as my primary card for all on-line and other spending for years because of the secure number component. I have now gone through and changed all of my families cards of choice to another card. All online transactions, monthly billings, sites where we do regular purchases (e.g. , Amazon), day-to-day use in stores, fuel, food, gone from the Discover cash stream. And I have no immediate inclination to reverse this decision. Because they really really piss me off.

    Effective security: Discover has been the most frequent perpetrator of (here is a new card, your old one could be compromised, all those safe numbers are canceled). The whole point of the secure numbers is that if one is compromised, the rest are OK. How hard can it be to link those legacy secure numbers (dozens and dozens) to a new card if Discover (or whomever’s) security failed on the primary account? Customer service – we have heard vague rumblings of that sort of thing. But see no point in pursuing. After all we are a big credit card company whose card is accepted is a moderate number of places; though not near a whole bunch.

    And once my primary account had my question list, address, and password changed. I “discovered” it myself; not them. Discover would never tell me what they thought the cause/source was or how they managed not to stop the person with all their “security”.

    When they notified (a short notice I might add) us the secure number was being discontinued, but the ones is use would last to card expiry – they were canceled immediately. Purchases started being rejected (like my prescription drugs).

    Support for the feature has, for years, sucked immensely. To the last day it would not work with Firefox. Half the time it would not work with IE either. Human interface sucked beyond all reason. You could never do what a rational circumstance would require.

    Listen to feedback. I have never found any way to actually communicate the shortcomings of their system. I used to do this for people for a lot of money. The only apparent communication path is a customer comment. All answers are secure so you have to go through logging on or decrypting an email to see “Your comments are very important to us – bs, cat crap, lie, placation (be assured no action will ever be taken and if anyone does read this they will be the people causing the problem – good f***ing luck with that). And the last time I tried that I gave a long and detailed explanation of the problems and solutions. Hit send – deleted message; it is too long. Wow, there is a design decision for the ages.

    • constanon says:

      I too experienced the random address change, but this was back around 2007 or 2008. Customer service had no record of it being changed, couldn’t tell me whether it happened online, over the phone, whatever. My password hadn’t been changed though which as odd.

      One good thing I will say about Discover: I was laid off from my job in 2008 and it took me quite a while to get back on my feet. Of all the creditors I had to deal with, Discover was not only helpful, they were truly sympathetic and gracious. They agreed suspend all interest, minimum payments,and fees, and continue reporting the account in good standing. In return I had to allow them to freeze the card, and take $75/month from my checking account (applied to my balance of course). This would continue for one year or the balance is paid off, at which time it would be renegotiated.

      Chase on the other hand, who held my car note, told me if at any time any balance becomes 90 days delinquent I would “wake up one morning to find my car gone” (their words). USBank, who holds my mortgage note, wasted no time filing a foreclosure.

      Ultimately I ended up getting a great job with a signing bonus and paid everything off (except the car, Chase made good on their promise. I’ll never deal with that bank ever again). I closed all my credit cards to make sure I don’t end up in that kind of mess ever again as well.

      • frank64 says:

        I always wondered why banks didn’t do this. Seems like a huge win for them instead of taking a loss. I know people that ended up not paying banks at all. Much was the frustration of not working with them. I bet many ended up paying only Discover while other cards went to default.

  13. SteveHolt says:

    I make my own disposable credit card numbers at home.

    (Just kidding feds, please don’t knock down my door.)

  14. MikeVx says:

    I got an e-mail today from Discover Card. It said that due to feedback from customers, the feature was being re-instated. This is good as I have a lot of them in service.

    However, I’ll still bet that they are still useless against PayPal, which long ago modified their systems to break Discover Card secure numbers, and possibly others as well. Interesting how they don’t work where they are most needed.

    Amazon also broke secure numbers, but at least they don’t have a reputation that would scare Voldemort.

  15. TerpBE says:

    Just a clarification: the Discover virtual numbers aren’t “single use”, they are “single merchant”. So, for example, if you create one for a purchase from amazon, it can be used over and over for more charges as long as they all come from amazon. So they aren’t useful for situations like if you are trying to avoid being signed up for a recurring monthly charge.

  16. mike says:

    Yay! One of my stories got selected!

    In any event, I got an e-mail yesterday finally explaining why. Customer feedback, blah blah blah. It would have been nice to get that news before I logged in. But I’m not complaining.

  17. GrayMatter says:

    I just got an email from Discover, stating that they are revamping their web site. I wonder if the back engine wasn’t also revamped, and to do so they had to shut down certain features. While it would have been nice of them to say so, CorporateSpeakSecurity would not allow early notification of these changes to the public.

  18. Fibonacci says:

    I made the mistake of using the numbers to pay recurring charges. Such as satellite, internet, cell phone, land line, etc. After 4 or 5 months they stopped working. Didn’t realize that until I got slapped with late fees. No explanation. Card was no where near its expiration date. Primary number always worked. Discover encouraged using these numbers for recurring charges because they would only work with a single merchant.

  19. Kahlidan says:

    Even using the secure numbers, my card info has somehow been compromised around the holidays in both 2009 and 2010. I wasn’t liable for the fraudulent charges, but I still haven’t been able to pinpoint where the breach might have happened. All I can surmise is that databases containing the card info get hacked into and then the info is sold to carders, but using the SOAN feature doesn’t seem to have helped.

  20. kc-guy says:

    Unfortunately, my experience has been that they don’t work. When I associate a disposable account number with a Google Checkout purchase, a future purchase I mistakenly made before changing the account number went thru without a hitch.