VPN services can be used to unblock geo-restricted content. However, many pay-per-view streaming providers, music services, and specialist online sports services require you to pay with a local debit or credit card. Attempting to pay with a card from your own country and a fake postcode rarely works. Virtual cards are the solution.
To help people purchase region-restricted online services, there are a growing number of providers offering “virtual debit cards”. These digital payment services allow people to transfer funds onto a prepaid debit card in a country of their choice. Most people want to unblock services in the UK and the US, however, there are virtual cards available for just about any country.
If you have subscribed to one of the best VPNs and you want to pay for a foreign service such as HBO GO, Sling TV, F1 TV, Now TV, BeIN Sports or Spotify, you can use one of the recommended virtual payment services in this article.
How much does a virtual credit card cost?
There is a small setup fee for most virtual payment cards. Most firms charge a one-time fee for issuing the card number. This fee is usually between $5 and $30.
Beyond that, virtual card services may charge a fee for topping the card up. That charge is between 1-5% of the transfer.
The best virtual payment services
If you have subscribed to a VPN to unblock something online, you may need a virtual card to actually purchase the subscription. This article is designed to help by allowing you to quickly pick one of the best virtual payment services.
The services below are trusted online payment providers used by consumers all over the world.
US Unlocked Virtual Visa Card
This payment service is great for anybody wishing to purchase a US service like HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, DirecTV – or any other. US Unlocked provides a virtual pre-loaded debit card that is widely accepted in online US-based stores.
US Unlocked is a reusable virtual Visa card that comes with a valid US billing address. The one-time sign-up fee is $15, and the monthly service fee is $3.50. The top-up fee varies depending on the method you wish to deposit funds: but are usually $3 and 3%. Although this solution is a bit pricey, it comes with a valid address and is very useful for signing up for many US TV services!
US Unlocked is by far the easiest and best way to quickly get a valid US payment method for paying for all the popular services you are likely to need, and for this reason it is our top recommendation. It's a trustworthy service that is great at what it does.
Get US Unlocked
This virtual payment service is the perfect buddy for any premium VPN. It is ideal for anybody who wants to unblock and pay for US services like Hulu, HBO GO, Amazon Prime Video, Sling TV, or DirecTV.
With Payoneer, you can shop at a multitude of online stores located around the globe. And it is ideal if you want to purchase an online subscription to a sports service such as BeIN, F1TV, or UFC TV.
Payoneer provides a virtual pre-loaded debit card (MasterCard) that is accepted at US-based online stores. Alternatively, you can purchase a card for another country, depending on your needs. In fact, it can provide a valid virtual card service for around 200 countries worldwide. And, with Payoneer, adding cash to your card is easy thanks to the availability of direct bank transfers.
Best of all? A virtual Mastercard will cost you just $29.95 per year. Once you have paid that fee, you can easily pay for any US services you need time and time again. And you will not get extra fees, because it is free to make online purchases (with a USD, EUR, or GBP card). (A cross-border fee may apply for some purchases so be sure to contact support to be clear on any potential fees you might incur).
EcoPayz provides a one-use secure virtual card that gives you added peace of mind. Even if the card number is stolen during an online transaction, it can’t be used for a second time. This makes it a popular option for those purchasing goods from online stores they don’t particularly trust.
EcoPayz can be ordered in EUR, USD, and GBR. The one-off issue fee is €1.80, and the transaction fee is 4%. Consumers can open up three prepaid (one-use) cards at once. This means you can use this service to purchase multiple online services for different countries if you wish.
This service is slightly different from the other ones on this list because it actually ships you a physical card. To get one or more of these cards, you will need to be KYC checked. Once that simple check has been performed, you can get two cards for free. The good thing about LeoPay is that it offers 10 different currencies, so if you want to unblock something in a more unusual region, this card is well worth considering. Another great selling point – uploading money to a LeoPay card is free for EU residents and just 2% elsewhere.
What is a virtual debit card?
Unlike a physical debit card which is a real piece of plastic you hold in your hand, a virtual payment card is nothing more than the important numbers that you find written on your card.
This consists of the card number, its expiration date, and the CVV code which is usually located on the back of a physical card. These numbers are all you really need to shop online, and a virtual card can provide you with the numbers for a card that appears to have been issued in a different country to the one you actually live in.
The nice thing about virtual debit cards is that you don’t need a bank to approve you. Virtual card services allow you to charge them up with money as you go along. As a result, they do not require any credit checks. You can simply pay for one and have the important numbers delivered to you via the internet.
Virtual cards can be ordered in a choice of popular international currencies, such as US dollars, pounds, or euros. This permits you to purchase from online stores in those countries. They also allow you to pay for region-restricted online services – like US cable TV channels.
Virtual cards come in two different varieties. One can be topped up again and again, which is useful if you intend to use the card repeatedly. The second is a one-time card that expires after you have spent all the funds you load onto it.
A US address for your card
In addition to a valid US payment method (or whichever country you want to purchase an online subscription in), you may also need a valid US address to check out.
If this is the case, use a package forwarding address by registering for a package forwarding service. Shipito lets you join and get a US address for free! So if you need a valid US address to register an online subscription using your virtual card, this is a good option.
Package forwarding services can also be used to forward physical goods that you buy in foreign countries to your real address. This is extremely useful for purchasing consumer goods from stores like Walmart – who will only post to a valid US address!
And if you prefer to buy products from India or elsewhere, you can use a virtual card registered in India and a package forwarding service located in India.