Credit Karma Virtual Card—Credit Karma’s Instant Access Solution
Until recently, the only way you could access your funds after applying for a new payment card was by waiting for the physical card to arrive in the mail. Realizing how inconvenient that was for the applicant, many card issuers have introduced temporary solutions to allow customers quicker use of their new accounts.
For instance, when you open an online checking or savings account at Credit Karma, you can get instant access to it via a digital wallet while waiting for the plastic debit card to be delivered.
This article will explore the Credit Karma virtual card feature and explain:
- What it is
- How to enable it
- How to use it
The information in this article was sourced in September 2023. For updates, visit the official Credit Karma website or contact the company directly.
About the Credit Karma Virtual Card
Although the solution from Credit Karma is referred to as a virtual card, it’s important to differentiate it from another similar payment method with the same name.
Virtual cards are generated card numbers that are connected to a real funding source, such as a debit card or bank account, but mask that information during transactions to protect it in case of a data breach on the merchant’s servers. However, the term “virtual card” is often used to refer to any digital payment solution.
What’s sometimes referred to as the Credit Karma virtual card is not a virtual card per se but rather an option to connect the account to a digital wallet. The feature allows Credit Karma customers to access their newly opened account while waiting for the delivery of the physical card, which can take anywhere from 7 to 14 business days. The feature is currently available with the following accounts:
- Credit Karma Money™ Spend—checking account
- Credit Karma Money™ Save—savings account
Users can access their accounts by setting up a virtual card with a digital wallet, which is an app that allows users to securely store their financial information and use it for online or in-store purchases. Besides enhancing security, digital wallets make transactions more convenient, enabling users to pay with their smartphone or smartwatch at checkout terminals. Digital wallets are not accepted everywhere, so the user should check with the merchant to confirm they can pay with their Credit Karma digital card.
How To Get the Credit Karma Virtual Card
After opening an account with Credit Karma, the user needs to fund it before connecting it to a digital wallet. They can do so by:
- Transferring funds from another Credit Karma account or a linked external account
- Depositing a check via the Credit Karma Mobile app
- Making a direct deposit using routing and account numbers
- Making an ACH transfer from an external source
To access the virtual card feature, the user should:
- Launch the Credit Karma Mobile app
- Go to their account settings
- Navigate to the Debit cards & ATM settings page
- Find the option to connect the account to a digital wallet
At the moment, the available digital wallet options are Google Pay™ and Apple Pay®. The integration process differs slightly depending on the app, so the user should follow the on-screen instructions to complete it. They will likely need to verify their identity via a one-time passcode or another authentication method.
How To Use the Credit Karma Virtual Card
Once the digital wallet has been set up with the Credit Karma account, the user can make purchases online or at a physical location that accepts this type of payment. The following table sums up what the process typically entails: