Privacy Virtual Cards
Spending Limits

Set a spending limit and Privacy will decline any transactions that go over the limit

Merchant-Locked Cards

Lock Privacy Cards to the first merchant they’re used at to prevent misuse if stolen

Single-Use Cards

Create Privacy Cards that close automatically after the first purchase is made on them

Pause/Close Cards

Pause or close your Privacy Cards at any time to block future transaction attempts

Sign Up For Privacy Now

Is It Safe To Send Credit Card Info by Email? Learn the Risks of Sharing Your Financial Details

Ashley Ferraro, Product
May 10, 2024
 Min Read
Protect Your Payments With Virtual Cards

Emailing is one of the most established digital communication channels, boasting about 4.48 billion active users who are projected to send around 361.6 billion emails daily in 2024. Its speed, convenience, and cost-effectiveness make it ideal for sharing credit card details—but is it safe to send credit card info by email? This article aims to answer this question and discuss other related issues, such as:

  • What are the risks of sharing your credit card info via email?
  • Is there a safe way to send credit card info by email? 
  • Is it safer to share debit card info than credit card info by email?
A photo of a person using a laptop and holding a credit card in one hand
Source: rupixen

Is It Safe To Email Credit Card Info in an Email?

No, it is generally not safe to send your credit card info by email. While most email service providers invest in complex data breach detection and prevention systems, emailing is still one of the riskier communication channels. 

An image of hands holding a tablet with the words "Warning Cyber Attack" on its screen
Source: geralt

What Are the Risks of Sharing Your Credit Card Info via Email?

Below are a few reasons why sending email credit card information is not safe:

  • Compromised passwords—When you send credit card details by email, the data stays on both your and your recipient's account. If hackers gain access to either of these accounts through compromised passwords, they can steal your card info.
  • Extended storage—Apart from messages marked as spam and attachments that autodelete after 30 days, email messages can stay in recipients' mailboxes indefinitely. This extended storage increases the window of opportunity for hackers to access any credit card information shared via email.
  • Lack of control—Most email service providers offer users a brief window to "undo send" their messages. However, once the message has been delivered, you have no control over how the recipient uses its content.
  • Lack of automatic encryption—While most email clients encrypt data in transit, the messages are typically stored in plain text. This makes it easier for third parties, including potential hackers, to read your messages.
  • Man-in-the-Middle Attacks—When emailing credit card info using unsecured networks like public Wi-Fi, hackers can position themselves between your and the recipient's email server and eavesdrop on your communication.

Is There a Safe Way To Send Credit Card Information by Email?

No security measure guarantees 100% safety when sending credit card info by email. However, with the following tactics, you can reduce the risks of hackers gaining access to your email content.

Put the Credit Card Info in Separate Documents

Do not send all your credit card credentials in one email body. Doing so makes it easy for hackers who might intercept your messages to get all they need to initiate an unauthorized purchase

When you create separate documents for different credit card details—such as one file containing your name and the 16 digits and another with the expiration date and CVV number—cybercriminals have to go through multiple documents to get all the information they need.

An illustration of a laptop on a round table, displaying a lock and the word "Secured"
Source: Danny144

Encrypt Your Email Files

Add an extra layer of security by password-protecting the files containing your credit card info. You can do this in Microsoft Word by following the steps below:

  1. Open the File menu.
  2. Select the Info tab.
  3. Click the Protect Document option.
  4. Click the Encrypt with Password option.
  5. Enter a unique and complex password.
  6. Click OK to confirm the encryption.

Keep in mind that you shouldn't share the file's password in the same email message. Instead, email it separately or share it via WhatsApp, text, or call.

Some email clients also allow senders to encrypt email messages directly. For example, when sharing credit card info via Gmail, you can use the provider's confidential mode to configure your message. Once you've composed your email and attached the file:

  1. Navigate to the bottom right and click the padlock icon to activate the confidential mode.
  2. Set your preferred expiration date (after which the email will auto-delete), and select SMS passcode.
  3. Click Save to return to the email body.
  4. Click Send and enter the recipient's phone number in the popup to send them a Google-generated access passcode.

You should also remind the recipient to delete the message from their mailbox as soon as the transaction is over to reduce the chances of hackers accessing it.

An image of a laptop with the screen displaying a VPN that has been turned on
Source: Stefan Coders

Email Credit Card Info From Secure Wi-Fi Networks

You should never send sensitive credit card details over unsecured networks that hackers can compromise. Instead, send them from your private, password-protected network. Alternatively, you can use a VPN service to encrypt your data, mask your IP address, and make your online communications untraceable.

Is It Safer To Share Debit Card Info Than Credit Card Info?

Credit cardholders generally enjoy better fraud liability protection than debit cardholders. For example, the Fair Credit Billing Act (FCBA) limits the liability of credit card users to $50 as long as they report unauthorized charges within 60 days. While the Electronic Funds Transfer Act (EFTA) also limits the liability of debit cardholders to $50, it only applies to debit card frauds reported within 48 hours. 

However, you can enhance your online security by connecting your payment card or bank account with virtual cards. These cards mask sensitive account details during online payments, making it difficult for hackers to steal your card info. If you choose a comprehensive virtual card provider like Privacy, you'll also get advanced spending controls that can help protect you from unexpected charges.

Privacy Virtual Cards—Enhanced Safety and Control

Privacy Cards replace your card data with randomly generated numbers, shielding your bank details from cybercriminals. You can use these virtual cards at most e-commerce platforms that accept Visa® and Mastercard® payments.

Privacy is PCI-compliant and accredited by the Better Business Bureau®. It uses advanced security measures to safeguard user data at rest and in transit:

Security Measures For Data at Rest Security Measures For Data in Transit
  • Single-tenant, private networks to safeguard user data from supply chain attacks

  • Split-key encryption with partial keys held by different employees

  • PBKDF2 with 100k iterations to hash passwords and protect against rainbow table attacks

  • Separate storage networks in at least three secret geographic locations

  • Transport Layer Security (TLS) HSTS for all web traffic

  • Internet Protocol Security (IPsec) with AES-256 to protect inter-data center communication

Securely Using and Sharing Cards With Privacy

Privacy allows users to create Single-Use, Merchant-Locked Cards, and Shared Cards. Learn more about them below:

Card Type
How It Works
When To Use It
Single-Use Card
It closes shortly after making the first transaction, rendering it useless if compromised.
  • One-time purchases

  • High-risk transactions where you're not well-acquainted with the vendor

Merchant-Locked Card
It "locks" to the first merchant you use it at, making it impossible for cybercriminals to use it elsewhere.
  • Subscriptions

  • Recurrent purchases from one merchant

Shared Cards Can be created as Single-Use or Merchant-Locked and securely shared via email with trusted friends or family. (Note: Shared Cards is only available to Privacy users on a paid plan)
  • Spending allowance for a child

  • Employee spending cards

When using Privacy Cards, you can set spending limits to limit unexpected purchases. You can also pause and close the virtual card without affecting your linked debit card or bank account. Once you've paused or closed it, all subsequent transactions will be declined. This feature can help you avoid unauthorized transactions or block unwanted charges during or after canceling a subscription service. The same security features apply for Shared Cards, and enable you to remain in control of spending on your account at all times.

Experience Convenience With Privacy Cards

Besides investing in data security and spending controls, Privacy also has several features that streamline user transactions, such as:

  • Privacy Android or iOS mobile app—Allows users to create and manage their virtual cards on the go and set real-time notifications on card activity 
  • Privacy Browser Extension that auto-fills card details at checkout—Saves you the effort of entering card details for every transaction. Available for Chrome, Safari, Safari iOS, Firefox, and Edge

How To Sign Up For Privacy Virtual Cards

Privacy has a simple, four-step sign-up process:

  1. Go to the Sign-up page
  2. Enter the identity verification details
  3. Add a funding source (bank account or debit card)
  4. Request your Privacy Virtual Cards

You can select either of the following three plans:

Plan Available Features


$0/month for domestic transactions
  • 12 free virtual cards per month

  • Merchant-Locked & Single-Use Cards

  • All card spending controls

  • Access to the Privacy Browser Extension and phone app



  • All the features in the Personal plan

  • 36 new cards per month

  • Priority support

  • 1% cashback on specific purchases (totaling up to $4,500/month)

  • No foreign transaction fees

  • Discreet merchants



  • All the features in the Pro plan

  • 60 new cards per month

  • Dedicated account management

To sign up for this card, you must be a U.S. resident, be over 18, and have a checking account at a U.S. bank or credit union.

Privacy — Seamless & Secure Online Card Payments
Sign Up