Monzo Plus: Virtual Cards

Tombola now BLOCKS Monzo Virtual card. When I got the Plus account I used a Vcard to top up Tombola. Just went to top up again and it failed. Rang customer service to be told new EU gambling regs mean some cards can NOT be used for gambling. So iv now had to use me regular card. One use case for Vcard out the window. :frowning:

How would they know it’s a virtual card?

Virtual cards are issued from a new BIN range, that is different to that for physical cards:

Iv asked Monzo that very question inapp chat - waiting for answer. But when I tryed to top up got a massage saying this type of card can not be used. So Rang CS at Tombola. No notification in Monzo. But my regular card worked just fine.

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Just to follow up with this as I noticed a note in the MasterCard acceptance rules (Virtual Accounts being MasterCard’s terminology for virtual cards.):

The Corporation recommends that the Issuer prominently disclose upon issuance that the Virtual Account should not be used to purchase an item over the Internet that subsequently would require presentment of a physical reference device in order to obtain that item. Examples include certain theater ticket purchases, hotel stays, car rentals, and online purchases picked up in person.

So it would seem virtual cards cannot be used for this purpose and this should really be prominently disclosed, which I don’t believe Monzo currently does.


That’s interesting.

Has anyone experienced any issues yet with this in regards to using a virtual card for these purposes?

I recall with the Odeon, the card was only necessary as a way to verify and check the name matched the person who booked the tickets, so could be a different card, but that was several years ago now. Trainline is similar too. I regularly buy my tickets via Apple Pay or PayPal, and when mobile tickets are not an option, any old card can be used to print them at the station.

I think for many places, your bank card is just used as a form of ID check, to make sure the name matches, like when collecting a missed delivery from the post office. But I wonder if some do go a step further to actually make sure the card is completely identical to the one used for purchase, and how they intend to adapt to technologies like Apple Pay.

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The way I manage this is to use the hashtag facility. For example #virtualcard-subscriptions then the transaction will be grouped together when searching with that hashtag. I personally use hashtag all the time for my spending which helps loads.

Found my first real use for one last night;

Booked a table for dinner and they wanted my card, I couldn’t find anything to show how much they would charge/why. It’s probably just to make people a bit more conscious of just not turning up.

Created a virtual card, now ideally I’d have given them a max of £20 or something, but can’t do that, so just cancelled it again :sunglasses:


I know it is not the point, but I’m curious, did they do an active card check, or was the number not used whatsoever?

Nope, no check or anything.

Interesting. If I had to guess, it would be to bill you for not turning up. But if they’re not even running an active card check, what’s to stop people just using fake details?

Handing out details over the phone, which too many places still insist on, is the core justification for a self destructing virtual card too, which I hope they eventually add on to this feature. Could replace my dodgy sites card too.


Just wondered if anyone’s had a charge yet on a previously cancelled virtual card? How does that come up in feed?

I assume it’s similar to what happens if old physical card details are used?

Many times I’ve been in a take-away and someone is paying with a card on the phone and the person taking their detail reads it back to them.


Does anybody know the reasoning behind each limit (5 active and 100 total yearly)?

I’m guessing the total may be due to a charge Monzo has to pay another company each time they create a card, perhaps?

I guess they had to set an arbitrary limit somewhere!

What I’m missing is the ability to rename a virtual card, without having to delete one and create a new one.


I’d just like to be able to change the colour of virtual cards I’ve already created!


Hi, maybe it has been mentioned, but is there a reason inactive cards are shown? Sometimes I would only ever use a virtual card — once.

And what’s the reason for a limit on 5 cards only?

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No reason has been given but it is assumed to be cost related as there is also a 100 cards per year limit too.

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I’m not sure about direct cost, but the limit(s) could be down to a fear of running out of numbers on the current BIN as I believe provisioning a new BIN is rather expensive. :man_shrugging:

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A card number could be reused with a new expiry date and a new CVV code. I guess they will be quarantined for a while then could be made available again.