From Hong Kong to Singapore: Incorporation Services with New Year Discounts!Explore Today!

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If there's something you're confident in carrying around without forgetting or feeling cramped these days, it's probably your phone, so why not use it for everything, especially money? 

That's the trend in Hong Kong, where digital is becoming the preferred payment method, and virtual cards are one of the popular choices available. 

In this article, we name the best virtual cards in Hong Kong and what to consider when choosing one.

What is a Virtual Card?

A virtual card is a payment card that exists in digital form rather than a physical one, typically stored in a mobile device.

It can be used to make purchases online and pay in-store through mobile payment services. 

💡 Tip: Learn more in our article about Virtual Cards vs. Physical Cards and What is a Virtual Credit Card? 

Things to Consider When Choosing a Virtual Card

1. Consider Your Spending Habits.

Virtual cards come with varying limits, fees, and incentives. Your choice should align with your spending frequency, amount, and shopping destinations.

For instance, a virtual card offering cashback for online purchases should be helpful if you frequently shop online.

Conversely, a card with higher fees might be less worthwhile if you're not a frequent shopper. 

2. Security and Fraud Protection Features

Safety advantages are one of the outstanding virtual payment card benefits

With a physical card, the details written on it are at risk of exposure each time you take it out for a point-of-sale purchase or leave a wallet somewhere unattended. 

On the other hand, storing a virtual card on your phone carries less risk, especially when combined with the fact that your phone and the digital wallet have a passcode or require biometric data (such as your fingerprint) to be unlocked.

Additionally, virtual cards are better at avoiding skimming and cloning as they often utilize one-time-use codes to authorize specific transactions rather than providing card information.

In simple terms, virtual cards can create a different card number for each purchase you make, guarding your actual account number.

To make the most of these security benefits, look for the following features when picking a virtual card.

  • Tokenization: Tokenization is a technique to secure card information from being revealed or stolen. This involves using a random string of characters (called "a token") with no value or meaning outside of the specific transaction to authorize payment instead of using sensitive card data. 
  • Access and Alert: Having an easy and secure way to access cards and stay informed is crucial. Look for cards that offer transaction history for spending tracking, alerts for any unusual activity, and the ability to freeze your card when anything suspicious arises.
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The added security and protection against fraud feature of virtual cards gives me peace of mind, and the convenience of generating a virtual card for easy and quick purchases is a huge plus.

Aaron Guring
Aaron Gurung
Sales Development Representative, Statrys
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quote

3. Ease of Issuing and Integrating Cards

Depending on the provider, you may need to download an app or create an account to use a virtual card, or you may be able to use one through your existing bank or payment service. 

You should also check how widely the virtual card is accepted and compatible with different online merchants and platforms.

Say you use a specific payment platform such as Apple Pay, then it's best to go for a virtual card that can be integrated with it. 

4. Fees 

Check if the card's fees are worth the benefits it provides, particularly the annual fee, which could be high. 

Note that some cards waive the fee for the first year or perpetually. Given that 70% of annual fee waiver requests are successful, it's also worth a shot to seek a waiver, especially if you've been their loyal customer. 

5. Spending Threshold for Benefits

To qualify for certain perks, you'll typically need to meet a spending threshold with your card. 

Trying to meet this minimum can lead to overspending, while staying under it limits the rewards you could earn. So choosing a card with thresholds that mostly match your normal expenses is best. 

Plan some strategies, for example, buying gift cards for future use, planning large purchases or using the card to cover others' expenses, and getting reimbursed later.

📌 Note: Some virtual credit cards cannot be used for recurring payments and subscriptions. It's best to understand each card's terms and conditions first.

With so many options available, finding the right fit can be daunting. Here are some recommendations to help guide your decision:

🔎 Note: All information provided below is dated 31 July 2023 and may have been updated since. Please check each credit card provider's website for the latest information.

Credit Card Best For Annual Fees
BOC i-card (Virtual Card)

BOC i-card
Frequent traveller between Hong Kong and Mainland China Waived
CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Card
CCB VIrtual Credit Card
Overseas online shoppers Information not available, please contact the bank directly
Mox Credit Card
Mox Credit Card
Flexible shoppers who want an easy switch between debit and credit payments Waived
CNCBI Motion Virtual Credit Card
CNCBI Motion Virtual Credit Card
Individuals who want instant use and cash rebate Waived as a welcome offer (terms and conditions applied).

Annual fees of HKD 1,200 may be applicable after the promotion ends
ICBC Visa Virtual Digital Credit Card
ICBC Visa Virtual Digital Credit Card
Shoppers who want convenient integration and cash rebate Information not available, please contact the bank directly

1. BOC i-card (Virtual Card)

Best feature: Dual currency flexibility

Bank of China (Hong Kong) is a major commercial banking group in Hong Kong. It is one of the three banks that issue notes and is the only clearing bank for Renminbi ("RMB") business in the region.

The bank has strong market positions in various businesses and in cross-border and RMB transactions.

The BOC i-card (Virtual Card) is one of its credit card options that allow for easy spending, with the key perk being the dual currencies - Hong Kong dollars and Renminbi.

Some of the main benefits and requirements for the card include

BOC i-card (Virtual Card) Key Benefits 

  • Up to HKD 300 cash rebate for new applicants as a welcome offer 
  • 10% cash rebate for mobile spending at designated merchants as a welcome offer
  • 1 Gift Point per HKD 1 spent with your card
  • 10X Gift Points for online shopping and mobile payment. (Gift Points Terms and Conditions apply)
  • Gift Points redeemable at designated merchants.
  • BOC i-card supports HKD and RMB currency, which is highly convenient for users who frequently travel from or have businesses in Hong Kong and Mainland China
  • Transparent fees
  • Some fees applicable to physical credit cards do not apply to BOC i-card
  • Virtual cards users enjoy an annual fee waiver

BOC i-card (Virtual Card) Eligibility 

  • At least 18 years old 
  • Have the BoC Pay App downloaded. Onboarding is done on the app via HKID Capture Verification and facial recognition.  
  • Minimum income requirement is not available online. Contact the bank directly for more details. 

Learn more about BOC i-card (Virtual Card)

BOC i-card Note
BOC Credit Card Key Facts Statement

2. CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Card

Best feature: Foreign currency fees waived

China Construction Bank (Asia) is a comprehensive commercial banking platform in Hong Kong under China Construction Bank Corporation ("CCB").

It offers customers a wide range of banking products and services, including consumer banking, commercial banking, corporate banking, private banking, treasury services, and cross-border financial solutions.

CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Card is a product offered by the bank, providing a virtual card compatible with specific digital wallets and online transactions.

Its primary perks and requirements are as follows.

CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Card Key Benefits

  • Foreign currency transaction fees are waived when spending in foreign currencies.
  • Instant approval for mobile application
  • Contactless payment via digital wallet

CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Card Eligibility

  • Downloaded the CCB Asia or CCB HK&MO app. Onboarding will proceed on the app via HKID Capture Verification and facial recognition.  
  • At least 18 years old
  • Minimum income requirement not available online. Contact the bank directly for more details. 

Learn more about CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Card

CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Card Notes
CCB (Asia) Virtual Credit Application Guide
CCB (Asia) Credit Card Key Fact Statement

3. Mox Credit Card

Best feature: Credit and debit spending 

Mox Bank is one of the well-known virtual banks in Hong Kong, backed by Standard Chartered. 

The bank offers personal accounts exclusively, and one of its convenient products is Mox Credit Card.

Mox Credit Card offers cash back, fast application, and the option to flip between a credit and debit account as the main benefits. 

💡 Tip: Read our complete review of Mox Bank and our guide on How to Open Mox Bank Account Online

Mox Credit Card Key Benefits

  • Spend with both credit and debit, easily switching between the two with just a tap in the app. (*Mox Credit is applicable only once your Mox Account has been successfully opened)
  • Up to 5% CashBack when spent at designated merchants
  • Transfer money with FPS via credit
  • HKT Autopay Switch feature with cashback for eligible payments
  • Instant loan features
  • No annual fee

Mox Credit Card Eligibility

  • Have the Mox app downloaded
  • At least 18 years old and above
  • Minimum income requirement not available online. Contact the bank directly for more details. 

Learn more about Mox Credit Card

Mox Credit Card Key Fact Statements

4. CNCBI Motion Virtual Credit Card

Best feature: Instant approval, instant use

CNCBI, or China CITIC Bank International, serves as a full-service commercial bank, a subsidiary of CITIC International Financial Holdings Limited.

It is based in Hong Kong with branches in the US and Asia, supporting personal banking, private banking, SME banking, and more.

CNCBI Motion Virtual Credit Card cited the quick application and approval process as its main perk. 

Explore their other rewards and requirements below.

CNCBI Motion Virtual Credit Card Key Benefits

  • A welcome offer option between a 10% cash rebate on foreign currencies spending or HKD 700 cash rebate 
  • 0.50% Cash Rebate Rewards Program. Earn HKD 1 cash rebate per HKD 200 spending with the card.
  • Apply online and get instant card approval. 
  • A perpetual annual fee waiver is offered as a welcome promotion (CNCBI promotional offer Terms and Conditions apply). After the promotion ends, standard annual fees of HKD 1,200 may apply

CNCBI Motion Virtual Credit Card Eligibility

  • Have the inMotion app downloaded
  • At least 18 years old 
  • Minimum income requirement is not available online. Contact the bank directly for more details. 

Learn more about CNCBI Motion Virtual Credit Card

CNCBI Virtual Credit Card Key Fact Statement

5. ICBC Visa Virtual Digital Credit Card

Best feature: Convenient shopping features

The ICBC Visa Virtual Digital Credit Card is offered by the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC), another large Chinese bank in Hong Kong.

The card is one of the options in their extensive ICBC Digital card collection. It can be easily applied via the ICBC Mobile Banking App, website or official WeChat account.

The following are the main benefits and requirements.

ICBC Visa Virtual Digital Credit Card Key Benefits

  • 1.5% cash rebate for eligible spending 
  • New applicants for a principal card can enjoy HKD 50 Free Credit Card Spending Limit (Terms and Conditions apply) 
  • Designed for shopping convenience
  • ICBC Digital Card can be easily added into Mobile Payment Services

ICBC Visa Virtual Digital Credit Card Eligibility

  • Have the ICBC (Asia) Mobile Banking App downloaded
  • At least 18 years old and above
  • Minimum income requirement not available online. Contact the bank directly for more details. 

Learn more about ICBC Visa Virtual Digital Credit Card

ICBC Cardholder Agreement
ICBC Fees and Agreement

Final Thoughts

When choosing a virtual card, consider your spending needs, compatibility, fees, and the card's fraud protection features like tokenization. 

If you are still exploring the top payment method in Hong Kong, check out our article on the best credit cards in Hong Kong and best debit card in Hong Kong

And if you need an alternative way to pay for your business in Hong Kong, consider Statrys Prepaid Mastercard®, made for business. 

  • Digital and physical formats
  • Denominated in HKD 
  • Allow payments in any currency (conversion fees applied)
  • Convenient point-of-sale purchases
  • Transaction updates real-time 
  • Spending analytics
  • Supported by excellent customer service
  • Integration with Xero accounting
An app showing how Statry's virtual payment cards work

FAQs

What’s the difference between a virtual card and a physical card?

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The main difference is that virtual cards exist in digital format and don't have a physical form, while physical cards are tangible cards you can keep on you. Many merchants nowadays do accept payments from both physical and virtual credit cards.

Are virtual credit cards accepted everywhere?

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Are virtual cards safe? 

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Which are the largest virtual banks in Hong Kong?

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