How to Generate a Card Number Through PayPal

by Amy Brantley

Shopping online can be risky. Before you know it, a site you thought was safe is being featured on the news because of a security breach. Was your credit card number one of those that was stolen? If you're lucky, the company will be truthful and send you a letter. If not, all you can do is sit and wait. It doesn't have to be this way, though. You can actually use your PayPal account to generate a card number for each site you do business with. Best of all, you can do it through the PayPal site, which means you don't have to download any software.


Visit the "Profile" section of your PayPal account. Here you will find a link for the PayPal plug-in. The PayPal plug-in is what allows you to generate a virtual card number for various sites. If you don't already have a PayPal account, sign up for one.


Go to the PayPal plug-in section of the site. At the PayPal plug-in section of the site, you will see a menu that lists the different actions you can make through the website. These actions aren't as detailed as the PayPal plug-in software, but the online version still allows you to generate a card number.


Click the "Secure Cards" link. You will see a box that lists cards that have been generated and two buttons that read "Close Card" and "Generate New Card". You will also see a drop-down menu that displays active and closed cards.


Select the "Generate New Card" button. This will begin the process.


Choose the card type. If you're shopping at a site you've never shopped at before, you may want to generate a single-use card. This ensures that the card number cannot be used again should the information be stolen. On the other hand, a multiple-use card would be perfect for sites that you shop at frequently. Once you select the card type, PayPal will generate a card number along with the expiration date and security code.


About the Author

Amy Brantley has been a writer since 2006, contributing to numerous online publications. She specializes in business, finance, food, decorating and pets.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera credit card image by Jaimie Duplass from