We all enjoy shopping from overseas stores especially when there is a fantastic discount or we want to watch the latest episode from Marvel Studios on Disney Plus. The problem however is that some stores and services don’t accept our payment method or our billing address.
US Unlocked solves this dilemma for the USA region. It’s a versatile financial service that provides a virtual account connected to multiple virtual VISA cards. The card is connected to a distinct USA billing and shipping address for shopping of both digital and physical goods.
Benefits of Using US Unlocked
There are many benefits of using a US Unlocked US virtual card over other virtual credit cards or virtual debit cards. These are as below:
- You can purchase from digital and physical merchants/stores such as Target, Apple, Microsoft, Ulta etc even if you’re not in the United States. This card gives you access to both by opening online shopping from abroad.
- You can purchase USA specific subscription services such as Spotify, Xbox, PSN, Nintendo, Hulu, HBO Max subscription etc. These services require a US issued card. It doesn’t matter whether its a reloadable virtual US debit card or a regular credit or debit card. A US Unlocked virtual VISA card works in all such cases where Visa cards are accepted.
- US Unlocked technology offers peace of mind by giving you full control over your spending limits. You can cancel cards, subscription etc. on your own terms and keep safe from online fraud.
- Save money on frequent currency fluctuations.
- Reduce cross border payments when you shop online.
- Create multiple cards without any fee.
Signup Process & Virtual Visa Card Activation
Signing up for a US Unlocked account to get a virtual visa card is easy.
You start with an email address and fill out your personal information. Once your email address is verified, you can complete your signup process by pressing the ‘Complete Profile’ button on step 3.
US Unlocked does not require verification until you load at least $500 into your account. Any amount greater than $500 requires identity verification.
Card activation is another matter. There is a one time enrollment fee of $15 which they charge you the first time you load your account for use. US Unlocked shows you the breakdown of all fees and charges before you load any amount into your account. Depending on your location, there are myriad options available to you for card loading and the loading fees depend on this.
Card Loading Methods
You can load your account via Bank Transfer, Sofort, Ideal, DirectPayEU, BanContact, Boleto Bancario, EPS, GiroPay, MyBank, POLI, Prezlewy24, TrustPay, Verkkopankki, Argencard, Banco do Brasil and Teleingreso.
US Unlocked is actively seeking additional payment methods per region and hope to get the green light on additional methods later this year.
You can view the full list of countries they support as well as the available payment methods & USA address services available for each.
The cards are issued via Tier One Processor and backed by a FDIC Insured Bank so you know your money is safe.
Types of Virtual Payment Cards
US Unlocked offers two types of online virtual visa cards for the shopping of digital and physical goods.
By default, there is an active virtual prepaid card in your account present for one-time use. This one time use virtual payment card issue is for online merchants where you won’t be shopping again. The online virtual payment card expires after the first use and cannot be used for subscription services. These cards are best used for one-time online purchases only.
The other type of card they issue is merchant-specific. Merchant specific virtual prepaid cards are designed specifically for use on online stores that you frequently shop at. They are also perfect for recurring / subscription payments. When creating a merchant-specific card; you can specify the limits on per charge, per month, per year and max spend to keep a tighter hold on your budget.
You can change these limits later as well.
Using your Virtual Visa Card & US Unlocked Account to Shop on US Retailers and Online Services
Before using any of your newly created visa debit cards, you need to sign up with one of US Unlocked’s certified freight forwarders in the US. US Unlocked works with a number of partners to give you this information. Shipito, OPAS, Shop & Ship, Planet Express, USGoBuy, PostaPlus, TransExpress, and Vyking Ship are all on their partner list.
These partners assist with providing a U.S. Billing and Shipping address so that your payment transactions are always successful. They also handle the international package forwarding services to ensure purchased U.S. physical goods are delivered to your home address.
TechVise has reviewed many of these services which you can read in our article here.
To use the card, you need to first unlock the card to view its information. Since all the issued cards are virtual, you can view the information anytime by unlocking it. You can choose whether to receive the card’s unlock security code via voice message or SMS/Text. Once you have entered the security code, you can view your card information and use it online.
Exercise Control on Spending
We think, US Unlocked’s level of granular control on card limits is worth the fees they charge you every month. People are prone to duplicate charges. Some sign up for a $0.99 trial for a month, and are charged the full amount a few days later – a common problem in Google Play and Apple store subscriptions.
The use of these cards for online payments ensures that after checkout, there are no surprise charges on your cards.
The US virtual credit card safeguardes your money and it gives you the flexibility of using it on stores where Visa and MasterCard are accepted.
Account History & Fees
The dashboard is easy to navigate with a coloured breakdown of your spending habits. You can view your card balance, all associated cards, transaction history for all cards with date & time stamp. You can do this for both approved and declined transactions.
All wonderful features aside, this is by no means a budget card to have. Like other virtual credit card providers out there, they charge fees: a per-transaction fee and an account maintenance fee. You can check their fees as well as other charges here.
After suffering through payment problems at US stores that require a US-issued card number, we are happy with their solution. US Unlocked solves our card issues easily by giving access to instant virtual card credit via their account. Unlike plastic cards, they are more secure since they are fully in your control.
Again, this service is by no means the cheapest option. However, it does save money over the long run and offers a comprehensive toolkit for unlocked shopping. This is particularly true if you find yourself frequently shop online and need to keep a closer eye on your spending habits.
If you have any questions or concerns with US Unlocked service, please reach out to [email protected]
FAQs for US Unlocked Prepaid Card
How to use a virtual VISA card?
You can use a virtual VISA card by signing up with a service like US Unlocked. All their cards are virtual and secure for online shopping.
Does US Unlocked provide multi-currency card?
No US Unlocked cards are only issued in USD currency for use on US stores / retailers.
What is the difference between a virtual VISA card and a VISA gift card?
A virtual VISA card is issued to the person who maintains an account with US Unlocked. A VISA gift card is issued to any name and address at the time of card issuance. A VISA gift card cannot be reloaded with funds. A virtual VISA card can be reloaded if required.
Can I use the US Unlocked card to withdraw cash from an ATM?
We wish! Unfortunately, there is no cash or ATM access with this type of card as it is virtual. Only a physical card allows such access.
How long is the card valid for?
Merchant specific cards have an expiration date of 6 years from the month of issuance.