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.
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This article is sponsored by US Unblocked and is biased. For actual reviews of the service head over to trustpilot to see what real consumers like myself are saying.
Hi John. This is NOT a sponsored piece and hence unbiased.
When they relaunched their service, we checked their card and support both and it checked out fine. We have however, not used their card since 2019, so thank you for bringing it to our notice.
I am getting in touch with US Unlocked and will ask them to look at Trustpilot reviews as well.
My name is Reilly and I am a customer support representative for US Unlocked. As Zahra said, we did recently go through a relaunch and are working everyday to make our service better and easier to use. If you reach out to our support email [email protected] we can provide you with more help regarding fees that have been charged to your account.
We strive to make our customers as happy as possible, so I hope you decide to reach out!
I was a user of US Unlocked from before they got cancelled and relaunched. I had money on my account which they will not release or transfer to the new system. They claim they are working on it but it’s been years since I first attempted to get my money out and keep getting denied.
The bigger issue is that in Canada you will need to make a wire payment to get money on the card which costs minimum $20 per transfer. There are transaction fee’s, load fee’s, membership fee’s, you look at the website funny and there are fee’s…
I switched to statescard which works flawlessly for hulu with less confusing fee’s and I can actually load with paypal instead of a wire transfer. I would recommend doing a review of this service.
Hi Gill. Thank you for the feedback, the complaint and the recommendation. We will definitely look into the name you’ve given… and also see if we can ask them for an update on your claim. No promises though :/
My name is Ryan and I am a customer support representative for US Unlocked. We are actively working on getting the funds back to our Legacy customers. If you would kindly reach out to our customer support email: [email protected] we will be happy to give you instructions on how you would like the funds returned to you. As far as our load methods per country we are actively working on adding new load methods to better suit each country.
Hello. Can you suggest an alternative to US Unlocked. I am living in Canada and would like to subscribe to Hulu. Need a US card and address.
You can use it from Canada as well – that’s the whole idea behind US Unlocked. As for address you can get that too from any free parcel forwarding service. Using prepaid cards for Hulu and others is usually best. These are available for purchase from eBay and Amazon …
In Canada as of April 2021, the only option for loading money into US Unlocked is via “Bank Transfer”. Unfortunately, you cannot do this using online banking in Canada. Definitely, you can wire money to other countries, but the banking info US Unlocked provides is for a Royal Bank account in Toronto (Canada). So annoying — they don’t allow me to send money this way within Canada! I bank at four different Canadian banks (Royal, BMO, Scotia, Tangerine) — none of them provide a way to do this online. Perhaps, if I walk into a bank branch with the info provided by US Unlocked, I could do it. The kicker: Royal Bank indicates that this kind of bank transfer STARTS at $45.
US Unlocked needs to get their act together and provide a better way for Canadians to use their service.
If you have successfully loaded a US Unlocked card from Canada, PLEASE post how you did this. Thank you!
Suggestion for US Unlocked:
Nobody in Canada would ever send a SWIFT bank transfer from one Canadian account to another Canadian account. We don’t even have this option online (international transfers only). You need to provide a US bank account to Canadians. We can easily do a wire transfer from a Canadian bank to a US bank account (a bit expensive and slow, but we can do it).
Better yet: if you want us to deposit into your bank account in Canada, use Interac e-Transfer. This is what Canadians use within Canada. It’s super-inexpensive and almost instant.
Hi Paul, Thank you for the suggestions and insights in the options available in Canada. US Unlocked monitors this article and will most probably look closely into a more viable solution for users in Canada.
They are a massive scam, they charge fees for transactions that didn’t go through because they denied the request. Literally force you to pay fees they made you get charged. Unethical and a massive scam site. Avoid it
US Unlocked underwent a massive overhaul and has recently relaunched their service. Doubt they would be allowed to issue cards and allow people to send money to them due to strong regulatory requirements in place.
As for the charges, yes, a simple card check also costs $0.50 even if the amount is returned back or cancelled. Instead of calling them a scam because you don’t like their fee structure, perhaps reach out to them via support and ask for such charges to be refunded back to you.