First of all, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea; although the credit card numbers you generate are valid, they’re not active and aren’t for making (fraudulent) purchases.
So, what’s the point?
Just like you may use a junk email address to sign up for special offers, you may want a junk credit card number too. That’s because free things are rarely ever free and that’s especially true of free trials.
Companies frequently offer “free” trials in exchange for your billing info. They’re betting against you — hoping you’ll forget to cancel your subscription so they can get some money out of you for at least one month, maybe a couple months if it’s only a few bucks and you’re too busy to cancel at the moment you notice the charge. Then you’ll probably forget about it until you see it again next month.
There are lots of great websites out there that require subscriptions and I think you should pay for and support the ones you use and enjoy. But, before you know if it’s a newspaper you enjoy, you may want to test drive their free trial and a generated credit card number can help you cut the strings and keep you safe from fake sites looking to capture your personal info.
Credit card numbers are generated based on a formula. A valid number is simply a number that conforms to a validation algorithm; they use check digits like we saw with UPC Barcodes.
An active number is a card number that conforms to this algorithm and is currently issued to a customer. While it’s technically possible that you could generate a number that is currently issued to a customer, it’s very unlikely since there are trillions of possible numbers. The odds are far greater that you’d win the lottery and of course those odds are very slim to begin with. Also, you don’t have the correct billing info for the customer, so a charge would never be approved anyway.
For free trials, you don’t need an active number since it never needs to be charged during the free trial period. You just need a number that is valid according to the algorithm so you can create a trial account at the new website you want to try.
You won’t be able to use these numbers for purchases because you’re missing critical information such as the: expiration date, CVV number, billing name, address and phone number. If a site is asking for this info for your generated card, you can make it up. The site won’t know it’s invalid unless they attempt to charge the card, and then a generated number is of no use to you anyway.
If you google around, you can find lists of “test credit card numbers” but chances are really good that these numbers have been used on most popular sites and they’re not going to work for you. To generate your own number, my favorite site is: http://www.getcreditcardnumbers.com/