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Virtual phone number to verify card trx abroad?

Virtual phone number to verify card trx abroad?

Old Apr 15, 2023, 3:23 pm
  #1  
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Question Virtual phone number to verify card trx abroad?

Does anyone have experience using a virtual phone number from a service like TextMagic or eSIMplus for 2-factor auth for credit card transactions while abroad?

I've been going to France each July for a few years. I use my Capital One MasterCard there because it has no foreign transaction feesa big money saver.

However, while in France, I sometimes need to make online purchases, and CapOne requires verification of those transactions via text message. Unfortunately I can't receive text messages at my US number while in France, as I turn it off to save the $10/day fee that my carrier charges.

So this year I've been thinking about getting a US-based virtual number so that I can receive text messages via browser from anywhere in the world. Just wondering if anyone has done that with the bank/credit card? And if so, are there any services that are better than others? Thanks.
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Old Apr 15, 2023, 5:43 pm
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Originally Posted by handsomekilla
However, while in France, I sometimes need to make online purchases, and CapOne requires verification of those transactions via text message. Unfortunately I can't receive text messages at my US number while in France, as I turn it off to save the $10/day fee that my carrier charges.
if it's verizon, verizon has an app that allows you to receive text messages

if its verizon/att/tmobile and you have a working wifi-calling phone, you should be able to use wifi to receive text messages (but this means you need another device to hotspot from, or have a recent iPHone that supports eSIM, or rely on spotty free wifi )

So this year I've been thinking about getting a US-based virtual number so that I can receive text messages via browser from anywhere in the world. Just wondering if anyone has done that with the bank/credit card? And if so, are there any services that are better than others? Thanks.
unfortunately, many banks block these virtual or prepaid numbers (security reasons). no way to know unless you try (or search for other people's experiences)
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Old Apr 15, 2023, 8:58 pm
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Capital One has no problem texting or calling my Google Voice number. Occasionally you'll find a bank that will call but won't text GV and there are some that reject them outright. My experience over the last few years is that it usually works, but you'll have to test it with your particular banks. It's free, so just give it a shot.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 11:06 am
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Originally Posted by der_saeufer
Capital One has no problem texting or calling my Google Voice number. Occasionally you'll find a bank that will call but won't text GV and there are some that reject them outright. My experience over the last few years is that it usually works, but you'll have to test it with your particular banks. It's free, so just give it a shot.
I was going to suggest Google Voice. There's an option to receive incoming text messages to your GV as an email. The only thing I would say is there SOMETIMES is a bit of a lag (I'm talking a minute or less) between "receipt" of the incoming text message into the GV account and displaying on the web-based Google Voice portal and it arrving as an email. Presumably if you're shopping online on a lap/desktop, you'll have a browser tab open on the shopping site and another browser tab loaded with your logged in Google Voice account and would see the ncoming text message "pop" up in the GV site.
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Old Apr 17, 2023, 7:39 pm
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Thanks everyone. I'd completely forgotten about Google Voice as an option. I've had one of their numbers for years. I'll give it a shot.
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 8:31 am
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Originally Posted by paperwastage
if it's verizon, verizon has an app that allows you to receive text messages
T-Mobile's DIGITS app lets you send/receive text messages and make phone calls. I believe it's $10/mo (I have a grandfathered plan where it's free), and you can activate/deactivate as needed.
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 10:24 am
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede
T-Mobile's DIGITS app lets you send/receive text messages and make phone calls. I believe it's $10/mo (I have a grandfathered plan where it's free), and you can activate/deactivate as needed.
Well, T-Mobile has free international TXT for pretty much all their plans. So DIGITS only help if you have no mobile signal at all and only WiFi.

If you have Magenta or ONE Plan (or most plans activated after Nov. 2015), you automatically have the Stateside International Unlimited Text Messaging feature.

This feature is included at no additional charge.
You can send and receive unlimited texts to any country in the world where texting is available (except Cuba or Wallis & Futuna).
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 11:08 am
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Originally Posted by Need
Well, T-Mobile has free international TXT for pretty much all their plans. So DIGITS only help if you have no mobile signal at all and only WiFi.
Very true. What OP should really do is keep their phone in airplane mode and turn on WiFi. OP should be able to utilize wifi calling/texting to US numbers without any additional charges.

It's what I like about the DIGITS app. I can insert a foreign SIM in my phone and still have my US number available to call/text when needed.

Edited to add: it should also be a regulation that US cell phone companies allow phones to be temporarily unlocked when traveling abroad. I can't believe T-Mobile is the only one that allows that.
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Last edited by pseudoswede; Apr 18, 2023 at 11:29 am
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 12:19 pm
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As of January, 2023, T-Mobile no longer unlocks subscribers iPhones for foreign travel. There is no temp unlock for iPhones, and many customers were using the travel request as a method of gaining a permanent unlock for their iPhone, so unless it is paid in full, it will remain locked to the network. I also have a free Motorola Android phone that will permit five, 30 day unlocks per year in the Settings App. since it will relock after the 30 days has run. This policy has been posted and discussed at length on Reddit, and I am convinced it is true. I buy my iPhones from Apple, and they do not lock them even if financed through a US carrier. I suggest anyone who is seeking an unlocked iPhone with a carrier discount, check the Apple.com website for details.
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Old Apr 18, 2023, 2:29 pm
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Originally Posted by handsomekilla
Thanks everyone. I'd completely forgotten about Google Voice as an option. I've had one of their numbers for years. I'll give it a shot.
You can use the GV app on a phone without a US number. Configure the app to use WiFi/data instead of use carrier. You will need to create the GV number before departing.

I use my AT&T iPhone without a roaming fee by buying a local sim and configuring IMS on my iPhone. My son is using IMS in the Republic of Georgia to avoid international roaming.
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Old Apr 19, 2023, 12:28 am
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Originally Posted by pseudoswede
T-Mobile's DIGITS app lets you send/receive text messages and make phone calls. I believe it's $10/mo (I have a grandfathered plan where it's free), and you can activate/deactivate as needed.
DIGITS will not show those authentication texts - I think it just blocks texts from short codes.

But as incoming texts on T-mobile are free, there's no reason to use it for texts (there are other reasons to use it.)
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Old Feb 1, 2024, 5:54 am
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Originally Posted by draver
I buy my iPhones from Apple, and they do not lock them even if financed through a US carrier. I suggest anyone who is seeking an unlocked iPhone with a carrier discount, check the Apple.com website for details.

Buying from Apple is hit or miss with unlocked iPhones using carrier finance. My iPhone 14 was unlocked and purchased in store. My sons iPhone 15 plus was locked and purchased on line. He submitted a military deployment unlock request. Initially, the carrier denied the request because the deployment was less than 90 days. Then the carrier approved the appeal since the carrier made up the less than 90 days.

Last edited by TGarza; Feb 1, 2024 at 7:56 am
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Old Feb 1, 2024, 8:23 am
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Originally Posted by TGarza
Buying from Apple is hit or miss with unlocked iPhones using carrier finance. My iPhone 14 was unlocked. My son’s iPhone 15 plus was locked. He submitted a military deployment unlock request. Initially, the carrier denied the request because the deployment was less than 90 days. Then the carrier approved the appeal since the carrier made up the less than 90 days.
If purchased using the Apple Card Monthly Installment (ACMI) for carrier financed iPhones, here is their lock policy from their website:

"An iPhone purchased with ACMI is always unlocked, so you can switch carriers at any time. ACMI is not available for purchases made online at the following special stores: Apple Employee Purchase Plan; participating corporate Employee Purchase Programs; Apple at Work for small businesses; Government, and Veterans and Military Purchase Programs, or on refurbished devices."

Is it possible he purchased using one of the exceptions to the lock policy, like the Vet discount? I use that every year for a 10% discount. I do not use their financing however, so my iPhones are always unlocked.

Edited to add:

"Apple Card Monthly Installments (ACMI) is a 0% APR payment option that is only available if you select it at checkout in the U.S. for eligible products purchased at Apple Store locations, apple.com (Opens in a new window), the Apple Store app, or by calling 1-800-MY-APPLE, and is subject to credit approval and credit limit."

Last edited by draver; Feb 1, 2024 at 8:37 am Reason: Added ACMI finance statement.
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Old Feb 1, 2024, 8:33 am
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Originally Posted by draver
If purchased using the Apple Card Monthly Installment (ACMI) for carrier financed iPhones, here is their lock policy from their website:
I purchased his iPhone using the same account and method. None of the exceptions were used for the purchase. His is now unlocked after the appeal. I was surprised his iPhone was locked since my previous iPhones were unlocked. Next time I will purchase in store.
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Old Feb 2, 2024, 7:45 am
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Verizon lets you access your phone and texts through its mobile app, but I think it blocks short codes. US Mobile will give you a real mobile number for $6 a month where WiFi calling is enabled. If you have a dual SIM phone, you could use it over WiFi. If you have a dual SIM phone which supports WiFi calling, another option is to manual lock your Verizon phone on your Verizon signal in the US before boarding the plane and connect via data assist over your French SIM. Incidentally Orange FR just released a data only roaming SIM.
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