Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

How to activate an American Express credit card

Get spending with your new card in three ways.

Updated . What changed?

Fact checked
Once your American Express arrives in your mail, your next step is to activate it. You can do this online, by phone or through the Amex mobile app. Whichever option you choose, the card activation process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes.

How to activate your American Express card online

American Express cards don’t require you to enroll in an Amex online banking service before activation. To activate:

  1. Visit
  2. Enter your credit card number and the four-digit ID on the back of the card.
  3. Enter any requested personal information to verify your ID.

How to activate your American Express card by phone

Activate your card by phone in two steps:

  1. Call the number on the back of your card or 800-869-3016.
  2. Provide the required credit card and personal information, including your card and Social Security number.

How to activate your American Express card with a mobile app

Another option is to activate your American Express card using the Amex mobile app.

  1. Download the Amex mobile app from Google Play or the App Store.
  2. Tap to register for a new Online services account.
  3. Scan your card or enter the card’s information manually.
  4. Verify your identity.

How do I know if my American Express credit card is activated?

Check the status of your Amex card in your online account or in your mobile app.

When can I use my American Express credit card after activation?

You can use your Amex card immediately after you activate it.

What’s next?

With your American Express credit card now active, you’ll want to know how to best earn and redeem your rewards.

Bottom line

American Express lets you activate your card online, by phone or with the Amex mobile app. If you’re in a hurry, go for the online activation method or through the app — your quickest option. And if you choose an additional credit card from a different issuer down the road, activating your new credit card should prove a similar process.

More guides on Finder

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked provides guides and information on a range of products and services. Because our content is not financial advice, we suggest talking with a professional before you make any decision.

By submitting your comment or question, you agree to our Privacy and Cookies Policy and Terms of Use.

Questions and responses on are not provided, paid for or otherwise endorsed by any bank or brand. These banks and brands are not responsible for ensuring that comments are answered or accurate.
Go to site