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How to activate a Capital One credit card

There are three ways you can activate your card.

You can activate your Capital One card by phone, online or by using your Capital One mobile app. No matter which option you choose, the activation process shouldn’t take more than a few minutes. Once activated, you can use your card right away.

How to activate your Capital One card online

If you choose this option, you’ll need a Capital One online account first. If you don’t have one, sign up using your personal details such as Social Security number, bank account number and date of birth. Once you have online access, here’s how to activate:

  1. Go to the Capital One website.
  2. Log in with your username and password.
  3. Find your credit card.
  4. Use the last three-digit security code on the back of your card to activate it.

How to activate your Capital One card by phone

To activate your Capital One card by phone, you need to:

  1. Call 800-227-4825.
  2. Follow the instructions.

How to activate your Capital One card with a mobile app

If you’d rather use your mobile app to activate your card, here’s how you can do it:

  1. Download the Capital One mobile app for iOS or Android.
  2. Log in with the same information as your Capital One online account.
  3. Tap your profile, and then Account settings.
  4. You’ll see your new credit card. Tap Activate credit card.

Getting started with your Capital One credit card

With your Capital One card active, you’ll want to know how to optimize your card to avoid fees, simplify your account management and earn rewards on your purchases.

  1. Download the mobile app. With the Capital One mobile app you can simplify your finances, track your rewards, lock your card in case you lose it and more.
  2. Set up digital wallets. Capital One supports a variety of digital wallets, including Apple Pay, Google Pay, Samsung Pay, Garmin Pay and Fitbit Pay. This allows you to pay with your phone or a smartphone inside a store without worrying that your information could be compromised.
  3. Enroll in online banking. Enroll in online banking with your SSN or TIN and your credit card information. This allows you do monitor your accounts, make payments, set up virtual cards and more.
  4. Activate virtual cards. Capital One is one of the few card providers that offer virtual credit cards. To use it, add the Eno from Capital One extension from your browser. That way you can create virtual credit cards when you shop online and keep your real card information hidden and secure.
  5. Set up a PIN. You will most likely get a personal identification number (PIN) along with your card, but in case you didn’t — or if you want to change your old one — use your online account or call 800-227-4825. You need a PIN for ATM cash withdrawals and for purchases abroad.
  6. Set up autopay. Sign in to your Capital One online banking account and select Pay Bills. Select Payment Options and then Set up Autopay. This is a great feature that can help you always pay on time and avoid late payment fees.
  7. Maximize rewards. If you have a rewards card, read our guide on how to maximize your Capital One rewards.

Bottom line

You can easily activate your Capital One credit card either online, by phone or via the Capital One mobile app. Consider adding a second credit card to your wallet, which can get you additional perks or expand your credit limit.

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