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How to activate a Discover credit card

There are three fast ways to make your card ready for use.

Discover offers three ways to activate your card in minutes — by phone, online or through the Discover mobile app. Here are the steps to activate with each method.

How to activate your Discover card online

Unlike many issuers, Discover credit cards allow you to activate your card without enrolling in online banking:

  1. Visit https://card.discover.com/cardmembersvcs/acctxfer/app/Home.
  2. Log in if you have an account, or continue the process without logging in.
  3. Complete the form with the last four digits of your Social Security number, your date of birth and your card information.

How to activate your Discover card by phone

Pick up the phone for fast activation in two steps:

  1. Call 800-347-2683.
  2. Follow the prompts and provide the required information, including your card number, expiry date and Social Security number.

How to activate your Discover card with a mobile app

Get to spending with fast activation through the Discover mobile app:

  1. Download Discover Mobile for iOS or Android.
  2. Locate your new card under your accounts.
  3. Provide the requested information.

Getting started with your Discover card

After you’ve activated your card, here’s what you’ll want to do to start using your card effectively.

  • Login to your Discover online account. You’ll find your card’s rates and fees, Discover perks and benefits, and other settings on your account page. This is a good place to get familiar with your credit card before you start using it, though you’ll need your card information before you can access it. To activate your account:
    • Go to the Discover home page.
    • Choose Register account in the Secure account login window in the top right of the page.
    • Select Register now under the Credit cards box.
    • Fill in the requested information to complete registration.
  • Download the Discover mobile app. The Discover mobile app offers you ways to monitor your account, make payments and more from your mobile device This is a handy tool to have on hand, especially for security purposes. Download this app by going to either the Apple Store or Google Play store and searching for “Discover mobile app.”
  • Set up autopay. If you want to cut interest and late fees out of the equation, set up autopay as soon as possible from your online account. Find autopay under the payment options when viewing your account balance. By setting your account to automatically pay your monthly statement in full each month, you won’t need to worry about accruing interest.
  • Add your Discover card to your digital wallet. For some extra convenience when you’re out and about, add your Discover card to your digital wallet, such as Apple Pay. This lets you use your phone to make a purchase rather than relying on your physical card.
  • Set up your PIN. While it’s not necessary to set up a PIN for everyday credit card usage, you will need one if you intend on performing a cash advance or using your card abroad. You’ll need to call Discover or create a PIN through your online account.
  • Start earning rewards. If you have a Discover cashback or rewards card, start planning out your spending to best take advantage of your card’s bonus categories. Get a full breakdown of how Discover’s rewards program works with our complete guide.
  • Redeem your rewards. Once you’ve built up some rewards, make sure you use them! Check out some of the best options for redeeming rewards to make sure you get the most from your spending.

Bottom line

You have three ways to activate your Discover credit card — by phone, online or through the Discover mobile app. If you decide to pick up an additional card down the line, remember that activating a credit card will be similar across issuers. Take a look at all of your Discover card options to find a great complement to your new Discover card’s strengths.

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