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How to activate a Mastercard credit card

Most card providers offer similar activation procedures.

Updated

Fact checked

Before using your Mastercard, you’re going to have to activate it. Most providers let you activate your card online, by phone or through their mobile app.

How to activate your Mastercard credit card online

Online card activation is often the fastest way to start using your card, but you’ll first need an online account with your provider. If you don’t yet have one, enroll by providing personal information such as your Social Security number and date of birth, then:

  1. Log in to your card provider online account.
  2. Find your new credit card under Accounts.
  3. Enter your credit card information, such as your card number, expiration date and CVV/CVC.
  4. You may need to verify your ID with information like your date of birth and Social Security number.

How to activate your Mastercard credit card by phone

Card activation by phone is another widely used method.

  1. Call the number on the back of your card.
  2. Request to activate your card.
  3. Provide your Mastercard credit card’s information.
  4. You may be required to provide personal information as well.

How to activate your Mastercard credit card with a mobile app

Most large card providers let you activate your card with their mobile app.

  1. Download the card provider’s app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Log in with your online account username and password.
  3. Look for your card under Accounts.
  4. Follow the prompts.

Compare Mastercard credit cards

Now that you’ve activated your card, you can start using it. Later down the line, you may need a higher credit line or features that your current card lacks. Pairing credit cards can help you maximize your rewards.

For example, if you now earn flat rewards on all purchases — or if you don’t earn rewards at all — consider applying for a card that has the best rewards on groceries, gas or any other category where you spend most.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
CardMatch™ from creditcards.com
See terms
See issuer's website
See terms
Use the CardMatch tool to find cards you're likely to qualify for with your credit score, without a hard pull on your credit.
Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1% for cash back
14.99% variable
$195
Enjoy unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
14.99% variable
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
First Progress Platinum Elite MasterCard® Secured Credit Card
N/A
19.99% variable
$29
Build your credit with all three major credit bureaus.
Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™
1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare or cash back
14.99% variable
$995
Earn 2% point value when redeemed for airfare or cash back through the Luxury rewards program.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

You can activate all Mastercard credit cards the same way you would activate any other card — by phone, online or through a company’s mobile app if available. If you end up looking for a top-rated secondary credit card to compliment your newly activated Mastercard, remember to compare your options.

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