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How to activate a Visa credit card

This merchant processor offers a similar process across all its providers.

Updated

When your new Visa card arrives in the mail, your first step is to activate it. With most Visa providers, you can activate your card in three ways — by phone, online or through the mobile app. But not all cards displaying the Visa logo allow for app activation.

How to activate your Visa card online

Online is your fastest option, even accounting for the step of creating an online account. Enroll with your Social Security number and date of birth, and then follow four steps:

  1. Log in to your online account.
  2. Look for your new credit card under Accounts.
  3. Enter your card number, expiration date and CVV/CVC.
  4. Enter your date of birth and Social Security number, if required by your provider.

How to activate your Visa card by phone

Activate your card with a phone call in three steps:

  1. Call the number on the back of your card or the number in the sticker on your card.
  2. Request to activate your card.
  3. Provide your card’s information and personal identifying details.

How to activate your Visa card with a mobile app

Most card providers let you activate your card with the provider’s mobile app in three steps:

  1. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play.
  2. Log in with your online account information.
  3. Look for your card under Accounts.

Compare Visa credit cards

You can begin using your newly activated Visa card immediately. After you’ve integrated it into your spending and budget, you may want a higher credit limit or perks that your current Visa card lacks.

For example, your current card may earn flat rewards on all purchases, but you may get more out of the best cards for gas, groceries or any other category where you spend most. Compare other options to wee what your next card could look like.

Name Product Filter values Rewards Purchase APR Annual fee
Chase Freedom Unlimited®
5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase, 5% on Lyft, 3% on dining and drugstores and 1.5% on all other purchases
0% intro for the first 15 months (then 14.99% to 23.74% variable)
$0
This solid 1.5% cashback card gets even better with the addition of up to 5% back in categories like travel, drug stores and dining.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
5x points on Lyft, 2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
15.99% to 22.99% variable
$95
Earn a signup bonus worth $750 with this popular travel card. Combine with other Chase Ultimate Rewards cards for even greater value.
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
4% at gas stations on up to $7,000 annually (then 1%), 3% at restaurants and on travel, 2% at Costco and 1% on all other purchases
15.24% variable
$0
An impressive cashback card that offers up to 4% back on everyday purchases like gas, travel and dining all for the cost of a Costco membership.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases
16.99% to 23.99% variable
$550
Get a generous $300 in annual travel credits, 3x points on travel and dining, and a 50% bonus on point redemptions with Chase's premier card.
TD Cash Credit Card
3% on dining, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other eligible purchases
0% intro for the first 6 months (then 12.99%, 17.99% or 22.99% variable)
$0
3% on dining and 2% on groceries make this a valuable card for food purchases. Use it while traveling, too, with no foreign transaction fees. Available in: CT, DC, DE, FL, MA, MD, ME, NC, NH, NJ, NY, PA, RI, SC, VA, VT
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

All Visa credit cards have the same activation procedure as any other credit card — online or by phone, with many providers extending the convenience of easy activation through a mobile app.

Now that your Visa card is active and ready to use, consider adding one of the best second credit cards to your wallet for additional perks, the chance to earn a signup bonus and or increase your credit limit.

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