3 Ways to Activate Your American Express Card | Finder Canada

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How to activate an American Express credit card

Get spending with your new card in three ways.

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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 the American Express card portal.
  2. Enter your 4-digit card ID and 15-digit credit card number (as shown in the steps provided on the portal).
  3. Enter any requested personal information to verify your ID and confirm.

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 1-800-869-3016.
  2. Provide the required credit card and your personal information.

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 the Google Play or Apple App Store. Or you can text MOBILE to 297687 to receive a link to download the Amex App on your phone.
  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.

Compare American Express credit cards

With your American Express credit card now active, you can start using it. With responsible spending, a time will come when you need a higher credit limit or additional perks that your card might lack.

For example, if you earn flat rewards on all purchases, consider applying for an Amex rewards card with boosted earnings where you spend most. The cards in the table below are excellent second-card options worth considering.

Name Product Purchase Interest Rate Cash Advance Rate Annual Fee Minimum Income Benefits with this card Description
American Express Cobalt Card
19.99%
21.99%
$120
N/A
Earn 5 Membership Rewards points per $1 spent at eligible grocery stores, restaurants, bars, cafés and food delivery services, 2 points per $1 spent at eligible gas stations, and on transit and travel purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent elsewhere.
Earn up to 45,000 bonus Membership Rewards points. In your first year as a new Cobalt Cardmember, earn 2,500 points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 on your card (for a total of 30,000 points in a year). Plus, earn 15,000 points when you spend a total of $3,000 in purchases on your Card in your first 3 months. Apply by May 5, 2021.
SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express
19.99%
21.99%
$99
N/A
Earn 2% cash back on all eligible purchases
Earn 10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 in cash back) for the first four months of Cardmembership.
American Express Aeroplan Card
30% annual interest rate applies to balances not paid in full each month
N/A
$120
N/A
Earn 2x the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada vacations, 1.5x the points on eligible dining and food delivery purchases and 1x the points on everything else.
Earn up to 15,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points and a bonus Buddy Pass as a new cardmember.
Choice Card from American Express
19.99%
23.99%
$0
N/A
Earn 1 American Express Membership Point for every $1 you spend on purchases.
Earn 12,500 Bonus Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,250 in purchases to your card within the first 3 months as a new Cardmember. Apply by May 5, 2021.
American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card
19.99%
21.99%
$599
N/A
Earn 3x the points on eligible purchases made directly with Air Canada and Air Canada Vacations, 2x the points on eligible dining and food delivery purchases in Canada, and 1x the points on everything else.
Earn up to 65,000 Welcome Bonus Aeroplan points and a $100 Statement Credit as a new cardmember.
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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.

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