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How to activate Mastercard credit cards

Mastercard activation is easy with these 3 simple ways: Online, by phone or through an app

Before using your Mastercard, you’re going to have to activate it first. Most Mastercard providers let you activate your card by phone, online or via their mobile app. Keep in mind, the latter may not be available with all card providers. Learn everything you need to know about Mastercard activation below.

How to activate Mastercard credit cards online

Online Mastercard 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, enrol by providing personal information such as your Social Insurance 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 Insurance Number.

How to activate Mastercard credit cards by phone

Card activation by phone is another widely-used method. Here’s how to do it:

  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 do your Mastercard activation with a mobile app

Most large card providers allow you to activate Mastercard credit cards 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 have 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 any rewards at all, consider applying for a card that has the best rewards on groceries, gas or any other category where you spend most. The cards in the table below are a good start for a second option.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
RBC Cash Back Mastercard
N/A
Up to 2% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get 2% cash back on grocery store purchases, and up to 1% cash back on all other qualifying purchases and pre-authorized payments.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 5% cash back on all eligible purchases in the first three months of card membership (up to max. spend of $2,500). Plus, get a rate of 1.99% on balance transfers with a 1% balance transfer fee for nine months.
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until May 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
Neo Secured Card
15% cash back
5% cash back
19.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 1% cashback guaranteed.
OFFER
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn an extra 10% cash back (up to $100) on up to $1,000 of everyday purchases in the first 2 months Until May 31, 2022. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months (valid within the first 30 days of account opening, 1% transfer fee applies).
EXCLUSIVE
Neo Financial Mastercard
Get $25.00
Average 5% cash back
19.99% - 24.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Get $25 when you sign up for the Neo Financial Mastercard. Plus, earn bonuses like 15% cashback on your first purchase at most partners, and earn an average of 5% cashback at thousands of partners and at least 1% cashback guaranteed.
Walmart Rewards Mastercard
Up to $25 in Reward Dollars
Up to 1.25% cash back
19.89%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get up to $25 in bonus Walmart Reward Dollars.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Bottom line

You can activate 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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