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How to activate any credit card
Activating your card is simple and fast.
As soon as your card arrives in your mail, your next step is to activate it. All card providers offer two ways of doing that, either online or by phone. But a rising number of card providers offer a third way — via the card provider’s mobile app.
What you need to activate your card
To activate your credit card, you’ll need your:
- Credit card information. This includes the credit card number, expiry date and the card’s CVC/CVV number.
- Personal information. You’ll also need to verify your identity by providing your date of birth, Social Insurance Number and answer to security questions.
How to activate a credit card
The card activation process is generally the same across all providers. Here’s how it works:
- Call the number on the back of your card or sign up for your provider’s online banking.
- Find your new card under Accounts if activating online or request card activation by phone.
- Follow the prompts and provide your card and personal information.
TIP: If you’re activating your card by phone, call from the number given with your card when it was first mailed to you. Otherwise, you may need to provide additional information to verify you are the real cardholder.
Some card providers let you activate your card with the provider’s mobile app. In this case, the process is similar to activating your card online.
How to activate a credit card with leading issuers
|Bank||Activation phone number||Activation website|
|TD Bank||1-800-983-8472||TD Bank online portal|
|Scotiabank||1-800-806-8600 or 1-866-583-6289 for MasterCards||Scotiabank activation page|
|BMO||1-800-263-2263||BMO activation page|
|CIBC||1-800-465-4653||CIBC online portal|
|RBC||1-877-900-5900||RBC activation page|
|Amex||1-800-716-6661||American Express activation page|
|HSBC||1-866-688-4722 or 1-866-573-4722 for MasterCards||HSBC online portal|
|Tangerine||1-866-700-4610||Tangerine online portal|
|MBNA||1-800-871-6803||MBNA online portal|
|Capital One||1-888-655-5646||Capital One activation page|
|PC Financial||1-866-246-7262||PC Financial online portal|
|National Bank of Canada||1-800-268-0808||N/A|
Compare credit cards
Once your card is activated, you can start using it. It’s possible that after a while, you may feel the need for a higher credit line or features that your card lacks. You might also considering pairing cards, which lets you maximize rewards. For example, if you now earn flat rewards on all purchases, your next card could have excellent rewards for groceries, gas or any other category where you spend most.
Compare different credit cards in the table below to find one with the right features and perks for your needs.