Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.

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:

  1. Credit card information. This includes the credit card number, expiry date and the card’s CVC/CVV number.
  2. 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:

  1. Call the number on the back of your card or sign up for your provider’s online banking.
  2. Find your new card under Accounts if activating online or request card activation by phone.
  3. 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

BankActivation phone numberActivation website
TD Bank1-800-983-8472TD Bank online portal
Scotiabank1-800-806-8600 or 1-866-583-6289 for MasterCardsScotiabank activation page
BMO1-800-263-2263BMO activation page
CIBC1-800-465-4653CIBC online portal
RBC1-877-900-5900RBC activation page
Amex1-800-716-6661American Express activation page
HSBC1-866-688-4722 or 1-866-573-4722 for MasterCardsHSBC online portal
Tangerine1-866-700-4610Tangerine online portal
MBNA1-800-871-6803MBNA online portal
Capital One1-888-655-5646Capital One activation page
PC Financial1-866-246-7262PC Financial online portal
National Bank of Canada1-800-268-0808N/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.

Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Purchase Interest Rate Annual Fee Min. Credit Score Description
BMO CashBack Mastercard
5% cash back
Up to 3% cash back
20.99%
$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 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. A 2% fee applies to transferred balances.
OFFER
Tangerine World Mastercard
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until July 5, 2023. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
OFFER
Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card
10% cash back
Up to 2% cash back
19.95%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 600
Earn 10% cash back (up to $100) when you spend $1,000 in the first 2 months. Valid until July 5, 2023. Plus, get a 1.95% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 6 months.
Neo Financial Mastercard
Get $25.00 + up to 15% cash back
Average 5% cash back
19.99% - 26.99%
$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 0.5% cashback guaranteed.
RBC Avion Visa Infinite
35,000 points
Up to 1 point per $1 spent
20.99%
$120
Min. recommended credit score: 650
Get up to 35,000 Welcome Points.
American Express Cobalt Card
30,000 points
Up to 5x points per $1 spent
20.99%
$155.88
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards points in your first year. Earn 2,500 Membership Rewards points for each monthly billing period in which you spend $500 in net purchases on your card (up to 30,000 points). That’s up to $300 towards a weekend getaway or concert tickets.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
0.99% rate on balance transfers for 9 months
N/A
13.99%
$0 annual fee for the first year ($29 thereafter)
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get a rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee. Plus, get the $29 annual fee waived in the first year.
RBC ION+ Visa
7,000 points
3 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$48
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get up to 7,000 points. Get 3,500 Welcome Points on approval and earn 3,500 bonus points when you spend $500 in your first 3 months. Apply by July 31, 2023.
RBC ION Visa
3,500 points
1.5 points per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 660
Get 3,500 Avion points when you get approved for the card. Apply by July 31, 2023.
American Express Green Card
10,000 points
1 point per $1 spent
20.99%
$0
Min. recommended credit score: 700
Earn a Welcome Bonus of 10,000 Membership Rewards points when you charge $1,000 in purchases to your card in the first 3 months as a new Cardmember. That’s $100 towards groceries or concert tickets.
loading

What happens if you don’t activate your card

If you don’t activate your card, your account will likely be open but you and your authorized users won’t be able to make any purchases. Also, if you don’t activate your card, you risk compromising your card’s security.

Bottom line

There are two main ways to activate your card — by phone and online. Some card providers may also let you activate your card via their mobile app. Whichever method you choose, the process is fast and simple.

Frequently asked questions

More guides on Finder

  • Bad credit loans in Edmonton, Alberta

    From personal and payday loans to lines of credit, compare loans for bad credit in Edmonton.

  • How to buy Sui (SUI) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy Sui, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (SUI).

  • How to buy Pepe (PEPE) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy Pepe, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (PEPE).

  • How to buy Arbitrum (ARB) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy Arbitrum, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (ARB).

  • How to buy SSV Network (SSV) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy SSV Network, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (SSV).

  • How to buy USDD (USDD) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy USDD, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (USDD).

  • How to buy Blur (BLUR) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy Blur, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (BLUR).

  • How to buy FLOKI Inu (FLOKI) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy FLOKI Inu, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (FLOKI).

  • How to buy Aptos (APT) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy Aptos, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (APT).

  • How to buy EthereumPoW (ETHW) in Canada

    This guide provides step-by-step instructions on how to buy EthereumPoW, lists some exchanges where you can get it and provides daily price data on (ETHW).

Ask an Expert

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Go to site