Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our opinions or reviews. Learn how we make money.
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 Security number and answer your 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’s and your personal information.
TIP: If you’re activating your card by phone, call from the number you assigned in your card application to speed things up. 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 each bank
|Bank||Activation phone number||Activation website||Activation available on mobile app?||Guide to activating cards|
|Bank of America||800-276-9939||Bank of America|
|Capital One||800-227-4825||Capital One|
|Luxury card||877-408-8866||Luxury card|
|TD Bank||888-553-4122||TD Bank|
|U.S. bank||800-285-8585||US Bank|
|Wells Fargo||800-642-4720||Wells Fargo|
Compare credit cards
Once your card is activated, you can start using it. After a while, you may feel the need for a higher credit line or features that your card lacks. Pairing cards also 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. Check out the cards in the table below to see the perks you can get.
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.
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.
But now that your credit card is active, consider applying for an additional credit card to increase your credit limit, get additional perks and to get a chance to earn a new signup bonus.
Frequently asked questions
Ask an Expert