A guide to activating a credit card

When your new credit card arrives, you’ll need to activate it before you can use it.  Not sure how? Check out our simple guide…

When your new credit card arrives, you’ll need to activate it before you can use it.  Not sure how? Check out our simple guide…

Alex Hasty
Insurance and finance expert
minute read
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Posted 7 JANUARY 2020

Why do I need to activate my card?

You need to activate your credit card for security purposes. Activating your card tells your bank or credit card provider that you’re the correct recipient and the card hasn’t ended up in the wrong hands.

How do I activate new credit card?

To activate your new credit card you’ll need the credit card number and your date of birth. You can either activate your card via online banking, phoning the card provider directly or using an ATM machine.

Activate online: If you already have an online bank account with the provider, then your credit card will have been added to your account. Simply log in and go through the activation steps. If you don’t have an online account, you’ll need to set one up, then log in and enter your personal information to activate your card.  

Activating by phone: The number you need to call should be on the back of your credit card. Many providers offer a 24-hour automated phone line that will ensure your card is activated in just a few minutes. 

Activating using an ATM machine: For contactless activation on your credit card you’ll need to use your PIN either at an ATM or in store before you can make your first contactless payment using your card.

Once you’ve activated your card, you’ll also need to make sure that you’ve signed the back before using it to keep it secure.

How long after activating my credit card can I use it?

Typically, you can use your card almost immediately after you’ve activated it. If you’re having problems using your card, then it’s best to contact the provider to ensure it’s definitely been activated. 

How do I know if my credit card is still active?

You can check whether your credit card is still active via online banking or by calling the card provider. If your credit card is no longer active, it will be declined when you try to use it.

Your credit card can be deactivated for a number of reasons. If you haven’t used it for several months or even years, then the credit card provider can choose to deactivate your card. Or it could be that your purchasing privileges have been suspended due to you making late repayments.  

It could even be that your card has expired and you haven’t received a new one (you’ll need to pick this up with the card provider). It’s important to also make sure that all personal information such as your address is up-to-date with you bank for security.

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