Once you're approved for a new credit card, the next step is generally to wait for it to arrive in the mail. To avoid tampering if it doesn't make it to you, the card issuer will usually require you to activate it when it arrives, which requires providing some information that verifies you are, indeed, the intended recipient of the card. There should be a MasterCard activation phone number on the card itself, but if not, you should be able to activate it online or contact customer service.
MasterCard Activation Phone Number
When you receive your MasterCard in the mail, typically there will be a sticker attached directing you how to activate it. This involves calling a toll-free number, which will likely be automated. You'll be asked to input identifying information for security purposes and once you finish, your card will be ready to use.
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If your card didn't come with a MasterCard activation phone number, you can call the MasterCard Assistance Center. The toll-free number is 1-800-627-8372, but they also provide a number you can call collect: 1-636-722-7111.
Activate Gift Cards
If your MasterCard is a gift card, the activation process will be a little different. Normally, you'll activate MasterCard gift cards at the location where you buy them. You'll simply take them to the cash register and pay. The cashier should give you an activation receipt, which is very important in case you have problems redeeming the card after you leave the store.
For online gift card purchases, you may be asked to activate your MasterCard gift card after you receive it. In this case, activation instructions should be on the card's packaging. This should be in the form of a phone number that you can call, as is the case with MasterCard credit and debit cards.
Using MasterCard Gift Cards
Once you activate a MasterCard gift card, you may have a limited time in which to use it. Many MasterCard and Visa gift cards come with an expiration date, often spanning 12 months. After that 12-month period is up, you may be charged a fee each month, deducted from the balance of the card, so it's important to be aware of these limitations. If you lose the gift card, there's no way to get the money back on it, so using it as soon as possible is a good idea for a variety of reasons.
There should be a customer service number associated with your gift card. You can contact that number to get an update on your balance if you lose track of it on your own.
Activate Bank-Issued MasterCards
Like many consumers, you may have gotten your MasterCard through your financial institution. In this case, you'll go through the bank. For example, if your card is through Bank of America, contact the bank instead of MasterCard. The easiest way to activate your bank credit card is often through the bank's website, though.
Many banks offer a toll-free number for activation. Although Bank of America encourages customers to activate their cards online, like many banks they also offer an activation number. The Bank of America contact number for credit card activation is 1-800-276-9939.
Activate NetSpend MasterCard
Prepaid cards have become increasingly popular in recent years, and one extremely popular brand is the NetSpend card. These cards let you deposit your paycheck directly to them and then spend the money as you would a bank account-connected debit card. You can also load funds from other sources, making it great for a variety of applications.
To activate your NetSpend card, you just go to netspend.com/account/activate. You'll need to input your card number and the security code from the back of your card. If you have trouble with your card, you can call NetSpend customer service at 1-86-NETSPEND.