As a security measure, new and replacement credit cards are normally inactive when they're mailed. If the card is with Capital One, you can take care of the activation online or with a quick phone call to the company.
To activate a Capital One card, you need the account number and the 3 digit CVV code located on the card's back. For online activation, log into your account. If you haven't set up an account, you'll need to choose a password and user ID. Follow the prompts to enter the required information. To activate a card by phone, call 800-651-5114 and follow the verbal prompts. If you need to verify activation, return to the website or call back and repeat the activation procedure. You will get a message saying the card has been activated. When you have questions, call Capital One customer service anytime day or night at 800-622-2580.
Activation helps prevent fraud, but it isn't foolproof. For instance, someone might steal a new card and activate it. If you think your card has been activated by someone else, call Capital One right away at 800-651-5116. The Federal Trade Commission says you are liable for a maximum of $50 in fraudulent charges, but even that can be waived if the card is reported lost or stolen before it is used. Follow up the phone report with an email or letter to Capital One to insure your report is handled promptly.