How to Activate an Existing Credit Card

When you receive a new credit card from your bank or financial institution, you normally have to activate the card before you can use it. Credit card issuers generally send you a new credit card on an existing account shortly before your current card expires or if you request a new card. You can activate your new credit card by calling the toll-free number listed on the front or back of the card and answering the security questions.


Step 1

Call the toll-free number listed on the removable sticker on the front of the card. If the card does not have a sticker, call the regular customer service phone number listed on the back of the card. As a security measure, many credit card issuers require that you call this number from a phone number listed on your credit card account.

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Step 2

Enter the credit card number with your phone's touch-tone keypad when prompted.

Step 3

Answer the security questions. In most cases these questions are automated, and you input your information with your telephone's touch-tone keypad. Examples of information requested include your Social Security number, birth date or numerical portion of your address. Some credit card issuers require you to speak to a live representative who will verify your identity through a similar serious of questions.


Step 4

Wait for confirmation. After successfully answering the security questions, you will receive confirmation that your card has been activated.