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How to Register a Credit Card

Last Updated: May 14, 2024
2 min read

Key Points:

  1. You can still use your credit card for purchases even if you don’t register it to gain access to your online account.

  2. Registering a credit card allows you to manage and monitor your credit card account online.

  3. Once you register your credit card account, you can view electronic statements, track your rewards, and more.

If you’ve filled out a credit card application and you’re approved for new credit, you will receive a new credit card and card details in the mail. You may also have to activate and register your card. Activating and registering a credit card are two separate actions. Activating your credit card is what you do after you receive it in the mail—it makes it possible to actually use the card . Registering your credit card provides online access to a suite of card information and tools. Both are important.

What is credit card registration?

Registering a new credit card account refers to creating an online account and logging on to the credit card issuer’s online dashboard for the first time. If you want to use the card for purchases immediately, generally, you will not have to register online first. But if you want to view a statement online or set up automated payments, it will require online registration.

How does credit card registration work?

When your new card arrives, it will come with instructions on how to activate and how to register your account online. You’ll usually be asked to enter your credit card number and expiration date, plus personal information such as your name, date of birth, and the last four digits of your social security number.

Why you should register your credit card online

When you register credit cards online, you gain access to several card management services. Discover cardmembers who register credit cards for the Account Center can gain access to account summaries, statements, online bill pay, messaging, and more.

Easy autopay set-up

One way to never miss a credit card payment is to set up automatic payments through your issuer’s website. Cardmembers can opt to link their payment directly to a bank account so that when their monthly due date comes around, they won’t have to manually enter the required information.

Track cash back rewards

If your credit card offers rewards, an online portal can provide updates on just how much you’ve earned. If your card offers bonus categories, you can activate them online to earn more points.

Did you know?

With Discover, you can earn 5% cash back on everyday purchases at different places you shop each quarter like grocery stores, restaurants, gas stations, and more, up to the quarterly maximum when you activate. Plus, earn 1% cash back on all other purchases—automatically. Pick the best rewards credit card for you.

Track your credit score

Some major issuers provide free credit scores on their portals, which is useful if you’re working on improving your credit and would like to see how it changes with your spending and payment behavior. Credit scores are important to credit issuers and lenders when making credit-related decisions, so it’s the score you’ll want to keep your eye on.

Update information or freeze your credit card account

An issuer’s online portal will often allow cardmembers to update important card information like addresses and the status of your card. If you misplace your card, for example, issuers may allow you to put a temporary hold on your credit card while you search for it. With Discover, you can freeze your account in seconds with an on/off switch either on the mobile app or website to prevent new purchases, cash advances, and balance transfers.1 If you’re sure it’s gone, you may be able to report the card lost or stolen through the portal, also alerting your issuer to send a new one in its place.

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  1. Freeze it®: When you freeze your account, Discover will not authorize new purchases, cash advances or balance transfers (including checks). However, some activity will continue including charges from merchants where your card is stored or billed regularly, as well as returns, credits, dispute adjustments, delayed authorizations (such as some transit purchases), payments, Discover protection product fees, other account fees, interest, rewards redemptions and certain other exempted transactions.

  • Legal Disclaimer: This site is for educational purposes and is not a substitute for professional advice. The material on this site is not intended to provide legal, investment, or financial advice and does not indicate the availability of any Discover product or service. It does not guarantee that Discover offers or endorses a product or service. For specific advice about your unique circumstances, you may wish to consult a qualified professional.