Whenever you get a new credit card in the mail, the card typically comes with a sticker on it that offers instructions for how to activate the card. Customers need to activate their credit cards before using them in order to avoid any delays or issues. You might wonder, is it possible to use an unactivated credit card?

Some people don’t get around to activating their new credit cards right away, but credit card activation is a simple process. By activating your card, you are notifying your credit card company that you have received the card and that you are ready to use it to make purchases.

While most banks use card activation processes for security reasons and do not allow purchases on the card until it is activated (so they know the card is in the right hands), policies may vary across issuers when it comes to unactivated cards and purchases.

Call Your Issuer to Activate the Card

Whether or not your credit card issuer allows you to use an unactivated credit card, it’s always a good idea to activate it immediately.

Credit card activation, whether you do it via phone or online, is an important anti-fraud measure that your credit card issuer uses to make sure that your card got to the right place.

The bottom line: Most card issuers won’t let your credit card be used to make purchases until after the card is activated. Consider it a best practice to activate your card immediately to avoid any delays, hassles or issues with making purchases on the card.

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