What is Credit Card Activation?
It’s a long-standing requirement that newly-issued credit cards must be activated by the cardholder before they can be used. For some, this process seems outdated, but there are a few reasons why this practice is still observed by most credit card issuers.
First and foremost, card activation processes are designed to protect you, the customer. By requiring activation, it’s more difficult for someone to steal your card from the mail and begin using it to make purchases. In fact, the activation process is one of the major deterrents to such criminal behavior. It also reduces the chance that, if you card is lost in the mail, it falls into the wrong hands.
When you call to activate your credit card (as many banks still require), you will be asked for information to identify yourself as the correct cardholder. Very often, the company will also use caller ID to connect your call with the account. (Even automated systems are capable of doing this cross-referencing.) This is why it’s important to call from your home phone, or the phone associated with your account, to activate your card.
Acceptance of Terms and Conditions
Activating your card gives a bit of legal protection to the issuing institution as well. In most cases, you will find that activation of your new credit card is taken as acceptance of the terms and conditions of the contract. As a consumer, it’s important that you understand this (and read the fine print!)
With the rise of the internet as the main channel of commerce and communication, banks and lenders have far fewer opportunities to speak to their customers. By insisting that customers call to activate their new card, this gives the bank a chance to put a customer service rep on the phone with their customers.
How the bank uses this opportunity varies, of course; some may choose to ask about your customer experience or ask if you have any other questions. Others may try to upsell you on other banking products or services.
The Basic of Activating a Credit Card
In most cases, a new credit card will arrive in the mail with a sticker attached. This sticker will provide instructions on how to activate the Visa, MasterCard, or other credit card. It’s still very common for banks to ask customers to activate over the phone (for security reasons mentioned above) and the sticker will include the telephone number to call.
Many banks are now allowing customers to activate their card online, although this will often require that customers have an online banking account already set up – again, this is for security purposes.
Actual activation methods vary from issuer to issuer, so you will need to consult the documentation that came in the mail with your card.
To make things even easier, we’ve outlined the activation process for several of Canada’s best credit cards. All you’ll need to do is find the right card issuer in our menu to get started!
If you would like to get in contact with us, please use the form below or call us.
We do not provide customer service for credit cards. Contact your credit card company directly.
7-B Pleasant Blvd, Suite #982
Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Please do not contact us about credit card issues. Contact your credit card company directly.
Contact Us Only for Business Development