How Do You Activate Your Debit Card?


Quick Answer

With most debit cards, there are multiple ways to activate them, such as calling an activation phone line provided with your card or using the card at an ATM with your PIN number. Some banks also allow activation by making a purchase with the PIN.

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Full Answer

  1. Make sure you received both the debit card and the PIN

    Oftentimes, banks send debit cards and the associated PIN number seperately to reduce the potential for fraud. Before attempting to activate the card, be sure that you have both the card and your PIN number.

  2. Call the debit card activation phone number

    Debit cards usually come with a sticker on them with a customer activation phone number. Call this number, and provide the information requested. You should expect to be asked the card number and either your PIN number, part of your social security number or other security questions that you may have set up when applying for the card.

  3. Use the card at an ATM with the PIN number

    An alternative to calling the customer activation line is to go to an ATM with your new debit card, put in the PIN number for your card, and make a deposit, withdrawal, transfer or balance inquiry.

  4. Sign the back of your card

    Be sure to sign the card before using it to make purchases.

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