What Happens if You Don’t Activate a Credit Card?

after you Apply for a credit card and accepted, you will receive your card in the mail. Typically, the card comes with an activation label that lists the phone number and website. You must activate your card through one of these channels to start using it.

Why do you need to activate your new credit card?

Credit card activation helps prevent credit card fraud, as it prevents would-be thieves from swiping cards from mailboxes and using them. Credit card activation also lets your credit card issuer know that you have successfully received your new card and are ready to use your new line of credit.

It’s a good idea to activate your credit card as soon as possible because you won’t be able to earn credit card rewards or use opportunity to build credit until you activate.

What happens if you don’t activate your credit card?

If you do not activate your credit card, you will not be able to use it to make purchases. You could end up with unexpected complications at the grocery checkout.

Surprisingly, deactivated credit cards can still accrue interest.If your credit card has annual fee, for example, the cost of a fee can be included on your first credit card billing cycle. Even if your credit card has not been activated, your credit card issuer can still charge interest on the unpaid balance.

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An inactive credit card can also affect your credit score.This credits Any card associated with an inactive card will be reported to the three major credit bureaus, which means it will show up on your Credit Report — Since you haven’t made any purchases with your new credit line, your inactive card may reduce your credit utilization ratio And increase your credit score.

on the other hand, credit check Information related to your credit card application will also be reported to the major credit bureaus, and hard credit inquiries It is possible to drop your credit score by a few points. You can’t avoid the hit to your credit score by keeping your new card inactive. Credit inquiries become part of your credit report when you apply for a credit card, not when you activate your credit card.

How to activate your credit card

Activating your credit card is a simple process that only takes a few minutes. If you received a new credit card in the mail, it should have included instructions on how to activate it. In most cases, you will need to visit your credit card issuer’s website or call a specific activation number. Be ready to provide identifying information, such as your social security number or date of birth.

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if you receive Instant credit card approval, the activation process may take place after your application has been approved, giving you the opportunity to start purchasing right away. In some cases, you will need to reactivate your new credit card after you receive it in the mail.

If you can’t activate your new credit card on the day it arrives, don’t worry – you won’t be penalized for not activating right away. However, if your credit card has not been activated for more than a month, your credit card issuer may contact you to ask whether it has received the card.

What happens if you close an account that was never activated?

When you close a credit card account that was never activated, the account will be removed from your credit report. This can negatively affect your credit score as it can reduce your available credit and increase your credit utilization ratio.

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In some cases, credit card issuers will close inactive credit cards on their own. This is only likely to happen if your credit account has been inactive for an extended period of time.

the bottom line

Before you can start using your new credit card, you need to activate it. Activating a credit card is a simple process that usually only takes a few minutes online or over the phone.

If you don’t activate your credit card, you won’t be able to make purchases – but you’ll still receive monthly credit card statements, and any credit card charges associated with your account may start to accrue interest, making activating your credit card a one of the best ways to start responsible use of credit.

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective, independent assessment of our authors and is not influenced by advertising or partnerships. It has not been provided or commissioned by any third party. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products or services offered by our partners.


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