When you get a new credit card, the chances are that you will have to activate it before you can use it for the first time. While not all credit card companies require this step, most companies do ask their clients to go through the activation process. This step is included in the process simply for security purposes.
How do you activate a credit card? The specific details will, of course, depend on your credit card company. In general, however, you will have to call the customer service hotline of the credit card company. You will be asked to punch in numbers to choose from their services. In most cases, you will have to speak with a customer service representative who will activate the card for you. During the conversation, you will be asked some questions which will validate your identity. Normally, basic information such as name, address, and birthdate will be asked. Additional information such as the credit card number and expiration date will also be asked of you. Once you have provided the agent with the required details, you will be able to use your credit card to make purchases. Take note, though, that you may be asked to wait for a short period before you can actually use your credit card.
When you activate your credit card, you are essentially telling the credit card company that you are agreeing to their terms and conditions and that you will abide by them.
Activation is usually only required for new credit cards. If you receive a credit card which is a renewal of a previous one, then you will not be asked to activate it.