How to Activate Chase Credit Card (Online or by Phone)

After you have been approved for a credit card, your new card should arrive in the mail in 7 to 10 business days.

Many people just grab their new cards, try to use them in stores or online, and get an unpleasant surprise – their new credit cards get declined.

his can be frustrating, not to mention embarrassing if you are in a store in front of a salesperson trying to get your card working.

In most cases, the reason why people have their new credit card declined is that they forgot to activate them.

After you have received your new credit card but before you can use them, you must activate your card first. Otherwise, your credit card will not work.

You can activate your Chase credit card by sign in to your Chase account>click on “My Accounts”>click theActivate” button. You can also activate it by calling 800-432-3117 or the number printed on the sticker attached to your new credit card.

For the rest of this article, we will give you detailed step-by-step instructions on how to activate your Chase credit card.

We will also cover a few other issues related to Chase credit card activation such as how long it takes to activate your card, how to tell if your card is activated, and what would happen if you do not activate your card.

Last but not the least, we will look at the various types of Chase cards, both credit and debit. We will compare them to see how they stack up against each other in terms of rewards, sign up bonuses, annual fees and interest rates.

Activate Your Chase Credit Card by Phone

Happy optimistic young girl student holding credit card.

Before you call to activate, make sure you have your Chase credit card with you. You would need to enter your credit card number during your call.

Then, make sure you have the PIN of your new Chase credit card with you. You may also need that PIN during the activation process. As a security measure, your PIN typically arrives separately from your credit card, in its own unmarked envelope.

Make sure you are calling from the same phone number that you have put down on your credit card application.

If not, you will likely be asked more security questions or have your activation request declined. To activate your Chase credit card:

  1. Look for a sticker on your credit card that contains instructions on how to activate your card.
  2. Call the number printed on that sticker. If you cannot find the sticker, call the general activation number for new Chase cards: 800 432 3117
  3. Follow the instructions of the automated voice operator to activate your credit card
  4. During the activation process, you will be asked to speak or enter:
    • Your Chase credit card number
    • (Possibly) your credit card PIN
    • The last 4 digits of your Social Security Number
    • Your date of birth
  5. You will also be asked one or more personal identifying questions. These are the questions that you have answered on your credit card application. The answers you give on your activation phone call must match those you gave on your application. Examples of personal identifying questions include:
    • What was the name of your first pet?”
    • What is your mother’s maiden name?”
    • What middle school did you attend?”
    • What was the name of the hospital you were born in?”
  6. Next, you may be asked if you want to activate your 5 percent cash back bonus for the current quarter. Answer yes to get your cash back. This bonus must be activated once every 3 months, so be sure to check back every 3 months to reactivate this bonus
  7. You are all set. Now that you have completed the activation process, you can peel off the sticker on your credit card and sign it. Credit cards are not valid until they are signed. After signing your credit card, you are now free to use it anywhere

Tip: For extra protection against unauthorized credit card charges, you can sign your credit card with “See ID” instead of your signature.

The entire activation process by phone or online should not take more than 2 or 3 minutes. As soon as you have finished the activation process, you will be able to use your Chase credit card anywhere it is accepted.

Activate Your Chase Credit Card Online

Handsome focused guy holding credit card and working with laptop

Before you go online to activate, make sure you have your Chase credit card with you. You would need to enter your credit card number during your activation process.

Also, make sure you have the PIN of your new Chase credit card with you. You may also need that PIN during the activation process.

As a security measure, your PIN typically arrives separately from your credit card, in its own unmarked envelope.

Before you can activate your Chase credit card online, you need to have a Chase online account. If you do not already have a Chase online account, you need to set one up.

To set up a Chase online account, make sure you have the following information with you:

  • Your Social Security Number (SSN) or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN)
  • The number of your newly arrived Chase credit card
  • A valid email address. If you do not have one, you can sign up for a free web email account on services such as Google’s Gmail or Microsoft’s Outlook email

Follow the steps below to set up your Chase online account:

  1. Go to the Chase webpage for signing up an online account
  2. Fill in your Chase credit card number and your Social Security Number or Individual Taxpayer Identification Number
  3. Choose a username for your Chase online account, click Next
  4. Fill in your billing address and email address
  5. You would also need to choose a password for your Chase online account.
  6. You are all set. You can now sign in to your Chase online account using the username and the password you have chosen above. This same username and password can also be used to sign in to your account on the Chase mobile app

To activate your Chase credit card:

  1. Go to the Chase webpage for credit card verification
  2. Sign in to your Chase online account using the username and the password you have chosen in the previous section
  3. Click on My Accounts
  4. Select the Chase credit card you want to activate
  5. Click on the Activate button
  6. You are all set. Your credit card has been activated
  7. To activate the perks of your credit card, click on Card Benefits
  8. Then click on the Rewards Activity tab (or the Use Points tab if your card is a Sapphire Reserve card) to activate your credit card perks
  9. The 5% cash back bonus offered by Chase Freedom and the Chase Freedom Flex must be re-activated every 3 months. So be sure to come back every 3 months to re-activate that bonus if you want to keep getting 5% cash back
  10. Now that you have completed the activation process, you can peel off the sticker on your credit card and sign it. Credit cards are not valid until they are signed. After signing your credit card, you are now free to use it anywhere

Tip: For extra protection against unauthorized credit card charges, you can sign your credit card with “See ID” instead of your signature.

How to Confirm if Your Card is Activated

You can check if your Chase credit card is activated by:

  • ATM: Use your credit card at an ATM. You can try to check your credit card account balance, get a cash advance, or any other account activities. If your card works on an ATM, it is activated
  • Pay for a Purchase: Use your card to pay for a purchase either online or in a store. If it works, your credit card is activated

If You Have Problems Activating the Card

In this section, we will look at the most common difficulties related to credit card activation people have run into, and the best ways to handle them.

The 3 most common difficulties related to Chase credit card activation include:

  1. Forgotten Answers to Personal Identifying Questions: If you try to activate your credit card by phone, you will be asked personal identifying questions such as “What was the name of the street you grew up in?” Your answers must match the answers you gave on your credit card application. Sometimes, you just forget the answers or give the wrong answers
  2. Activation Declined: Users reported that they got a message during their activation process declining their activation
  3. Credit Card Declined After Activation: At times, people run into problems after they have activated their Chase credit cards. Their cards get declined when they try to use them for purchases

If you run into problems during or after the activation of your Chase credit card, try one of the following actions:

  • Activate From a Different Phone: When you call to activate your credit card, Chase gets hold of the number you are calling from and compares that to the number you put down on your credit card application. If the two are not the same, you will be hit with extra personal identifying questions, have your activation declined, or even have your credit card flagged. If this happens to you, try calling from a different phone. For example, you might have put down your home phone number on your credit card application but tried to activate from your work phone. Try again from your home phone
  • Call Chase Customer Service Helpline: If you run into problems with your card activation, call the Chase Customer Service Helpline at 1 800 935 9935. Follow the instructions of the automated response system or ask to talk to a real person by pressing “0”
  • Contact Customer Service Through Your Chase Online Account: You can also contact Chase Customer Service on the Web.
    1. Sign in to your Chase Online account
    2. Click on the Main Menu icon on the upper left corner
    3. Click on Secure messages on the drop down menu that appears
    4. Click on New message on the upper right corner
    5. Select I have a question about one of my accounts
    6. Select your credit card account
    7. Select Account Inquiry
    8. Click Send us a message
    9. Describe the problem you are having and then click Send message
    10. You should get a response from Chase within 1 to 3 business days
  • Visit a Chase Branch: Chase has more than 4,700 branches in the United States. The chance is, you are living close to a Chase branch. You can find a Chase branch near you using the Chase Branch Locator. You can then visit the branch and talk to any banker there about your problem. Be sure to bring along your Chase credit card, all the paperwork that came with your card, and a photo ID

If You Don’t Activate Your Card

Sometimes, you receive your new credit card in the mail and just forget about it, leaving it lying around unactivated.

Other times, you regret having applied for a new credit card. You already have way too many cards and do not need another one.

You worry that having too many credit cards will have a bad effect on your credit score. So you intentionally leave your new credit card unactivated, hoping that whatever problems the credit card might have caused will go away on its own.

So what happens if you do not activate your Chase credit card?

Your Credit Score Will Not Improve

The moment your credit card application is approved, your account is considered open. If you do not activate your card, your account is still open. Not activating your card will not improve your credit score.

During the application review process, Chase makes a hard inquiry into your credit history to decide whether to approve your application and how much credit limit to give you. This credit inquiry may lower your credit score by about 5 points but your score will usually bounce back quickly.

By the time you receive your new credit card, the hard credit inquiry has already been made. Leaving your credit card unactivated will not make your credit score recover any quicker

Your Credit Card May Get Canceled

If you leave your credit card unactivated, Chase may cancel your card after a certain period, usually 45 to 60 days. After that, if you want to activate and use your credit card, you would need to request a new card from Chase

You May Rack Up Annual Fee & Late Fees& Interests

If your credit card comes with an annual fee, you will be charged that fee whether you activate your card or not. You get charged the annual fee on your 1st month of having that card. If you neglect to pay that annual fee, you will also be charged a late fee.

Interests on all those fees. The amount you owe on that credit card will keep ballooning from there, all without you even spending 1 cent with that card. Do not ignore your credit card account whether you have activated your card or not

Your Credit Score May Get Damaged

If you leave your card unactivated and forget to pay the fees and interests you are incurring, all those missed payments will be causing significant damages to your credit score.

Even if your credit card has no fee and thus there is no payment for you to miss, you may still end up damaging your credit score.

After not activating and not using your credit card for a period – typically 1 year – Chase may close your account without notice. When that happens, your credit score will take a hit