What Happens If You Don’t Activate Your Credit card?

What Happens If You Don’t Activate Your Credit card

There are many reasons why an individual may decide not to use their credit card. Did the peer pressure get you into applying for a credit manycard? Have you decided to ignore the matter and not activate your card? Anyway, do you know exactly what happens if you don’t activate your credit card?

Credit card holder’s may still need to pay annual fees and interest rates upon not activating the credit card. An Individual’s credit scores are affected indirectly, as the account is considered open from the date an individual is approved for the card.

In this article, I will provide you with the detailed information about the consequences of not activating your credit card. I will also explain why it is important to activate your card and the techniques to terminate your credit card that was never activated. 

So, don’t go anywhere without finishing my article:

3 Things Can Happens If You Don’t Activate Your Credit Card:

Not activating your credit card after being approved may not have a major or direct impact, but you will surely face some complications. Here are the major 3 things that can happen if you don’t activate your credit card:

1. Security Issue: 

If you do not activate your credit card, not any person in the world including you can use the card for any payments or purchases. The account is already opened after the issuers  approve your application. 

However, physically using the card is not the only way to make payments or purchases. In this digital era, most issuers allow the users to use the credit card without even physically touching it. 

Therefore, if you intentionally ignore activating the card or forget to activate or use the card you may face security issues like fraudulent activities from your account. There are many hackers who seek such opportunities to take advantage of an unused credit card.

Always make sure to notify your issuer if you ever decide to not use the credit card. You can keep your account without using the card and all the other activities will remain in the same.

2. May Still Need To Pay Additional Fees:

An individual may still need to pay interest rates and additional fees even if the credit card is not activated. Some issuer’s policy involves an advance payment of the annual fees while applying for the card. Therefore, whether you use the credit card or not you still have to pay the annual fees. 

Once the account is opened, the annual fees is charged automatically by the most issuers. Some of the issuers do not charge the annual fee for the first 1 to 1.5 years. 

If you want to apply for a fresh credit card account and transfer the balance of your current account’s to the new account, you may need to pay additional fees and extra charges for the missed payment.

3. Credit Scores Are Affected:

An issuer will look at all your past credit history before approving you of using the card. A new account means you are given a new credit limit.

If you do not activate your card, it will not affect your credit score directly, but some issuers apply a hard pull inquiry which will affect your reputation on applying for a new credit card. 

If your account is reported for not making the payments on time, then your credit utilization rate is highly affected.

What Is The Time Given To Activate Your Credit Card?

After you have completed all the formalities and submitted the credit card application, the issuer will verify your past banking history before finally giving you the access and permission to use the card. Generally,the issuer will notify you, if you forget to activate or operate your card.

Most issuers will give you a period of 40 to 60 days and then your card will be automatically cancelled and you may still need to pay the extra fees. After the given period, you will need to request or apply for another card from the issuer.

How Long Does It Take For Credit Card Activation? (With A Table)

There is no specific time period for activating a credit card. Basically, it depends on the back. In general, banks are taking in between 40-60 days for credit card activation.

Here a table is given for your better understanding of the activation time frame of different banks:

Name of Issuer’sActivation Period
American Express45
Bank of AmericaNo Specific Time Period
CITINo Specific Time Period
DiscoverNo Specific Time Period

Some Frequently Asked Questions:

Why Is It So Important To Activate Your Credit Card?

It is very important to activate your credit card to avoid all the unnecessary troubles like fraudulent charges and activities, paying additional fees and preventing affecting your credit utilization rate and score.

Activating your credit card will also prevent the illegal use of your credit cards. Your credit card usage may be violated by some unauthorized user upon not activating the card. In order to stop all the illegal transactions, it is mandatory to activate your card and stay safe from such activities.

How Can You Activate Your Credit Card?

Well, it’s not a complicated procedure to activate the account. Some issuers will allow you to activate the card online. In some cases, your physical presence is required to activate the card. 

You need to go to the nearest ATM booth and activate the card for the first time by swiping it.

Online procedures of activating the card are simple. The individual needs to log in to the account of the issuer’s online banking website and activate their cards with a few simple steps. 

Although, it is necessary for you to collect the personal identification number or PIN number to complete the activation procedure. 

How Do You Know If Your Card Is Activated?

You can just call your issuer or the bank from where you applied the card to find out about your card’s eligibility. If you cannot use the card even after the card is activated, call the customer care of your issuer or bank to resolve the issue as soon as possible. You can use the card after the exact moment it is activated.


It is highly recommended activating your credit card even if you decide not to use it. There are many procedures to cancel your credit card,  but do not just overlook this matter by not activating your card.

If you find the above information useful, write to us in the comment section below. If you have any questions or other queries regarding this matter, feel free to contact us. 

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