An automated teller machine card gives you access to money in your bank account. You can use it withdraw or deposit money at ATMs. With some cards, you can make purchases online or at a store. This is like making a credit card purchase except that the money comes directly from your account. You’ll need to activate your card before you use it.
Call Tthe Activation Number
Your new ATM card likely came with an activation sticker that included a telephone number you can call to activate the card. Call the number given and when the prompt asks for it, key in or speak the numbers on the front of your card. Speak clearly and slowly as this is an automated method. If you miss a number, enter the number incorrectly, or if the system misunderstands you, your card will not activate.
With some banks, you can activate your ATM card online. On the bank’s website, go to the card activation page. You’ll need to enter the card number and provide information to verify that you're the account owner. The verification process often involves providing your Social Security number. Also, you might need to enroll in the bank’s Online Banking system first and then use your access to activate your card.
In some cases you can activate your card by making a purchase with it. If you use this method, you’ll need to enter your PIN when you make your first purchase. The PIN is the number you selected when you set up the account. It’s the number you’ll use when you access ATM machines. If you haven't selected a PIN, you’ll need to use another method to activate your card.
Use It At The ATM
A simple way to activate your ATM card is to use your card at an ATM machine, either to check your account balance or withdraw or deposit money. This method also requires your PIN, so if you didn’t create one, you’ll need to use a different method to activate your card.
Speak With A Bank Representative
You also can call the bank’s customer service number to activate your card. You’ll need to give the representative information that verifies you as the account holder. As with the other methods, you’ll also need to provide the card number.
- Bank of America: FAQs: Questions about Debit Cards
- Santander Bank: Customer Service FAQ
- Federal Trade Commission. "Data Book 2019." Page 4. Accessed March 26, 2020.
- U.S. Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism. "U.S. Citizen International Outbound Travel Up Six Percent in 2018." Accessed March 26, 2020.