According to Statista, as of the third quarter of 2018 there were 212 million Mastercard debit cards in circulation within the United States and another 887 million around the globe. If you'd like to join the population of Mastercard debit cardholders, you can obtain a card through your bank or credit union. There's also the option of getting a Mastercard gift card, which works in a similar fashion. No matter which of the Mastercards you receive, you'll need to take the time to active it before using it to make purchases.
Mastercard Debit or Gift Card
A Mastercard gift card is an excellent choice when you have a child, family member or friend you want to bless with a monetary gift. If you're looking for a debit card for yourself, however, you'll have to decide among three options. Mastercard has standard debit cards that are good for making everyday purchases, and enhanced debit cards that come with extra perks, like airport concierge and travel services, extended warranties and price protection. There's also the option of applying for the World Debit Mastercard, which comes with around-the-clock customer service assistance and a satisfaction guarantee.
Activate Mastercard Debit Card Online
One of the easiest ways to activate your card is to use your desktop, laptop or mobile device to log in to your bank's online portal. From there you'll want to click on the account that your debit card is linked to. Look for a button that says something like "Activate Your Card." Once you click the button, you'll be asked to enter your CVV (Card Verification Value) number and select a pin. To finish, you'll either need to click the "Submit" or "Activate" button.
Activate Mastercard Debit Card by Phone
Look on your card for the Mastercard activation phone number, as it is typically provided on a sticker that is placed across the front of the card. Sometimes the number will be printed in the mailing that accompanies the card. Typically, you can call the activation number any time of day or night, as the process can be completed using the bank or credit union's automated system. Simply follow the prompts, which will likely ask you to key in the debit card number, the last four digits of your Social Security number and the card's CVV number.
Activate Mastercard Debit Card In-Person
Both the Bank of America Mastercard and Bank of India Mastercard automatically activate your card the first time you use it and enter your PIN. This can be accomplished by making a purchase at a store or by using the bank's ATM. If your bank doesn't allow this, they may still help you activate the card if you bring it in to your local branch. Huntington National Bank is an example, as their tellers are more than happy to assist you in setting up your Mastercard debit card.
Activating a Mastercard Gift Card
Activating a Mastercard gift card is slightly different than the debit card. When you purchase the gift card at a store, the clerk will load the card with the funds you give her and then activate the card for you using her register. If you order the gift card via an online retailer, the process often requires you to register the card first. This allows you to load the card with funds while also providing a layer of security in case the card gets lost or stolen in the mail. After registering the card, you'll be able to activate it following the same methods listed above for the Mastercard debit cards.
- Mastercard: Debit Cards
- Capital One: How Do I Activate My Debit Card
- GiftCards.com: How to Activate Visa and Mastercard Gift Cards
- Huntington: Debit Card Activation
- Bank of America: Debit Card FAQs
- Statista: Number of MasterCard Debit Cards in the United States and Worldwide in the 3rd Quarter of 2018 (in Millions)
- Bank With Us: How to Activate SBI ATM Card?
- American Bar Association. "Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) and the Law." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- CVV Number. "What Is My CVV Number and How Do I Find It?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Huntington National Bank. "How to Use a Debit Card: Online, ATM & Chip." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is the Difference Between a Prepaid Card, a Credit Card, and a Debit Card?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Visa. "Visa Prepaid Reloadable Personal Cards." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "Understand the Fees You Will Pay." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Federal Trade Commission. "Lost or Stolen Credit, ATM, and Debit Cards." Accessed March 24, 2020.
- Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. "What Is a Grace Period for a Credit Card?" Accessed March 24, 2020.
Alicia Bodine is a New Jersey-based writer specializing in finance. With more than 13 years of experience, her work has appeared in LendingTree, GoBankingRates, Sapling, Zacks and budgeting.thenest.com.