How to Activate My Visa Card

Bank of America introduced the first credit card, called the Bank AmeriCard, in 1958. In 1976, the card name was changed to Visa – a short word which is pronounced the same in all major languages. Today, Visa cards are accepted and used throughout much of the world. Aside from the traditional credit cards, Visa also provides bank cards, rechargeable debit cards and gift cards.

Find the activation number on the sticker located on the front of the new Visa card. Call the phone number from any touch-tone phone.

Follow the automated prompts and choose the option to activate the Visa card. Depending on the type of card it is, the number may go directly to the activation option.

Listen to the prompts and follow the instructions. In most cases it directs you to punch in the 16-digit number on the front of the Visa card, followed by the expiration date and three-digit security number on the back of the card. If activating a gift card, this may be the last step in the activation. When activating a debit or credit card, you will be directed to a human operator.

Give the operator your personal information when asked for it so he can confirm your identity. Some common questions to expect are your whole name, date of birth, address and last four digits of your Social Security Number. Stay on the phone with the operator until he gets all the necessary information and confirm the activation.


  • Some Visa gift cards or prepaid debit cards can also be activated online. Some Visa gift cards do not require an activation. If unsure whether an activation is required, call the customer support number located on the back of the card.