How to Activate a Cash Card

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When you open a new bank account, you will receive a cash card that allows you to access the money in the account. You can also use it to make debit card purchases. Protecting that cash card is vital to the security of the underlying account, so banks require that new customers activate their cash cards before using them. This activation requirement reduces the risk that the card will fall into the wrong hands as it makes its way through the mail and makes it much more difficult for an unauthorized user to access the card.

  • Write down your bank account number as recorded on the paperwork you received when you opened your account. Having your bank account number handy will make it easier to resolve any problems once you receive your card.

  • Watch your mail for the cash card to arrive. The card will arrive in a plain envelope, without the logo of the bank.

  • Call the phone number listed on the label attached to the card. Make sure you call from your home phone--the verification system will compare the number you are calling from with the number in the bank's records.

  • Enter your check card number when prompted; you may also be prompted to enter another number, such as your ZIP code or part of your Social Security number. You will be notified when the card has been activated. After the card has been activated, you can start using it immediately.

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  • Photo Credit Robert Kirk/Photodisc/Getty Images
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