July 14, 2024
New credit card

Got a new credit card? Here’s the ultimate checklist of 16 things you have to do when you get a new credit card.

For both new and replacement cards

Whether this is your first card from the issuer or it’s your fifth replacement, you’ll want to take care of these six items.

  1. Activate the card: Some cards don’t require activation or come pre-activated. But many still come with a sticker on top, asking you to call a number or log on to a website to activate.
  2. Sign the card
  3. Scan and save to the cloud: Whether you’re out and left the card at home or you’ve lost it and need to report it, you’ll be glad to have a copy – of the front and back – available wherever you securely store documents online.
  4. Update your payment wallets: If you’re using PayPal, Google Pay, Apple Pay, or any other service, add in your new credit card details.
  5. Update your password manager: If you’re shopping online, a password manager can securely store not only your passwords but also your credit card details.
  6. Update your card-linked rewards program: By adding your card to your SimplyMiles and/or card-linked dining or hotel rewards program, you’ll earn rewards when you make a relevant purchase.  If it’s a business card, you can also enroll in either Visa SavingsEdge or Mastercard Easy Savings.

Additional steps for new cards

If your card is new (and not just a replacement for one that is expiring), you’ll want to take these additional ten steps. 

  1. Set up and customize your online account: Set up your account online to enjoy all the services available.
    1. Confirm contact information: Though they should have all your information, I have found more than once that some pertinent details are incomplete or missing. Check that essential details like your email address, phone number, and mailing address are complete and accurate.
    2. SMS / email alerts: Get notified when you want. I prefer being notified about every transaction, but you can define when you want to be notified.
    3. Go paperless: Get your statement sooner, keep your details from ending up in the hands of a fraudster poking through the mail, and save trees – all in one fell swoop.
    4. Set up auto pay: If you set up online auto pay to pay the statement balance in full with your favorite bank account, you’ll never pay a late fee or interest again.
    5. Activate any offers: Some rewards cards require you to opt-in for rewards or special statement credits.
    6. Set privacy and marketing preferences: Don’t want them sharing your info? Let them know.
  2. Bookmark the card’s shopping portal: Some issuers offer a shopping portal, where you can earn additional rewards and find coupons just by clicking through their site.
  3. Update your online personal finance service: If you’re using one – and that’s recommended! – go ahead and add your new card.
  4. Consider moving ongoing services and recurring charges: Look at the recurring charges on your other credit cards, and decide which – if any – should be moved over to this card.

Anything else you do when you get a new or replacement credit card? Share in the comments!

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