Important things to do after acquiring a new credit card

In our “Important things to do before applying for a credit card” article, we encouraged credit card applicants to reach out to their prospective credit card issuer and inquire about a few things, including the credit card’s payment grace period, credit limit increase policies, and payment methods. If you haven’t done that already, be sure to read the article and come back to this article afterwards.


After you’ve been approved for a credit card, there are some things that you should before using it.


Activate your card right away, even if you don’t intend to use it right away

Why? Some credit card issuers will deactivate a customer’s credit card if it’s not activated within a certain time frame. This is done as a security measure because they assume that you never received your card.


Aside from the hassle of requesting a replacement credit card and waiting for it to arrive, not activating a credit card by your card issuer’s deadline could became a nightmare as it could impact your credit. Some credit card companies, when replacing a customer’s credit card, will report the replacement credit card as a new tradeline. This could give the appearance that you applied for another credit card. Your “new credit” is a factor in determining your credit score.


Don’t activate your card before you attempt to use it

Just in case you didn’t follow the above guidance to activate your card right away, we wanted to remind you so that you’re saved from the trouble of having your credit card declined because it’s not activated.


Set up your payments

Whether you’re paying via bill pay through your financial institution or paying directly only the credit card company’s site, you’ll want to initiate the setup of this process as soon as you get your credit card so that you aren’t trying to set things up right before your payment deadline.


Making payments on your credit card issuer’s site

Keep in mind that some credit card companies require you to verify the account that you’re withdrawing funds from before you can make a payment. So, you’ll want to initiate this process sooner rather than later. If there’s an issue with verifying your bank account, you will need enough time to resolve the issue with that account or try another method. It’s certainly not something that you want to do the day that your payment is due.


Using your financial institution’s bill payment service to pay your credit card

As with making payments on your credit card issuer’s site, you’ll want to give yourself enough time to ensure that your financial institution can send a payment to your credit card issuer.