ATM Card Activation Tips

ATM Card Activation Tips
  • Opening Intro -

    For more than three decades, automatic teller machine (ATM) cards have made banking so much easier for millions of consumers.


Instead of waiting for your bank to open, you can access your money through an electronic teller machine that is tied in with your network or use other ATMs and pay a small fee. Before you can start using your ATM card, you need to have it activated. The following are some tips on how you can quickly get this done.

Inspect your card — When you apply for an ATM card, you’ll receive your card in the mail a few days after your account has been opened. Some banks may issue you a temporary card, but you’ll only be able to use that one for a few days. When your card arrives at your address, inspect it carefully. Make sure that your name is spelled correctly. Notify the bank of mistakes before moving to the next step.

Note the expiration date — Just like a credit card your ATM card will come with a expiration date. That date should be one or more years out. If the date is just months away, then someone may be setting you up for a scam. Contact the bank to verify the date. Talk with the person who opened your account for clarification. If you think that an ATM card works much like a debit card, then you are correct. Today’s ATM cards are debit cards, allowing you to access your money at banks and make purchases wherever credit cards are accepted.

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Use it or call it in — Activation of an ATM card is easy to do. Call the phone number supplied on the sticker overlaying the card and speak with a representative. Or, in some cases, simply go to your local ATM machine and use your card. Once activated, remove the sticker and keep your card in a safe place. Be careful when using your card at an ATM — embezzlers will sometimes tamper with the bank’s card holder to read your information. Some machines are targets of thieves and patrons face a risk of a hold up. Never use a machine in an isolated or poorly lit location.


When contacting the bank for activation, you’ll be prompted to answer one or more questions and may be asked to key in your personal identification number (PIN). If there is a problem, you’ll be connected to a live person who will talk you through your activation or who will ask a few questions related to your account to ensure that you are who you claim to be. Never write your PIN on your ATM card and always keep your card secure.

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Last update on 2020-03-18 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


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Categories: Consumer Financing

About Author

Matthew C. Keegan

Matt Keegan is a freelance writer and editor as well as publisher of "Matt's Musings", his personal blog. Matt covers campus, consumer, business and financial topics on various websites and blogs, and has been published in the "Houston Chronicle", "Sam's Club Magazine" and "Wisconsin Golfer".