Credit Cards » Credit Card Guides » How To Activate A Citi Credit Card?
Advertiser Disclosure This website is an independent, advertising-supported comparison service. The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). This website does not include all card companies or all card offers available in the marketplace. This website may use other proprietary factors to impact card offer listings on the website such as consumer selection or the likelihood of the applicant’s credit approval. This allows us to maintain a full-time, editorial staff and work with finance experts you know and trust. The compensation we receive from advertisers does not influence the recommendations or advice our editorial team provides in our articles or otherwise impacts any of the editorial content on The Smart Investor. While we work hard to provide accurate and up to date information that we think you will find relevant, The Smart Investor does not and cannot guarantee that any information provided is complete and makes no representations or warranties in connection thereto, nor to the accuracy or applicability thereof. Learn more about how we review products and read our advertiser disclosure for how we make money. All products are presented without warranty.

How To Activate A Citi Credit Card?

You can activate a new Citi credit card on Citi website, app or by phone. Here are the steps to take and what to do after activating
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024
The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.
Author: Baruch Mann (Silvermann)
Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Writer, Contributor

Experience

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Interest Rates Last Update: April 15, 2024

The banking product interest rates, including savings, CDs, and money market, are accurate as of this date.

We earn a commission from our partner links on this page. It doesn't affect the integrity of our unbiased, independent editorial staff. Transparency is a core value for us, read our advertiser disclosure and how we make money.

Table Of Content

Do I Have To Activate My Citi Credit Card?

When applying for a Citi credit card, an account is opened in your name instantly upon approval. Your approved card is sent by mail in an unactivated state to protect your account in case the card gets stolen before you receive it.

Whether you choose to activate your credit card or not is up to you- but your card is rendered unusable until activation.

Citi Bank credit cards
(Photo by Idealphotographer/Shutterstock)

What Information Do I Need To Activate?

You will need to provide basic information such as your full name, date of birth, social security number, and zip code. You will also be asked to provide your credit card number and CVV.

How To Activate On Citi Website?

To activate your Citi credit card through the website, you must go to the Citi website or use google to search “Citi credit card activation” and click on the link.

You may begin by immediately typing in your card number or follow the steps below:

  1. Login
  2. Manage card
  3. Choose your card
  4. Fill in the requested information

Check your card’s status to confirm it appears as active on your account. Once your card is activated, you can begin using your card immediately. You may have to specify if you are the primary cardholder or an authorized user.

You will have the opportunity to update your contact information and preferred method of communication.

How To Activate On Citi App?

Once you have been approved for a Citi credit card, utilizing the app will be the most accessible way to manage your account.

You will be able to see your balance, rewards, and more- much like accessing your account through the website. The app speeds up the process by allowing access with a mere tap.

  1.  Download app
  2. Go to “Register” or “Activate Card”
  3. Scan your card or enter your card information
  4. Enter the basic information requested.
steps to activate citi card by mobile app
(Screenshot from citi.com)

You will create a login for your account via the app before registering your card. The account information and login used to register on the website are the same information you will use to log in on the app.

The app will require that you re-enter your password to gain access, or you can enable face ID. This ensures security in the instance that your phone gets stolen.

How To Activate My Citi Credit Card By Phone

To activate your Citi credit card by phone, you will call the number on your card and follow the prompts. You can answer the prompts audibly or type the information on the keypad. Here is a quick breakdown below:

  1. Call the number found on the back of your card 
  2. Follow the prompts
  3. Provide basic information and card number upon request

Activating your card by phone is thought to be the easiest way to register a credit card, but consider that the website or app will allow long-term access to your account. Be wary of typing in numbers or answers incorrectly, as you won’t be able to proceed until the information is correct- or start the process over.

You are required to set up your PIN for your card at the end of whichever process you choose.

Sign Up for

Our Newsletter

Join our community for the latest credit card comparison tips, expert insights,
and special member-only perks.

How to Activate My Citi ATM/Debit Card?

Citi ATM and debit cards are activated through the same processes as credit cards.

  • Website
  • Mobile App
  • By Phone

You must set up a checking or savings account with Citi to receive a Citi debit card or Citi ATM card. The card will arrive by mail, just like a Citi credit card would.

To review the step-by-step guide and preview visual aids, you can go to the Citi Card Activation Guide on their website. The back of your card will offer the next steps, providing an overview of the process.

There are no time limits for activation, though you cannot spend with your debit/ATM card until it is activated. If you need access to your money before activation, you will have to go to a Citibank branch or use your banking number and information at an ATM.

How Do I Know That My Credit Card is Activated?

Once the steps to activate your Citi credit card are complete, you will receive an SMS text or a confirmation email. You will receive voice confirmation when activating your card by phone.

 If you do not receive confirmation, you can check your account to see if the card was added. You can also contact Citibank customer service if you need additional help registering or activating your card.

What Happens if I Decide Not to Activate Citi Card?

More than likely, nothing will happen if you don’t activate your Citi credit card. It does not negatively affect your credit score or cause a penalty on your account- although other card issuers may close an inactive account after a certain number of days, causing a temporary drop in your credit score.

What will affect you the most by not activating your card is missing out on rewards and credit building. You will not be able to spend with your credit card if it is not activated.

If your credit card has an annual fee, you will still be required to pay it- activated or not. Transferred balances will accrue interest regardless of activation status.

What To Do After Activating My Citi Credit Card?

Once your Citi credit card is activated, you can begin spending immediately.  your Daily ATM withdrawal limit is between $1,000 to $2,000, based on your card and whether you have a Citi account.

Consider the terms and conditions of your card to ensure that you're maximizing the card's benefits. There are several action steps you can take upon activation.

  • Confirm your account password and security code: You should have created a password and security number during activation, which you can test by logging into the website or app.
  • Review the terms and conditions: Familiarizing yourself with your card’s terms and conditions is key to maximizing benefits. Determine which purchases your card will cover. If your card requires that you activate rewards or select categories, try to do so upon activation. This may not pertain to you if you have a flat-rate credit card.
  • Set up autopay or payment reminders: Setting up autopay is an effective way to manage bills and balances. If you choose not to carry a balance or opt-out of autopay, setting up reminders to pay your balance every month will be helpful. Anyway, don't forget to pay your balance in full every month.
  • Begin earning rewards and building credit: Using your Citi card is key to earning rewards and Thank You points or cash back. It also necessary to build or establishing credit. 

FAQs

The number to activate your Citi credit card is found on the back of your card. The number can also be found online: 888-201-4523.

Most credit card companies give 30-45 days to activate your card. Citibank does not put a time limit on card activation, but your card will not work until activated.

You can activate your card by phone, website, or mobile app. Activating your card by phone is thought to be the easiest process, though the app is the most accessible. To activate your card by phone, all you have to do is call and follow the prompts

You can activate your Citi debit card by ATM if it is not your first debit card with your account. Simply go to a cash machine, make a PIN transaction, and your card will be instantly activated. If you have a joint account, each card will have to be activated separately.

Sign Up for

Our Newsletter

Join our community for the latest attractive savings rate changes ,expert insights, and member-only perks

Review Citi Credit Cards

Picture of Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Mann (Silvermann)

Baruch Silvermann is a financial expert, experienced analyst, and founder of The Smart Investor.  Silvermann has contributed to Yahoo Finance and cited as an authoritative source in financial outlets like Forbes, Business Insider, CNBC Select, CNET, Bankrate, Fox Business, The Street, and more.
Search
Best Cards Per CS
Top Offers

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
1X – 3X 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide including takeout and delivery in the U.S., and at U.S. supermarkets and 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
50,000 miles 50,000 bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in your first six months
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.
Top Offers From Our Partners

amex platinum

Rewards Plan:
1X – 5X 5X points on up to $500,000 spent on directly-booked airfare and flights and prepaid hotels booked through American Express Travel (per calendar year), 2X points on prepaid car rentals through American Express Travel and 1X points on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
80,000 points 80,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $8,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership

amex brilliant

Rewards Plan:
2X – 6X 6 Marriott Bonvoy points for each dollar of eligible purchases at hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy™ program, 3 points at Worldwide restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines and 2 points on all other eligible purchases
Welcome Bonus:
95,000 points 95,000 Marriott Bonvoy bonus points after you use your new Card to make $6,000 in purchases within the first 6 months of Card Membership

Amex Delta SkyMiles Platinum card

Rewards Plan:
Up to 3x miles 3 miles per $1 spent on United purchases immediately after earning your $125 annual United purchase credit, 2 miles on all other travel and select streaming services, 1 mile on all other purchases
Welcome Bonus:
60,000 miles 60,000 bonus miles + 500 Premier qualifying points (PQP) after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open.
Advertiser Disclosure
The product offers that appear on this site are from companies from which this website receives compensation.

#1 In credit Cards

Our Newsletter

Sign up to our newsletter for secret credit card tips, insider advice, and exclusive deals straight to your inbox

Start saving smarter with

Our Credit Card Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter and gain access to expert advice,
insider knowledge, and exclusive offers