How to Check If Your Credit Card Is Active Or Not

By Mav OT •  Updated: 03/24/24 •  6 min read

Have you applied for a credit card and wondered how the activation works? What if you do not know if your card is active?

Credit card activation is a process where the card issued to you is confirmed and authorised for the transaction. This is usually done by the credit card issuer or on the online portal. Most credit card holders can easily activate their credit card if the online portal provides that assistance. 

Some queries arise when it comes to credit card activation. People who are new to credit card usage may wonder how to check activation. Also, it is important to know the consequences of inactive credit cards and when your card is blocked. 

As you continue to read, you will find interesting information to help your “credit card” life. 

How to Check If Your Credit Card Is Active Or Not

To start, you need to learn how to get a credit card. You can use a credit card as long as your account is open and in good standing. It has not been inactive, ended, or reached its end date by the issuer. To use a credit card, it needs to be tied to a bank account that is officially open and running. There will be a set credit cap on this account.

If you make sure your credit card is valid before you use it, you can avoid unpleasant surprises at the cash register. There are several ways to ensure that a credit card is real.

How long do credit cards stay active?

An activated credit card means authorisation is done on the card for easy use. People usually keep their credit cards active for as long as they are used and payments are made on time. For the most part, credit cards in South Africa are kept for at least five years with most companies. This could change, though, depending on how the bank that gave the loan works. It is important that you use your credit card regularly and pay your bills on time to keep it active. As well as making it easy to buy things, having a credit card helps build credit history and may come with extra benefits like rewards and cashback.

A credit card usually stays valid for 12 months after it was activated for the first time and has not been used. If it is not being used, the credit card should still be good for a whole year. 

What happens if you don’t activate a credit card?

One of the most exciting things about getting a new credit card is the possibility that you may forget to activate it. There is a good chance that you have been away for a while on a trip or perhaps dropped it in an unknown place. It is possible that you forgot to activate it or have decided that you no longer want the card. 

If you do not use the card, it is easy to forget about the existing fees. This could lead to big problems. If you fail to pay the yearly fee, it will be seen as a late payment, which can hurt your credit score because of past late payments.  

Can you validate a credit card without charging it?

There may be no charges to verify a credit card in South Africa. Some websites and stores offer a service called “pre-authorization” that lets them check your card information without actually charging it. 

For this process to work, you need to keep a small amount of money (usually less than 1 rand) on your card for a short time.

For instance, if you book a hotel room online, the hotel may put a small amount on your card ahead of time to ensure its validity. It will be taken out of your account, though, only if you cancel or do not show up for the confirmed appointment. You can have your card validated safely and securely, which will not cost you anything.

How do I know if my credit card is blocked?

Having your credit card blocked can cause many limitations. These limitations include not being able to make payments, withdraw money, or check your card balance. 

Once you have your credit card blocked it means your ability to use the card is at a halt. 

Normally, you can only get to know your card is blocked if you confirm from the customer care of your credit card company. However, certain factors could give you a hint about your credit card being blocked. 

Knowing these simple tricks gives you a clue that your credit card is blocked.

Supposing you try to make a payment online, offline, or purchase, once your card is declined with an error, it is either your balance is low, or your card may have issues. These issues, when detected, signal the credit card company to block your card. Not to prevent you from making all your payments but to avoid any future card scam or theft. 

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