5 Must Do Things When You Get A New Credit Card

5 Must Do Things When You Get A New Credit Card

Acquiring a new credit card opens doors to financial opportunities, but before starting with a spending spree. It’s wise to take a few essential steps. Start by carefully reviewing the accompanying documents; understanding usage terms and associated fees is crucial for responsible card use. 

While the excitement of potential rewards is palpitating, a strategic approach ensures you maximise benefits while avoiding costly mistakes. Explore five steps to take with your new credit card, setting the stage for informed and economical financial decisions. Let’s go into the essentials to optimise your credit card experience from the very beginning.

Activate Your New Card

Activating your credit card is a crucial step before making any purchases. Failure to activate within the specified timeframe may lead to deactivation. Avoid hassles by promptly activating your card. The activation process varies but is generally straightforward.

  • Online Activation: Visit the card issuer’s website, navigate to card activation, and follow the provided prompts.
  • Mobile App Activation: Download the credit card issuer’s app, log in, register, and locate the activation option. Enter required details to complete the activation.
  • Toll-Free Activation: Use the provided toll-free number for guidance on the activation process. Follow the steps provided by customer service.
  • SMS Activation: Some banks allow activation through SMS. Send a message to the bank’s customer care number for activation guidance.

Create the Credit Card Pin

Setting up your credit card PIN is a crucial step for secure transactions. While you may receive a default 4-digit PIN with your welcome kit, it’s advisable to enhance security by changing it. The process is convenient, with options to generate your PIN online, via phone, at the bank branch, through an ATM, or even by email. 

Opting for a personalised PIN adds an extra layer of protection to your credit card, ensuring a secure and confident start to your financial transactions. Take the initiative to establish a PIN that aligns with your security preferences, fostering peace of mind as you embark on your credit card journey.

Set Up Autopay

Late credit card payment can harm your credit score and lead to fees or increased interest rates. Mitigate this risk by activating autopay through your online account or app. Here’s how:

  • Access Your Account: Log in to your credit card account online or use the app.
  • Navigate to Autopay: Look for the autopay option in the payment or account settings.
  • Choose Payment Amount: Opt for autopay options, such as minimum amount due, full statement balance, or a custom amount.
  • Select Bank Account: Link the bank account from which payments will be deducted.
  • Set Payment Frequency: Choose the frequency—monthly, bi-monthly, etc.
  • Verify Balance: Ensure your linked account has sufficient funds before the autopay date.

With autopay, your chosen amount is withdrawn automatically, providing a convenient and fail-safe way to meet your credit card obligations.

Review Introductory Offer Terms

When diving into your new credit card’s perks, focus on any introductory offers it brings. Welcome bonuses often grant cashback, points, or miles for reaching a spending threshold within a set time. Scrutinise the terms: note the required spending, eligible purchases, and deadline.

For cards with an introductory 0% APR, clarity is key:

  • Qualifying Transactions: Identify if the promo APR applies to purchases, balance transfers, or both.
  • Promo Period End: Know when the promotional APR concludes (usually within six to 21 months).
  • Standard APR: Learn the post-intro APR that takes effect.
  • Balance Transfer Details: Understand the initiation timeframe, completion period, and associated fees.
  • Penalty APR: Be aware of the penalty APR for missed payments.

Even without a promotional offer, grasp essential card details: annual fees, late payment fees, APRs, grace periods, and minimum payment calculations. Stay informed to optimise your credit card benefits.

Understand the Rewards Program

Understanding your credit card’s rewards program is vital for maximising benefits. Here’s a guide:

  • Types of Rewards: Explore options like airline miles, hotel points, general points, or cashback.
  • Redemption Process: Check how to redeem rewards—whether as a statement credit, bank deposit, or check.
  • Qualified Transactions: Know which purchases qualify for rewards, as some cards focus on specific categories.
  • Earning and Redeeming: Clarify whether rewards are applied automatically or if you need to redeem them.
  • Expiration Dates: Be aware of reward expiration dates to ensure you don’t lose out on benefits.

Read your credit card agreement and issuer’s website for a comprehensive understanding of your rewards program, ensuring you make the most of your card’s offerings.


Staying informed about your credit card features and terms is key to optimal usage. Responsible practices like timely payments, staying within credit limit, and monitoring credit score can enhance creditworthiness. While managing a credit card may seem daunting initially, proper setup and regular payment monitoring  can lead to effortless management over time.

By adhering to sound financial practices, you not only maximise the benefits of your credit card but also establish a strong credit profile, setting the stage for financial success. Keep these points in mind as you embark on your journey with your new credit card, ensuring a path of financial responsibility and success.

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