Exactly When Does Your New Credit Card Get Authorized Via The Phone

I had four credit cards expire last month (June), so I tried an experiement.

Normally you call an 800# from your home phone, enter the card#, your SS# and then the calls transferred to an agent that tries to sell you something else, like protection if you lose your job. Then it says “Thank You, you’re card is activated, please sign the back, you may now use your card”

So as part of my “experiment” I didn’t authorize the new card by phone but went to use it. I took the new card (same number different exp date), and the clerk said “Ah just a section and said, I need to call this in.” He handed me the phone and I talked to the Customer Service Rep, and in 30 seconds it was fine.

So I went home and tried my second card. Again same number different exp date. I waited till it said “You’re now being transferred to a live operator, to activate your card.” I hung up. I went to Walgreens, worked fine. I did this again with the third card (same number / different exp date) worked fine.

I still have one card left and I haven’t decided how to experiement with it.

So it seems as soon as you call from your home phone, enter the card number and your SS# (or whatever it asks) that is all it takes, and the transfer to the agent is just to try to sell you something else.

My question is, has anyone actually worked for a credit card company and if so can you tell me when the card “REALLY” gets activated.

I don’t work for a credit card company, but it really is as simple as changing a value in the database from “off” to “on.” If you query the database before the change, you see the “off” value and if you query it after the change, you see the “on” value.

It’s like asking how long it takes a post to show up on the SDMB. Assuming normal server loads, it takes a few fractions of a second to transfer and process data, so it’s instantaneous for all intents and purposes.

I think the point is that some people (like me) suffer through the rigamarole because we’re under the false impression we need to wait for the operator to say “your card is activated” before we can use it.
I’m not the OP, and maybe a better title would have been “at what point in the authorization process is the card activated”, but I think you can glean that from the OP.

Thanks to ** Markxxx** for testing that for the rest of us.

I always activate my cards by Internet. No hassle, no fuss, no muss. No sales pitch either.