Activating an American Express gift card (Everything you need to know)

How do you activate your American Express gift card?

Most American Express gift cards come ready to use and do not require activation. You may also activate your card by going to AmexGiftCard.com/balance or calling the number on the back of the card. Provide your card number, card expiration date, and the security code to activate your Amex gift card.

Imagine, trying to make a purchase, but your gift card hasn’t been activated! Even worse, what if your gift card charged fees so you don’t have a sufficient balance!

Luckily for you, I’m going to show you how to activate and register your Amex gift card. I’ll even tell you if there are any sneaky fees that you’ll be charged. You can make your purchases without any doubt that the funds are available.

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How do I activate my American Express gift card?

American Express gift cards can be activated by visiting AmexGiftCard.com/balance. Alternatively, you can call the 1-800 or 1-888 number on the back of the card. To activate, you will need your card number, expiration date, and the security code.

Here is a video by The Stuff I Use Channel showing you how to activate your Amex gift card.

When you visit AmexGiftCard.com/balance, you will be prompted to enter in your card information. 

Activate and register American express gift card online

To activate your card, do the following:

  1. Enter in your 15-digit card number without spaces
  2. Enter in the Expiration Date
  3. There is a four-digit security code on the front of the card. Enter in the four-digit security code.
  4. Optional: Enter in your email address. Your email will be linked to the card, but you’ll also receive promotional content from Amex.
  5. Perform the Captcha
  6. Click ‘sign in’ and you’ll be able to check your gift card balance. Your gift card is now registered and activated.

What number do I call to activate my American Express gift card?

The number to call for Amex gift card activation can be found on the back of your American Express gift card. The number is a 1-800 or 1-888 toll-free number, so you can activate your card on-the-go. You may also try calling customer service at 1-888-846-4308 to activate your card.

Do I have to activate my American Express gift card?

In most cases, you do not have to activate your American Express gift card. To activate your card, call the toll free number on the back of the card or visit AmexGiftCard.com/balance. Your card will be activated once you’ve provided your card number, valid thru date, and the security code.

The safest thing to do is attempt to activate your card if you’re unsure. Registering your card online is a good idea so you can check your balance.

Typically, gift cards that are bought online are already activated. Store bought gift cards may require activation.

Do American Express gift cards have an activation fee?

American Express gift cards do not have an activation fee. Instead, a fee is charged at the time of purchase. Therefore, you shouldn’t have any fees after the initial purchase.

You should note that the fee does not affect your gift card balance. For example, if you bought a $100 gift card the purchase fee would be in addition to the $100 balance.

Purchasing an Amex gift card online at AmexGiftCard.com/gift has a $3.95 purchase fee. Therefore, your total cost of purchasing a $100 gift card would be $103.95. Other retailers may charge their own fees for the initial purchase.

Some gift cards do charge fees after the initial purchase, but not Amex. If you’re worried about old gift cards losing value over time, check out this article on the CARD Act of 2009. The CARD Act set limitations on what Gift Card issuers can and cannot do for gift card fees.

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Summary: Activating an American Express gift card

As you can see, you might not even have to activate your Amex gift card. However, it’s a good practice to attempt to activate and register your card prior to making a purchase. Registering your card can help you if your card is ever lost or stolen.

To activate your card, call the number on the back of the card. Alternatively, you can log in and check your card balance at AmexGiftCard.com/balance which will activate the card.

American Express gift cards charge a one-time purchase fee. There are no additional fees charged after your purchase.