How to Activate American Express Gift Card

How to Activate American Express Gift Card


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Are you trying to activate your American Express gift card?

Nothing is more frustrating and a bit embarrassing than trying to make a purchase just to have your card declined.

Was it because it didn’t have sufficient funds? Was it because the card isn’t activated yet? While insufficient funds are a real possibility, there’s also a chance it just isn’t activated.

In that case, you’re in the right place. This article will guide you through 5 quick and easy steps to activate your American Express gift card. It will also answer frequently asked questions people have.

The Quick Answer: To activate an American Express gift card, visit balance.amexgiftcard.com, enter your card details, perform the Captcha, and then sign in. Alternatively, you can call the 1-800 or 1-888 number located on the back of your card.

Do You Have to Activate American Express Gift Cards?

In most cases, American Express gift cards purchased directly from Amex do not have to be activated and come ready to use.

However, there is a chance you will need to activate your card if you bought it in-store.

In this case, simply follow the steps below.

How to Activate American Express Gift Cards

Here are five quick and easy steps to activate an American Express gift card:

Step 1. Visit balance.amexgiftcard.com

How to Activate American Express Gift Card

The first step to activating an American Express gift card is to visit balance.amexgiftcard.com on your computer.

If you don’t have a computer, you can visit the website on your phone or tablet instead.

Step 2. Enter Your Gift Card Information

How to Activate American Express Gift Card

Once you visit the website, you will be prompted to enter your card information, as seen above.

This includes you card’s:

  • 15-digit card number
  • Expiration date
  • 4-digit Security code

If you give them your email address, your email will be linked with your gift card, but you will receive promotions from American Express.

Step 3. Sign In

Lastly, click “sign in” to activate your gift card. Depending on your login location and the browser you’re using, you may be required to perform a Captcha by clicking “I’m not a robot.”

Once you’re signed in, you’ll also be able to view your balance. It’s recommended you do so before making a purchase.

That said, here is an excellent video by The Stuff I Use Channel taking you through the entire process of activating an American Express gift card:

Step 4. Call the 1-800 or 1-888 Number

If you don’t want to activate your American Express gift card online, you can call the 1-800 or 1-888 number on the back of your card instead.

Listen to the automated menu until you reach the option about activating gift cards, and then when prompted, enter your card’s 16-digit number, expiration date, and 4-digit CID.

If you’re having difficulty navigating the automated menu, you can press “0” to speak with customer service.

If you’re still having trouble, you can also call (800) 528-4800 to speak with a representative who will guide you through the activation process.

Step 5. Record the Card Information

American Express recommends you write down your card number, 4-digit Card Identification Code (CID), and 3-digit Card Security Code (CSC) on a piece of paper in case your gift card is ever lost or stolen.

If it’s ever stolen or you do lose it, call American Express customer service to speak with a representative. In many cases, Amex will reimburse you for the remaining funds on the card – not counting any funds you already spent.

Why Is My American Express Gift Card Not Working?

There are a few reasons your American Express gift card may not be working. The most common reason is that your card lacks sufficient funds to cover the purchase you’re trying to make.

Your Amex gift card may also not be working if there aren’t enough funds to cover the amount of a pre-authorized request.

Some businesses may request a pre-authorization for an amount exceeding your actual purchase. If your gift card has enough funds to cover your purchase but not the pre-authorization request, then your card will be declined.

If you don’t know your card’s balance, you can call the 1-800 or 1-888 number on the back of your card or visit balance.amexgiftcard.com.

Do American Express Gift Cards Have an Activation Fee?

There is no fee for activating an American Express gift card. The only fee associated with an Amex gift card is one at the time of purchase.

However, this fee has nothing to do with your balance. For instance, if you buy a $200 American Express gift card, the fee would be in addition to the $200.

That said, if you buy a gift card on Amexgiftcard.com, you’ll be charged a $3.95 fee. Considering this, your $200 American Express gift card would cost $203.95. Keep in mind that other retailers may charge a different fee.

Can I Use a Prepaid Amex Card Online?

Yes, you can use a prepaid Amex card online. Prepaid American Express cards can be used at online merchants in the United States, Canada, and anywhere else where American Express cards are accepted.

How Do I Check How Much Money Is on My American Express Gift Card?

To check how much is on your American Express gift card, visit balance.amexgiftcard.com and then sign in by entering your card information.

You can also call 1-888-846-4308 to check your balance.

Do American Express Gift Cards Have a PIN?

American Express gift cards do not have a PIN. Instead, they have a 4-digit number Amex refers to as a card identification code (CID). The CID is located on the front of the cards right above the 15-digit card number.

Do American Express Gift Cards Have a CVV?

Yes, American Express gift cards do have a Card Verification Value (CVV), which is located on the back of the cards. However, American Express refers to them as a Card Security Code (CSC).

Where Is the American Express Gift Card Code?

American Express gift cards have a four-digit Card Identification Code (CID) on the front and a three-digit Card Security Code (CSC) on the back.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are a few frequently asked questions about American Express gift cards:

Can You Add AMEX Gift Cards to PayPal?

You can add an AMEX gift card to PayPal and use it anywhere in the United States where PayPal is accepted.

With that said, keep in mind that you can not use merchant-specific gift cards on PayPal. In other words, any gift cards that don’t have a MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover logo on them.

Can You Use AMEX Gift Cards on Cash App?

Unfortunately, you cannot use AMEX gift cards on Cash App. Cash App is not compatible with any cards that are gift-based.

The app only supports bank accounts and debit or credit cards from Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express.

Can I Use an Amex Gift Card on Venmo?

Venmo allows prepaid and network branded – American Express, Discover, Visa, MasterCard, etc. – cards to be added to your Venmo account that are under your name.

However, your card may be declined by American Express or even Venmo for funds availability or reasons relating to fraud prevention.

Final Thoughts on Activating an American Express Gift Card

You typically don’t even have to activate an American Express gift card if you buy it directly from Amex. However, you may have to if you buy it in-store. Regardless, it’s still a good practice to ensure it’s activated.

To activate an American Express gift card, simply visit balance.amexgiftcard.com, enter your card details, perform the Captcha, and then sign in. Once you’re signed in, you can also view your balance.

With that said, if you don’t want to activate your American Express gift card online, you can also activate it by calling the 1-800 or 1-888 number located on the back of the card.

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