How To Dispose of Metal Credit Cards – Easy Ways




how to dispose of metal credit cards

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To keep a credit card from getting into the wrong hands and being used fraudulently, you should destroy it. With plastic cards, this is straightforward enough, but what if you chose a metal credit card with pieces of sheet metal inside that is more robust? 

A metal card may be returned to the firm that issued it, so they can destroy it on your behalf. You could also chop it up yourself if you have access to the necessary tools and then discard or recycle the pieces.

Even though your canceled or expired credit card cannot be used to make purchases, properly discarding your card will help safeguard you from several forms of fraud and identity theft.

How To Dispose of Metal Credit Cards

Even if some of the finest metal credit cards have alluring incentives like airport lounge access and other perks for cardholders, you might finally decide that canceling or switching cards is the wisest course of action. A worn-out metal card might also need to be destroyed when it expires.

how to properly dispose of metal credit cards

Here are four possible uses for your metal cards.

On Your Own, Destroy the Metal Card

Never try to cut a metal credit card with conventional regular scissors or put it in a paper shredder. However, if you have the correct equipment, you might be able to destroy and get rid of the card on your own.

What Kind of Tools Can I Use to Destroy a Metal Credit Card

  1. Tin Snips: Similar to how you discard plastic cards, you can cut them into many pieces if you have metal tin snips or another heavy-duty cutting tool. This may need you to think of inventive methods to use the instruments at your disposal to destroy the card. The magnetic stripe and EMV chip on the card should be destroyed since they retain data that can still be accessed even after the card has expired or been canceled.
  2. Shredder with Plastic Credit Card Slot: If your personal paper shredder has a plastic credit card slot, you should be able to destroy metal cards with that.
  3. Drill: Another option is to use a drill on the metal card and create tiny holes throughout it. This helps to keep hackers from using the information stored in the embedded chip or magnetic strip.
  4. Hammer: If none of these options is available to you, you can use a hammer to break the card into small pieces and then discard them.
tools needed to destroy metal credit cards

A Third-Party Service Should Not Be Trusted

It’s most certainly a scam if a third-party firm offers to obliterate your metal credit card for you. You shouldn’t give your metal credit card to anyone but a bank employee at a physical branch in order to avoid your credit card information from getting into the wrong hands.

Even if your credit card has expired or been canceled, you shouldn’t give out your credit card information to anyone, especially in unsolicited email messages or by typing it into a strange website. Be cautious of a customer service representative that might reach out to you over the phone.

Additionally, make sure your credit card number is utterly unreadable on any paperwork, such as canceled checks or financial statements, that you store carefully or destroy.

Return it to Your Credit Card Company

When your card expires, the credit card issuers could send you a replacement card along with a pre-paid envelope. Alternatively, you might have gotten an envelope along with your card initially. Use this envelope to send the old metal card back to the credit card issuer for nothing.

Many people believe it is bad to have a lot of credit cards with zero balances. However, that is not the case. It does not show up on your credit report or FICO score as long as you don’t use it. If you are not using it, you should just return the card back to the financial institution that issued it.

Keep The Card Securely Hidden

Some folks could put their outdated credit card in a drawer. Even if cleaning out your catch-all drawer takes years, it’s a solution, but just a short-term one.

The old card cannot be used to make purchases, but an identity thief attempting to pass as you might be able to use the actual card as identification. Identity theft risk is a disadvantage of having multiple credit cards, especially if they are not in use. If you choose to keep the card, consider using a screwdriver to bend or damage it first.

You can phone the issuer and ask it to mail you a prepaid envelope if you don’t have an envelope. If you pay the postage, you might be able to receive a refund; however, you should call the issuer first to make sure.

Take It to a Physical Location

It could be more practical (and secure) to drop off your metal card at one of the nearby bank offices of the card issuer rather than sending it back. A bank branch would have the proper tools to destroy a plastic card or a metal card with a plastic coating.

A banker might be able to shred it for you or send it on your behalf to the appropriate agency. To make sure someone can assist, call the branch first.

Things To Think About Before Cancelling a Credit Card

Consider your options carefully before you destroy your card because you intend to close the account. Canceling a metal credit card takes planning. There are certain drawbacks to closing a credit card account, so it’s vital to think about these as well as some alternatives you might want to try before canceling your card.

things to think about before canceling a credit card

The Effect on Your Credit

For up to 10 years, closed accounts that are in good standing (i.e., you haven’t missed a payment) can affect your credit reports and ratings. The account can enhance your credit as long as you have a history of timely payments. However, canceling a credit card may result in an increase in your credit utilization ratio, which could lower your credit score.

The Current Balance on the Card

A credit card with a balance can be canceled. Many people think that canceling a credit card will stop recurring payments. However, the outstanding balance is subject to interest charges and must be paid in full. 

Your Account’s Rewards

If you have a rewards card, points, cash back, or miles that are in your account after it closes could be lost. Examine your account’s rules because some cards allow you to redeem rewards within a grace period. Alternatively, you might be able to transfer the points before canceling your card if you have another rewards card from the same issuer.

You don’t need a credit card for every purchase you make. There are some car rental companies that don’t require a credit card, and you can also use cash or even checks to make purchases.

Whether It Makes Sense to Switch Cards

You can switch to a different credit card from some card providers while keeping your current account open. See if you can switch to a card with different terms if you’re considering canceling a card due to its annual fee or rewards program. Many of the possible drawbacks mentioned above might be avoided by keeping the same account open.

Your Last Installments

If you’ve been carrying a debt, be on the lookout for the last bill and settle it before canceling the card. You may still be responsible for unpaid interest, so you don’t want to unintentionally forget to make a payment.

Why Would You Trash a Metal Credit Card?

It’s a wise move to destroy outdated credit cards if you want to avoid identity theft. The credit card account should also be closed, which can be done by calling the number on the back of your card and speaking with a customer care agent.

why would you destroy a metal credit card

Some shoppers might be concerned that canceling a credit card account could lower their credit score. Closing one account will lower your score if you have other cards with balances because it will increase your overall utilization percentage. 

However, if you maintain a low utilization rate and appropriately utilize your other cards, your score should improve. Additionally, the history of a closed account remains on your credit reports for up to 10 years if it was in good standing.

Find Your Next Playing Card

Check to see whether you’re matched with card offers in the Experian CreditMatchTM marketplace if you’re looking for a new credit card to replace your current one. You can get customized deals from our partners once you are check-in. The results can then be filtered based on the features you’re after, and your top choices can be side by side compared.

Related Questions

Can A Magnet Be Used to Destroy a Credit Card?

Yes, magnets have the ability to damage the magnetic stripe on a credit card, wiping out the data stored there and making the card worthless. Demagnetization can be an accident waiting to happen because magnets are incorporated into many common goods, and magnetic strips are found on everything from loyalty cards to MasterCards.

Can I Discard My Old Credit Cards?

Credit and debit cards that have expired only need to be torn up with scissors and thrown away in the trash. It is simple to destroy credit and debit cards along with other vital documents you no longer need because some paper shredders also contain a slot for them.

Card Credit Can a Paper Shredder Shred?

Fortunately, most shredders can securely destroy credit cards and other plastic cards that you want to get rid of. Be sure to safely dispose of a metal credit card if you cut it into several small pieces with a pair of scissors.

Can A Metal Credit Card Be Burned?

A metal credit card can be destroyed by melting, burning, or drilling it with a torch. Both strategies will be ineffective. Making a hole in the magnetic stripe or chip of the credit card with a drill will make it worthless.


Metal credit cards can be a little trickier to break than plastic ones, but it’s still feasible. Asking your credit card provider for advice on how to properly dispose of your metal credit card is typically the safest and most practical course of action. To request a prepaid envelope for return and disposal or to find out your issuer’s preferred method, call the number listed on the back of your card.

Also, keep in mind not to discard your earned points or cash back even if you cancel the card itself. Verify your accounts to make sure you don’t still have any incentives that need to be used up before they expire or become forfeited when an account is closed.

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