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Credit Cards

How to Destroy a Metal Credit Card

Updated Jun 13, 2023   |   4-min read

Credit card issuers are constantly coming up with new strategies to bring on new cardmembers or keep current cardmembers satisfied. One of the latest trends here is not related to more rewards or no annual fee. Instead, it’s all about the weight of the credit card.

Metal credit cards are proving popular with consumers. The heavier weight gives the cardholder a feeling of importance and heft behind the transaction that a flimsy, plastic card doesn’t provide.

Several companies have taken the new luxurious feel of metal credit cards to the masses, including American ExpressBarclays, and Chase. These issuers reserve the new choice in material for luxury card options, like the Platinum Card by American Express, the Luxury Black Card by Barclays, and the Chase Sapphire Preferred.

While having a hefty metal credit card is a show of status, they also have one significant downside compared to their plastic counterparts – they can be hard to destroy.

Why Destroy a Metal Credit Card?

All credit cards have expiration dates. In most cases, the credit card issuer simply sends a new replacement card within a few months of that date. With plastic credit cards, a user can cut up the old card and discard it. But with metal cards, it’s not as easy to just destroy it by cutting it into pieces when it expires.

Credit card users may also want to destroy a metal card if fraud has occurred on the account, if they no longer want easy access to the card in an effort to reduce spending, or if they are no longer using the account at all. In each of these cases, destroying a metal credit card takes some creativity.

>> Read More: What to Do With Old Credit Cards?

How to Destroy Metal Credit Cards

Fortunately, if you want to destroy a metal credit card for any reason, you have a few options. The most commonly used strategies for getting rid of a metal credit card, along with their effectiveness:

1) Talk to Your Credit Card Company

Nearly all credit card companies that offer metal credit cards give cardmembers the option to request a prepaid envelope used to return an expired or replaced metal card safely.

The credit card company is then responsible for destroying or recycling the old card, and cardmembers can rest assured their card information is safely discarded directly with the card issuer.

Most credit card companies are willing and able to do this, including Chase and American Express.

2) Use Heavy Duty Scissors

Unfortunately, heavy-duty scissors may not work in completely destroying a metal credit card. If you have a pair, though, it’s worth a shot to see if it works for you.

3) Use a Drill or Torch

A more extreme method of destroying a metal credit card is to get more extreme tools involved. Some credit card users have reported using a drill or metal cutting machine to destroy a metal credit card with varying levels of success. You could use a drill to put holes through your chip, magnetic stripe, and some of the numbers on the card to leave it unusable.

Others have moved on to fire as a way to melt the card down, but the credit card numbers on the back are often left intact.

Neither method may work fully, though, meaning credit card users may be left with only one viable option – returning it to the issuer.

Bottom Line

In sum, sending a metal credit card back to the issuer in a prepaid envelope provided by the company is the most efficient way to have a card safely destroyed. Nearly all credit card companies offering metal credit cards provide this service with a simple request from the account holder without charge.

Cardholders can try to destroy a metal credit card on their own, but their best bet is to send it back.

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