Finder is committed to editorial independence. While we receive compensation when you click links to partners, they do not influence our content.
Guide to destroying metal credit cards
It may be easy to get one, but is it easy to scrap it?
You got yourself a nice metal credit card, but it got compromised or you no longer want to keep it. Depending on your card issuer, you can mail it back for disposal or take it to a bank branch. If that’s not an option, be ready to remove any relevant data from your card and discard the rest.
How to destroy a metal credit card
If you’ve picked up a metal credit card like the LuxuryCard Gold Card, Chase Sapphire Reserve or American Express Gold Card, you might have noticed they’re made of tough stuff. As a result, destroying a metal credit card takes more time than simply cutting up a plastic card. Here’s how to do it:
Return the metal card to your provider
Some banks — such as American Express and Chase — provide you with an envelope to return your metal credit card for disposal. The bank may send the envelope either when sending you a replacement card or upon request. Alternatively, you can visit a bank branch and leave your card there.
This is by far the easiest way to scrap your metal credit card. But if you acquired your card from another provider like Lion Credit Card, your only option may be to destroy the card.
Destroy the metal card
Most metal cards are coated with plastic, which holds the account information. Because of that, it’s important you destroy the plastic layer. But before you proceed, check if the card is made of a thin metal layer. If it is, you can simply cut it with tin snips. If not, carefully and safely do the following:
- Destroy the EMV chip. You can either use scissors to pierce the chip or you can press your thumb on the back of the card behind the chip and push until the chip starts to come off. Use any sharp metal object to help pry it off if it doesn’t come off. Once out, destroy the chip with scissors.
- Remove your name and card number. Use a lighter to heat up the plastic layer. The more you heat it the easier it is to peel it off with scissors or any sharp metal object.
- Destroy any carvings on the metal. If any numbers or names remain on the metal, use sandpaper or a sharp metal object to grind them away until they’re unreadable.
- Demagnetize the strip. If the magstripe is intact, put a refrigerator magnet on it and leave it there for an hour. After that, swipe it several times across the magnetic stripe.
- Cover the signature area. Use a permanent marker to make the signature area unreadable.
Compare metal credit cards
Why get a metal credit card?
Metal cards have always been a status symbol. After all, not everyone could afford such card. Today, everyone with at least a good credit score can apply for a metal card. Despite that, they still have the same wow factor when you put it on the counter. There are also custom metal credit card services that let you turn your plastic credit card into a unique metal card.
Aside from being more durable and a head-turner, metal cards often offer solid travel rewards and perks, which may not be available in plastic cards. If you’re traveling often, a metal credit card could be worth considering. Just be careful about setting off airport metal detectors.
Owning a metal card can give you the feeling of heft behind every transaction. But if you no longer want to keep your card or if it expired, your bank will either send a return envelope or you’ll have to destroy it yourself. If you go for the second option, make sure the plastic coating is destroyed and any information remaining on the metal is unreadable.
And of course, regular credit cards can receive the same treatment, though you’ll find the process a bit easier.
Frequently asked questions
More guides on Finder
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™ Unboxing: The new Luxury Card
The Luxury Card Black Card’s packaging matches the name.
Oxygen personal bank account
Access your cash from any network ATM and earn cashback on your debit card purchases from approved retailers.
Save Debit Invest card review
Save invests $1 on your behalf for every $1 you spend. After one year, you keep the returns.
Surge Secured Mastercard® review
A secured credit card for building credit with cashback rewards.
Best credit card combinations
Use these credit card combinations to boost your rewards earnings.
Kachinga Prepaid Mastercard review
Teach your kid to save, spend and give wisely with this prepaid debit card and mobile app.
Charity Charge Nonprofit Business Mastercard® review
A small business credit card that automatically donates your cashback rewards to charities.
Guardian vision insurance review May 2021
Get a generous allowance to put towards contact lenses or frames with this plan.
A beginner’s guide to your 401(k)
Invest in your retirement while enjoying tax breaks and peace of mind.
Startup business lines of credit
A business line of credit is a useful tool. But as a startup, you may not qualify for the best interest rates with most lenders. Explore your options — and alternatives — for flexible funding as a new business.
Ask an Expert