How to destroy a metal credit card

It may be easy to get one, but is it easy to scrap it?

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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.

Steps to destroy your metal credit card

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 thin metal layer. If it is, you can simply cut it with tin snips. If not, carefully and safely do the following:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Cover the signature area. Use a permanent marker to make the signature area unreadable.

Our pick for a metal credit card

Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™

  • Stainless steel—Outweighs the competition with 22 grams
  • 2% point value when you redeem for airfare
  • 1.5% point value when you redeem for cash back
  • Enjoy 24/7 access to Luxury Card Concierge
  • $100 annual airline credit toward qualifying airline purchases
  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit
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Compare metal credit cards

Name Product Welcome offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
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1x points on all purchases with 2% point value when you redeem for airfare and 1.5% for cash back
$495
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
60,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 3 months
5x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases
$550
Get 5x Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel and 5x points on eligible hotels booked on amextravel.com. Rates & fees
35,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)
$250
35,000 bonus Membership Rewards® Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months. Rates & fees
50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
2x miles on all purchases and 10x miles at hotels.com/venture
$0 intro annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening.
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
2x points on travel and dining and 1x points on all other purchases
$95
Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months.

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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.

Bottom line

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.

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