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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:

  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.

Compare metal credit cards

1 - 3 of 11
Name Product Welcome Offer Rewards Annual fee Filter values
Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card
75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months of account opening
Up to 10x miles
Capital One's premium luxury travel card, featuring airport lounge access at 1,300+ lounges.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months
Up to 5x points
Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months. That's worth $750 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™
Up to 1x points
Receive an annual $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more.

Compare up to 4 providers

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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