How to destroy metal credit cards without killing your shredder
To give reward cards some heft, some issuers make them nearly indestructible
Tony Mecia is a business journalist who writes for a number of trade and general-interest publications. He writes "Cashing In," a weekly column about credit card rewards programs, for CreditCards.com
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Dear Cashing In,
got a couple of Chase Sapphire Preferred cards lying around. I got a new card
a few months after some fraud was detected, and then more recently I canceled
the account altogether because I didn't want to pay the annual fee. I tried
putting the card through the shredder, and it literally shut down the shredder.
Then I tried scissors, and that didn't work either. Apparently the card
contains metal. How can I safely dispose of it? -- Dominic
not just shredders and scissors that won't destroy the Chase Sapphire Preferred
card. In a post on FlyerTalk, an online travel discussion
board, one cardholder said he failed with garden shears and a wire cutter
before using a power tool with a metal cutting head to grind the card into
it's too far to travel to Mordor and toss your canceled Chase Sapphire
Preferred card into Mount Doom?
rewards cards, issuers like to distinguish their product from the pack.
Typically, they do this with different card features such as "no-hassle
rewards" or free hotel nights or double points for dining out. But sometimes
they also seek to stand out with an innovative design.
a $95 annual fee (waived the first year), Chase Sapphire Preferred is the least
expensive and most common rewards card that is made out of metal. In addition
to being hard to destroy, the cards are too inflexible to work at Redbox
kiosks, which annoyingly require the card to bend a little to go through the
swipe slot. The Sapphire Preferred can be also tough to use with those old
credit card imprint machines -- if you've seen one of those lately -- since the
account number on the card is not really raised. But at least they supposedly
don't set off airport metal detectors.
spokesman Rob Tacey says the Chase Sapphire Preferred and the bank's
Ritz-Carlton Rewards card ($395 annual fee) both have a metal inlay design
where the cardholder's account data is
laser-engraved. This adds to "the uniqueness and sophistication of the card
design itself," he says.
metallic card is the J.P. Morgan Palladium card, available only to the bank's
private banking clients. As its name suggests, it's made of palladium, a rare
silvery-white metal that last was trading for more than $700
an ounce in mid-January.
American Express' Platinum and Gold cards are not made of those elements. They
are plastic. But American Express does have one metal card: the ultra-elite
Centurion card, which is available by invitation only. An American Express
spokeswoman wouldn't give any specifics on the card, other than to confirm that
yes, it is made of metal. CreditCards.com
has previously reported that the Centurion is made of titanium.
far as disposing of the Sapphire Preferred card, Tacey says cardholders can
call the phone number on the card and request a postage-paid envelope to mail
the card back to Chase, which will destroy it.
See related: Video: Cut up your card the right way, You've arrived! True tales of the mysterious Black Card, Which cards can you churn for multiple rewards bonuses?
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Published: January 21, 2014