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How to dispose of metal credit cards

Need to dispose of a metal credit card but don't know how? There are several methods you can employ

Summary

When kitchen scissors and shredders just won’t cut it, there are other options you can use to dispose of your metal credit card. For a DIY method, you can use tin snips. Or you can return the card to your issuer if you don’t mind waiting for snail mail.

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Dear Cashing In,

I’ve 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

Dear Dominic,

You’re right, the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card contains metal-alloy composition weighing 13 grams. So, it takes a little more than your average pair of scissors to cut through this credit card.

With rewards cards, issuers like to distinguish their product from the pack. Typically, they do this with different card features such as “no-hassle rewards,” free hotel nights or double points for dining out. But sometimes they also seek to stand out with an innovative design – like a metal finish.

However, if a walk to Mordor to toss your canceled metal card into Mount Doom is just a little too out of the way for you, there are other methods you can employ to dispose of your metal card.

Check out all the answers from our credit card experts.

Ask Tony a question.

See related: Comparing the new Apple Card to other metal credit cards

Return it to the card issuer

Some banks – such as Chase and American Express – will provide you with a postage-paid envelope so you can mail your card back to them for proper disposal. With Chase, you should have received a prepaid envelope when you opened your account. However, if you lost track of it (like many of us do), you can call the phone number on your card and request another envelope.

You can also drop off your card at any one of Chase’s brick-and-mortar locations if you’d rather not wait for an envelope to arrive by mail. For other issuers, you can stop by a local bank branch that carries the metal card and ask the banker if they can destroy it on your behalf. For example, you can drop by a Wells Fargo bank if your Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card needs destroying.

Stow it away for safekeeping

Technically, you don’t have to destroy your card if you’re not using it anymore. If you find yourself with another metal card but don’t need or want to destroy it, you can create a file in filing cabinet and store them there. Or in a small plastic bag in a drawer in your desk.

These methods work best if you simply want to stop using your card instead of hurting your score by closing an account. Just make sure it’s in a safe place where no one can get your credit card number or fall into the wrong hands.

Use tin snips

Like I said earlier, you’re going to need more than just your garden-variety kitchen scissors to cut through cards like these. And shredders won’t work (as you found out). You may need make a trip to the hardware store (or at-home toolbox), but you’ll need tin snips.

Tin snips are like industrial shears – they’re made to cut through sheet metal and other tough materials. If you want a quick solution and happen to have these lying around, this is the easiest DIY method. Another includes pliers and a fire pit – but I don’t recommend that method very much!

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The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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