It was not too long ago that plastic credit cards were the standard. In recent years metal credit cards have become more popular. There are several reasons for this, but one of the main ones is that metal cards are more durable and harder to damage. If you have a metal credit card and are looking for information on how to dispose of it, you are in the right place.
In this blog post, we will discuss how to properly get rid of your metal credit card so that it doesn’t end up harming the environment or posing a risk to your safety.
How to Dispose of Metal Credit Cards
1. Mail It Back to Your Issuer
Mailing your used or damaged metal credit card back to the company that issued it is usually the best way to ensure it will be carefully destroyed. Some credit card companies will provide a self-addressed envelope with your new card that already has postage so you can return your old card.
If you have a Chase credit card, you can recycle it through their Metal Disposal Program. You’ll receive a prepaid envelope to mail your used card back to them when you open your account.
If you misplace the prepaid envelope that came with your newly-issued card or can’t find the one from your old card, don’t worry! Just call the phone number on the back of your card and request another envelope or ask for help getting rid of your old card.
2. Return It to a Bank Branch
If you are more comfortable handling the card hand-off in person, most issuing banks allow you to visit a physical location to return your metal card. While policies may differ between issuers, talking to someone at your bank’s branch can help figure out the best next steps.
3. Stow it Away
The best way to keep yourself from racking up a high balance on your old credit card is to put it in a drawer or safe at home. If you choose to hide your card, ensure it is in a secure location where there’s no risk of losing your information.
It can be difficult to Close an account because of the damage it could do to your credit score, so a safer option would be to put away your card until you’re in a better financial state. Additionally, this method allows access to the card if something unexpected happens.
4. Destroy it Yourself
If you know you don’t need the card anymore, get rid of it by disposing of it. But remember: Don’t use the home shredder sitting in the corner of your office for years.
Cut your metal credit card into pieces using tin snips. Tin snips are shears designed to cut sheet metal and other tough materials, so they should be able to handle any metal card you have lying around. This is a quick and easy DIY disposal method if you have these tools on hand.
If you don’t have tin snips, many people have tried to get rid of their metal credit cards using other methods like blowtorches or fire pits. While these methods of disposing of your card may not be the most practical, they can serve as a fun experiment – as long as you remember to keep the metal away from the microwave and your home shredder. According to Chase, all its metal cards have a note on the back indicating not to shred them.
5. Don’t Trust a Third-Party Service
Don’t let just anyone provide you with a service to destroy your metal credit card- it is probably a scam. The only person who should have access to your credit card is an employee at your bank. This will prevent any confidential information from being released without your knowledge.
Never give your credit card number to a third party, whether through unsolicited email messages or by entering it into an unknown website. Your credit card may be expired or canceled, but that does not mean it is safe to share this information.
It is essential to safely file or shred any paperwork with your credit card number, like canceled checks or bank statements. Be sure the numbers are completely unreadable before disposal.
What to Consider Before Disposing of a Credit Card
If you think you might cancel your credit card account, consider this: canceling a credit card account can have some unsavory consequences. Understand the potential downsides before nixing your card to avoid any later problems.
- If an account is in good standing, it can stay on your credit reports and impact your credit scores for up to 10 years. Having said that, if you have built up a history of making on-time payments, then the account will continue helping your credit even after closure. Although, beware that closing a credit card causes your debt-to-available ratio to increase, which may negatively affect your score.
- If you have a rewards card, you will lose the cashback, points, or miles in your account once it’s closed. Review the terms of your account to see if some cards give you a grace period during which you can still redeem rewards. Alternatively, if you have another rewards card from the same issuer, check to see if transferring the rewards is possible before canceling your original card.
- You will still need to pay off the full balance if you cancel a credit card with a balance. However, the interest on the outstanding amount can accrue over time.
- Beware of one more bill if you’ve been paying monthly and then paying off the card before discontinuing it. You might still owe interest that was gathered but wasn’t included in the balance yet, and you don’t want to miss a payment carelessly.
- Some card issuers enable their customers to keep their accounts open and change to a different credit card. If you’re pondering closing a card due to its annual fee or rewards structure, check if you can switch to a with different terms instead. Keeping the same account open may cancel out many of the abovementioned disadvantages.
The Bottom Line
Disposing of a metal credit card may not be as simple as disposing of a plastic one, but it is doable. The best way to do this is to call the credit company and ask what they recommend. Get their opinion on the safest and most efficient method, whether that means requesting a prepaid envelope or some other solution.
Don’t forget that even if you get rid of the card, you can still use your points or cashback earnings. Check your accounts so that you don’t have any rewards left waiting to be used before they run out or are lost when the account is closed.
What’s the best way to destroy an old credit card?
Sarah Grano, a spokeswoman for the American Bankers Association, suggests that consumers cut their EMV chip cards along the short side into several pieces and then dispose of them in multiple trash bags. Another option is to feed plastic cards into a paper shredder designed to handle them.
Why do people have metal credit cards?
Many believe the only reason to have a metal credit card is for appearance’s sake. While some of the most exclusive and prestigious credit cards on the market are made of metal, they’re often regarded as status symbols because they cater primarily to those with good to excellent credit who also tend to be big spenders.