A time will come when you need to eventually dispose of your credit card. The card may either be expired, cancelled, or has a new replacement; you surely won’t have any need for it. 

However, you shouldn’t just throw the credit card straight into the bin. You must understand that there are certain things you need to do before totally getting rid of your old credit car. Prudence is the key here. Security issues may arise if you don’t dispose of your cards properly. 

There are recorded situations that involved identity theft and fraudulent activities related to credit cards. It is best to learn how such situations could happen and know the ways to avoid the corresponding hassles they could bring.

Here are the proper steps to follow once you have decided to get rid of your old credit cards:

Destroying the Old Plastic Credit Card

Once you have determined the expiration date of your credit card or if its replacement has arrived, you can now start the disposal process. Take your card and perform the steps described below.

  • Demagnetise the Magnetic Strip

The purpose of demagnetisation is to ensure the strip cannot be used again. Take a magnet and run it along the strip. You can use those fridge magnets or any regular magnets you can find.

  • Smash the Chip

The small gold or silver square on the front is the EMV chip of the card. The chip is a bit difficult to cut so you have to smash it to protect your personal info that is in it.

Grab a hammer and smash away.  

  • Cut the Plastic Card to Pieces

Once the magnetic and EMV chips are disabled, you can now start cutting the card into pieces. Make sure to cut through the serial numbers or any unique information that’s on the card.

If you have a shredder that can cut through hard plastic, that’s the best method to use. Shredders can turn the card into tiny bits which makes the latter impossible to reconstruct again.

  • Throw Away the Pieces Separately

Collect the pieces and fragments of the credit card then dispose of them into separate bins or garbage bags. The purpose of spreading the pieces is to make sure they would be very difficult to recover.

If there are documents related to the credit card you also want to dispose of, shred or cut them as well.

Returning the Old Metal Card

Some credit cards are made of metal and it would seem impossible to cut or shred them to pieces. The best way to deal with this is to send the card back to the bank and have them destroy the cards for you.

However, if you decide to destroy the metal card yourself, make sure the serial number is illegible; and the chip and magnetic strip are completely destroyed. 

Final Thoughts

Our expired credit cards may still pose some dangers to our safety and information security if we’ll just wantonly dispose of them without taking the necessary measures. We should take the necessary action so that our valuable personal and financial information is optimally protected.

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