How To Destroy a Metal Credit Card

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Did you sign up for a fancy metal credit card and now find yourself needing to get rid of it?

Even metal cards have a shelf life. They may need to be destroyed if they are damaged, past their expiration date or if they display inaccurate information such as a misspelled name.

The standard “chop it up” method that works with most plastic credit cards is unlikely to get the job done when destroying your metal credit card. You’ll need a solution to discard your metal credit card safely and in a way that keeps your financial information protected.

Team Clark has researched popular methods for destroying your metal credit card. I’ll help you find the right method and walk you through some helpful “dos and don’ts” for the process.


6 Ways To Destroy A Metal Credit Card

If you want to destroy your metal credit card, there are a few options that should work.

I searched the internet for some of the more popular ways of getting the job done. Some of the success stories seem fun. Some of them sound a little dangerous.

Here are some ideas that should be successful.

1. Use Tin Snips

This may be the simplest answer for destroying your metal credit card. You can find them at a hardware store (like Home Depot or Lowe’s) or a crafts store. The price depends varies based on how big the snips are and which brand you like, but generally, they can be purchased for $10-15.

Tin Snips can cut Metal Credit Cards
Tin Snips via HomeDepot.com

2. Try Heavy-Duty Scissors

Your regular paper scissors or your kid’s school scissors likely aren’t going to get the job done. So you can save yourself the frustration and perhaps the expense of replacement scissors by skipping those.

However, there are some heavy-duty scissors on the market that tout the ability to cut light metals. They seem to function very similarly to tin snips, and you may find more practical uses for these beyond credit card destruction.

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heavy-duty scissors could destroy metal credit cards
Heavy-Duty Scissors/Shears via Fiskars.com

3. Mangle It With Pliers

If you have a good set of pliers in your toolbox, you could probably bend and contort your metal credit card in such a way that ensures it’s no longer useable or recognizable.

4. Drill Holes Into It

You may have a power drill in your garage that could easily render a metal credit card useless in a matter of seconds.

5. Use a Blow Torch

If you’re looking for a more adventurous (and destructive?) method, you could set aside the drill in your garage, pick up the blow torch and melt metal the old-fashioned way.

6. Throw It in Your Fire Pit

I haven’t tried this one, but the internet likes it. Backyard fire pits are as popular as ever, and it shouldn’t take much time in the bottom of the pit before your card is mostly unrecognizable.


3 Alternative Ways To Discard Your Metal Credit Card Safely

If destroying your metal credit card seems like too much work or perhaps a bit too risky, we understand. There are likely some alternatives to destroying your card that can be safe and effective in protecting your personal finances.

1. Contact Your Card Issuer for a Mailing Address

Often you can mail these back to the issuer for proper disposal or recycling. The easiest way to get this mailing address is likely to call the phone number on the back of your credit card.

If you do mail it back, it may be worth paying for postage tracking on your envelope to give yourself peace of mind that it arrives at the proper destruction destination.

2. Drop Off the Card at a Bank

If you live near the financial institution that issued the card, you should be able to surrender the card to a bank or credit union employee for proper disposal.

These metal cards are relatively new for many lenders, so they may not already have a drop-off plan in place. Consider calling ahead to ensure that your local branch will accept these.

3. Simply File It Away

If you have a secure filing cabinet that houses your important documents, you may decide just to throw this card in there to keep it from getting into anyone else’s hands.

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Avoid These 4 Methods for Discarding Metal Credit Cards

As I researched some helpful ways to get rid of your unwanted metal credit cards, I also came across some not-so-great ideas.

I’m throwing methods these out there just to help you avoid the potential pitfalls that can come with them.

1. Paying a Third-Party Service

I didn’t know this was even a “thing” until I read about it on the internet. If you find a company wanting you to send in your metal credit cards, assume that it’s a scam. I advise that you stay far, far away.

And even if it’s legitimate, this is a huge risk to your financial security that could open you up to fraudulent use of your card number. Plus, it’ll cost you money.

2. Traditional Scissors

Simply put, the regular old scissors in your kitchen drawer likely won’t be strong enough to get this job done. And you may ruin them in the process, so I advise you not to attempt it.

3. Paper Shredder

This may sound like a good idea, but it is a great way to ruin your household shredder. Most of these are designed to chop up paper documents, not metal.

Trust us on this one. A member of Team Clark who shall remain nameless (not me!) attempted this unsuccessfully.

4. Throwing It Away or Recycling It

This doesn’t really accomplish the goal of destroying the card. And while there’s probably a reasonable chance that it harmlessly ends up in a landfill or recycling center, it’s still an unnecessary risk.


Final Thoughts

Before you destroy your credit card, make sure that you’re doing the right thing. Are you planning to cancel it? And if so, should you?

Team Clark has some advice on how many credit cards you should carry. There’s a chance that keeping that credit account open and paying off small purchases in full periodically may actually benefit your credit score.

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If destruction is the right decision, all that I ask is that you do it safely and effectively for both your personal and financial wellbeing.


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