How To Destroy A Credit Card With A Chip

By Bruce Boswell •  Updated: 12/03/21 •  6 min read
Filed under: Credit Cards

Whether your current credit card has expired, or you simply want to replace it with a shiny new one, then you might currently be asking yourself how to effectively get rid of the credit card that you no longer need safely. Not only that, but what are you supposed to do with the chip?

Prior to getting rid of your credit card, you’re going to need to make sure that you’ve called up your bank so that you can be given an update on the current status of your credit card prior to destroying it.

How To Destroy A Credit Card With A Chip

The last thing that you’ll want to do is accidentally destroy your card before canceling it, as you’ll have to wait longer for a replacement to arrive!

If you’re currently in this predicament, then rest assured that you’ve clicked on the right article!

Below, we’re going to be providing you with simple and easy-to-follow instructions that will ensure that you are able to effectively destroy your credit card to ensure that it cannot be used, as well as provide you with additional instructions on how to destroy the chip. Just read on. 

How To Destroy A Credit Card With A Chip

Step One: Demagnetize The Strip

Once you have taken the necessary steps to ensure that your credit card has been correctly canceled, the first thing that you will need to do is demagnetize the strip.

It is very important to make sure that you are deactivating the credit card strip because it is the part of your card that contains all of your private information – including your credit card’s limit, its account number, as well as your full name.

By ensuring that you effectively demagnetize your credit card’s strip, you will ensure that the card will be rendered void, and nobody will be able to take the card and use it. 

In order to demagnetize your credit card strip, you’re going to need to have a magnet that you can use. Once you have a magnet, place your credit card on a flat surface, so that the strip is facing upwards.

From there, you should take the magnet and firmly and slowly drag the magnet across the credit card strip, ensuring that the magnet is in contact with each part of the credit card strip for at least 30 seconds, or even longer if you have the patience.

As a side note, you don’t have to have any particular kind of magnet to do this correctly, a regular fridge magnet will do the trick. As soon as you have demagnetized the strip located on the back of your credit card, you can then take a pair of scissors to cut through the strip.

Step Two: Destroy The Credit Card Chip

After you have successfully demagnetized your credit card strip, you can then proceed to begin destroying the credit card chip.

The credit card chip should be located on the top left of your credit card, but if you’re struggling to locate it, the chip should either be a shiny gold or silver color, with black crossed lines.

It is very important to make sure that you effectively destroy your credit card chip, as it contains all of the important, personal information that the credit card line does.

However, the credit card chip isn’t as easy to destroy as the credit card line, which is why it’s very important to make sure that it is properly destroyed.

A pair of scissors won’t be strong enough to cut through the chip, so instead, you’re going to need to take a hammer so that you can effectively smash the chip until it breaks into tiny pieces that won’t be able to be put back together again.

As soon as the chip has been smashed into little pieces, you should be able to scoop them together and then throw them away.

Step Three: Cut The Remainder Of The Credit Card Up

Once you have destroyed both the credit card line and the credit card chip, you will then need to cut up the rest of the card. The key here is to make sure that you’ve cut the card up so well that no one would be able to piece it back together again, which is why we recommend starting off by cutting up all of the numbers embossed on the card.

After you have cut the numbers, we recommend taking a closer look at the cut pieces to ensure that there are no whole numbers intact, and if there are, take your scissors and carefully cut the pieces into smaller pieces.

After you have done this, you should then proceed to thoroughly cut up the area of the card that contains your signature and security code (it’s extremely important to cut up the security code to prevent online banking fraud) making sure that you are cutting in a variety of different directions, including diagonal, straight and even in random patterns.

This will ensure that if someone happened to come across your credit card, they would have an extremely hard time trying to piece it back together again – let alone think about using it!

Step Four: Dispose Of Your Credit Card

Last but certainly not least, the final step that you will need to take after you have effectively destroyed your credit card is to successfully dispose of it.

The best way to do this is by throwing away all of the cut-up pieces of your credit card separately, as this will make it nearly impossible for someone to be able to find all the pieces to put it back together again.

As a side note, if you happen to have any additional credit card paperwork that you would like to get rid of alongside your credit card, then we strongly urge you to shred your important documents so that no one will be able to read them.

However, if you do not have a shredding machine, you could alternatively opt to cut the documents up with scissors. 

Don’t miss this on if you can Recycle Your Credit Card.

Bruce BoswellBruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell

Bruce Boswell enjoys researching and writing about all things related to investing and saving money. Whenever he has a chance, Bruce loves travelling all around the world with his wife and trying new foods.