If your bank or credit card account is about to expire, you’ll need to dispose of your old card in a safe and secure manner. Before you destroy your credit card, call your bank to verify that your credit card is still valid and in good standing. The phone number is usually located on the reverse side of the card. Ensure that the card is completely destroyed to ensure that it is no longer usable and to reduce the possibility of fraud. Remove the magnetic strip from the card, destroy the chip, cut up the card, and then place the fragments in multiple bags to be disposed of.
Method 1 Destroying the Card
1. Demagnetize the magnetic strip by rubbing it between your fingers. First and foremost, in order to properly dispose of an old card, you must disable the magnetic strip that contains all of your personal information, such as your account number, credit card limit, and name. In order to prevent the card from being used by anyone, you must demagnetize this strip first. This can be accomplished by running a magnet the entire length of the strip.
Do this slowly to ensure that the magnet remains in contact with the strip for an extended period of time.
You can use any magnet that you want. A fridge magnet will suffice for this purpose.
Using a pair of scissors, cut along the strip to complete the project.
2. Destroy the chip as soon as possible. If you have a chip and PIN card, you will also need to destroy the chip in the card, as well. This is a small silver or gold square that is usually found on the left-hand side of your credit card or debit card. This chip contains all of the same personal information as the magnetic strip, which is a convenient feature. Using scissors to cut the chip into small pieces can be difficult, so smash the chip with a hammer to make it easier to cut.
3. Cut it into pieces. After you’ve disabled the magnetic strip and electronic chip on the card, you can start chopping up the rest of the card’s contents. It’s important to use caution when doing this to ensure that you cut the meat up effectively and that it’ll be as difficult as possible to put back together. To begin, cut the numbers on the card into smaller pieces so that each piece of card contains no more than two numbers.
Afterwards, shred the security code and signature that are printed on the back of the card into extremely small pieces.
Cut it into pieces with bent, curved, and straight cuts, which will make it more difficult to put it back together again later.
Method 2 Disposing of the Card
1. Separate the pieces and throw them away. You can dispose of your card more safely if you separate the various pieces of it and throw them away one at a time. You are not required to place each fragment in a separate trash bag, but you should avoid placing them all in the same bag. If you dispersed the card fragments across a number of different bags, it would take a tremendous amount of effort to recover all of the pieces.
Keep account statements and receipts separate from any card fragments if you are discarding any related documentation. Do not place card fragments in the same bag as account statements or receipts.
2. Consider the possibility of destroying documentation. If you are closing a bank account, you may want to destroy any documentation that is associated with the account. Statements or receipts that contain personal information about you or your account are included in this definition. If you have access to one, shred your documents using a cross-shredder. This is the most thorough method of disposing of papers.
You can then recycle the shredded paper, but keep in mind that recycling is no more safe than throwing it away in the regular trash.
Before placing papers in the recycling bin, make sure to shred them.
3. Anything that is left should be set ablaze. The option of self-incineration is available if you want to be absolutely certain that your card and all of the associated documentation are completely destroyed before handing it over. However, it is generally not recommended to burn the card itself, because the materials from which it is made may contain potentially harmful substances such as hydrochloric acid, sulphur dioxide, dioxins, furans, heavy metals and other contaminants that are released when the card is burned (for example, particulates).
Papers and bills should be burned in order to ensure that no one will be able to read them in the future.
Creative Commons License