Posted by Income Taxes and Bookkeeping LLC

Old Credit Cards: What You Should Do With Them

Old Credit Cards: What You Should Do With Them

It is pertinent to know how to handle old credit cards with identity theft and fraud as prevalent as never before. As a result, you should not just leave the old card lying in your drawer when you get a replacement card. Here are tips to destroy an old credit card. 

But first, one might be curious, why is it important to destroy and get rid of old credit cards?

With old and expired cards lying around your desk, you have danger as it is a sign of potential fraud. After getting a replacement card, everything about the card changes except your account details. As a result, identity thieves can put together your data from many sources, and your old credit card could get them on the right path. 

Besides, when you consider that the typical validity period for a credit card is an average of 4 years, many people easily guess a new expiration date. 

This article sheds light on details to destroy credit cards 


Method of Disposing of an Old Credit Card 

The best and more recommended way to destroy a credit card is by using a cross-cut shredder designed to eliminate credit cards. Some shredders might have this ability; go ahead and use them to shred your cards.

People with metallic cards that come with a chip use a shredder that can shred CDs to shred it. If not, you could damage the mechanism by shredding the scrap. 


Correctly Cut Your Cards 

You do not necessarily have to head up to an online store and purchase a shredder to destroy your card. Using a pair of scissors, you can effectively cut up the card. When using scissors, however, make sure to target the points with sensitive information. Slice through the printed areas that have your name on them and cut through it horizontally.

While this might seem overwhelming, it will definitely frustrate any fraudster who attempts to piece together the information. 


Separately Bag the Pieces     

After properly destroying the old card, the good idea is to discard fragments separately. People and other evil beings who would like to steal one's personal info will capitalize on any remnant available. It might be daunting at the effort and prowess with which they try to piece together information about the user, such as the credit card issue, account number, and the card owner's financial information. 

You can, however, frustrate their effort by separating the pieces into different bags and disposing of them at other times. 


Some Card Issuers might want Metal Credit Cards Back. 

In a bid to offer extra durability, some card companies do give out metal credit cards. Amazon Prime Visa is a good example.

The good news with this type of credit card is that the card company will dispose of it off for you. Simply call the issuer and request a mailing envelope. 


Destroy the Card Chip and Demagnetize the Strip

Credit cards come with magnetic strips to make it easy for users to process their cards. These strips come with important data one can read on the card alongside essential information on the nature of the transaction the card is suited for. As a result, failure to destroy the magnet with the chip can position one for credit card fraud, not minding if the name and account have been stripped off.

All you need to do to demagnetize the strip is run a strong magnet along it. When this is done, make sure to cut the strip as an extra precaution. If you are the paranoid type like me, strike the chip with a hammer, it will destroy it properly.


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