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How Do You Securely Dispose of Metal Credit Cards?

a metal body American Express Platinum card resting on a highly textured table.
American Express

Hefty credit cards are all the rage these days, but the solid feel your pure white Apple Card or American Express Platinum imparts is thanks to the metal layer. You can’t shred it at home without breaking your shredder, so what do you?

If you’re not familiar with the heavier-is-better trend, here’s the ten-second summary: credit card companies have been creating credit cards that are essentially the regular ol’ plastic you’d expect but with a thick layer of metal in between the two plastic sides. The result is a card that has a “heavy is luxurious!” feel in your hand.

That’s all well and good, but it poses a bit of a problem when it comes time to dispose of your old card when the new one comes in the mail. You can’t exactly put a 20-gram steel plate through the kind of light-duty paper shredder most of us have. So what do you do?

First, contact your credit card company. Many of the companies that offer metal credit cards understand that disposing of them is a bit impractical. Give them a ring, and they’ll send you a prepaid mailer to send the card to them where they’ll throw it into the fires of Mordor on your behalf.

Barring that, or if you really want to do the deed yourself, you’ll need to get serious. Like Old Yankee Workshop meets Myth Busters serious. Many of the cards have laser etched numbers and really heavy-duty construction, so attacking them with a pair of scissors is out of the question. To render the card useless, you’ll need to attack it with power tools. You could use a power sander to wipe the front and back clean down to the metal and then drill through the magnetic strip, chip, and any remaining visible information etched into the metal.  Or you could snip it into tons of pieces with tin snips. Or dissolve it in a vat of acid.

Really just start with the question, “Would this completely ruin the door of my car?” and if the answer is yes, then subject your expired metal credit card to the same treatment. Or, you know, go back to step one and mail it to the company to dispose of so you don’t have to explain to some E.R. admitting nurse that the reason your Chase Sapphire Reserve card is embedded in your forehead is because you didn’t tighten the vise enough before firing up the angle grinder.

Jason Fitzpatrick Jason Fitzpatrick
Jason Fitzpatrick is the Editor in Chief of LifeSavvy. He has over a decade of experience in publishing and has authored thousands of articles at LifeSavvy, Review Geek, How-To Geek, and Lifehacker. Read Full Bio »

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