When you get a new credit card in the mail you will need to destroy your old one. According to CreditCards.com, if you do not properly destroy your old credit card, you could become a victim of identity theft. There are several effective methods to destroy credit cards.
A reliable pair of scissors can do the job of destroying your old card for you, according to CreditCards.com. When you cut your credit card, be sure to cut your signature and account number into at least three pieces. The more pieces you cut, the better. When you throw out your cut-up credit card, throw it into three or four different garbage cans. This will prevent a criminal from being able to pull the pieces out.
Not every shredder is designed to handle credit cards, so buy one that is credit card capable, according to MSN Money. A shredded credit card destroys the account number and three-digit security code on the back to the point where it would be impossible to piece it back together. You should also shred all of your credit card bills to protect that information as well.
Burning a plastic credit card can give off potentially dangerous fumes, but if you can create a fire in a well-ventilated area, then this is a good way to destroy a credit card, according to MSN Money. Make sure the card burns all the way down and that none of the pertinent information can be read.
Chips and Strips
MSN Money suggests an extra step to destroying your credit card to ensure that no information can be retrieved from the pieces. Run a strong magnet along the magnetic strip on the back of your card before you destroy it to erase the information from it. If your card has a computer chip in it, then smash the chip with a hammer.
- MSN Money: Trashing Old Credit Cards? Be Careful
- CreditCards.com: How to Safely, Securely Destroy a Credit Card: 6 Tips
- Federal Trade Commission. "Data Book 2019." Page 4. Accessed March 26, 2020.
- U.S. Commerce Department’s National Travel and Tourism. "U.S. Citizen International Outbound Travel Up Six Percent in 2018." Accessed March 26, 2020.
George N. Root III began writing professionally in 1985. His publishing credits include a weekly column in the "Lockport Union Sun and Journal" along with the "Spectrum," the "Niagara Falls Gazette," "Tonawanda News," "Watertown Daily News" and the "Buffalo News." Root has a Bachelor of Arts in English from the State University of New York, Buffalo.