More credit card companies are replacing plastic with metal for their premium credit cards. The heavier, sturdier metal credit cards give cardholders the feeling they have a higher quality, more superior product versus plastic cards.
Metal credit cards are more durable than plastic, but that also means they're more difficult to dispose of. The methods you used with a plastic credit card—scissors or a home shredder—are ineffective with metal credit cards. Fortunately, there are options to destroy an old metal credit card while protecting your information.
- Metal credit cards have gained popularity among premium credit card customers.
- Cards may be made from a mix of metals and can weigh up to 26 grams (almost 1 ounce).
- Attempting to use a home shredder won't work and can damage your equipment.
- Returning a metal credit card to your card issuer or using tin snips are the most practical options to destroy an old metal credit card.
How Common Are Metal Credit Cards?
|Card Issuer||Credit Card|
|American Express||The Platinum Card,
American Express Gold Card,
American Express Business Gold Card,
Business Card from American Express,
Delta Skymiles Platinum American Express,
Delta Skymiles Reserve American Express,
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express,
Amazon Business Prime Rewards Visa Signature
|Capital One||Capital One Venture,
Capital One Venture X Rewards,
Capital One Savor
|Chase||Chase Sapphire Reserve,
Chase Sapphire Preferred,
Amazon Prime Rewards,
JP Morgan Reserve
|Citi||Citi/AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard|
|Goldman Sachs||Apple Card|
|U.S. Bank||U.S. Bank Altitude Go Visa Signature Card,
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
How To Destroy a Metal Credit Card
When you receive a replacement metal card, or you decide to cancel the account, disposing of the old card helps protect you from fraud and identity theft. However, typical methods of destroying a credit card won't work on metal credit cards. They're made of a mix of metals and metal alloys, including stainless steel, copper, palladium, tungsten, titanium, and other precious metals, and generally weigh from 12 to 18 grams, with the invitation-only JP Morgan Reserve Card weighing in at a whopping 26 grams (almost 1 ounce).
Some credit cards that appear to be metal actually contain layers of both metal and plastic or other materials.
Given the density and thickness of the metal credit card, it's safe to say that shredders and scissors won't work. Here are a few of the safer, more convenient options for destroying a metal credit card.
Send It Back to Your Card Issuer
The safest option is to return your card back to your credit card issuer either by mailing it or dropping it off at a local branch, if your card issuer has physical branch locations. Your card issuer may even provide you with an envelope for sending your card back to them. Chase, for example, provides an envelope with prepaid postage upon request for Chase Sapphire customers to safely email their cards back to Chase, a bank rep confirms.
Cut It Into Pieces With Tin Snips
Regular scissors won’t work on 100% metal credit cards. Instead, you need to use a tool designed for cutting through metal, like tin snips. You can pick up a pair at your hardware store if you don’t already have a pair at home.
Tin snips may be worth keeping around since they can also be used for cutting through other metals and even thick plastic packaging. If you have other metal credit cards that need to be destroyed in the future, it’s nice to have a pair of snips handy.
Lock It in a Safe
You’re not technically destroying it when you do this, but locking it away keeps your card from falling into the wrong hands. It's a good idea to keep your card locked away temporarily even if you eventually plan to mail it to your card issuer or purchase tin snips.
How Not To Destroy a Metal Credit Card
When you're looking for the most practical way to destroy your old metal credit card, you must realize that some options could be dangerous.
Avoid Using a Home Paper Shredder
Even high-capacity shredders were only meant to handle sheets of paper and plastic credit cards. Many shredder manufacturers warn against putting metal into a shredder as it can cause damage to the equipment. On top of that, it can void your shredder’s warranty, leaving you to bear the cost of repairing or replacing it.
Beware of Third-Party Services
Think twice about sending your card off to any company who promises to shred your card for you. You risk your card being used fraudulently if it lands in the wrong hands.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How do I remove a metal credit card from the shredder?
Try using the reverse function to coax the credit card through the top of the shredder. Giving the card a tug can help dislodge it from the shredder blades. If the card still won't budge and you have the technical skills, you may have to disassemble the shredder to completely remove the card.
Can I return my old metal card?
You can return an old metal credit card to your credit card issuer. Many will send an envelope with prepaid postage for you to mail your card back. If you don't have a mailer, call your credit card issuer to ask for mailing instructions.
Want to read more content like this? Sign up for The Balance’s newsletter for daily insights, analysis, and financial tips, all delivered straight to your inbox every morning!