After a few years have passed, it is time for you to be sent your new credit and debit cards. Banking companies are on top of this and will send you a new card right before your old one expires. But, what should you do with your old card?
Old credit cards should be cut, shredded, and made un-useable. The best way to destroy a credit card is by using a shredder or cutting it into small pieces with scissors. For metal cards, rather than cutting them up, issuing companies will often have a return service to dispose of them.
Typically, new credit cards will have different numbers on them than the old ones had, but no matter what, you do not want another person getting a hold of your banking cards. They can use the information on it to purchase with the card and use it to get more information about you.
Why You Should Cut Credit Cards
Credit cards and any other banking card in your wallet have important information on them that people will want to get their hands on. A credit card has your first, last, and middle initial or name on it, it has your credit card number on it, and it has your 3-digit security code. So, if someone got all that info they could use it for anything until they get caught.
In recent years, thieves have been using credit cards and debit cards to purchase gift cards. That way, they could go spend money fast and then use the money from the gift cards to buy anything they wanted and be untraceable. If someone got a hold of your debit card information that would be worse than your credit card.
The reason for that is because your debit card is directly related to your bank and money, so if someone spends that money it is hard and in most cases not possible to get that money back. But, if they get your credit card information, then they can spend the bank’s money and it would be up to the bank to trace them down and receive the money back, not you. The situation is horrible either way, but a credit card helps protect you.
Cutting up your credit cards and debit cards after they are expired is important to protect your information. You can prevent someone from spending your money, and you can prevent someone from claiming they are you using the cards. It is so important to be safe and secure in your in-person and online purchases, so keep up the safety measures even after you are done with the card.
Trash or Recycle?
One common question is should you throw away your credit card or recycle it? Today everyone is always looking for new ways to recycle so that not everything ends up in a landfill. More and more people are trying to make more conscious efforts to be mindful of the environment, but recycling your shredded credit card may not be safe for you. (Source)
Recycling facilities have people sort pieces of plastic together as well as other materials together, so giving them all the pieces to the puzzle of your credit card information is not wise. So, it is better to trash cut and shredded credit cards so that it is mixed up and put in a place people don’t go.
In general, the rule of thumb is that if you can recycle, do it. But, in this case, even though you can recycle don’t. If you are worried about the effects of not recycling the plastic from the credit card know that it is very small, so out of anything that you should and shouldn’t recycle, this is not too bad to trash.
How To Cut Your Credit Card
To cut your credit card, make sure you focus on the numbers and your name on it. It is recommended that you cut through the numbers horizontally, then vertically through every number. It will take some time, but being as safe as possible is important and worth your time.
As stated above, you can also use the card shredder on your paper shredder machine. But, if it does not cut your card in the way you prefer, then go ahead and use scissors. Of course, cutting a hard and small object with a sharp and big object is dangerous, so make sure you are safe and careful when cutting up your card. (Source)
You should also demagnetize and cut up the chip and bar on the card. Those are the places you insert and swipe your card when using it, so making sure the part that can transfer money is shredded is important. You will not have a good day if after all your hard work of cutting up every number and letter on the card was for nothing because the chip or bar on the card is intact.
What To Do For Metal Credit Cards
Some banking institutions give their customers metal credit cards and debit cards because they are more durable. Cards expire up to 5 years in the future now, so making sure the card will last that long is important to the companies. That way, they don’t have to replace the plastic cards annually for them being more prone to breakage.
If you have a metal credit card, then you are probably wondering if you are supposed to cut up your card. The answer is, no. Your bank will give you a paid-for envelope that you will put the card into. You can also freeze or deactivate that card before you send it in to be sure if anyone does get their hands on it, it won’t work.
So, you will place your card into the envelope and send it to the bank, or where the bank needs it to go. They will be able to recycle the card for more credit cards and debit cards, but they will not be linked to your account. If you have questions about this, you can call or message your bank and see what their specific rules and regulations are regarding how to get rid of your credit card.
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