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How to Destroy a Credit Card

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Credit cards are a vital part of everyday lives: People use them to make purchases online, book hotels for vacations and buy things from retailers. Unfortunately, credit card fraud is on the rise.

Nearly one in three global consumers has been victimized by card fraud in the past five years, according to 2016 data released by Aite Group, an independent research and advisory firm focused on the financial services industry. One way to help bring down this statistic is to safely and securely destroy old or unwanted credit cards.

You can safely dispose of old credit cards in a variety of ways: with a pair of scissors, a shredder and even a magnet. Learn how to get rid of your unwanted credit cards the right way to keep your account safe from fraud.

When to Destroy a Credit Card

The main reason to destroy old credit cards is to protect your identity and keep thieves from racking up fraudulent charges on them. It’s time to demolish your card when:

How to Destroy a Traditional Credit Card

You have a few options for disposing of your credit cards. If you have a traditional plastic card without an EMV chip, use one of these methods:

Whichever method you choose, toss the credit card pieces in separate trash bags. A determined scammer might be able to piece your credit card back together to get your information.

Read This: 7 Ways to Protect Yourself From Credit Card Fraud at Gas Stations

How to Destroy Metal Credit Cards

Some companies add a metal inlay to their credit cards, which makes destroying them difficult. Try attaching a metal-cutting head to a power tool and grind the card into tiny pieces. If you choose this method, make sure you follow all safety precautions and wear a pair of protective goggles.

How to Destroy an EMV Chip Credit Card

Your account number and personal data are stored in your credit card’s chip, so you must properly destroy it as well as the magnetic strip and account number. Follow the same steps as you would with a traditional card but pay special attention to the chip. Either remove it and cut it up or smash it with a hammer.

The Wrong Ways to Destroy a Credit Card

A few ways that some people use to destroy their credit cards end up causing more harm than good. Avoid these methods:

Up Next: How to Report Credit Card Fraud