Introduction: How to Dispose of a Credit Card

Picture of How to Dispose of a Credit Card

When your credit card expires, you COULD just toss it in the bin, but with identity theft on the rise, that isn't really the best idea.  You should cut it up first.  Problem is that it's not difficult to reconstruct the details from pieces of the card unless you are careful about how you go about it.  Maybe I'm paranoid, but I use this method to ensure that the details can never be reclaimed.

So let's begin

Step 1: First Cut

Picture of First Cut

The first cut goes straight across the middle, cutting the card number in half.  This cut also runs through the middle of the expiry date.

Step 2: Second Cut

Picture of Second Cut

The second cut goes right across the card through the middle of the card number.  The card number has now been cut into 4 pieces.

Step 3: Third Cut

Picture of Third Cut

These days, credit cards have chips in them. YOU MUST DESTROY THE CHIP!  The chip contains all your credit account details, and can be read by a determined person with the right equipment.

The third cut goes right across the middle of the chip

Step 4: Final Cut

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This cut is optional. It goes through the middle of your name.

Step 5: Dispose of the Pieces

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OK, your card is cut into pieces.


Someone who wanted to could just tape them all back together again.  Even though they couldn't use the card at a shop, the information on the card can be used online.

Group the pieces into two or three groups such that none of the numbers can be recreated from the pieces in any group.  Now put one group into the bin and keep the other until next week.

Alternatively you can make something useful, like a guitar pick, from some of the pieces:  


Lotsa Bad Luck (author)2012-08-01

Firsties!!! (Sorry. Couldn't resist.)
If you are not satisfied with just cutting, follow up with one of my best friends: FIRE!

ahoier (author)Lotsa Bad Luck2017-01-22

I was gonna advise this....but was afraid the environmentalists would get at me lol....I know burning plastic lets off emissions of some sort ;) But then again, do these people USE plastic? :P

USMC-USAF-USN (author)2016-02-24

We run ours through the shredder ... nothing but crumbs left.

ahoier (author)USMC-USAF-USN2017-01-22

Goood advice, but only really helps if it's a cross-cut shredder...which typically cost a bit more than a standard shredder

Jonathan GeraldiJ (author)2016-07-02

A good idea is to burn off the security number. Then, throw it away in separate places like at home, office, etc.

RobertK106 (author)2016-01-23

Very helpful, although I'd add to look at the pieces on the back to ensure any signature is also cut up.

mrwolfe (author)RobertK1062016-01-25

Definitely worth a check. The idea is that there are not enough pieces in one place that can be put together to identify any of the
information on the card.

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