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Monday, February 11, 2008

5 Ways to Securely Dispose of Your Canceled Credit Cards

The following is a guest post from Heather Johnson, a freelance business, finance and credit writer, as well as a regular contributor for, a site for comparing business credit card offers. She welcomes questions, comments, and freelancing job inquiries at If you're interested in publishing a guest post on CFO, send me an email at cfoblog [at] gmail [dot] com.

If you switch credit cards or simply just close a credit card account, it’s important to dispose of your old credit cards properly. Otherwise, your private financial information could be compromised, ending up in the hands of thieves and setting you up for identity theft. Cutting or shredding your cards is not enough these days; you have to get creative to ensure that your cards have been completely destroyed. Here are 5 ways to do it.
  1. Use a microwave: Cook your card in the microwave with a glass of water for about 30 seconds. This will only destroy the embedded smart chip, so you’ll need to cut up and shred the card afterwards. Remember to throw the pieces out on alternate trash days.
  2. Beat it: Use a hammer to break the chip to powder. You have to do this thoroughly to prevent thieves from putting the chip back together. Make sure you wear protective eye gear so that the pieces don’t fly into your eyes.
  3. Heat works: Throw the card in the fire or in your barbecue and roast it for a while. The card and chip will both be destroyed. Or, run a hot iron over the chip and card to melt them and destroy the information they hold.
  4. Blend it: Your blender is good for more than just margaritas. It can destroy your credit cards, too. Blend unwanted cards to small bits before throwing them out.
  5. Lock them up: Put all of your unwanted cards in a box and lock it up in a safe deposit box at your bank. To be even more cautious, cut up the cards to bits before you take them to the bank.
If you're interested in destroying your credit cards, you may also enjoy this post at - Ed.



  • At 2/12/08, 4:51 PM, Anonymous Kyle said…

    This goes for more than just credit cards, also for all papers that have sensitive information or account numbers on them. Use them to start your fire. With the cold weather, we have a fire going almost everynight so it becomes a great place to burn all this stuff.

  • At 2/13/08, 9:53 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I just shred everything. I guess that's not enough. I did not know about the embedded smart chip.


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