Credit CardsPrivate: Credit Cards > Articles

How to Destroy a Metal Credit Card

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Trying to cut up your metal credit card, but not having any luck?

A metal card won’t simply snap with a pair of scissors or fragment easily in a shredder. There have been various Reddit threads and FICO forums where cardholders shared tales of torching metal cards, throwing them in the fire, or using pliers to cut them up — with little success.

How to destroy a metal credit card

So, how can you destroy a metal credit card once you’ve canceled the account or received a replacement, and keep it out of the hands of thieves?

Well, there’s often a simple and low-risk method to destroy a metal card: ask for a prepaid envelope from your card issuer.

Most card issuers that offer metal cards will send you a prepaid envelope upon request to mail your card back to them or when they mail out a replacement metal card when your existing card expires. They will then dispose of your card in a safe manner. An alternative may be to bring the card to the issuing bank or use a commercial shredder, but if you don’t have easy access to either, it can be more of a hassle than requesting a prepaid envelope.

History of metal credit cards

Metal cards were first introduced by American Express® in 1999 with the debut of the Centurion card. This luxury card already had an exclusive status since it’s invite-only, but Amex elevated the hype by choosing to make the card out of titanium.

In recent years, metal cards have become increasingly popular and less exclusive. Many card issuers enhance the design of their cards by using titanium, stainless steel and embedded metals. There are even no or low annual fee metal cards available, such as the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card ($0 annual fee) and Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card ($95 annual fee).

Did you know? Chase temporarily ran out of the metal required to make the Chase Sapphire Reserve® in 2016, after a successful marketing campaign.

Metal cards have somewhat become a status-symbol for many cardholders. These cards are noticeably heavier and sturdier than flimsy plastic cards and can even be a conversation starter when splitting a bill.

While metal cards can be fun to use, you shouldn’t choose a card just because it’s made of metal. The benefits and terms of the card should be in line with your spending habits — the material the card is made of should be the last thing you consider.

Major card issuers, such as American Express, Chase and Capital One, offer metal credit cards with a variety of benefits beyond a metal composition. Most metal cards are geared towards frequent travelers and have annual fees upwards of $500, but there are a few low-cost options. Popular metal cards include:

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
  • Chase Sapphire Reserve®
  • The Platinum Card® from American Express
  • Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card