How to Care for a Damaged Credit Card
No matter how you keep your credit cards, scratches and cuts can make your card unusable. In swipe-based machines, damaged credit cards can make your name or other distinguishing marks unreadable such as the magnetic strip on the back of your card. The front of the card is also susceptible to damage. If the damage is severe, you may not be able to use the card to make purchases.
Clean Damaged Credit Cards
Cleaning your damaged credit cards can reduce the impact of minor damage. At home, use a soft cloth, and a small amount of liquid soap, including water to gently remove accumulated dirt. Allow to air dry and then gently dry the card. Away from home, you can use your clothing, or an eyeglass cloth to wipe away imperfections, especially along the magnetic strip.
Ask the cashier to manually input your card information, if you are unable to get damaged credit cards to work. The clerk may use another swipe terminal or may enter your card number and expiration date digit by digit. Unless the data on the front of the card has been obscured, this should allow your transaction to be processed.
Make a call to your credit card company and request a new card to replace your damaged card. Make sure you still have your original card in your possession; this information determines the replacement process. Your new card will not change your terms, but it will invalidate your old, damaged card. Request a time frame for your new card’s arrival, so you can monitor your mail delivery accordingly.
Destroy Your Card
Learn to use a shredder with a credit card slot, or use scissors to cut up your damaged credit cards into small pieces. Moreover, make sure no identifiable pieces of information remain after your card has been destroyed, including the signature line, magnetic strip, and any chips. You must divide the pieces of the card into different garbage bags to minimize the chance of someone being able to piece the card together. Careful destruction of your old card can minimize your chances of identity theft.
The black strip on the back of your credit card is magnetized and damage to it could withhold important information. All store clerks swipe this strip to access your account information and allow you to make a purchase. If the strip becomes damaged or demagnetized, you will no longer be able to make quick purchases. It is essential for you to protect the strip on your card by storing it properly. Keep your card away from magnetic objects that can erase important information. They include magnetic clasps, security screening machines, magnetic anti-theft clips, cell phones, and magnetic jewelry.
Keep your card in a dry place, preferably a card protection sleeve, or your credit card company may provide sleeves for its cardholders. If not, you can purchase one online or use an old hotel key card sleeve. Make sure the sleeve is a clean and dry place away from dirt and grime. Even while storing properly, your credit card may be damaged due to regular use.