Old credit cards

Maybe I’m overthinking this, but in the old days when it was time to replace a credit card your just cut up the old one and tossed it, the “half a magnetic stripe” pretty much rendering it useless.

I have two replacement cards in the past week, and after cutting them I realized the “chip” is untouched, so theoretically somebody could find that chip and just use it at a “touch station”, no? So I got a nail punch from the toolbox and a piece of wood and punched holes in both chips, which I think should rather permanently deactivate them.

Overkill? Maybe. Let me know.



Overkill? Maybe. Let me know.
We run ours through an old Fellows paper shredder. That device sees a lot of use as my wife shreds all junk mail with our address on it. Overkill here too.



I discard old credit cards using time and space diversity. I cut it into three pieces, one slice through the last name and card numbers, and one slice through the chip. Then I have 3 pieces. I discard the 3 pieces in different places and at different times. One goes into the kitchen trash bag. One goes into the supermarket trash, or the gym trash, or the pool trash, etc. And the third gets discarded a few days later after a trash pickup has occurred. Clearly overkill, but it ensures that it is virtually impossible to find enough pieces of the card to use in any way.

Never overkill when it comes to personal data… Besides the chip, there is a thin ‘wire’ antenna in the CC, so I’ve long adopted adding to the mulch load via a nice heavy duty Royal shredder that’s outlast all of it’s predecessors… 16 Microcut it says, came via Costco years ago.

I shred anything with our name on it, and watever else will fit, lighter cardboard boxes, once reduced in width chug right through… CD’s, DVDs, really crunchy, also rarely needed to spread, but it has a slot for them. Generally they do a nice POP when folded over the recycle bin… Else cut 'em up… But CC’s… Shred 'em! They’ll break down in a few years…

My Citi card was replaced recently. The only thing that changed was the expiration date. After verifying the card, by mistake I tried to use the card with the old date. It was rejected! My guess is that the chip sends the expiration date and possibly other data that is different in the new card from the old.

One easy test is to try to use the old card after verifying the new.

The Captain


Hopefully that is not how it works because then some hacker could build a man-in-the-middle device that reads the expiration date and modifies it.

How EMV (Europay, Mastercard, Visa) chips work:

An enabled EMV terminal reads and verifies the card information contained in the embedded chip when inserted into the slot of the payment terminal. Like using the magnetic stripe, card data is then processed for payment authorization; the key difference is that the chip card generates a one-time code for each transaction while a traditional magnetic stripe card does not.

An additional way to use an EMV card is as a contactless payment method. Using near field communication (NFC), the enabled card may be tapped, waved or held in close proximity to a payment terminal to complete the transaction.

source: https://www.fisglobal.com/en/insights/merchant-solutions-worldpay/article/how-does-a-chip-card-work

IMO punching a hole or cutting through the chip is a good idea even if it is overkill, because anyone who comes across it would discard it and not retain your name, card number, etc for any other purpose


Not overkill, I send mine through our confetti shredder.

I’ve seen warnings about running the chipped cards through the shredder.

If your expired credit card has a chip—the metallic square you tap or dip into a card reader at a retail point of sale—shred it only if your machine is equipped to also shred CDs. Otherwise, shredding the chip could damage the mechanism.

I’m sure they encoded the date in such a way that it can’t be just read like that. Scrambling with check-digits is pretty strong protection.

One annoying thing recently are those full metal cards. I can’t cut those easily, and I’m not willing to mess around with tools to do it. So I put those in the envelope provided and mail them back to the issuer.