How to Properly Dispose of a Chase Sapphire Preferred Card

Chase has done a whole lot with credit card design over the past 2-3 years. No longer just a piece of plastic with raised numbers, several of their cards are now made of metal or contain various interesting metals to give them a more substantial feel.

The most common is probably Chase Sapphire Preferred. It’s probably the best introductory, all-around points-earning credit card. It’s popular with the points and miles set.

Two even more substantial cards are the Ritz-Carlton Rewards and >JP Morgan Palladium products.

I held a Ritz-Carlton Rewards Visa for the first time a few weeks ago and wow that was an impressive-feeling card, it made Sapphire Preferred feel positively pedestrian.

But since these cards aren’t just plastic, an interesting problem arises. You can’t shred them. They don’t just cut up with scissors.

What happens if your card number is stolen, and your card has to be replaced? Or your card expires and the bank sends you a new one, what do you do with the old card?

As I reported a year ago, Milepoint member AndyAndy decided downgrade his Chase Sapphire Preferred card to a regular Sapphire card with no fee.

He tried to dispose of the card himself. With a blow torch.

    (Photo used with permission.)

It didn’t work. The numbers on the back of the card were still legible, even.

No, the proper thing to do is send these cards back to Chase. Chase will mail you a postage page envelope, and they will dispose of the card for you. I have no idea what kind of industrial processing is required, and i don’t want to know. But I’m glad I can make a card their problem instead of mine!

The envelope has slots for two cards, is self-sealing, and does not require postage. A simple phone call to Chase and they will send a package out to you in order to facilitate proper disposal.

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About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. This is a timely article. I just cancelled my Chase Sapphire Preferred yesterday. I ran it through my home shredder and it just mangled it (the card, not the shredder) Then I tried to cut it up with heavy duty poultry shears, but no success. I was thinking of using a blow-torch, but I guess that won’t work. I next thought of taking it to work, as they have a heavy-duty shredder for CD media, but I was worried it might damage it, and they would know I was the culprit! I decided to use bolt cutters and that worked!

  2. I got the same envelope recently when downgraded from CSP to the basic sapphire card. The feel is definitely apparent but I decided to keep my CSP in my drawer with his other brothers and sisters.

  3. I had this problem trying to destroy it when I needed a new card (they didn’t send the disposal envelope with the new card that time), and no amount of folding under heavy objects or cutting tools would break the card.

  4. They just probably throw it in the trash. But as long as you feel comfy… 🙂

    Personally, I would just erase my name and the number (using rubbing alcohol, or Krug, if you’re Gary — it’s not imprinted like other cards) and then pass a strong magnet over the stripe. Done. You don’t have to physically destroy anything.

  5. Oh please. Tin snips should be in everyone’s garage or workshop. Cut into small pieces and toss. Don’t have snips? Hammer. Pound the living heck out of the card. Concentrate your blows on the numbers and they will be gone. Torch? That photo might have had a butane torch applied (not a very hot flame) but a “blowtorch” aka acetylene torch would have turned the card into a puddle of smoking plastic and metal in a moment. I routinely cut 1/2″ steel plate with my acetylene torch. A credit card is no challenge – even a fancy Ritz or JP Morgan card.

  6. Second the tin snips advice, cut through my old CSP Visa like a hot knife through butter.

    For the more fun chemistry involved set, dissolving it in a high molarity acid would be fun 🙂

  7. Go into any Hilton Hotel and flush it down the toilet.

    (Back at ya HHonors for the devaluation)

  8. Lol. I was folding the CSP card while in the office. It slip out of my hand and pop up to hit the office 12′ ceiling. Made should a loud pop and bang, woke up everyone in the office.

    But yes when home to cut it up with the tin snip cutter. Kept the corner pieces with CSP on it for a box cutter. Lol

  9. I had no trouble cutting up one with a sturdy pair of scissors/snips. I think some of this is a bit over-dramatic…

  10. I think many people must be illiterate. There is no possible way a blow torch would leave anything but a molten ball of metal mixed with plastic if applied to a CSP. Now, a butane lighter wouldn’t be able to generate sufficient heat, but a blow torch is more than up to the task. Next you’ll all be calling a motorcycle a tricycle.

    Tin snips work just fine on a CSP. So do, by the way, a sturdy pair of pliers and a hammer.

    Must have been a slow news day, Gary if you could only come up with lame hysterics & a story already as old as Moses.

  11. I used a high rpm grinder with a metal cutting blade to dispense with mine; worked like a charm.

  12. I sharpen the edges with a good knife sharpener, autoclave it, and perform skin excisions. Those carbon steel surgical blades have gotten expensive!

  13. Hmm, I just cut it up with a pair of scissors, and yes, it was the metal one.Almost broke the scissors though. I had to ask for the plastic one since many min-stall market machines could not handle the metal.

  14. When I switched my CSP Visa to a Freedom and was approved for the CSP MC, I lit a candle and held the CSP Visa card over the fire with some tongs. I had some time on my hands to melt it and the candle did the trick just fine!!

  15. Drop by the local pet crematory and covertly stash inside poor deceased Fido’s mouth. Slipping the attendant $20 works every time.

  16. This was a super helpful post as I have been trying to figure out a way to ditch my Ritz Carlton card which is a piece of METAL. txs!

  17. Bty, my generic home shredder from costco shreds my old CSP card with no issues….card is definitely shredable

  18. I just put mine through my 12 sheet shredder by itself. It did the trick, a bit loud though;)

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