Going about with damaged debit or credit cards without knowing can cause you great embarrassment and discomfort. Just imagine yourself being at a supermarket shopping and you need to pay with your cards but it just won’t work on a Point of Sales (POS) terminal because it is damaged or you are trying to shop online and you could not copy your card numbers correctly because some of the numbers are no longer visible.
Imagine again the embarrassment you could face when you need some cash, need to make transfers or top up your mobile credits from the Automatic Teller Machine (ATM) and your debit or credit card won’t work because it is damaged. The discomfort of the need to physically visit a bank branch to replace a damaged card and the associated cost is also something to worry about when handling your debit and credit cards.
Note the the most important part of your debit and credit cards are the chips in front of it or the black strip at the back of it (In US where the chips and pin technology is yet to be adopted) and so ensure these part of the cards are kept from damage. For online transactions the numbers are the most important.
Here are some useful tips on how to protect you card from damage.
Store your cards in a wallet
One of the ways to damage you cards easily is not to store them properly. Avoid putting your cards in your purse or pocket loosely, get a wallet or create a space that can hold your cards firmly in your wallet or purse and keep them there. Allowing your cards to move around loosely can damage the chips and make it unusable on the ATM and POS. A loosely stored card can also rub it against objects that could clean out the numbers on the card.
Avoid contact with magnets
Magnet can destroy your cards, especially magnetic strip cards. Ensure your wallet does not have magnet in them, avoid putting you card where magnet is and if you must do, do not let the magnet have contact with the magnetic strip or chips on your credit or debit card. Also if you must keep 2 cards in the same wallet ensure the strips or chips on the 2 cards does not contact one another as this may also damage the cards.
Avoid Physical Damage
Cards that are physically damaged can not work on the ATM or POS, so avoid throwing your cards around when at home or in your office. Avoid putting your card holder or wallet in your back pocket as the cards may be damaged when you sit on them. Putting your cards in the car on a hot day can also damage your cards. Also do not store your cards in a refrigerator or microwave to avoid physical damage to it.