I am sure that you also love the look and feel of a new credit card just like us. But it seems like whatever you do, it gets damaged, and most of the time, this happens by just staying inside your wallet. Lately, we have tried different things and discovered a few neat and clean methods to keep the credit card just like new for years without damaging it.
To protect your credit card from damage, invest in a good quality wallet, make sure that you insert one card per slot; the cards should not move freely inside the pocket. Do not frequently sit on your wallet. Carry your wallet in your front pocket if possible. Avoid coins inside the wallet and use a protective plastic sleeve over your card.
Credit cards in your wallet can get damaged due to multiple factors, and eliminating these will result in a great looking card, even after many years of use. In fact, if you follow the methods we are going to share, your card can outlive even its expiration date.
Why my credit card gets damaged
If you can identify the underlying problem, you can find a solution to it as well. We will quickly list down all of the reasons causing the damage and the solutions to it. Follow these, and you will be good.
#1 Scratches from other cards
The biggest reason your credit card will get damaged is when it is kept with another card. The extruded text on these cards will put a lot of scratches on one another. This can also damage the magnetic strip.
Even if there is no text extrusion, they will definitely scratch each other while pulling in and out the cards if they are kept together. The cards can also get scratches from the inner surface of the wallet you are using to store your cards.
Solution: Keep each card in a separate slot and make sure the wallet slots are lined with microfiber fabric. This will make sure each card is scratchless for a long period.
#2 Damage from body weight
The second most common cause of a broken & damaged credit card is sitting on the wallet. This is not only going to damage your cards. It will extremely deform your wallet as well. More importantly, this will also result in back pain (also known as fat wallet syndrome)
You may not notice the damage immediately, but if you make this a routine, the card will definitely snap in half at some point.
Solution: Make a simple habit of keeping your wallet in your front pocket. If that doesn't suit you, keep it on the table or the car's dashboard, or in your hands while you sit.
#3 Damage from coins
Coins are the hardest thing to carry in your wallet. As designers, we always have to compromise on something to accommodate coins. If your wallet is badly designed for coins, they will make your wallet bulky. A bulky wallet will not close properly and will bend your cards inside, thus damaging them over time.
When coins are stored in adjacent pockets along with the cards, the coin shapes will get imprinted on the cards if you normally sit on your wallet. I have seen coins pocking perfect hole shapes on a card after prolonged misuse.
Solution: If it is impossible to avoid coins, particularly in European countries, get a wallet designed with coins in mind (like this one). They do a better job of keeping the cards safe and separate from the coins. You can also avoid coins by using your card for purchases so that change does not end up in your wallet. You can also utilize your jeans mini pocket to store the coins or put them in your bag.
#4 A badly designed wallet
A wallet design plays a vital role in managing the content inside. A wallet that is too minimalist without many pockets will force you to store multiple cards in a single pocket. On the other hand, if it has many pockets, buttons, straps, and unnecessary layers of leather, it will create additional pressure points causing permanent damage to your cards.
A well-designed wallet should have enough pockets for all your cards, pockets should be lined with microfiber to make them scratch-proof and should close properly when fully packed to avoid bent cards.
Solution: If you think your wallet is damaging your credit cards, you should probably get a new one with the above features. All our wallets are designed keeping these important features in mind.
#5 Damage from magnets in your wallet
The majority of credit cards in circulation have magnetic strips that you swipe on payment terminals. These magnetic strips on the backside of your cards carry authentication data for approving transactions. These magnetic strips are prone to damage and data corruption if placed within another magnetic field for a longer period.
If your wallet uses a snap-close pocket with magnets and the magnet is placed around the area where your cards are usually stored, it can erase your card data over time. Although the damage is not physically visible on your card, it's a damage nonetheless and will render your card useless at some point.
Solution: If your credit card has a magnetic strip on the back, make sure it is not in the vicinity of a permanent magnet in your pocket.
How to fix your damaged credit card?
Ok, so things happened, and you got your Credit Card Damaged.
There might still be a chance to fix it. The first thing is to identify the level of damage. If the physical damage to your card has also affected the magnetic strip, you might not be able to fix it. Instead, your best option is to order a new card (which is usually free of cost, so why not)
However, if the magnetic strip is intact and working or your card has an RFID chip, then you can still use this card at a point of sales. If the magnetic strip is wholly intact, but the card is broken, you can piece them together using scotch tape.
It will still be better to order a new card as this will be a temporary fix and won't last long.
A simple paper sleeve to keep your credit card protected
To protect your Credit or Debit Cards from damage, you can keep them in card protector sleeves. Most of the time, when you receive a credit card, it comes with a simple plastic sleeve.
If you lost that sleeve or didn't get one, you can also make a simple paper sleeve to protect your cards. The process is simple. Cut a paper with the exact size of 3.2-inch x 5.0-inch, rotate the paper around the card, and tape the ends using scotch tape. Your simple slide-in paper sleeve is ready.