How does a magnetic protector for credit cards work?

magnetic protector for credit cardsThere is no specific protector for the magnetic stripes on ordinary credit cards. All you can do is be careful not to damage the magnetic stripe. However, there are specific protectors for smart credit cards.

You can use our FREE credit card finder to search for both ordinary credit cards and smart credit cards!

It is important to know what type of credit card you have so you can take the proper precautions and prevent credit card fraud that could eventually harm your credit score.

What is the difference between ordinary credit cards and smart credit cards?

Ordinary credit cards have a narrow magnetized stripe on the back of the card. This stripe contains the data needed to access the bank accounts associated with the card. You use this stripe every time you swipe your credit card through credit card readers at a store, restaurant, or ATM.

Smart credit cards also have a magnetic stripe, but what makes them smart is the addition of a tiny computer chip called an RFID chip that transmits data through radio signals. This chip allows you to use your credit card by simply waving it in front of a special reader, making credit card transactions easier, faster, and more convenient.

Because ordinary credit cards and smart credit cards store and use their data differently, they require very different protections.

Why does the magnetic stripes on credit cards need to be protected?

Ordinary credit cards store all their data on the magnetic stripe. If anything happens to the magnetic stripe, the card becomes unreadable and useless.

Scratches, cuts, abrasions, or even wear can physically harm the magnetic stripe on a credit card. If these physical damages are extensive enough, they can make the card unreadable.

Additionally, if the magnetic stripe on a credit card is exposed to a strong magnet, it can become demagnetized. A demagnetized card is also unreadable.

Once the magnetic stripe on a credit card becomes unreadable, that card must be replaced.

How can I protect the magnetic stripe on my credit card?

credit card magnetic protectorThe simplest way to protect your cards’ magnetic stripe is to carry them in a way that eliminates the chance for anything to rub against the stripe and damage it. Carry credit cards in individual slots in your wallet rather than carrying cards loose. Do not double up your cards. If you must double up your cards, place them face-to-face rather than back-to-back and keep the stripe covered by the material of your wallet.

Another solution is to buy protective holders for your cards. Companies like Information Packaging and Dupont make plastic and paper sleeves for credit cards. These holders will protect your credit cards regardless of how you carry them, as long as you remember to return the cards to the sleeve after you use it.

The only way to protect your credit cards from demagnetization is to keep your cards away from strong magnets. There is no special sleeve that will protect your credit card from the power of a magnet.

Why does a smart credit card need to be protected?

Obviously, the magnetic stripe on a smart credit card needs to be and can be protected in the same manner as an ordinary credit card. It is the special feature of a smart credit card, the RFID chip that needs special protection.

Credit card fraud and identity theft are problems with all credit cards. The features that make smart credit cards so fast and convenient also leave them vulnerable to a different type of theft.

Smart credit cards work by continually emitting a weak radio signal. The danger for smart credit cards is that a thief with portable card reader could pass the reader near your card sitting in your purse or pocket and read the information off the card.

While smart credit cards protect your information by encrypting the data and through authorization procedures, these safeguards are not perfect.

To augment these built-in protections, several companies, such as Identity Stronghold and Information Packaging, sell wallets and sleeves manufactured to protect RFID credit cards. These work by blocking the radio signal emitted by the cards. No reader can access the signal unless the card is removed from the protective sleeve or wallet.

Many analysts predict that credit cards with magnetic stripes will soon become obsolete. They will be replaced by smart credit cards. Your understanding of how these cards work and how to protect yourself is imperative.

If you are ready to embrace the new technology now, use the FREE credit card chaser today to locate a smart credit card that meets your needs!


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Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or any other credit card company or issuer. The opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any credit card company or issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any credit card company or issuer. Credit Card Chaser may be compensated through various affiliate programs with advertisers. As always, Credit Card Chaser is an independent website commmitted to helping people research credit card offers and find the best credit card!