Putting Credit Card in Phone Case: Bad?

Here’s everything about putting a credit card in your phone case being bad:

Putting a credit card in a phone can damage the card, but many cases are well-designed in that respect and won’t hurt it. 

The bigger issue is that if your phone goes missing, your credit card is now missing too.

That doubles the frustration on your end, and it creates significant security concerns.

So if you want to learn all about why it is bad to put a credit card in your phone case, then this article is for you.

Keep reading!

Putting Credit Card in Phone Case: Bad? (Don't Do This)

Why Is it Bad to Put a Credit Card in a Phone Case? (2 Reasons)

Leather case with mobile phone, laptop and cup of coffee on wooden table.

If you’re wondering if the phone case will damage the credit card, that’s covered a bit later.

The primary issue is that phones get misplaced. 

If you lose your phone or it is stolen, someone now has your phone and your credit card.

For more than a few reasons, that’s a dangerous combination.

#1 Phones and Credit Cards Both Contain Personal Information

credit card sitting on top of a smartphone

A missing credit card is already bad enough, but if someone has your phone and credit card, the situation can be a lot worse.

The scariest thing is that they can use your phone to steal accounts.

You might think that you can just lock your phone, and it’s fine, but that’s not really the case.

The phone likely has a SIM card in it.

That SIM card can be used to install your phone number on any phone.

That means a person can have your credit card information and the phone number used to verify your identity. 

Even if you cancel your card as soon as it goes missing, they could use your missing phone to have the next card sent to them.

They could even take complete control of your credit card account.

It’s an evolving problem that gets hard to resolve.

#2 Unlocked Phones Are Potentially Devastating

a man using mobile smart phone outdoor

The worst happens if they can access your phone directly.

They now have all of your personal information.

With that, they can potentially steal any account they want.

They can take identity theft to the highest level, and it can be completely devastating.

The crux of the issue is that they have two forms of identification.

They have your phone number for online IDs, and they have your physical credit card, which can be used partially for in-person identification.

It takes a lot on their end, but if they think it’s worth the effort, they can cause you years of pain with just these two things.

What About the Credit Card Itself If You Put It in a Phone Case?

Woman in cafe getting credit card from her phone case

There’s a secondary element to the original question.

Is it bad for the credit card to be stored in a phone case?

That depends on the case, but it can be a problem. 

Magnetic cases are more likely to cause damage to chips and magnetic strips.

Most are designed with modern cards in mind, but issues have been known to arise.

The bigger issue is wireless charging.

Wireless charging works by inducing a current in the phone’s battery by using strong electromagnets.

Those magnets are more likely to damage your card than anything designed on the phone case itself.

There are also concerns with the phone case putting strain on the card.

If you have to slide a card into and out of a tight slot, it can wear and damage the strip and other info on the card.

Obviously, this particular problem depends on the design of the case.

How Can You Protect Your Credit Card and Phone? (3 Steps)

Woman in a cafe shopping online with credit card

After learning about so many ways a missing phone and credit card can combine to ruin your day, you might have some questions.

If you would like to protect yourself against such problems, there are some easy steps to take.

First, don’t carry your phone and credit cards in the same spot.

You’re less likely to lose a wallet and phone at the same time (although that definitely can happen).

So, splitting up the risks helps.

But, it’s possible for someone to get your phone and a credit card no matter how careful you are.

Theft happens.

They might even get your IDs while they are at it.

These steps can help you prevent catastrophes and rebound a bit faster.

#1 Lock the Phone

woman entering code on mobile phone

The first step is to always use a screen lock.

Even if you don’t put credit cards in a phone case, you need to take advantage of this feature.

It makes it harder for someone to access all of your stuff if they get their hands on your phone.

Even more important are the remote lock features.

Both Apple and Android phones allow you to engage a lost mode lock.

With this, all of the information on the phone is protected by encryption and cannot be accessed.

This means that whoever gets your phone can’t see personal information or control accounts through apps on the phone.

This doesn’t prevent them from swapping the SIM card for another phone, but this level of protection helps a lot.

#2 Put a Pin on Your Phone Account

male hand entering smartphone pin code

Most carriers allow (and encourage) you to put a security PIN on your account.

This is a small, simple extra layer of security, but it makes a huge difference.

Anyone who would try to take over your phone account would have to get past the PIN.

Even though it isn’t perfect security, it can prevent someone from controlling your phone number at the account level.

With this PIN, you have a chance to work with the carrier to remotely deactivate the SIM card (more on that in a bit).

As long as the person with your phone doesn’t get control over the phone account, you can mitigate risks and ultimately recover from this whole thing.

#3 Report Missing Credits Cards and Phone Immediately

Concerned woman making an urgent phone call.

Arguably the most important part of protecting yourself, you need to report things as soon as they go missing.

Report the missing phone to your carrier and the missing card to the card issuer.

The phone company will deactivate the SIM that was on your phone.

With this, a nefarious person can’t pull the SIM card out and use your phone number on their device.

It’s an essential step, and it can happen very quickly.

As for the credit card, you probably already know about that.

When you report a missing card, the company will immediately deactivate it.

They will also talk to you about issuing a new card that they can mail to you directly.

This prevents anyone from using the missing card, and it establishes a chain of evidence in case that card is later used in an attempt to steal your identity.


  • Theresa McDonough

    Tech entrepreneur and founder of Tech Medic, who has become a prominent advocate for the Right to Repair movement. She has testified before the US Federal Trade Commission and been featured on CBS Sunday Morning, helping influence change within the tech industry.