Wireless Phone Charging Destroys Credit Cards: True?

Here’s whether wireless phone charging destroys your credit card:

Wireless phone chargers use magnetic induction to charge your phone.

Your wireless phone charger has enough magnetic pull to damage credit cards, security badges, key fobs, gift cards, and hotel room keys.

In general, you should always use magnets with caution when working near electronics. 

If you want to learn all about how wireless phone charging might destroy your credit card, then you’re in the right place.

Let’s dig right in!

Table of Contents

Does Wireless Phone Charging Destroy Your Credit Card?

Wireless phone chargers charge phone batteries using magnetic induction. 

This produces enough magnetic pull to damage a magnetic strip on credit cards, security badges, key fobs, gift cards, and a few hotel room keys.

stacked credit cards.

As a general rule of thumb, you should always be very careful when using magnets around electronics. 

A powerful enough magnet could permanently damage any electronic device. 

Be sure to consult your user’s manual when it comes to those devices that you think might get damaged.

What Else Can Damage a Credit Card Magnetic Strip?

Along with wireless phone chargers being able to demagnetize your credit card, there are a few other things that can do the job. 

The biggest culprit is the refrigerator magnet. 

A female hand holding a credit card with a magnetic stripe on a blue background.

Some of them use small magnets that barely hold anything, and others are sticker sizes.

Large magnets from your refrigerator can demagnetize your credit card. 

It is highly unlikely that you will place your credit card anywhere near your refrigerator, but it needs to be said.

What Is on a Credit Card Magnetic Strip?

The magnetic strip on your Credit Card holds account information card readers need to process transactions. 

Nothing like passwords or things of that nature. 

Just simple information such as account numbers, names, and other general account information.

man holding a credit card while using laptop

Don’t worry, though. If your magnetic strip is damaged, it will only affect the card itself. It will not delete your account, and you will not lose any money.

You will probably need to contact your card provider and get another card. 

There is no insurance or liability on the part of the wireless magnetic charger, so don’t think you can get them to pay for your new card.

How Do Wireless Chargers Damage the Magnetic Strip?

The only way that these magnetic wireless chargers damage your magnetic strip is by demagnetizing it. 

That is to say that it removes the magnetic code written into the strip. 

The information written on the strip is no longer useful and can’t be fixed.

Think of it as placing a bunch of metal letters on the ground that spell something out. 

Smartphone charging on a wireless charger.

Then you slide a huge magnet across those words. 

The result is a jumbled mess of words scattered all over the place. There is no fixing a demagnetized card.

This is what happens to a magnetic strip. 

You can’t see if the code is damaged inside the strip until you go and try to use it. 

The card reader will come back with an error.

Is It Okay to Put Credit Cards in Phone Cases?

Many phone cases offer slots for credit cards. 

Those cases provide protection against the phone itself from damaging the magnetic strip. 

The question then becomes, is it okay to leave credit cards in phone cases when using wireless chargers? 

And the answer is NO. It is not good for credit cards to be left in cases that allow for wireless charging.

Leather case with mobile phone and credit card on wooden table.

This is because the credit card can become demagnetized from the wireless charger. 

If the case itself needs to be taken off of the phone to be charged, then the credit card should be removed along with the phone case.

There are a few good phone cases that will not place your credit card in danger of demagnetization. 

Make sure when purchasing a phone case with a credit card slot that it is not on the side of the phone that will connect to the wireless charger.

What Else Can a Wireless Charger Damage?

Because there are more card readers in the world today than ever before, magnetic strips are as much a part of life as the card readers themselves. 

This is a huge cause for concern when it comes to wireless chargers and losing the information written on those magnetic strips.

Wireless charger pad

Other things that can be damaged by wireless chargers are Gift Cards and Hotel Room keys.

When you travel with your phone, you normally bring along some sort of phone charger. 

This means that a Hotel Room Key and a wireless charger have a good chance of being in the same room. 

You need to be careful when you plug in your wireless charger in your hotel room.

Hotel Room Key

If you drop your Hotel Room Key next to your wireless charger, it might have a chance to get demagnetized. 

Businesswoman in smart casual carrying a hard suit opening room with hotel key card.

The reason is that if it is close enough to your charger while it is charging your phone, the magnetic induction might mess with the key information. 

Don’t worry; the front desk will help you get a new one.

Gift Cards

Gift Cards that have magnetic strips are a whole different ball game. 

They could be from a restaurant or department store or a points card for some software like a video game. 

Female hand holding a red gift card.

There are a million different types of gift cards. 

You need to be especially careful when placing them near a wireless charger. That is because it is a lot harder to get that money back.

Security Badges

Some security badges have a magnetic strip on the back of their card. 

Female hand and a security badge.

I don’t have to tell you that you need to be careful with your security badge. 

Passports

Your passport may have a magnetic strip on it. 

Male hand holding USA passport at airport.

If this is true, then it obviously has the chance to become demagnetized. 

Be very careful where you place your passport and your wireless phone charger.

Can Chip Cards Be Demagnetized?

The tiny computer chips in the newer credit cards are not affected by wireless chargers. 

Black credit card with chip and contactless pay technology.

This was done to hold more information on credit cards and to help prevent card readers from gaining access to the card’s magnetic strip.

This also has helped in preventing wireless chargers from damaging credit cards.

What Can Damage a Credit Card With a Chip in It?

Just because you have a chip card and can no longer be demagnetized doesn’t mean you are out of the woods. 

Few plastic credit cards with chips and contactless pay technology.

Your chip card can still get damaged.

Dirty Fingers

If you have a dirty job and your hands get dirty sometimes, chances are you got some of that dirt on your card. 

Playful young gorgeous female painter artist, with hands covered in paint.

Simply wipe it clean and try again.

Scratched Surface

Chances are, you place your credit card in your pocket with your keys. 

There is a big chance that your keys might end up scratching your chip. 

Wallet, credit cards and keys to the house on a keychain are lying in a side pocket of blue jeans.

Another thing that might cause a scratch is coins in your wallet or purse. 

They also have a strong enough surface to scratch your chip card.

Extreme Heat

Highly unlikely that your card gets left on the front dash of your car during one of the hottest days of the summer. 

Man's hand take wallet cash and credit card from the glove compartment in the car.

However unlikely this may be, there is a chance that your card may end up damaged.

How Do I Keep My Credit Card From Getting Damaged?

There are ways to protect that little piece of plastic with all the different ways to damage, demagnetize, scratch, or simply misplace your credit card.

Keep Your Credit Card Away From Magnets

This should be obvious to anyone that knows how much magnetic fields can damage credit cards. 

Horseshoe magnet on black background.

When you are about to use a wireless charger, simply make sure your credit card is not between your phone and the charger. 

Same goes for buying a new refrigerator magnet; keep your card away from the new magnet.

Keep Your Credit Card Away From Sharp Objects

Credit Cards don’t play nice with keys or coins or even scissors. 

They easily get scratched to the point of being unreadable. 

black wallet, credit card, cents, dollars and car keys.

Keys are the main reason that credit cards should stay in wallets. 

Purses also have a wallet that allows you to keep your cards safe from scratches.

Keep Your Credit Card Away From Extreme Heat

I don’t have to remind you not to leave anything sitting in the sun on a hot day. 

Girl holding phone and credit card on highway.

This can happen when you go through a drive-through and accidentally place your card on the dash and forget about it. 

It is easier to forget about your credit card while driving. 

Keep Credit Cards Clean

Your messy fingers or dirty purses can prevent your cards from being able to be used. 

Woman holding a purse with credit cards organized.

Keeping your wallets and purses neat and tidy helps. 

Also, keeping your hands clean is important when using your credit card.

Use Online Payments

Buying things online and paying for services and household bills has gotten a lot easier in the past 5 years. 

Hands holding credit card and using smartphone shopping online.

With a huge pivot to online banking and shopping, the world is changing. 

Entering your payment options and making a profile allows you to enter your account information only once.

Is It Better to use Wired or Wireless Phone Charging?

There are many benefits of using wired phone charging versus wireless phone charging. 

There are also many benefits to using wireless phone charging. 

Depending on the type of person that you are and how good you take care of your things.

phone charging, plugged on the wall, and a cup of latte.

If your charging cords keep failing, then you might want to think about a wireless charger. 

But you have to make sure you are willing to take the risk when it comes to damaging credit cards. 

If you always place your phone down in certain places at night and when watching TV, then you should definitely start looking at wireless chargers.

On the other hand, if you are not having any problems with your current use of wired chargers, then I say keep it up. 

If it isn’t broken, then don’t fix it. You don’t need the extra risk of a wireless charger to credit cards and other magnetic strips.

What Are the Benefits of Using Wired Charging?

There are lots of benefits to staying with wired charging instead of switching to wireless charging. These are just a few of them.

Multiple Devices

Many electronic devices use wired chargers, and most of them are compatible with a single type of charger. 

Computer tablet and mobile phones charging on home desk.

Those devices are not necessarily compatible with a wireless charger. 

This way, you can always charge your other devices with a single wired charger.

Less Risk to Magnetic Strips

As stated in this article, there are many ways in which you could accidentally lose access to different cards. 

White phone charger on blue background.

It is easier to simply keep using the corded charging method you have always used. 

Until wireless chargers pose zero risk to magnetic strips, you should not take that risk.

Portability

Let’s face it; if you are trying to go with a wireless charger, then you will need to have multiple chargers. 

One charger for your car, one for your desk, and one of the coffee table near the TV. 

Smartphone is charged using a portable charger at campsite.

With a corded charger, you can simply bring the charger with you. 

There is the matter of having to drag a lot of wires with you, but the simplicity is easier than setting up a wireless charger every time you travel.

Price

Wired chargers are a lot cheaper than a wireless charger, and they can be used in the car as well as in the home. 

Piggy bank on white wooden platform.

This makes it to where you don’t have to buy a desk charger and a car charger. 

One cord can be used in almost any situation.