Wireless Phone Charging Destroys Credit Cards: True?

Here’s everything about wireless phone charging destroying 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. 

So 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!

Wireless Phone Charging Destroys Credit Cards: True? (Why?)

Does Wireless Phone Charging Destroy Your Credit Card?

stacked credit cards.

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.

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?

A woman sitting at a table in the kitchen with a laptop.

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. 

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?

man holding a credit card while using laptop

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.

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?

Using wireless charger to recharge smartphone battery next to laptop.

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. 

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?

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

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.

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? (4 Examples)

Mobile phone on a wireless charger.

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.

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.

#1 Hotel Room Key

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

If you drop your hotel room key next to your wireless charger, it might have a chance to get demagnetized. 

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.

#2 Gift Cards

Female hand holding a red gift card.

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. 

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.

#3 Security Badges

young pretty woman showing security badge.

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

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

#4 Passports

Male hand holding USA passport at airport.

Your passport may have a magnetic strip on it. 

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?

Black credit card with chip and contactless pay technology.

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

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? (3 Things)

Few plastic credit cards with chips and contactless pay technology.

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

Your chip card can still get damaged.

#1 Dirty Fingers

Young woman working with the computer in the cafe.

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

Simply wipe it clean and try again.

#2 Scratched Surface

A young man takes out a credit card from his blue jeans pocket.

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. 

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.

#3 Extreme Heat

Man driving car hand holding credit card for payment.

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

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? (5 Points)

Woman with laptop using credit card

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.

#1 Keep Your Credit Card Away From Magnets

Excited woman holding credit card and using laptop computer.

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

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

The same goes for buying a new refrigerator magnet.

Keep your card away from the new magnet.

#2 Keep Your Credit Card Away From Sharp Objects

Woman taking out credit card from a brown purse to pay for drink.

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

They easily get scratched to the point of being unreadable. 

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.

#3 Keep Your Credit Card Away From Extreme Heat

Woman with travel organizer sitting at table

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

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. 

#4 Keep Your Credit Cards Clean

Woman holding a purse with credit cards organized.

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

Keeping your wallets and purses neat and tidy helps. 

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

#5 Use Online Payments

Hands holding credit card and using smartphone shopping online.

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

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?

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

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.

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? (4 Advantages)

There are lots of benefits to staying with wired charging instead of switching to wireless charging.

These are just a few of them.

#1 Multiple Devices

Computer tablet and mobile phones charging on home desk.

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

Those devices are not necessarily compatible with a wireless charger. 

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

#2 Less Risk to Magnetic Strips

Hand holding atm credit card.

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

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.

#3 Portability

Smartphone is charged using a portable charger at campsite.

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 for the coffee table near the TV. 

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.

#4 Price

Female hand putting money coin into piggy for saving money.

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

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.

Does Your Phone Charger Keep Going On and Off?

Smartphone charging adapter cord charger plugged in to the wall outlet.

Does your phone keep going on and off when you use a cable to charge it?

No matter if it’s your phone, tablet, or laptop charger.

They all have the same reason for going off and on:

  • Your power port is dirty
  • You have the wrong charger
  • Your charger or cable might be damaged
  • There is a problem with the power source
  • Your battery is struggling

Learn all about why your phone charger keeps going on and off and how to fix it here.


  • 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.

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