Ok, so this is a bit off the regular topics, but you know that person who is in front of you at the grocery store swiping their card 5-6 times , then trying another one then another? Ya, that’s me; and not because I keep getting denied. In my mind the most annoying part of being a credit (or debit for that matter) card owner is that my cards only last about 3 months before they get demagnetized…
So what have I done to fix this problem?
Get a new card
Yes, this is the most obvious solution. I generally plan on a 6-month schedule of new cards. A bit bothersome, but definitely the easiest considering any bank I’ve aver been with will replace my card for free.
The plastic bag trick
A lot of you may know this one. Simply wrap the card up in receipt paper or a plastic bag and the reader suddenly works like a charm. So, why does this work? A technical explanation is that the magnetic reader actually reads your card’s strip better from a bit of a distance. Putting that plastic between the card and the reader helps ensure a more accurate read. Interestingly enough, I’ve found that Scotch Tape has the exact same effect! Simply wrap your card’s strip in tape and you’re good. No more plastic bags or receipt paper!
Why does it happen in the first place?
I’ve heard a lot about card strips’ magnetic charges being lost as they rub together and what not. I think it’s a bunch of bull. The reason my cards don;t work for long is that being inn my wallet physically wears the strip off. I can see that much. So why does the bag/paper/tape method work so well? Why is it so hard for you to read a book that is a quarter inch from your face? Ya, same reason.
Hope you enjoyed this quick tip. I do prefer having that nice clean card, but tape usually ends up cover all my cards eventually. Good luck with your card reading ventures!
Author: Jeff Kingston