Why does this happen to cards?
The magnetic stripe acts as a credit card database, which is easily accessed when passing through a card reader. It is made up of numerous microscopic sized iron particles that make up a unique pattern. When in contact with magnetic materials such as magnets, this pattern becomes disorganized and may disrupt the reading of information.
In addition, other factors can make credit card demagnetization happen, the biggest one being misuse. Card breakage or other physical damage such as slots and peeling off the protective film may cause disorder of magnetic tape patterns. In such cases, there may also be problems reading card information.
What can degauss the card?
It is important to remember that magnets are present in many things, including home appliances. Because it is very sensitive to electromagnetic fields, magnetic tape can demagnetize if it is near some commonly used equipment that provides these fields. In this list we can include: cell phones, DVD players, televisions, among others.
The larger the electromagnetic field, as in the case of an MRI machine, the greater the chance that the card will be damaged. However, some items that have magnets like purses, wallets, pants buttons, and even the constant presence of another magnetic card can cause the credit card problem.
Is it possible to degauss the credit card?
There is no way to degauss at home. For the magnetic tape that holds the credit card data is very sensitive and therefore very easy to be damaged. Tape repair requires equipment and specific knowledge that most people do not have.
However, credit card administration can fix the problem. You need to call the damaged card Service Center and report the problem. Once you have done this, you may request a replacement of the plastic film or, as appropriate, you may request a replacement for a new card.
How to avoid this and other problems with magnetic cards
The main care with magnetic cards is exactly on magnetic tape. To avoid any credit card malfunction, you should prevent material from being damaged, scratched, dented or demagnetized.
However, there are other important recommendations to keep it running for a long time. The card should be stored in a wallet where it is not in contact with scratching surfaces or in direct contact with another magnetic card. Already the wallet, should stay away from places that have electromagnetic fields.