How to fix my credit card?
October 4, 2006 4:40 AM   Subscribe

My credit card is almost breaking, how to fix it and keep the magnetic strip working?

Hi, i'm in the middle of a long international trip and i've just found out that my credit card is almost breaking, and I mean the actual plastic card, not the credit limit. It's broken right on the magnetic strip. I will be on the road for two more weeks; only after that i will be able to request a new one.

How can I fix it? Not that I will be out of money or starving in the streets of Finland, but losing this card will mess up my expense reports indeed !
posted by dcrocha to Travel & Transportation (9 answers total)
If you have a Citibank card, they have branch offices in major cities in Europe, including Helsinki, Finland. They might be able to help you with a replacement card. Other banks may also have branch offices near you.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 5:05 AM on October 4, 2006

You can put a piece of scotch tape(or maybe even packing tape) over the strip, card readers will still read it, just make sure there are no sticky ends that would cause a machine to eat it.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 5:59 AM on October 4, 2006

If you have internet access and an address you can request a new card. I would do that immediately.
posted by Uncle Jimmy at 6:11 AM on October 4, 2006

Perhaps a tiny dot of superglue or a fingernail repair kit from a drugstore (chemist's)?
posted by ZenMasterThis at 6:34 AM on October 4, 2006

Two ideas:

First, maybe you could laminate the part of the card below the magnetic strip and around the embossed numbers. It would help hold things together, but would keep the card visible, and wouldn't change the thickness so it could still go through a card reader.

Second, once I lost a card on a long trip, and although the card company initially said that they would not send the card to a non-billing address, after I kept saying, "what am I supposed to do? It's my only card and I'm going to be away for three months!" they eventually decided that I wasn't a crook and sent it to me at another location anyway.
posted by underwater at 7:00 AM on October 4, 2006

They will probably overnight a new card if you ask the right way.
posted by Four Flavors at 8:50 AM on October 4, 2006

If your card doesn't scan, there is no reason why the cashier cannot call the Mastercard/Visa number to authorize the transaction. I have seen that done many times, and those numbers were once prized by certain shady characters. I have a hard time believing that a non-functional magnetic stripe would be much of a problem. Otherwise you would not have mail-order with credit cards, internet transactions, or anything else that does not currently require the actual physical card.
posted by splice at 9:58 AM on October 4, 2006

Just throw some scotch tape on it to hold it together. If it doesn't read, the merchant will just have to key in the account number, like they would on a card that had become demagnetized. It shouldn't be a big deal. If you need a cash advance on the card for some reason, you'll have to go into the bank rather than using an ATM, naturally.
posted by kindall at 10:29 AM on October 4, 2006

I third the scotch tape. I had a card that the strip wasn't working all the time (but the card was not broken) and a cashier put a piece of tape on it and it worked. She was going to remove it but I told her to leave it. It worked until it expired.
posted by nimsey lou at 5:56 PM on October 4, 2006

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