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Shred Your Credit Cards – Win Some Cash…

in Pay Off Your Debt, Videos

Earlier this week, I was tipped off to a creative contest that is currently being run (it started a few weeks ago – goes through January) over on ShredYourCreditCard.com.

Here’s the gist: people can create and submit a video of them destroying one of their credit cards. As an alternative, they can simply record a video explaining *why* they decided to ditch a credit card this year and cut it up on camera. Either a video resolution or a creative method of destroying the card. You choose.

After submitting, you can share your video with your friends and family and have them vote for you. The weekly video with the most votes gets $50 – not too bad. The video which finished the competition with the most total votes gets $1000 – even better!

When you submit a video, you’ll be able to list “Man Vs. Debt” on the form. I don’t receive anything, but they’ve given me a $25 gift card to send to the top video submitted by members of this community!

So that means, if only one of you takes the time to submit – you automatically win $25. If you are up for the challenge, don’t procrastinate – make it fun and be sure to let me know what you submit! If we get enough from this community, I may even share them in the future here on the site.

Note: There is a current video that is called “Man vs. Debt” that was previously submitted. I have nothing to do with that video and it is *not* from a member of this community. Boo! :-)

I’m all for blowing up your credit cards!

For those of you that are more new around these parts, Courtney and I make an intentional choice not to use credit cards. We’ve been credit card free for nearly two years now.

If you’re interested in why – or my opinions on the matter – here are some past articles that have stirred up some passionate comments:

You up for Ditching a Credit Card this year?

Here’s what you need to do:

  1. Pick a credit card you hate.
  2. Cancel it.
  3. Destroy it as aggressively as possible (or be civil – your choice).

That’s it!

Now if you want to enter the contest on ShredYourCreditCard.com, that’s simple too.

  1. Tape your creative destruction OR video yourself giving why you are ditching the credit card.
  2. Submit it on the website above.
  3. Put “Man Vs. Debt” if you want a shot at the $25 for our community (I get nothing, just enables you to win).
  4. Encourage friends/family to vote for your video if you’d like to increase your chances (once per day max).

The most important commitment is to ditch a credit card, but while you are at it – why not tape it and try to make some cash?  :-)

How many credit cards do you own?

Could you do with one less?

{ 38 comments… read them below or add one }

Jason January 7, 2011 at 12:01 PM

I currently have five that I know of, but only two I have balances on. I’ve got Old Navy and Kohl’s from my spendy days, a Yankees visa I got in college (that got me free tickets and a sweet folding chair), a Wawa card for cash-back gas purchases, and a Continental card for getting free airfare. I don’t even know where the Yankees card is, I never use the store cards, and I’ve already cut up my Wawa card. When they discontinued it, I made that decision and decided to go with the Continental card for the airline miles since my wife and I will be flying back and forth to Paraguay a lot.

So effectively I only have one, but I don’t even like that one. We’ll see how long I keep it before going completely cash-or-debit-only.

-j

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Baker January 7, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Nice! I strongly recommend going cash/debit-only! We love it. :-)

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Tyler Ford January 7, 2011 at 12:01 PM

Done a long time a go. No debt and Time FREEDOM is the way to go!

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Jenna Walker January 7, 2011 at 2:25 PM

Hi Tyler,

It’s so great to hear that you are debt free! I wanted to let you know that although you may not have any pesky credit cards to shred, we are accepting other types of videos. For example, you can send us a video telling us your story about how you got out of debt and how that has impacted your life. We are looking to build a community of people trying to get out of debt, and those who have already gone down that road, so any such videos are gladly accepted!

I hope this makes you (and others) reconsider participating in this contest. Shoot me an email if you choose to do one, for the chance to win over $1k, and I’ll make sure to personally keep an eye on it!

Happy Friday,
Jenna Walker
PerkStreet Financial

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Dino Dogan January 7, 2011 at 12:08 PM

But if I destroy my credit cards how will I get into debt and by shit I dont need? lol

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Baker January 7, 2011 at 1:46 PM

Hehe, Dino.

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Laura January 7, 2011 at 12:39 PM

Wooohooo, sounds like fun. I have a few credit cards I had put away late last year that I intent not to touch at all… putting my thinking cap for ideas on how to destroy them. any suggestions?

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Baker January 7, 2011 at 1:47 PM

No! Think of a hobby or profession you have – can you destroy them creatively using those talents?

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Contrarian January 7, 2011 at 1:40 PM

The entire “blow up the cards” movement … takes the bottle away from the alcoholic but it doesn’t address the alcoholism problem. Most folks I know who’ve paid off their debts and destroyed their cards have found a way to get themselves back in debt only a few years later. Whereas I have several credit cards and have remained debt free for years. I’m convinced that the addict will always find a way to get his fix. I’m not in any way whatsoever against getting rid of the plastic temptation in your wallet, but dealing with the dysfunctional that lies at the core of the spending behavior is more important.

By the way, Baker – great video!

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Baker January 7, 2011 at 1:48 PM

I agree, Contrarian – but just because one thing is more important than another – doesn’t make the latter not worth pursuing!

Hopefully, the absence of credit cards do *help* the process of learning sustainable habits – but we both know it’s no guarantee! I do think it’s a positive step in the right direction for most people. :-)

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Rachel January 9, 2011 at 10:38 PM

It is true that it doesn’t fix it, but making it difficult to partake in a bad habit can definitely help with the willpower.
Choosing not to keep junk food in your house won’t stop you from making a stop a McDonalds, but it does cut down on the amount you can eat regularly.
Choosing not to have a credit card will not stop you from going on a spending spree, but it will slow you down and make it a little harder. This might just mean you spend a little less often, or it might mean that the slowdown gives you the chance to think about it and change.
If you have a substance-abuse problem, removing easy access to the substance is an awesome first step.

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Jenna January 7, 2011 at 2:19 PM

I’ve been working on cutting down my credit cards over the past couple of years. I think I went a little too crazy when I turned 18 and now I’m working on making my life easier to keep track of by getting rid of a couple each year. Can’t wait to watch these videos.

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Hillarie January 7, 2011 at 2:24 PM

I totally commend your approach to a debt-free lifestyle. I just don’t think it’s the way everyone should operate. I have been credit card debt free for 8 years now, and I continue to build up savings and aggressively attack my mortgage every month. I use a credit card to purchase just about everything for several reasons. A few are: cash-back rewards, buyer protection, and travel insurance. I know you’ve heard this all before, but that’s the reason I am not entering this contest despite the allure of “free” money.

Thanks for your blog, appreciate all of your great info even when I don’t think some of it works for me.

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Baker January 7, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Hillarie, thanks for the comment. It’s fantastic you’ve created a system that works for you!

You are right that we’ve discussed the benefits/drawbacks of this a lot around here. For us the benefits of *not* having them in our life far outweigh the benefits of them! :-)

As Jenna Walker pointed out above, you can still participate if you’d like by sharing your testimonial or story. :-)

Thanks, again!

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Steve Zussino - Canadian Coupons January 7, 2011 at 2:42 PM

Adam,

This is not good advice – remember your credit score.

It is better to keep the card and pay off the balance and keep some recurring payments on it – trust me it improves your credit score – shows you are a reliable person.

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Baker January 7, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Steve, I don’t need to trust you – because I’ve studied it inside and out – and tested it on my own life for two years.

If you browse the other links I included in the article, you will see this discussion many times. It may improve your credit score to keep it open, it may not.

In the two years since we canceled and cut up our credit scores – ours have both gone up. Other people have had credit scores go down.

Fortunately, we don’t prioritize our financial life and habits based on our credit score. So although ours have *increased* we’ve still yet to use them. :-)

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Steve Zussino - Canadian Coupons January 8, 2011 at 12:08 AM

Interesting – glad it worked out for you guys!

Did you get another credit card to replace your existing ones that you cancelled?

It is a mystery those credit scores.

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Jonathan January 8, 2011 at 6:50 PM

Credit scores are over-rate in my opinion. If you need to buy something with credit, you shouldn’t be buying it at all. :)

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Rachel January 9, 2011 at 10:40 PM

I suppose you never intend to own a house, or plan to rent until you can buy one cash?
I support buying cash when it comes out cheaper in the long run than using credit.
For everything else I can think of, that means cash.
Considering the amount of money you have to put into living while saving up to buy a house, a mortgage is usually cheaper in the long run than living in a cheap apartment for forty years before buying a house.
That is completely aside from questions about when it is worthwhile to pay a little more for comfort, of course.

MyMoneyMess January 7, 2011 at 5:10 PM

The effect closing a credit card account will have on your credit score is very dependent on the history of the account. If it’s the longest term account on your credit report and has a perfect payment history, closing it is very likely to bring your score down. If it’s not the oldest account or it has a poor payment history, closing it will have little if any effect on your credit score.

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MyMoneyMess January 7, 2011 at 3:29 PM

I think this is a great contest. Fortunately I’ve already gotten rid of all my cards.

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Jenna Walker January 7, 2011 at 4:30 PM

Hi MyMoneyMess,

Have no fear! As described above in response to Tyler Ford’s comment, we are accepting other types of videos besides credit card shredding. For example, share a video with us explaining how you got out of debt, or your past journey about getting rid of your credit cards.

Our goal here is to allow all different types of people to participate in this contest, all in different stages of a debt-free lifestyle.

Let me know if you end up submitting one for the chance to win over $1,000, and I’ll make sure to personally check it out! You can reach me at jenna.walker at perkstreet.com.

Thanks and Happy Friday,
Jenna Walker
PerkStreet Financial

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Jean January 7, 2011 at 4:20 PM

I understand your feelings but you are talking about people who got into debt using their credit cards. I do have credit cards and I intend to keep them as used properly they are wonderful. I use mine when I purchase a large item (I already have saved up the cash to pay it off within the month) but it gives me extra warranty and if there is a problem and I can remember when there has been, then the credit card company resolves the dispute for you. Also I use one for renting a car when travelling – the credit card company allows me to not have to pay daily insurance on the rental car. Also by charging “everything” on my travel credit card I earn airline miles allowing me to travel to Europe every year to visit family. Then I get an itemized statement of my charges and I know exactly what I have spent on what. So I do think they have their place if used properly and paid off immediately as if it were cash but I also do see how easy it would be to rack up debt. I think for a lot of people it could be a problem. I own my own home paid off and have money in the bank also. However, I am older and never got used to credit cards when I was young so never developed the habit of just buying whatever I wanted.
Thanks for allowing me to tell my story.

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Living the Balanced Life January 7, 2011 at 6:17 PM

This is gonna be the year. We are down to 2 cards, a total of about 9k. determined to pay it off and get rid of them!
Bernice
Who controls your to-do list?

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Heidi January 7, 2011 at 7:27 PM

What a fabulous coincidence! We just recently made a video of us cutting up those evil little things. It was one of the best decisions we’ve made. We went from completely relying on them every single month to not missing them at all.

To me it was an act of faith. We couldn’t have 100% faith on making the money we needed to knowing that we could just fall back on the credit cards.

It worked.
Faith is so much cooler than fear.

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Jenna Walker January 10, 2011 at 3:17 PM

Hi Heidi,

That is an amazing coincidence!! If you want to submit your video to shredyourcreditcard.com you could win over $1,000!!

If you have any questions about the contest, please don’t hesitate to contact me at jenna.walker at perkstreet.com. Also, let me know if you end up submitting so I can make sure to personally check it out.

Happy New Year,
Jenna Walker
PerkStreet Financial

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Justin Hamlin January 7, 2011 at 8:34 PM

Just paid off my only credit card about an hour ago. Talk about a good feeling. Not quite ready to shred it, but it is the only card I have. My wife and I only have 2 total and if ever we get another, it will be for the sole purpose of travel hacking.

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Jenna Walker January 10, 2011 at 3:20 PM

Hi Justin,

It’s great to hear that you have paid off your *only* credit card. I wanted to let you know that we aren’t just accepting videos of credit card shreds. Feel free to submit a video telling us about your journey towards getting out of debt, or shredding a recent credit card solicitation you received in the mail. Feel free to get creative for the chance to win over $1,000!

Let me know if you end up submitting a video so that I can personally check it out. My email is jenna.walker at perkstreet.com.

Thanks and Happy New Year,
Jenna Walker
PerkStreet Financial

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Steven @ The Real Debt Solution January 8, 2011 at 11:12 AM

Excellent contest! Get rid of all credit cards and start working towards an all cash system/debit cards.

I would advise not to close your accounts until you pay them off. The credit card companies will consider you an “Adverse Customer”. Allowing them to increase your interest rate upwards of 18% to 20% above what you are currently paying.

This was hidden in the new credit card act law 2010.

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Martyn Chamberlin... January 8, 2011 at 2:06 PM

Say Adam, I guess you have to prepay at the pump then. Isn’t it a lot easier with a credit card?

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Dwight Anthony January 9, 2011 at 7:15 PM

Baker,

I too am proof that you don’t need any credit cards to financially survive, I’m down to one credit card and cash. The credit card companies don’t like this and I build my credit report based on repayment of my last loan. Awesome feeling when you don’t carry a balance around like an 800 pound gorilla.

Dwight Anthony
Financially Elite Blog dot Com

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Wandering Mike January 9, 2011 at 10:40 PM

I am OK with your analysis of the cost sharing of credit cards and the issue of vendors raising prices, but in your current travels, that position will cost you at least a couple hundred bucks a year since you can get an ongoing 5% cash back on gas from PenFed Credit Union. At 1000 miles a month in an RV getting 10 mpg and gas at $3/gal, that is $0.15 per gallon on 100 gallons a month. All of those numbers on the conservative side. Another way of looking at it is that it is about $6 for a 40 gallon fill up for your rig with a 50 gallon or so tank. That is a better return than the reduced “cash” price for ga too. And the money you don’t get will not do anything except stay with the profits of the petroleum retailer. Obviously for a person who can’t manage their use of cards and pay the balance each month, they need to cut them up. Nonetheless, if you don’t want to use credit cards, that’s your choice.

There are a lot bigger wealth transfer mechanisms though that are out there; e.g banks paying about zero percent to borrow the money from the Fed that they then lend out to credit card users at absurd rates and give virtually no interest on savings for those who save.

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Rachel January 9, 2011 at 11:07 PM

I think all this credit card hatred is silly.
It’s like a fat person (or a former fat person) hating food and blaming the food industry for preying on his weakness and causing him to get fat.
No-one puts you in debt except you.
As I said above, I do think it is a great step for a person in debt to get rid of their credit cards (though often it is more logical to destroy them but not cancel them, at least for a time). I think it is important to stop using them if you find that you cannot use them responsibly.
But blaming the credit card companies for your failings isn’t helpful.
Assuming that because you can’t use them properly they are evil, or that because you don’t *need* them they are useless or that because you prefer not to use them that no-one should is silly.
I think the choices of many in debt to stop using credit cards is good.
I think your decision to stop using them because you don’t like the way they work is good.

But I have a credit card. One. And i like it. It makes things simpler. I don’t need it by any means, and I could live without it. but it is useful to me, so I use it.
I have never carried a balance. (ever). I have never paid any interest. I don’t really pay attention to extra rewards or anything, though they are nice to have.
I am an extremely frugal person who very carefully tracks my spending, and it doesn’t change with different ways to spend available to me.
I am not alone, either.
It is not dumb or dangerous or evil for me to have a credit card.
To vilify them is to refuse to accept responsibility.
Credit cards do not take money from the poor and give it to the rich. I have lived (carefully but comfortably with few wants) well below the poverty line, and while I’m doing better now, I doubt I’ll ever be rich. I have never had my money stolen by the credit card companies – that’s not how they work.
Credit card companies take money from the fiscally irresponsible, and give it to the fiscally responsible. And just as the lottery tax on those incapable of statistical analysis, I am just fine with that.

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Jane Sanders January 12, 2011 at 8:43 PM

Ha wow, this is a great idea for a contest. I think the world could definitely benefit from a few less credit cards in circulation. I agree that personal responsibility is important in all aspects of life, but I don’t think anyone can dispute that a lot less people would be in debt if credit cards just didn’t exist. On top of that, they use tricky offers and marketing to lure people into their web. Good riddance!

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Gaby January 18, 2011 at 5:09 AM

I wish I could enter the competition! Unfortunately, I’m not a US citizen (a condition of elegibility). Besides, I only have one credit card, I keep the limit on it low ($1000), I always pay it off in full every month, I leave it at home instead of carrying it around with me and I only use it occasionally. I lowered the limit when I got my mortgage. When I kept maxing out the limit, that’s when I stopped carrying it around with me. I don’t think I will ever shred my one card, because there are times when it’s handy to use. Just gotta make sure not to make it TOO handy. I AM thinking of lowering the limit again to $500.

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Gilberto February 16, 2011 at 3:08 AM

Looking forward to seeing how creative people can get when getting rid of their credit cards… destruction can be a beautiful thing.

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DaveT June 2, 2011 at 9:29 AM

I don’t mean to rock the boat…but I read a comment that your credit cards didn’t do anything for you. We use a credit card for all our everyday needs. Groceries, gas, etc. I carried a Citicard for years and earned 1% cash back. I just switched to a B.O.A. card and will get 3% cash back on gas, groceries, and drug store purchases for six months and 1% cash back on all other purchases indefinitely. I will also get 100.00 bonus for using the card for 500.00 of purchases in the first 90 days and if I don’t take my cash back until I’ve accumulated 300.00 I get an additional 75.00 so in reality I’m getting 1.25% cash back. I understand this isn’t for everyone. We use the card just for things we have to buy anyway and pay it off every month so there is no interest. There is also no annual fee and no annual limit on the amount of cash back you can get. So our credit card makes us about 700.00 a year!! That’s a lot more than the interest they pay me on our savings accounts. I don’t like debt either…but things like 0% interest on things your going to buy anyway and cash back credit cards. Be smart and make the money!!

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Steven @ The Debt Solution June 2, 2011 at 12:04 PM

I personally don’t use credit cards but I see your point. I made a decision last year to stop telling my clients not to use credit cards, but I warn them about the pitfalls of using a credit card for the wrong purposes.

I congratulate you for handling your finances and playing the credit card game in your favor. You should also thank websites like this one for speaking out about how the credit card industry is abusing its users and the affects of using credit cards for the wrong reasons.

Because of websites like this one consumers are more aware of the pitfalls of abusive credit card use and the credit card companies have a spotlight on them.

Case-in-point they would never offer these types of “Cash Back” offers if there were no pressure to get rid of credit cards altogether.

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