Wackiest Ways to Destroy Your Credit Card

Angry consumers are taking lawnmowers, microwaves and torches to their plastic.

ByABC News
June 19, 2009, 4:58 PM

June 22, 2009— -- Forget the trusty pair of scissors. Consider, instead, lawnmowers, shotguns, microwaves, blowtorches and even liquid nitrogen.

Consumers fed up with credit cards are finding new and creative ways to destroy their plastic and are often turning such events into public spectacles.

Robert Cilley is a retired North Carolina district court judge who was once asked to preside over a funeral. But nobody at this funeral was sad. Inside a miniature casket that Cilley made in his basement from scrap wood were the torn-up credit cards of 50 or so people.

Click Here to Watch Videos of Credit Cards Being Destroyed

"The deceased represents the merging of two very powerful bloodlines: the one whose motto is, 'You know you deserve it,' and the other, whose motto is, 'You can have it now,'" Cilley said during the funeral. "Our friend didn't want worship. He just wanted everything that he gave you back again in one form or another -- with 18 percent interest."

Recalling the event, Cilley said, "That whole thing was done ad lib. That was a long piece of inprov."

After his eulogy, one by one, people took a vow of credit card abstinence and then filed up to the casket to dump in their cards. The group then headed outside and buried the coffin.

"We had a nice line-up over there," Cilley said. "It was like one of those come-to-the-altar things at an old Billy Graham meeting."

But it wasn't enough to destroy the cards as a group. The whole event, as with many others in the past few years, was captured on film and posted on YouTube. The hope: Inspire others to abandon their credit cards.

As the recession drags on, many Americans are changing the way they live. Part of that is learning the difference between a healthy loan and having too much bad credit. And for most, that means abandoning -- or at least cutting back on -- their reliance on plastic. (The banks are helping by slashing credit lines as they try to limit their exposure to losses.)

Families struggling with mortgage payments, unemployment or fear of losing their jobs have been spending less and saving more. With dramatically lower home values and stock market investments, Americans are trying to build up larger cash reserves. And that often means not using their credit cards.