SPG AmEx without RFID Chip

Discussion in 'American Express | Membership Rewards' started by SFOCanuck, Aug 25, 2011.  |  Print Topic

  1. SFOCanuck
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    SFOCanuck Silver Member

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    I got my new SPG AmEx last week, and I noticed it has an "express pay" RFID chip. I keep it in my wallet, along with a proximity card that I use to open doors at the office. Unfortunately, the cards conflict, making it impossible for me to open doors while carrying my AmEx card.

    I called American Express to try to get a replacement card without an RFID chip.

    The first agent told me that they absolutely could send me a replacement card without an RFID chip, and she agreed to send it overnight so I wouldn't have to wait. I received it and it was identical in every way to my original card (same security code, too, which I thought was strange).

    Naturally, I called back. The second agent said it was impossible that I'd received an AmEx card with an RFID chip, since they'd phased out those RFID chips 6 months ago. She volunteered to send me a new one, though that clearly wasn't going to help. I would have escalated to her supervisor but I didn't have time.

    The third agent said it was impossible to get an SPG AmEx without an RFID chip and that there was nothing she could do.

    Does anyone else have experience with this? Which agent was right? Is my best bet to try my luck with a hammer and/or screwdriver to disable the chip?

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Wurm
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    Wurm Silver Member

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  3. rharrigill
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    rharrigill Silver Member

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    I just got a new SPG Amex 2 weeks ago, didn't even realize it had an RFID in it.
     
  4. briantoronto
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    briantoronto Gold Member

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    My new Amex Plat has both an RFID and Chip. Neither work yet in Canada. Nearly impossible to use at a RFID aware terminal. >:[
     
  5. wombat18
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    wombat18 Silver Member

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    This is why I love Milepoint ... I'd never thought of getting one of these, but there's even wallets out there for the men who need RFID protection!
     
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  6. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I had a lot of trouble in the past trying to get Amex to issue me a non RFID card (it was blue cash, not SPG) and they flat out refused so I cancelled the card. Since then, with the large number of cards that come with the chips, and the hassle it is to call each and every card issuer about the problem, I've just started breaking the chips with a hammer (to include my SPG card). Much easier.
     
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  7. LizzyDragon84
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    LizzyDragon84 Gold Member

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    I have both a SPG card with a chip and one without. The biggest differences between the two is that the RFID one has a silver border around the front of the card. The back of the card is silver and has a wi-fi-like looking symbol on it. The non-RFID card is red on both sides and has no symbol on the back.
     
  8. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    It might be easier to put your card in the microwave together with a glass of water. I think you only need to fry it for a few seconds.
     
  9. hulagrrl210
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    hulagrrl210 Gold Member

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    I've never tried microwaving the cards (I'm scared) but found it helps to use another tool kind of like a chisel and hammer that into the card right where the chip is. There is a little bit of visible scarring on the cards, but you'd have to be really looking to notice and I'm sure I broke the chips. I'm sure a google search would yield some more good ideas on how to disable the chips too.
     
  10. TAHKUCT
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    TAHKUCT Gold Member

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    My SPG Business card has RFID chip, but my personal one does not. Go figure.
     
  11. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    Don't these cards melt if you try to microwave them? At least put them in a container to avoid having stinking melted plastic in the oven.
     
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  12. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    The amount of energy you need to fry the chip is much less than the amount of energy it takes to melt the card. This is why you should put a glass of water next to the card and only do it for a few seconds.
     
  13. cvarming
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    cvarming Silver Member

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    I have a few closed cards lying in a drawer. If I can find a RFID reader then I will be happy to provide some tests.
     
  14. MSPeconomist
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    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    The glass of water absorbs some energy but why do you need this in the microwave too? If you're worried about too much power, you could "cook" the card at a low energy setting like defrost. Also, other then putting the card in a reader, how do you tell when the chip is disabled?
     
  15. HaveMilesWillTravel
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    HaveMilesWillTravel Gold Member

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    Using a BBQ thermometer, verify that the chip's core temperature is at least 220 F. :D

    I suppose the OP would know it works if the card no loner interferes with his door badge. For the rest of us, aren't there stores where you can pay by holding the card near a card reader? I think I have seen it at my local McDonald's drive through... Not that I'd ever drive through :eek:
     
  16. SFOCanuck
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    SFOCanuck Silver Member

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    Thanks for the suggestions! I ended up just hitting it with a hammer a few times. If you look closely, you can see some, uh, tool marks.

    It's annoying that AmEx doesn't make RFID chips an optional feature. That said, from my research (i.e. searching YouTube for how to disable an RFID chip) it looks like the only people that care much about this are conspiracy theorists and the tinfoil hat types. Sigh.
     

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