back to list

How Dirty Are Debit And Credit Cards?

Do you know how dirty our money really is?


What's going on?

Credit and debit cards have been proven to be dirtier than cash and coins. This finding came after a recent experiment conducted by a financial website, LendEDU examining 41 different credit and debit cards, 27 different bills, and 12 different coins.


The researchers used the Hygiena’s SystemSURE Plus handheld germ testing device which gives a Relative Light Unit (RLU) readings known as “germ score” from the surface of the tested objects to measure and indicate the level of dirtiness. Based on this test, the results showed that credit card tops the list with the highest germ score of 1,206, followed by a germ score of 633 for cash bills, and 356 for coins.


Other than testing with cash bills and coins, the researchers have also tested on different everyday objects around New York City. A city bike records a germ score of 758, a McDonald’s door handle records a score of 664, a park bench records a score of 503, a bathroom in Penn Station records a score of 163, and a subway pole records the lowest score of 68. With this finding, it is surprising that credit and debit cards are much dirtier than other objects including public bathrooms.


FYI, Your Credit Card May Be Dirtier Than A New York City Subway Pole