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What’s the dirtiest payment form: cards, cash or coins?

Woman makes payment with credit card. Source: Getty

Thinking about all the places your notes and coins have been, it’s not hard to see how cash can become a germ-transporting vessel.

But, a new LendEDU study has revealed that there’s a new player in the mix: your debit and credit cards.

The study tested the bacteria on the surface of cards, coins and cash in New York and basically, the higher the number, the dirtier it is.

It revealed cards are the dirtiest payment method, returning the highest average germ score of 285.

To put that into perspective, New York City subway poles had an average germ score of 68, and NYC Pennsylvania Station bathrooms had a germ score of 163.

The average chip side has a germ score of 252, while the average backside (with the magnetic strip) had a filthy germ score of 317.

The dirtiest payment card recorded had a germ score of a whopping 1,206, while the cleanest card had a germ score of 48.

Cash was slightly cleaner, with an average score of 160.

Five dollar notes were the dirtiest, with an average score of 216, while $100 bills were the cleanest, with an average score of 76.

Surprisingly, coins were the cleanest of all, with the average germ score sitting at 136.

Here’s a look at how payment methods stack up against other things in New York.

A comparison of average germ scores around New York. Source: LendEDU

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