Metal credit cards are popular with consumers due to the high-status symbol that they offer. They are seen as a status symbol because of their design component and due to their high-credit requirement. Metal credit cards tend to be more expensive to use, but they offer luxury brands and services for users.
The History of Metal Cards
Metal cards were introduced for the first time in 1999 when American Express announced that it would release a premium, invitation-only Centurion credit card. The card became an instant hit with the rich and successful because of its design and metal composition. In a world full of plastic cards, the metal credit card was a revolutionary idea and suddenly, everyone wanted one of these.
Three years ago, Chase launched the Chase Sapphire Reserve, a metal credit card that received high ratings from users. The card was so successful that Chase ran out of the metal that was needed for manufacturing the cards. Other businesses followed suit, launching their own metal credit cards soon after.
American Express released the metal version of its Platinum cards in early March of 2017. Citibank announced the Citi Prestige the month after. N26 also launched its N26 Metal that is set to outpace N26 Black the existing premium card offering.
The Best Metal Credit Cards
Almost every metal card that you can get today will give you premium quality benefits and rewards that you can get on a credit card. Most of these metal cards are designed for the busy traveler with heavy credit use both home and abroad.
Every one of these metal credit cards has a metal alloy composition that gives it a luxury feel when held in your hands. They also offer flexible travel benefits and offers for the cardholder.
Some of the most popular metal cards are reviewed below.
Guest Video Review of the Best Metal Credit Cards
Propel American Express Card – Wells Fargo
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This is a premium Metal Credit Card that allows you to collect points for card rewards. It has an intro APR offer on purchases and balance transfers. Surprisingly, it is one of the only metal cards that has no annual fee.
The card is made with a metal-plastic hybrid that offers a metallic feel and weight. You can earn points on every purchase and triple points on restaurant bills, gas station purchases, and travel expenses. You can earn 30,000 points when you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months.
Platinum Card – American Express
The Platinum card from Amex is made with a metallic finish and offers good rewards. You can receive a $200 credit for airline travel and Uber each year. You also earn 5 times membership rewards per $1 spent on air travel and hotels.
Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card – U.S. Bank
Although this card is not the best metal credit card in terms of looks, it does offer that heavy metal card weight and gives decent benefits. You can get up to $325 annual travel reimbursement and earn points on all card purchases. You get 3 times more points on travel purchases, gas station charges and mobile wallet spending on the card.
Since this is a Visa Infinite card, you can get access to a range of benefits that are tied to this tier of cards. The card doesn’t require an invite but you need to be a U.S. bank customer in order to apply.
Sapphire Reserve Card – Chase
Sapphire Reserve is one of the first metal credit cards that became available without an invite. The card offers a high reward rate. You can earn up to 50,000 bonus points when you spend $4,000 on transactions in the first 3 months after opening an account. It offers a $300 Annual Credit for travel. The card also gives you points on all purchases and 3 times more points on travel and restaurant dining.
It has a $0 foreign transaction fee and you get 50% more value when you redeem points for travel, hotel booking, and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Sapphire Preferred Card – Chase
This card practically offers almost the same benefits and rewards as the Sapphire Reserve card but comes at a lower cost. It has less than a quarter of the annual fee as the Sapphire Reserve. You can earn up to 60,000 bonus points on purchases in the first 3 months after you have spent $4,000.
You’ll also earn points on all transactions and 2 times the points on travel and restaurant purchases. With the Sapphire Preferred, you’ll get 25% more value when you redeem the points for air travel, hotel or car booking and cruises.
Venture Rewards Card – Capital One
Capital One specializes in credit cards and consumer loans. They launched their metal credit card, Venture Rewards card that offers plenty of rewards and benefits for users. It is a metal-alloy card that weighs 16 grams and issued to new customers.
In terms of rewards, you get a bonus of one-time 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on transactions within the first 3 months of account opening. The miles equal $500 in travel. You also earn twice the points on every purchase and get thrice the points on travel and dine-in at restaurants.
There is no intro period and the annual fee is $0 for the first year and $95 after that.
Rewards Visa Signature Card – Amazon
Amazon has also launched its metal Visa card that offers significant benefits and rewards for the cardholder when shopping online. It weighs about 13 grams and has a $0 annual fee. You can earn up to 3% cash back on Amazon.com and Whole Foods purchases. The card also offers 2% cash back at gas stations, restaurants and pharmacies. You also earn points on every purchase that can be redeemed for travel, gift cards, and online shopping.
Savor Cash Rewards Card – Capital One
This metal credit card is great for dining and entertainment. It gives one of the highest cash back for restaurant dining (4%), gives 2% cash back on grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases. It also gives a $500 worth of cash back for new cardholders who spend $3,000 within 3 months of opening an account.
The popularity of Metal Credit Cards
Metal Credit Cards are expected to continue their rise in popularity. There are three main reasons why they are popular.
- The cards are being adopted by millennials who are starting to increase their disposable income. Some of the most popular businesses such as Amazon, Google and Netflix are the ones used by millennials and they are quick to adopt new technology.
- The second major driver for metal cards is self-expression. Simply put, metal credit cards are cooler and more stylish. They represent having a higher social standing. Luxury goods like premium mobile phones, smart watches and automobiles are used to indicate one’s association with a higher socio-economic class. The people who have them are able to exert their influence upon others. In this way, metallic credit cards give their users an edge.
- Adoption of Metal credit cards has also increased because they are no longer exclusive to rich millionaires. Many new metal cards come with a 0% annual fee for the first year and the APR is also quite low.
There are also two major drawbacks with metallic cards. They are more expensive to replace if you lose them as metal is more expensive than plastic. They are also difficult to dispose of after the card has expired.