Metal credit cards aren’t new, but they’ve become increasingly popular among credit cardholders because of their aesthetic appeal. What’s more, you no longer have to be wealthy to get one — there are more and more metal cards with a low annual fee or no annual fee at all.
While having a metal credit card sounds cool, it’s important to pick a card based on the total value you gain from all of its features. Here’s what you need to know about metal credit cards and how to pick the right one.
What’s the deal with metal credit cards?
The first metal credit cards made their debut in the 1920s when department stores began issuing metal charge plates and coins that allowed customers to buy on credit. However, those “cards” were designed to be used at one store only.
When the first multi-purpose charge card, the Diners Club card, came around in 1950, it was made of cardboard and could be used at 28 different restaurants and two hotels. In 1958, when Bank of America created the first general-purpose credit card, which is what we’re used to today, plastic became the norm.
Then in 1999, American Express launched its exclusive Centurion Card, which was made of titanium. This introduction gave rise to other luxury metal credit cards, including the Visa Black Card — now the Mastercard® Black Card™ — and more.
Now there are more than a dozen metal credit cards on the market. While some have steep annual fees, others are much more affordable, making it possible for just about anyone to have one in their wallet.
Depending on the card, it could be made of brass, copper, brushed stainless steel, gold, or palladium. Some cards are made from alloys or a combination of plastic and metal.
The weights of metal cards also vary — here are a few cards we weighed to compare:
- American Express Business Platinum card weighs 0.7 ounces
- Chase Sapphire Reserve weighs 0.5 ounces
- Regular plastic cards, on average, weigh about 0.2 ounces
Metal credit cards are heavier and sturdier than plastic credit cards and can add a little prestige to your experience. But they’re more difficult to destroy if you decide you want to close your account. Also, they may set off metal detectors at the airport and other places that require similar screening.
21 metal credit cards to consider
If you like the idea of having a metal credit card, there are plenty of options from which you can choose. Here are 21 cards from major credit card issuers to compare.
|Metal Card||Annual Fee|
|Amazon Business Prime American Express||$0|
|Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card||$0|
|American Express Business Gold Card||$295 (See rates and fees)|
|American Express Gold Card||$250 (See rates and fees)|
|Business Platinum Card from American Express||$595 (See rates and fees)|
|Capital One Savor Cash Rewards||$95|
|Capital One Venture Rewards||$95|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||$95|
|Chase Sapphire Reserve||$550|
|Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite||$450|
|IHG Rewards Club Premier||$89|
|Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express||$450 (See rates and fees)|
|Mastercard® Black Card™||$495|
|Mastercard® Gold Card™||$995|
|Mastercard® Titanium Card™||$195|
|Platinum Card from American Express||$550 (See rates and fees)|
|United MileagePlus Club||$450|
|U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite||$400|
|Wells Fargo Propel American Express||$0|
4 metal credit cards for frequent travelers
If you enjoy travel but can’t stomach a high annual fee, these cards could give you the benefits and rewards you want, plus the heft of a metal design.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Overview: The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 5X on Lyft rides, 2X points on eligible dining and travel, and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases. The Chase Ultimate Rewards program is one of the best rewards credit cards for frequent travelers, and you’ll get 25% more value if you redeem your points for travel through Chase. You can also potentially get more value when you transfer your rewards to one of Chase’s travel partners. The card’s annual fee is $95, which is more modest than the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 80,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months (plus earn up to $50 in statement credits on grocery store purchases in the first year)
Other perks: You’ll get various travel protections, including trip cancellation and interruption insurance, primary rental car insurance, trip delay reimbursement, delayed luggage reimbursement, and more.
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card
Overview: The Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card offers a flat 2X miles on every purchase, every day. You can redeem your rewards for just about any type of travel by using the card to book it then using miles to get a statement credit against the purchase. The card’s annual fee is $95.
Early spend bonus: Earn 100,000 bonus miles after spending $20,000 in the first 12 months (or earn 50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months)
Other perks: The card offers an application fee credit of up to $100 every four years for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry. You’ll also get travel accident insurance and the option to create temporary credit card numbers for secure online shopping.
American Express Gold Card
Overview: The American Express Gold Card carries a relatively high annual fee of $250. But people who spend a lot on dining, groceries, and travel could easily make up for it. You’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards points at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 per year) and at restaurants worldwide, 3X on flights booked directly with airlines or on Amextravel.com, and 1X on all other eligible purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you make $4,000 in purchases within the first 6 months
Other perks: The card offers up to $120 each year in dining credits with participating retailers and food delivery services.
IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card
Overview: If you’re loyal to the IHG hotel brand, the IHG Rewards Club Premier Credit Card may be a no-brainer. You’ll earn 25X points per $1 spent on stays at IHG hotels and resorts; 2X points at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants; and 1X points on other purchases. You’ll also get platinum elite status with IHG. The annual fee is $89.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 125,000 points plus a Reward Night after spending $3,000 in the first three months
Other perks: Cardholders will receive one free night stay every year that’s worth up to 40,000 points. You’ll also get your fourth night free when you use points to book a hotel stay of four or more nights.
2 metal credit cards for cashback enthusiasts
If you prefer cash back over points and miles, these cards may be a good fit.
Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card
Overview: The Capital One Savor Rewards Credit Card is a solid choice for foodies. It offers 8% cash back on tickets purchased through Vivid Seats (through January 2022), 4% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores (excludes superstores like Walmart and Target), and 1% cash back on all other purchases. The annual fee is $95.
Early spend bonus: Earn a $300 cash bonus after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months
Other perks: The card provides access to curated culinary experiences, as well as discounts and VIP packages at music and sporting events.
Mastercard Titanium Card
Overview: The Mastercard Titanium Card offers 1X point per dollar spent on all purchases, and gives you one cent per dollar on cash back redemptions and two cents per dollar on airfare redemptions. While that’s not overly impressive, the card does come with some luxury travel benefits.
Sign-up bonus: N/A
Other perks: The card comes with several travel benefits, including chauffeured transportation, cruise privileges, charter services, global luggage delivery, car rental discounts and upgrades, and various trip protections.
4 metal credit cards with no annual fee
Overview: The Apple Card charges absolutely no fees, and is primarily designed for use with Apple Pay — you’ll get a physical card, but it won’t have your card number on it. You’ll earn 3% cash back on Apple purchases and when you use Apple Pay for purchases from select partners, 2% on other purchases made with Apple Pay, and 1% cash back on everything else. Cash back is paid out daily.
Sign-up bonus: N/A
Other perks: The card’s primary benefits are its integration with the Wallet app along with its security. It uses a virtual card number for apps and websites, comes with a physical card with no numbers on it, and doesn’t track purchase data through Apple Pay.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card
Overview: The Wells Fargo Propel American Express Card is one of the few metal credit cards with a $0 annual fee. When you look at the features, though, it doesn’t feel like it. You’ll earn 3X points on eligible dining, transportation, travel, and streaming service purchases; and 1X points on other purchases.
Welcome offer: Earn 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 within the first 3 months
Other perks: The card offers cell phone protection worth up to $600 per claim when you pay your phone bill with the card. You’ll also get an introductory 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for 12 months.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
Overview: While the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card has a $0 annual fee, it’s only available to Amazon Prime members. The card offers 5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% at restaurants, gas stations, and drugstores; 1% on all other purchases. You can redeem your rewards on Amazon.com or as cash back.
Sign-up bonus: Earn a $70 Amazon gift card upon approval.
Other perks: The card offers travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, baggage delay insurance, travel and emergency assistance services, and more.
Amazon Business Prime American Express Card
Overview: This card is designed for business owners who have an Amazon Prime or Business Prime membership. The card itself, however, doesn’t have an annual fee. It offers 5% cash back or 90 days to pay interest-free at Amazon Business, Amazon Web Services, Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market. It also gives you 2% cash back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations and on wireless telephone services purchased directly from U.S. providers. Get 1% back on everything else.
Welcome bonus: New cardholders receive a $125 Amazon gift card upon approval for the account.
Other perks: The card offers enhanced data views for your purchases, the ability to add receipts and notes to transactions, free employee cards, and various purchase and travel protections.
2 metal credit cards for business owners
If you have business-related expenses, you may be better off with a business credit card than a personal card. Here are a few business cards that are made of metal.
American Express Business Gold Card
Overview: The American Express Business Gold Card has a steep $295 annual fee but makes up for it with flexible rewards and perks. You’ll earn 4X Membership Rewards points for the first $150,000 spent in two select categories each year, and 1 point per $1 spent on other purchases.
When redeeming your rewards, you’ll get 25% more value if you use them to book flights using Pay with Points. You can also transfer them to Amex travel partners for potentially more value.
Welcome bonus: Earn 70,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $10,000 in the first 3 months
Other perks: In addition to a valuable rewards program, you’ll also get get free employee cards and no foreign transaction fees.
Business Platinum Card from American Express
Overview: The Business Platinum Card from American Express is a premium business card. While it carries a $595 annual fee, frequent travelers and big spenders will likely have an easy time getting that back and more each year. You’ll get 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels on Amextravel.com, 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more, and 1X points per $1 spent on other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $15,000 on purchases within the first 3 months
Other perks: The card is packed with benefits, including a $200 annual Dell credit, complimentary access to more than 1,200 airport lounges worldwide, an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, hotel elite status, and more.
9 metal credit cards for luxury travelers
If you travel on the regular and want a VIP experience every time, these luxury metal credit cards can make the difference you’re looking for.
Platinum Card from American Express
Overview: The Platinum Card from American Express is a rewards card that offers significant travel perks, a generous welcome bonus, and a flexible rewards program. You’ll earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare and hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. This card’s annual fee is $550.
Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $5,000 in the first 6 months, plus 10X points on purchases at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets for first 6 months (on up to $15,000 combined)
Other perks: Like the business version, this card provides several elite benefits that make the annual fee easier to justify. You’ll get $200 in annual Uber credits and $100 in Saks Fifth Avenue credits each year. You’ll also get complimentary access to several airport lounge networks, an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, hotel and car rental elite status, and more.
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Overview: The Chase Sapphire Reserve combines the strength of the Ultimate Rewards program and a suite of elite travel perks. Cardholders earn 10X points on Lyft rides, 3X points on travel (excluding $300 travel credit), 3X points at restaurants, and 1X points per $1 spent on everything else. When redeeming rewards, you’ll get 50% more value if you use points to book travel through Chase. Alternatively, you can transfer your points to the bank’s travel partners. The card has a $550 annual fee.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
Other perks: The card offers a slew of perks, including an annual $300 travel credit, an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, and complimentary access to Priority Pass airport lounges. You’ll also get access to various trip protections, including primary rental car insurance, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, lost luggage reimbursement, emergency evacuation and transportation, and more.
Citi Prestige Card
Overview: The Citi Prestige Card offers bonus rewards on several categories in addition to some premium travel perks. Cardholders will earn 5X points on airline purchases and at restaurants; 3X points on hotels and cruise lines; and 1X points on all other purchases. You can redeem rewards for travel, cash back or gift cards, or transfer them to select frequent flyer programs. The card’s annual fee is $495.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
Other perks: Each year, earn a $250 travel credit along with complimentary access to Priority Pass lounges and a complimentary fourth night on hotel stays of four or more consecutive nights.
U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite Card
Overview: While the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite card isn’t as much of a heavy-hitter as other general premium credit cards, it still packs a punch for existing U.S. Bank customers. You’ll get 5X on prepaid hotel and car rentals booked in the Altitude Rewards Center; 3X points on eligible travel and mobile wallet purchases; and 1X points for all other eligible purchases. The annual fee is $400.
Sign-up bonus: Earn a 50,000 point bonus after spending $4,500 in the first 90 days
Other perks: Card benefits include up to a $325 annual travel credit, a 12-month membership to Priority Pass lounges, an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, 12 complimentary Gogo Inflight WiFi passes each year, and chauffeur and rental car perks.
Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard
Overview: If you fly American Airlines often, the Citi / AAdvantage Executive World Elite Mastercard could provide benefits that go above and beyond the typical priority boarding and free checked bags. You’ll earn 2X miles on American Airlines purchases and 1X miles for every $1 spent on other purchases. The annual fee is $450.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage bonus miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months
Other perks: The card offers priority check-in, priority airport screening, and preferred boarding for you and up to eight others on your flight reservation. You’ll also get an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, Admirals Club lounge membership, a 25% discount on in-flight food and drinks, and 10,000 elite qualifying miles when you spend $40,000 or more in a year.
United MileagePlus Club Card
Overview: Frequent United flyers could find incredible value in the United MileagePlus Club Card, including lounge access and other common airline card perks. Cardholders earn 2X miles on United purchases, and 1.5X miles on all other purchases. The card’s annual fee is $450.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 75,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months.
Other perks: Unlike most airline cards, this card gives you your first and second checked bag free. You’ll also get United Club lounge membership, premier upgrades on award tickets, Hertz President’s Circle elite status, and more.
Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
Overview: If you’re a fan of Marriott hotels, the Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express card may add a lot of value to your experience. Cardholders earn 6X points on eligible purchases at participating Marriot Bonvoy hotels, 3X points at U.S. restaurants and on flights booked directly with airlines, and 2X points on all other eligible purchases. The card’s annual fee is $450.
Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 points after spending $3,000 on purchases in the first three months, plus earn up to $200 in statement credits on purchases at U.S. restaurants in the first six months
Other perks: The card offers a $300 annual statement credit toward purchases made at Marriott Bonvoy hotels, one free night worth up to 50,000 points for your account anniversary, complimentary gold elite status, Priority Pass Select membership, and more.
Mastercard® Black Card™️
Overview: The Mastercard® Black Card™️ is an elite travel card that provides luxury perks you can’t get with most other metal credit cards. Cardholders can redeem their rewards for airfare at a rate of 2% and will get 1.5% back when they redeem for anything else.
Sign-up bonus: N/A
Other perks: Cardholders get access to several perks, including a $100 annual airline credit, luxury gifts, cruise privileges, charter services, chauffeured transportation, airport meet and assist, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit, Priority Pass Select lounge access, and more.
Mastercard® Gold Card™️
Overview: The Mastercard® Gold Card™️ has the highest annual fee of any of the cards on our list at $995. But that cost may be worth it for some who like the card’s prestige and the perks it provides. The card has a 24-carat gold-plated design and cardholders can redeem their points at a 2% rate for airfare and cash back rewards.
Sign-up bonus: N/A
Other perks: Cardholders will receive luxury gifts, as well as have access to global luggage delivery, cruise privileges, charter services, chauffeured transportation, airport meet and assist, a $200 annual airline credit, a Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application credit, Priority Pass lounge access, and invitation-only, once-in-a-lifetime experiences through Mastercard Priceless.
Metal credit cards are becoming more accessible than ever, and some of them don’t even have an annual fee. As you consider different travel credit cards and other rewards cards, it’s important to view them holistically to find the right one for you.
If the best credit card for you happens to also be made of metal, you’ll get the extra “wow” factor that comes with it. If not, you can still have the certainty that you’re getting the best value that you qualify for.