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 and could feel like a status symbol, 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 The Centurion Card from American Express, 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:
- The Business Platinum Card® from American Express 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.
25 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 a couple dozn different cards from major credit card issuers to compare.
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 travel rewards you want, plus the heft of a metal design.
Chase Sapphire Preferred
Overview: The Chase Sapphire Preferred offers 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on 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 modest in comparison to the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 100,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
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. Each year on your card anniversary, you will also earn bonus points equal to 10% of the total purchases you made in the previous year.
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 60,000 bonus 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, after that 1X) and at restaurants, 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. Select benefits require enrollment.
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 150,000 points 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 a cash rewards credit card over earning 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 2023), 4% unlimited cash back on dining and entertainment, 3% 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 a 0% intro APR on purchases for 12 months, as well as 0% on 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 $100 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: The Amazon Business Prime American Express Card is designed for business owners who have an Amazon Prime or Business Prime membership. The card itself, however, has a $0 annual fee. It offers 5% back in Amazon Rewards points or no interest for 90 days on U.S. Amazon Business, AWS, Amazon.com, and Whole Foods purchases; 2% back at U.S. restaurants, U.S. gas stations, and purchases with U.S. wireless providers; and 1% back on all other purchases.
Welcome bonus: Earn a $125 Amazon gift card upon approval.
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 (after that 1X), 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 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 (including the Centurion Lounges), an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, hotel elite status, and more. Select benefits require enrollment.
9 metal credit cards for luxury travelers
If you travel on the regular and want a VIP experience every time, these luxury cards can make the difference you’re looking for. Just be prepared for the likelihood that you'll need an excellent credit score as well.
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. Cardmembers earn 5X points per dollar spent on eligible airfare (on up to $500,000 per calendar year, after that 1X) and eligible hotel purchases, and 1X points per dollar on all other eligible purchases. This card’s annual fee is $695.
Welcome bonus: Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards points after spending $6,000 in the first 6 months, plus 10x points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S. (up to $25,000 in combined purchases during your first 6 months)
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 airport lounge access to several different networks, an application fee credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry, hotel and car rental elite status, and more. Select benefits require enrollment.
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, Chase Dining purchases, and hotels and cars booked through Ultimate Rewards; 5X points on air travel booked through Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on travel and dining, 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
Note: This card is no longer available for applications.
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 book air travel often and prefer American Airlines, 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 Club Infinite Card
Overview: Frequent United flyers could find incredible value in the United Club Infinite Card, including lounge access and other common airline card perks. Cardholders earn 4X miles on United purchases; 2X miles on other travel and dining (including eligible delivery services), 1X miles on all other purchases. The card’s annual fee is $525.
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 Access, 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 hotels participating in the Marriott Bonvoy program, 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 for eligible purchases at U.S. Restaurants within the first 6 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. Select benefits require enrollment.
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.
What is the heaviest metal credit card?
The heaviest metal credit card is the J.P. Morgan Reserve, an invite-only rewards card from Chase that weighs 27 grams. For comparison, the Amex Platinum weighs around 18 grams and the Chase Sapphire Reserve weighs about 13 grams.
Are metal credit cards better?
Metal credit cards tend to feel and look better than many non-metal cards, and these aesthetic differences can often be a good indicator of increased rewards and benefits as well. Many premium credit cards are made out of metal and offer more benefits than their non-premium counterparts.
But this doesn’t always mean that metal credit cards are the best cards available and non-metal credit cards are worthless. For example, many Chase cards, such as the Chase Freedom Unlimited and Chase Freedom Flex, aren’t made out of metal, but still provide a useful rewards rate and benefits for everyday cashback earning.
How do I destroy a metal credit card?
Major credit card companies that issue metal credit cards will typically provide postage-paid envelopes to send an old metal credit card back if you want it destroyed. This is an easy and free option, as most common shredders and pairs of scissors won’t be up to the task. You might also be able to stop by a local branch of your card company to have your card destroyed there.
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 new card 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.
New, Higher Sign Up Bonus - Worth $1250 Toward Travel
up to 5X points
- Best offer ever! 100,000 point sign-up bonus
- 5X points on travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 25% more value when redeeming rewards for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
- 10% anniversary point bonus each year
- $50 annual credit on hotel stays booked through Ultimate Rewards
- Premium travel protection benefits
- Has annual fee
- Typically need to spend thousands to reap rewards
- Earn 100,000 points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months
- 5X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022) and travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards; 3X points on eligible dining, select streaming services, and online grocery purchases; 2X points on travel; and 1X points per $1 on all other eligible purchases