Home Credit Cards What’s The Big Deal About Metal Credit Cards?

What’s The Big Deal About Metal Credit Cards?

by joeheg

I just don’t get the metal credit card trend. Maybe it’s because I’m not out to impress anyone with what credit card I’m using. I use credit cards so I can earn miles or points to use for our travels. I couldn’t care if the cashier is impressed with the weight of the card I handed to him/her to make my purchase.

I work in retail and I’ve been handed everything from a Walmart Money Card to an AMEX Centurion Card. You know what I do when I’m handed the card? I swipe it through the register, and I need to remember not to use a metal card to tap my touchscreen monitor in fear of breaking the glass. Deep down inside, I know the person using the Centurion card, which costs $5,000 a year for the annual fee, is only earning one point per dollar on purchases when even the free AMEX Everyday would make the same number of Membership Rewards points.

So then why is it that every bank seems to be lining up to offer their new metal credit card? According to an article in Marketwatch.com, it’s because a metal card makes your subconscious think you’re successful.

They’ve become the newest status symbol for consumers who like their travel rewards. “People will seldom admit they took a card out just because of what it feels like in their hand, but there’s no doubt subconsciously it makes a big difference,” said Gerard du Toit, a Boston-based partner at the consulting firm Bain & Company, who is the head of the firm’s banking practice in the Americas.

Really everyone? A more substantial credit card is going to make you feel better???? #SMH.

prestige_card-j6wnyw4e

On the home front, when the Citi Prestige went to metal cards, they sent Sharon a brand new card even though her plastic card was still good for another year (Note from Sharon: When the card came in this thick cardboard box, I thought it was something important! The I saw it was just a credit card. Oh well.). Here’s how they bragged about the metaliness (Note from Sharon: Metalitivity?) of the card in the packing materials.

You now hold a first release Citi Prestige metal card in your hands.

This card was reimagined, recast and reinforced as a recommitment to you. Its sleek design is reflective of your modern lifestyle – its benefits even more so. 

ACTIVATE YOUR NEW METAL CARD IMMEDIATELY TO EXPERIENCE LIFE WITH AN EXTRA EDGE. 

(Note from Sharon: “Experience life with an extra edge?” Really? I think they were trying to make me feel like I should take a cold shower after all that. Guess what? Didn’t work.)

The letter hidden in the packaging did include this disclaimer:

Your new card contains metal, do not shred. Please contact the number on the back of your card for assistance disposing of your card. 

Whatever. The most important thing was that Citi finally got rid of the pretentious stripe on the front and put the strip onto the reverse of the card. At least now, we no longer had to keep telling everyone how to run it through the card reader. They also moved the chip from the back to the front of the card.

Here’s a list of the currently issued metal cards. I’ve included links to the ones I’ve reviewed; they may have my referral links included, but please don’t apply for any of these cards JUST because they’re metal. Although if you were the type of person to do that, I doubt you’d be reading a blog that publishes reviews of South of the Border, The Mai-Kai, and hotels in Pigeon Forge.

  1. Amazon Prime Rewards
  2. Amazon Business Prime Rewards
  3. American Express Business Gold Card
  4. American Express Gold Card
  5. American Express Platinum Card
  6. American Express Centurion (Black) Card
  7. Apple Card
  8. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards
  9. Capital One Venture Rewards
  10. Chase Sapphire Preferred
  11. Chase Sapphire Reserve
  12. Citi AAdvantage Executive
  13. Citi Prestige
  14. Crystal Visa Infinite
  15. HSBC Premier World Elite
  16. IHG Premier Card
  17. JP Morgan Reserve
  18. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
  19. Marriott Rewards Premier
  20. MasterCard Black Card
  21. MasterCard Titanium Card
  22. MasterCard Gold Card
  23. Ritz-Carlton Card
  24. United Airlines Mileage Plus Club
  25. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
  26. Wells Fargo Propel American Express

FINAL THOUGHTS

I’ve never picked out what card I was going to use based on how heavy it was. Personally, I liked this explanation of the usefulness of metal cards from Credit Card Insider 

Personally, I prefer the utility. I’ve definitely used my Chase Sapphire Preferred to open a door when I locked myself out, and to scrape ice off a window in the winter.

While I don’t have use for an ice scraper in Florida, I’ll remember it if I ever rent a car in the northern states in the winter months.

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This post first appeared on Your Mileage May Vary

13 comments

Joe Momma March 19, 2018 - 6:06 pm

Someone sound salty. Typically metal cards offer more benefits. I use my CSP and CF to transfer points between them, utilizing them both to maximize points. On top of that, the CSP provides insurance when traveling. There’s a few other small benifits as well.

Reply
joeheg March 19, 2018 - 7:52 pm

The CSP would offer all of those same benefits if the card was plastic, wouldn’t it. What does the card being metal have anything to do with the benefits?

Reply
Joao August 9, 2019 - 4:44 pm

Hey. It’s your right to not care about them, and to be honest it could be bulls***, the miles you earn on these cards are higher. On my platinum I get 5x more, plus lounge access, priority pass, etc. It just happened to be a metal card, but if it wasn’t, I would still get one cuz it’s worth it.

Reply
Debanjan Dey December 7, 2019 - 8:19 pm

None of those benefits are related to the metal aspect of the card, though.

The article is specifically about how pointless it is to get a card because it ‘looks and feels cool’.

There are some people who say (on forums) they like the Apple card due to “the boing sound it makes when swiped, like computers communicating”. SMH…

The only two considerations you should have when picking a card is the rewards it offers, and the quality/speed of service when you face an issue/merchant dispute etc

Reply
Fred January 6, 2019 - 4:14 pm

I just canceled a Visa card from Chase that was metal. Those things are *tough*! I usually cross-cut shred a credit card I no longer use with scissors. Definitely cannot use scissors on the metal card. Wire cutters and tin snips are not very effective either; the metal card is so thin, the cutters are nearly closed before they engage, so I do not get much mechanical advantage on it. I hope I never get another metal card again!

Reply
joeheg January 6, 2019 - 4:42 pm

Good question. When I received replacement cards for metal cards, the banks sent an envelope with the new cards for me to return the old ones for destruction. I’m not sure about when you cancel a card but I guess you can tell the rep on the phone or email to send you one when you’re canceling it.

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Gregory Magnus July 20, 2019 - 8:42 am

The issuers if bet that the heavy card with more benefits will encourage you to carry fewer cards. A wallet full of metal cards would be too heavy. I carry 2 and use Google Pay when I can and avoid taking out my wallet.

Reply
Louis Mingione December 7, 2019 - 2:37 pm

Thank you! Even the WSJ is posting articles about metal credit cards. It’s just a gimmick and I personally live wallet free except for one backup card I keep in my phone case. And because I charge my phone wirelessly, that one card must be plastic!

Reply
Gary Leff December 12, 2019 - 12:24 pm

Maybe metal cards used to be cool, before there were so many of them, but they aren’t unusual anymore.

Reply
Christian December 12, 2019 - 3:18 pm

I joke that the main use for a metal card is that you can turn it into a ninja star when the card expires. There certainly doesn’t seem to be any better reason to go metal.

Reply
james December 12, 2019 - 3:58 pm

I have to say, dropping that heavy Ritz Carlton card on the counter for the loud CLANK! was kind of fun for a week or so and the only reason I had it in my wallet. I’m still surprised the light-up credit card never caught on with the big issuers (Tim Hortons issued by CIBC).

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tim December 12, 2019 - 4:52 pm

Preach! I totally agree with you. There’s nothing worse than the douchebag in front of me at the register who lets his metal card clang on the counter. Plus, they weigh down my wallet. PSA – Sapphire Reserve will replace the metal card with a plastic one if you secure message them. That’s earned all my spending, and I receive the same benefits as a metal card

Reply
Utilitarian December 12, 2019 - 8:48 pm

I’ve had to request new (plastic) cards due to heavy wear and tear on the card from freaquent usage. Metal cards will likely cut down on the need for replacement cards. Is it a trendy marketing gimmick? Sure, but at least there’s a small utility benefit.

Reply

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