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’ve worked in retail and I’ve been handed everything from a Walmart Money Card to an AMEX Centurion Card. 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 earn 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? I find it humorous that Discover has an article on its website about metal cards. Here’s what they say:

It’s hard to say for sure why metal credit cards are so popular, but one theory is that they’re perceived as a status symbol and cardmembers like their weighty feel versus lighter, plastic alternatives

Is there a difference between metal and plastic credit cards?

Ultimately there’s not much of a difference when it comes to using metal credit cards and plastic ones—aside from the style points and the extra heft in your wallet. With metal credit cards, you still swipe, tap or insert your chip in the same way you would a plastic credit card. Also, some metal credit cards are metal-plastic hybrids; others are pure metal plates.

There must be some truth because there are more banks issuing metal cards than ever before. As explained by U.S. News,

“Metal credit cards seem more attractive to consumers who demand cutting-edge innovations,” says Suresh Kumar, director of payment technology at Valid, a credit card manufacturer. “(They’re) also perceived to elevate a customer’s status. People tend to see metal cards as a sign of luxury.”

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

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When the Citi Prestige card went metal, 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 “metalness” (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. 

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 Business Platinum Card
  7. American Express Centurion (Black) Card
  8. American Express Delta SkyMiles Platinum Card
  9. American Express Delta SkyMiles Reserve Card
  10. Apple Card
  11. Bilt Rewards Mastercard
  12. BlockFi Rewards (currently in limbo with crypto markets in turmoil)
  13. Capital One Savor Cash Rewards
  14. Capital One Venture Rewards
  15. Capital One Venture X
  16. Chase Sapphire Preferred
  17. Chase Sapphire Reserve
  18. Citi AAdvantage Executive
  19. Citi Prestige
  20. Crystal Visa Infinite
  21. HSBC Premier World Elite
  22. IHG Premier Card
  23. JP Morgan Reserve
  24. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant
  25. MasterCard Black Card
  26. MasterCard Titanium Card
  27. MasterCard Gold Card
  28. Ritz-Carlton Card
  29. United Club Card
  30. United Club Business Card
  31. U.S Bank Altitude Go Card
  32. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
  33. Verizon Visa Card
  34. 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.

You may want one for the practicality: members of our team have used a Chase Sapphire Preferred to scrape ice off a car window in the winter, and to open a door after getting locked out.

While I don’t have much use for an ice scraper in Central 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

6 comments

david September 27, 2021 - 7:15 pm

X2. And Sapphire Reserve will still mail you a plastic card if you request one

Reply
Mike September 27, 2021 - 7:38 pm

Apparently, I’m real self-important as I now have a wallet full of smooth, slick cards. So much so that I had to buy a new style wallet because these frictionless cards were sliding out randomly. I lost and had to replace each and every one before finally giving up the wallet I’ve had for the last several years. Give me back raised numbers.

Reply
Christian September 28, 2021 - 6:13 pm

Not a fan either. @Mike makes a great point about cards falling out of your wallet and the extra weight and difficulty to dispose of makes them a pain. Stick with cards that can be run through a paper shredder IMO.

Reply
Lynnette Williams September 4, 2022 - 4:40 pm

When I ordered my capital one venture x card, I ordered it to get the travel benefits and had no idea it would be metal. The first time a cashier made note of it, I was embarrassed that I had used a card that would impress a cashier🙄. Also, it constantly slides out of my wallet and I’ve lost it a couple of times already. Fortunately, I’ve only lost it in my house…so far. I’m not a fan of metal cards.

Reply
AlohaDaveKennedy November 15, 2022 - 6:33 pm

I’m a big fan of those metal cards because you can put them in the freezer then use them to scrape gum off your shoe. BTW, it doesn’t matter whether you use a Chase or Amex card metal card – just don’t use a plastic card as they are just too flexible and don’t get cold enough to take that tackiness off the gum.

Reply
InLA November 15, 2022 - 8:39 pm

I have a metal card and I don’t get it, either. Everywhere outside the US has tap pay, so merchants and servers never even experience the weight of my card. Inside the US, when a clerk remarks about the weight of the card, I always joke, “Well, the card starts out the month very light, but it takes on weight as the charges mount up. I’ve obviously been spending too much.” That never fails to get a laugh.

Reply

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