Best Metal Credit Cards: Is There a Place for Metal In Your Wallet?

The whole idea of metal credit cards may seem unnecessary, even slightly narcissistic. However, if you’re a fan of earning credit card rewards, you shouldn’t overlook the potential benefits.

After all, some of the best rewards cards have a metal exterior instead of plastic. Many of these cards earn more points on purchases and may include enhanced award travel perks.

Table of Contents
  1. Best Metal Credit Cards
    1. Chase Sapphire Preferred
    2. Chase Sapphire Reserve
    3. Platinum Card from American Express
    4. American Express Gold Card
    5. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card
    6. BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Card
    7. U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve
    8. Amazon Prime Rewards Visa
    9. FoundersCard
    10. Luxury Card
    11. Apple Card
  2. Metal Credit Card FAQs
  3. The Bottom Line on Metal Credit Cards

Best Metal Credit Cards

To help you find the right metal credit card, we’ve compiled the following list of top cards for travel and cash rewards. Keep in mind, there is no “best” card on the list. That will depend on the type of rewards you’re looking for.

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Many hail the Chase Sapphire Preferred as one of the best travel credit cards since it earns the most valuable credit card points (Chase Ultimate Rewards), flexible redemption options, and a budget-friendly $95 annual fee.

Some of the featured benefits include:

  • Points are worth 25% more for award travel (1.25 cents vs. 1 cent for cash and gift cards)
  • 1:1 airline and hotel point transfers
  • Annual $50 hotel statement credit
  • Earn up to 5x Ultimate Rewards purchases

The card also has one of the most valuable credit card signup bonuses – you get 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months. In addition to these accolades, the Sapphire Preferred weights approximately 12.41 grams. While this is one of the lightest metal cards, it’s significantly heavier than a 5 grams plastic credit card.

Learn more about Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase Sapphire Reserve

Chase Sapphire Reserve Frequent flyers will benefit more from the Chase Sapphire Reserve than the Sapphire Preferred. The Sapphire Reserve falls into the premium card category as it has a $550 annual fee and $75 per authorized user.

Some of the card’s best benefits include:

The bonus is 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points (from their Chase Ultimate Rewards program) after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months versus the Sapphire Preferred’s 80,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first three months.

This card has the same weight as its Sapphire Preferred sibling (12.41 grams). For more information, check out our head-to-head comparison of the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve cards.

Learn more about Chase Sapphire Reserve

Platinum Card from American Express

American Express Platinum Card The Platinum Card from American Express is the other top option for premium travel credit cards. It’s also one of the heaviest cards at 18 grams. Terms Apply.

This card is best for frequent flyers but it offers several lifestyle benefits as well:

  • Annual $200 airline fee credit
  • Annual $200 hotel credit (minimum two-night stay)
  • Up to $200 in Uber Cash for rides and eats
  • Airport lounge access (includes Centurion, Priority Pass, and Delta Sky Club)
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee credit
  • CLEAR fee credit
  • Earn up to 5x Membership Rewards on purchases
  • 1:1 point transfers

Each point is worth 1 cent each for award flights and gift cards. The welcome bonus is 100,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $6,000 in purchases within your first six months. You will have a more challenging time finding another travel credit card with more benefits.

However, be ready to pay a $695 annual fee for the primary card. You get a price break on additional cards as you pay a flat $175 for up to three secondary cards.

Read our Amex Platinum review to decide if this card is for you.

Learn more about American Express Platinum

American Express Gold Card

American Express Gold Card The American Express Gold Card balances lifestyle and travel rewards. You can also choose from a Gold or Rose Gold card design. Either color scheme weighs 15 grams. Terms Apply.

Featured benefits include:

  • Earn 4x Membership Rewards on dining worldwide
  • Earn 4x at U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 per year and then 1x)
  • 3x on flights you book directly from the airline or on amextravel.com
  • Up to $120 in Uber Cash per year
  • Up to $120 in dining credits each year (at participating restaurants)
  • $100 onsite credit at the Hotel Collection from American Express
  • 1:1 point transfers

The welcome bonus is 60,000 Membership Rewards Points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months.

Your points are most valuable for booking award flights and gift cards (1 cent each). The 1:1 Membership Rewards transfer partners are also worth using for domestic (Delta Airlines) and international flights. The annual fee is $250 for the primary card but $0 for secondary cards. This hybrid premium card is more expensive than consumer cards but makes it easy to maximize lifestyle purchases. As a result, it’s an excellent American Express Platinum Card alternative. Choose this card if you want more dining rewards than travel rewards.

Learn more about American Express Gold

Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card

The Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card is an enticing hotel credit card offering free night certificates and other Marriott Bonvoy loyalty perks. Terms Apply.

Some of the best card benefits include:

  • Annual $300 Marriott Bonvoy statement credit
  • $100 on-property credit for qualifying stays at The Ritz-Carlton or St. Regis
  • One free night award each card anniversary (50,000 points or less)
  • 15 Elite Night Credits per year
  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Priority Pass Select membership
  • Free Global Entry or TSA PreCheck

Welcome bonus of 75,000 Marriott Bonvoy points after you spend $3,000 in purchases in the first 3 months..

Your card purchases earn up to 6X Bonvoy points. The annual fee is $450.

Learn more about Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant

BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Card

The BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Card lets you earn Bitcoin rewards instead of cash back or travel rewards. Here is how much you can expect to earn on purchases

  • 5% back on the first $50,000 per year
  • 2% back on all purchases after $50,000 in annual spending
  • 5% back on the first $5,000 during the first 90 days (then 1.5% back)

The rewards deposit into your BlockFi account.

Another exclusive perk of being a cardholder is receiving a 0.25% Bitcoin trading bonus when exchanging different cryptocurrencies in your BlockFi trading account. The monthly bonus limit is $500. Stablecoin-to-stablecoin transactions do not qualify.

Learn more about BlockFI

U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve

The U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve is also worth a look if you want an alternative to the Chase 5/24 rule when you have too many new credit lines in a short timeframe. Besides being metal and weighing 16 grams, this is one of the most exclusive credit cards. You must be a U.S. Bank customer to apply for this card. Premium travel benefits include:

  • Up to $325 in annual travel and dining credits
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • Global Entry/TSA application fee credit
  • 12 GoGo inflight Wi-Fi passes each year
  • Earn up to 5x points on travel purchases

The current signup bonus is 50,000 bonus points worth up to $750 in award travel. The $400 annual fee is also significantly less than competing premium travel cards. Not a U.S. Bank customer yet? Check out U.S. Bank’s promotions to earn bonus cash.

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa

Not every metal credit card has an annual fee. For example, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa is free, weighs 13 grams, and is only for Amazon Prime members. The non-Prime version is plastic and earns fewer rewards. You also won’t pay a foreign transaction fee, but you might prefer a travel credit card for more robust travel rewards. Card benefits include:

  • 5% back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods
  • 2% back at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores
  • 1% back on everything else
  • No redemption minimum for Amazon.com purchase credits

You will receive an Amazon gift card when Chase approves your application. It appears this card is subject to the 5/24 application guidelines. Read our Amazon Prime Rewards Credit Card review to learn more.

FoundersCard

The FoundersCard describes itself as a membership community with over 500+ small business perks instead of being a rewards credit card. You will receive a metal card, but you can’t use it for purchases at local stores or most online shops. However, the platform has many travel and retail partners, and you can make purchases in the online portal. So, it’s like a store charge card—but with a lot more benefits. Some of the perks include:

  • Airline elite status
  • Airline and hotel discounts
  • Discounts on small business services

Online reports indicate the annual fee is $595 plus a one-time $95 initiation fee. You may qualify for discounted access when you enroll in an eligible American Express credit card.

Luxury Card

The Luxury Card offers three different metallic compositions. Each weighs 22 grams, making them the heaviest metal credit cards available to consumers. Which metal construction you choose determines your annual fee and card benefits. Here is a closer look at the three cards, from most to least expensive.

Mastercard Gold Card

The Mastercard Gold Card has a 24k gold plating. The annual fee is $995 for the primary card and $295 per authorized user. This card can be worth its weight in gold if you want these benefits:

  • Earn 1 point per $1 on all purchases
  • Airfare and cash rewards redemptions are worth 2% more
  • $200 annual airline purchase credit
  • Global Entry application fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select lounge access
  • Luxury gifts from highly recognized brands

The travel rewards are similar to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. However, you pay a higher fee as your card is made of gold instead of base metal.

Mastercard Black Card

The mid-tier Mastercard Black Card has a black-coated stainless steel card body. Your annual fee is $495 for the primary card and $195 per authorized user. Featured benefits include:

  • 2% redemption bonus for award flights
  • 1.5% redemption bonus for cash back
  • $100 annual airline purchase credit
  • Global Entry application fee credit
  • Priority Pass Select airport lounge access
  • Luxury gifts from highly recognized brands

Consider this card if you like the Luxury Card travel and point redemption benefits but don’t want to pay the higher fee to have a gold credit card. This card is probably the best all-around option for Mastercard’s Luxury Card lineup.

Mastercard Titanium Card

The entry-level Mastercard Titanium Card has brushed stainless steel. Its annual fee is $195 plus $95 per authorized user. Consider this card if you only want the point redemption bonuses. Like the other two cards, each purchase earns an unlimited 1 point per $1. Your two most valuable redemption options are:

  • 2% bonus for award flights
  • 1% for cash back redemptions

One additional travel benefit of note is receiving an average of $500 in on-property benefits on each resort stay inside the Luxury Card Travel program. This card doesn’t offer airport lounge access, travel statement credits, and lounge benefits like the Gold Card and Black Card offer.

Apple Card

The Apple Card is another fee-free card. It’s made of titanium, weighs 15 grams, and lets you cash out your purchase rewards daily. This card can be best for Apple customers but may also be a good option if your spending matches the bonus categories:

  • 3% back at participating merchants
  • 3% back on Apple purchases
  • 2% back when you pay with an iPhone or Apple Watch
  • 1% on all non-bonus purchases

Participating 3% back merchants include Exxon, T-Mobile, Uber/Uber Eats, and Walgreens. Another unique perk is the Daily Cash redemption option that deposits your cash back into your Apple Wallet or linked bank account to use for your next purchase.

Metal Credit Card FAQs

Are metal credit cards better?

Metal credit cards are more likely to offer better travel rewards than their plastic competitors. However, these cards may also charge a higher annual fee. Plastic cards are better for cash back rewards as you can earn a higher cash back rate on more purchases and are also unlikely to pay an annual fee. Two exceptions to the rule include the Chase Sapphire Preferred and Amazon Prime Rewards Visa. Whether you prefer cash or travel rewards, it’s best to compare the benefits and annual fee to your spending habits and point redemption preferences.

How do you get rid of metal credit cards?

When your current metal credit card expires (or you close your account), the bank can provide a prepaid shipping envelope. You can mail off your card for recycling instead of trashing it. You may also decide to keep your old card as a souvenir if the bank doesn’t require you to return it.

Are metal credit cards free?

Most metal credit cards charge an annual fee between $95 and $995 per year. However, three free metal credit cards include Amazon Prime Rewards Visa, Apple Card, and the BlockFi Rewards Visa Signature Card.

How much do metal credit cards weigh?

The lightest metal credit cards (Chase Sapphire) weigh approximately 13 grams, and the heaviest weighs 22 grams (Luxury Card). Most metal credit cards fall somewhere between 15 and 17 grams. Plastic credit cards weigh 5 grams.

What credit score do you need for metal credit cards?

Each metal credit card requires good or excellent credit. You should apply with a minimum 700 credit score. The bank may let you pre-qualify with a soft credit check to verify your eligibility if you’re unsure about your approval odds.

The Bottom Line on Metal Credit Cards

Most metal credit cards are ideal for luxury travel but come with an annual fee many people are unwilling to pay. However, if you can qualify and plan to spend enough money with your metal card to justify the fees, then the rewards might be worth the yearly cost. Keep in mind, a few metal credit cards are free or have a low yearly fee, making it easy for anyone with qualifying credit to add this novelty to their wallet.

To see the rates and fees for the American Express cards featured, please visit the following links: American Express Platinum Card: (See Rates and Fees). American Express Gold Card: See Rates and Fees. Marriott Bonvoy Brilliant American Express Card: See Rates and Fees.

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About Josh Patoka

After graduating in $50k with student loans in May 2008 from Virginia Military Institute with a B.A. International Studies and Political Science with a minor in Spanish (he studied abroad in Sevilla, Spain for 3 months), Josh decided to sell his soul for seven years by working in the transportation industry to get out of debt ASAP and focus on doing something else with a better work-life balance.

He is a father of three and has been writing about (almost) everything personal finance since 2015. You can also find him at his own blog Money Buffalo where he shares his personal experience of becoming debt-free (twice) and taking a 50%+ pay cut when he changed careers.

Today, Josh relishes the flexibility of being self-employed and debt-free and encourages others to pursue their dreams. Josh enjoys spending his free time reading books and spending time with his wife and three children.

Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank or financial institution. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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