Most credit cards are made out of plastic–it’s cheap and resilient, so what’s not to like? But if you want to differentiate yourself from the hoi polloi, metal cards are an easy way to do so. They’re also an expensive way to do so, which is why metal credit cards are for premium products. Let’s take a look at the metal credit cards out there.
Chase Sapphire Preferred: It’s still Chase Sapphire Preferred week, did you forget already? The CSP is the most famous metal card, the most popular one, as well as the cheapest with an annual fee of $95 (waived the first year). Though I’m obliged to point out that it’s not metallic all the way through–it’s actually metal sandwiched between layers of plastic. Still, it’s got more of a heft than most cards.
J.P. Morgan Chase Palladium: Let’s have a look at this one:
Oh yeah… that’s palladium and 24K gold you’re looking at. You signature will be laser-etched onto it. But it’s got a $595 annual fee, and even if you’re willing to pay that, you have to have a private banking relationship with Chase, which would apparently involve at least $250K in assets. The benefits aren’t great: 2 Ultimate Rewards points per dollar spent on travel, 1 point everywhere else. There’s also a 35,000-point bonus if you spend $100,000, plus the requisite concierge (reputedly quite good) and some other benefits.
Visa Black Card: Issued by Barclays, this was the high-end card that nobody cared about since its benefits didn’t match the $495 annual fee. But hey, it was made out of stainless steel. Apparently they’re retooling it into something called the “Luxury Card”, possibly because Amex sued them for a trademark violation and won.
Amex Centurion: The gold standard of exclusive credit cards, this card is informally known as the black card, thus the lawsuit I just mentioned. It’s made of titanium and boasts an initiation fee of $7,500 plus an annual fee of $2,500 (but they still charge you a $38 late fee if you miss a payment). The card is invitation only. Amex won’t divulge its criteria, but eligibility is apparently based on things like income, spending, and possibly fame. If you’re eligible for the card, they’ll let you know.
Chase Ritz Carlton and Chase United Club: We’re not done with Chase yet! They do like their metal cards, don’t they? The Chase Ritz Carlton can be a good deal if you snag the 140K offer. Andy has some good posts about this card here and here, while Travel Is Free just put up a solid post on another use of Marriot points you may or may not be familiar with.
Dubai First Royale Card: Check this one out:
Yes, that’s gold trim on the top and the left with a diamond embedded in the center. No, there’s no “First Friday” with this card as there is with the Chase Sapphire Preferred.
Your Own Customized Metal Card: I had no idea this company existed, but apparently the good folks at Metal-CreditCard.com will convert any credit card you want into a metal credit card with a design of your choice for $149. Here’s one possible design from the company’s website:
This would be a great design to do manufactured spending with! What clerk is going to tell you they won’t accept a card like that?
The downside is that if your credit card number happens to get stolen, you’ll have to pay $149 for a new card.
That’s all I’m aware of… did I leave any out?