Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.
By no means do we recommend getting a credit card based on what material it’s made of or how heavy or flashy it may be. These are entertaining details to discuss on the side, but we always recommend evaluating a card based on its benefits, cost and rewards. With that said, here is a summary of the weight of each of the cards that made our best list, from the bulkiest to the lightest.
The Best Metal Credit Cards of 2020
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Here is our list of the best metal credit cards that are currently available. We've also provided a few strong contenders that just missed the cut. Regardless of which you end up choosing, you're guaranteed to add some heft to your wallet.
Best Metal Credit Card With No Annual Fee: Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card has quickly become the best metal credit card that doesn't charge an annual fee. That's mainly due to its impressive 3X rewards rate on travel and dining. As a point of comparison, most no-annual-fee cards have rewards rates that hover between 1% and 2%. We're also impressed by the broadness of the 3X rewards rate categories. With the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card, you'll earn 3 points per dollar spent on eating out and ordering in, gas stations, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and popular streaming services. Most other cards are far more restrictive in their bonus point categories.
What makes the card even better is that you'll be able to earn a bonus currently valued at $200, provided you meet the spending requirements. While it's pretty common for no-annual-fee cards to offer welcome bonuses, they tend to be less than $200. Simply put, the Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card is not only one of the best metal cards, but it's one of the top no-annual-fee cards.
How much does it weigh? 10 grams
- $0 annual fee
- Earn 3X points on eating out and ordering in; gas stations, rideshares, and transit; flights, hotels, homestays, and car rentals; and popular streaming services
- Earn 20,000 points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months.
Best Metal Credit Card for Travel: Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is our top pick for a metal credit card for travelers. That's because the card offers up to a 4.5% rewards rate on travel purchases when redeeming points for travel purchases, which is a significant step up from the standard 1.5% to 2% that's offered through most other travel cards. Just note that the high rewards rate on travel is available after earning your $300 travel credit. Its high rewards rate is one of the reasons the card was so popular at launch. In fact, at one point, Chase ran out of the metal needed to produce the cards. Another reason this card is a great choice for travelers is that it allows you to transfer the points you earn to several hotel and airline loyalty programs on a 1:1 basis. That includes Marriott Rewards, Southwest Rapid Rewards, United's MileagePlus and others. Just remember to place the metal card on a plastic tray when going through security to avoid any delays in your travels.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a sizable $550 annual fee, but if you take advantage of the $300 travel credit every year, your annual fee will effectively be $250. Also, the card is currently offering up to $60 in credit each year for DoorDash (along with a free membership offer). If you have a frequent hankering for food delivery, you could potentially reduce your annual fee to $190. Still, if you'd prefer a lower annual fee but are enamored with the idea of having a metal card, consider the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card offers a lower rewards rate, but it also has a much lower annual fee of $95, which is waived in year one.
How much does it weigh? 13 grams (1.6x heavier than a plastic credit card)
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
- $300 annual travel credit
- Earn up 3% rewards rate on travel and dining purchases, which carries 50% more value when redeemed through Chase Ultimate Rewards.
Best Metal Credit Card for Luxury: The Platinum Card® from American Express
Perhaps one of the more iconic metal cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express is our top pick for people who value luxury in their products. To start, The Platinum Card® from American Express offers cardholders Uber VIP status and free rides of up to $15 each per month, along with a $20 bonus in December. Additionally, the card gives users access to the Amex Centurion Lounges, which are commonly referred to as the best airport lounges of any kind. Earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
How much does it weigh? 18 grams (2.6x heavier than a plastic credit card)
- Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
- $550 annual fee (See Rates & Fees)
- Up to $200 airline fee credit
- 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Other Metal Credit Cards to Consider
Today, there are more metal credit cards than ever, which is why some top cards just missed making our list. The following cards are great alternative options to the metal cards listed above.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is every bit as heavy as the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and it's a strong alternative for those who would prefer a smaller annual fee of $95. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining, which we estimate to be worth $0.01 each. Users get 25% more value when they redeem their points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. Provided you meet the card's spending requirements, you'll be awarded a bonus that can be worth as much as $750. That's enough value to pay for the card's fee over six times.
How much does it weigh? 13 grams (1.6x heavier than a plastic credit card).
- $95 Annual fee
- Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.
Citi Prestige® Card
Not only does the Citi Prestige® Card feel like a premium card, but it performs like one mainly due to its complementary fourth-night perk. The benefit allows you to get a fourth night at any hotel for free, provided you stay for four or more consecutive nights and pay for the reservation using your Citi Prestige® Card. There are a few more restrictions, but it's worth jumping through the hoops considering you can use the benefit twice a year. While some of the top hotel cards offer the benefit of a free hotel night, it's usually limited to a single night per year.
How much does it weigh? 12 grams (1.4x heavier than a plastic credit card).
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening.
- $495 annual fee
- Get 5 points per dollar spent on dining and air travel, 3 points per dollar spent on hotels, 3 points per dollar spent on cruises, and 1 point per dollar spent on entertainment.
- Get 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Complimentary fourth night at any hotel of your choice after a minimum booking of four consecutive nights through ThankYou.com (Limit 2 nights per year)
The information related to the Citi Prestige® Card has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.
Credit Card Comparison Tool
Anyone who plans to apply for a credit card should utilize our tool below before doing so. Our tool allows you to input your own estimated monthly expenses and then calculates the estimated rewards each card will earn you over the next two years.
A Guide on Choosing the Best Metal Credit Card
If you typically carry a balance from month to month, you shouldn't be searching for a metal card. Your first priority should be to pay down your existing debt. That's because credit card interest is costly and can hinder your overall financial situation. Balance transfer cards can help alleviate the burden of credit card interest.
Most worthwhile metal cards are reserved for people with a high credit score (FICO of 720+). That means people with less-than-stellar credit (FICO below 620) or fair credit (FICO between 620 and 680) should opt for credit cards they are more likely to qualify for. Check out our credit card recommendations for people with fair and subpar credit. Yes, your options might not be as heavy or as shiny, but these cards will be your best option for now.
Anyone who spends $1,000 a month or less on their credit card should be searching for a card with no annual fee. That's because, at that level of spending, you likely won't earn enough rewards to offset the cost of an annual fee. Historically, metal cards have come with exorbitant annual fees, but that's a trend that has been slowly changing.
Provided you spend more than $1,000 per month on your credit card, we recommend applying for a travel card. These cards typically come with annual fees, but they offer enough rewards to offset their cost. They also tend to be among the most rewarding types of credit cards, meaning they have significantly higher ongoing rewards and valuable sign-up bonuses. Provided you plan to apply for a card with an annual fee, you shouldn't settle for a rewards rate of less than 1.5%.
How We Made Our Picks for the Best Metal Credit Cards
Our team reviewed dozens of metal cards and chose the strongest options across multiple categories. We selected the cards that offered the highest rewards rates, the best bonuses and worthwhile perks. We've been collecting information on credit cards for several years, and our analysts have years' worth of experience comparing credit card options. Our team is always deep in the weeds of the credit card industry.
We began putting together our "best metal cards" list by compiling a comprehensive list of all metal cards. We narrowed down our choices by identifying cards that performed better than others in certain categories like travel. We realize that this might exclude strong contenders, which is why we made the conscious decision to include a list of "alternative" metal cards. These cards aren't the best in a single category, but they offer strong enough benefits and rewards to be acknowledged.
As much as we love pouring over quantitative features, we also considered each card on a qualitative basis. That's because there is no mathematical way to calculate certain characteristics of a credit card, such as how easy it is to redeem rewards or how pleasant the customer service team is. Every single decision that we made was put to a vote among our in-house team of credit card experts.
ValuePenguin's Selection Criteria
Rewards rate: One of the most important factors for us was finding credit cards that offered great ongoing rewards. Since most applicants will be able to meet the standards set forth by a card that offers at least a 1.5% rewards rate, we gave preference to cards that met and exceeded this threshold.
Sign-up bonuses: Sign-up bonuses have the potential to be worth hundreds of dollars for applicants. We favored sign-up bonuses that were easy to achieve, which means cards with low spending requirements. At the same time, we accounted for any unusually large sign-up bonuses.
Long-term value: While sign-up bonuses are great in the short term, we wanted to make sure our selections made sense for applicants in the long run. In other words, could we see these cards being beneficial a few years down the road? We favored cards that had perks that made it worthwhile to keep using them over and over again.
Fees: We took into account any fees that may be associated with a card, including annual fees and foreign transaction fees. It's our opinion that if a card charges an annual fee, it should offer enough rewards to negate the card's cost. Other fees, like foreign transaction fees, were evaluated in the context of a card. For example, a foreign transaction fee on a travel card is a significant hindrance.
Card materials: Aside from being harder to dispose of properly, there's not much of a difference between metal cards and plastic cards. However, we realize that some people may want a metal card for its luxury feel or its uniqueness. Since not every card issuer reveals what their cards are made out of, we took into consideration all cards that are heavier than a traditional plastic card.