How to Evaluate a Metal Credit Card

How to Evaluate a Metal Credit Card

At WalletHub, we believe it’s important to select credit cards with rates, fees and rewards that provide real value for consumers. So, a metal card’s material and weight play only a minor role in our evaluation.

Metal credit cards can set off airport metal detectors and are difficult to destroy (putting them through paper shredders could damage the chip). But they’re also a status symbol that may appeal to some consumers.

Aesthetics

Metal cards are eye-catching and can make a statement at the cash register. They’re also typically heavier and sturdier than their plastic counterparts, which some consumers see as a plus. Additionally, metal cards often come with premium perks and benefits, such as airport lounge access or elevated status with car rental and hotel brands.

While the Centurion Card from American Express* is still a well-known example of a metal credit card, there are many more options available to consumers these days. In fact, several premium credit card issuers offer metal cards to their top-tier clients. In order to receive a metal card, consumers will need to meet certain minimum income requirements. Depending on the card, this can range from S$30,000 to S$500,000, and will include additional tiers for higher amounts of income.

For a more affordable option, there are also a number of third-party services that can convert a standard plastic debit or credit card into a metal version for a fee. However, these converted metal cards typically don’t qualify for contactless payments because they lack the necessary chip and antennae. To truly benefit from the advantages of a metal card, customers will need to pay the additional fee to have one with both chip and contactless functionality. This can be a worthwhile investment for many consumers, as it will allow them to fully enjoy the benefits of metal cards.

Durability

While they look sleek and sturdy, metal cards are not indestructible. Over time, they can bend and snap, and the metal can wear away from repeated use or even from being run through a washing machine. They are also heavier than plastic credit cards, which can be a burden for some cardholders.

Typically, metal credit cards are more exclusive Metal Card than their plastic counterparts and require excellent or great credit for approval. Some, like The American Express Centurion or Mastercard Black, are only available by invitation and come with high annual fees. Others, such as the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege Card and CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card, are more accessible to a wider range of creditworthy consumers.

In terms of functionality, however, there is no significant difference between using a metal credit card and a plastic one. A credit card still has to be swiped, tapped and used for payments, and a cardholder will still have access to the same benefits such as travel statement credits, free airport lounge access and elite status in loyalty programs.

If you do decide to choose a metal credit card, be sure to look at the welcome bonus, earn rate and annual fee as well as any other features such as security measures, to make sure it is an appropriate fit for your financial needs. Likewise, if you have a plastic credit card and want to convert it to metal, consider carefully the cost, as doing so can lead to a hard inquiry on your credit report.

Convenience

Metal credit cards are often more expensive than their plastic counterparts, but they also tend to come with premium perks. These can include airport lounge access, concierge assistance and elevated status with hotel brands and car rental companies. They may also feature a high welcome bonus and extra travel protections, such as lost or stolen card coverage and trip delay insurance.

Compared to plastic cards, metal credit cards are sturdier. But they are still more likely to bend or snap than other types of cards, and they can sometimes set off airport metal detectors. Additionally, they can be difficult to use in some situations because they are thicker and may not fit in older credit card terminals.

Despite their cons, some consumers consider metal credit cards a good choice for them. Some like the luxury feel of their weight and thickness, while others appreciate that metal credit cards usually have a higher level of durability than other cards. It’s important to assess all aspects of a card, including rewards programs and extra benefits, before choosing it. However, while you should never choose a credit card based solely on its looks, the fact that a metal credit card offers an enhanced level of durability might make it worth the higher annual fee for some people. Also, some metal cards can be difficult to destroy properly, and you will need to bring it to your credit card issuer if you no longer want it.

Security

A metal credit card is a sleek, durable card that looks great and can make a statement about the owner’s financial status. They also feature added security features like embedded chips that protect against counterfeiting, and many come with zero liability protection against unauthorized charges.

While the high price tag for a Metal Card metal card may have originally limited them to top bank clients, innovations in production have allowed some issuers to offer cards at a moderate cost. Some cards are even available to the mass affluent, with a range of designs and options to suit any lifestyle.

Besides their superior durability, the major advantage of a metal credit card is that it’s impossible to damage or lose. Plastic cards can easily be bent or snapped, and their printed information fades with use. A metal credit card is virtually indestructible and won’t crack or break, even if you drop it in water or run it through the washing machine.

However, a metal credit card does have a downside: it’s much harder to destroy when the account expires or you close it. While some third-party companies will convert a plastic card into metal for a fee, this could compromise the security measures of the original card. Furthermore, it’s typically illegal to shred metal credit cards, and most carry warnings that they can damage shredders.

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