They were initially made of plastic and had a simple design, but over time, credit card issuers have introduced new designs and materials to create more exclusive and prestigious cards. One such type of credit card is the metal credit card.
What is a Metal Credit Card?
A metal card is a type of credit card that is made of metal rather than plastic. The card is typically made of materials such as stainless steel or titanium, which gives it a more luxurious and exclusive feel. Metal credit cards are often heavier than plastic cards, and they have a different texture and sound when swiped or inserted into a payment terminal.
One of the most significant differences between a metal credit card and a regular credit card is the annual fee. Metal credit cards often come with a higher annual fee than plastic cards. This is because metal credit cards typically offer more exclusive benefits and rewards to their cardholders. For example, some metal credit cards may offer premium travel benefits, such as airport lounge access or complimentary hotel stays.
Another significant difference between metal credit cards and regular credit cards is the credit limit. Metal credit cards often have a higher credit limit than plastic cards. This is because metal credit cards are typically reserved for people with excellent credit scores and high income levels. The higher credit limit allows cardholders to make larger purchases and enjoy more significant benefits.
One of the benefits of having a metal credit card is the exclusivity and status it provides. Metal credit cards are often associated with luxury and prestige, and having one can signal to others that you have a high income level and excellent credit score. Some metal credit cards also come with concierge services, which can help cardholders with tasks such as booking travel or finding event tickets.
Another benefit of having a metal credit card is the added durability. Metal credit cards are more durable than plastic cards and are less likely to crack or break. This can be particularly useful for people who use their credit card frequently or for those who travel frequently.
History of Metal Credit Cards
Metal credit cards are a relatively recent innovation in the world of credit cards. The first metal credit card was introduced by American Express in 1999, and it was called the Centurion Card or the "Black Card."
The Centurion Card was initially offered to American Express's most elite customers, who spent at least $250,000 a year on their Amex cards. The card was made of anodized titanium and had a black finish, giving it a sleek and exclusive appearance. The card came with a hefty annual fee of $1,000 and offered a range of exclusive benefits and rewards, such as personal concierge service, airport lounge access, and travel benefits.
The success of the Centurion Card prompted other credit card companies to introduce their own metal credit cards. JPMorgan Chase introduced the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card in 2011, which was made of stainless steel and offered premium travel benefits and rewards. In 2016, JPMorgan Chase launched the J.P. Morgan Reserve Card, made of palladium and 23-karat gold, which had an annual fee of $595 and offered a range of exclusive benefits.
In recent years, metal credit cards have become more mainstream, with issuers offering metal versions of their popular cards. For example, American Express now offers metal versions of its Platinum Card and Gold Card, while Chase offers metal versions of its Sapphire Preferred and Sapphire Reserve Cards.
The Pros and Cons of Metal Credit Cards
When it comes to credit cards, the material they're made of might not be the most important factor to consider. However, if you're thinking about applying for a metal credit card, it's important to weigh the pros and cons first. While factors like APR, bonuses, and rewards should still take priority, here are a few things to keep in mind about metal credit cards.
One of the most obvious benefits of metal credit cards is their durability. Unlike plastic cards, which can easily bend or snap, metal cards are sturdier and can withstand accidental damage better. They're also less likely to have the printed information fade over time. While they're not completely indestructible, metal cards have a higher chance of surviving an accidental trip through the washing machine or other mishaps.
Metal credit cards also have a luxurious feel that some people appreciate. Whether it's the surprise factor of using an unusual card or the sleek look and feel of the metal, many credit card users enjoy the added sense of prestige that comes with a metal card.
However, there are also a few downsides to consider. While metal credit cards are sturdier, this also means that they can be harder to dispose of. Unlike plastic cards that can easily be cut up or shredded, metal cards may require special handling or even be returned to the issuer for secure destruction.
Another potential con is that metal credit cards may set off metal detectors, depending on the sensitivity of the detector. While this is not usually an issue at airport security checkpoints, it's something to keep in mind when traveling or visiting places with metal detectors.
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One such card is the American Express or Amex card. Unlike Visa, Mastercard, and Discover, which all have a three-digit CVV, Amex cards have a four-digit code printed on the front of the card, above the...