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What is a metal credit card, and do you need one?

Vidhu Bajaj avatar
Vidhu Bajaj
- 4 min read
What is a metal credit card, and do you need one?

For many people, a metal credit card signifies prestige and wealth. These cards not only look and feel premium in your hand but often also offer extra privileges such as accelerated reward points and premium travel benefits. However, they usually come with higher fees and may not provide any practical value for most people. 

Instead of being swayed by the looks, make sure you compare the costs and benefits associated with a metal credit card before you consider applying for one. Several other types of credit cards are available in the market, and it's best to choose one that fits your spending habits and financial goals rather than picking one for its looks or weight!

What are metal credit cards, and how do they differ from regular credit cards?

Metal credit cards are made of metal instead of plastic, making them heavier and more durable than plastic credit cards. While they work just like plastic cards, some metal credit cards may also offer additional benefits, such as higher credit limits and premium rewards programs.

Is there any benefit of owning a metal credit card?

The benefits of owning a metal credit card are mainly subjective. Many people associate metal credit cards with luxury and may consider them a premium accessory for their wallets. 

Some may even argue that metal cards are more environmentally friendly than plastic. However, this isn’t exactly accurate. While metal cards may be more durable and long-lasting, having expiry dates on credit cards means you’ll not get long-lasting benefits. In fact, rather than being able to hold onto the card for longer because it lasts longer, you’ll have it replaced just as much as a plastic credit card due to the expiry date and security.

As metal cards are often top-tier credit cards, they’ll often be associated with exclusive privileges and rewards that complement their luxurious status. While these perks may sound tempting, remember that nothing comes for free in the world of credit. 

While some metal credit cards may offer unique benefits and rewards, they usually come with higher annual fees and interest rates. Remember to evaluate the benefits you get from these cards compared to what you pay before signing up for one. 

Who can apply for a metal credit card?

Metal credit cards are typically offered to high-end customers who meet certain income and credit score criteria. Some of the most exclusive credit cards, such as the American Express Centurion and JPMorgan Reserve Card (formerly Chase Palladium), may not even be accessible to the general public and are invite-only. However, a few luxury credit cards in Australia don't require an invite to be eligible.

If you're searching for a metal card, there are a few options you could explore, include:

Amex Platinum:

This swanky metal card by AMEX is actually a charge card. That means the card has no pre-set spending limit, but you must pay off the balance in full each month. You need a personal income of at least $100,000 to qualify for this card, and you'll pay $1,450 in annual fees.

Qantas Premier Titanium:

A premium metal credit card by Qantas that promises to make your journeys more rewarding. It offers exclusive discounts on eligible Qantas flights and complimentary invitations to the Qantas First Lounge, among other things. To be eligible, you need to be earning at least $200,000 annually, and the annual fee for the card is $1,200.

If metal is not for you, but a premium credit card is what you're after, you may want to consider exploring black credit cards offered by some card issuers in Australia.

Is a metal credit card the right choice for you?

Deciding if a metal credit card is right for you is a personal decision that depends on individual circumstances. You’ll also have to look into whether you’re eligible for any of the metal credit cards. Beyond being eligible, you also need to consider the costs. While the substantial weight and distinctive sound of metal credit cards may seem tempting, the cost of owning one may not justify the benefits for some. This is especially true if you’re trying to keep your ongoing costs low. 

Even if you can afford a credit card with higher costs, remember to compare your options and assess the value you get from a card compared to its costs before signing up. For those who don't meet the eligibility criteria for premium cards, exploring low-rate options could be helpful. These cards typically have lower income requirements and may better fit your financial situation. A low-rate card with a lower spending limit could also be a suitable option for those searching for their first credit card, as it can help you build good credit habits while avoiding excessive debt.

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Product database updated 23 Jul, 2024

This article was reviewed by Personal Finance Editor Peter Terlato before it was published as part of RateCity's Fact Check process.