Metal credit cards are cool. Come on, you know it’s true! It’s hard to beat that clank as you throw down your card while checking out. Everyone notices.
Metal cards seem exclusive to ultra-elite cards or even those mysterious, invitation only black cards. But don’t let that stop you. They don’t need to be a status symbol reserved only for the wealthy. Anyone can get one.
Many major credit card companies, including Citi, Capital One, American Express and Chase, now offer metal credit cards. Their annual fees and benefits vary widely, meaning that just about anyone can afford one. But which card should you get?
Here are my picks for the hottest metal credit cards of 2018.
Best All-Around Metal Card: The Affordable and Flexible Capital One Venture
Versatile rewards and the sleek blue metal card show why the Venture card from Capital One deserves its popular status among cardholders. Plus, it’s among the cheapest metal cards available at just $95 a year. And that’s waived the first year.
Unlike most of the cards on our list, the rewards you earn with the Venture card are super easy to use. Just buy the travel you want from any travel provider and redeem miles for statement credits to cover the cost.
There are no blackout dates, no limits and no special travel partners or portals to worry about.
The earning structure is rewarding and super simple, too. You’ll earn double miles for every purchase, every day.
With this Capital One metal card, you will be reimbursed for the cost of Global Entry or TSA PreCheck membership, something you won’t get with many cards at this price point. You’ll also get lucrative bonus, when you sign up and spend minimum required amount in three months.
Capital One has a partnership with Hotels.com so if you like to book through Hotels.com, you’ll get an incredible rewards miles through hotels.com/venture. Just sign up for the Hotels.com Rewards program and use your Venture card to book a room.
Overall, it’s incredibly easy to earn and use miles with this metal card from Capital One.
Great for Hotel Stays: Citi Prestige
The Citi Prestige MasterCard is often overlooked when people talk about premium travel cards. While not as flashy as the Sapphire Reserve or as prestigious as the Amex Platinum, the Prestige has its place thanks to its outstanding fourth night free benefit.
With that perk, you’ll get a free fourth night at virtually any hotel after booking four consecutive nights through the ThankYou program. There’s no limit to this benefit, so if you often stay for four or more nights at hotels, this can really pay off.
To round out the hotel benefit, you’ll earn triple points for all hotel purchases, plus for airfare. This metal card also earns double points for dining and entertainment.
In addition to being able to transfer those points to a variety of airline partners, you can buy travel directly through the ThankYou portal and get a 25% bonus. You’ll also get an annual $250 air travel credit that can be used for bag fees, upgrades and, most importantly, airline tickets. If you fly just once a year, you’ll easily use this credit.
And don’t forget the free Priority Pass lounge access and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement.
Unfortunately, this card doesn’t currently have a sign-up bonus. But Citi does periodically offer a promotional bonus, so it might be worth waiting if you can.
You may be balking at the $450 annual fee. That’s understandable, but you have to consider everything that comes with this card. You can easily cover that if you use all of the benefits.
Best Metal Card for Lounge Access: The Platinum Card from American Express
Although the card itself isn’t made out of platinum, it’s still metal. And the name is a giveaway for how much American Express offers with the Platinum card. It is the original premium card, but don’t let that fool you. Amex keeps upping its benefits, so it continues to be the best premium card on the market.
While the annual fee is steep (Amex increased it from $450 to $550 in 2017), you won’t find a card with more to offer. It’s the perfect companion for any traveler. I love my Platinum card.
To start, every year you have the card you’ll get $200 in Uber rides and a $200 airline credit. The airline credit can be used for bag fees, change fees, in-flight purchases and more. That alone covers $400 of the annual fee.
The card includes a credit for either TSA PreCheck or Global Entry application fees. It also comes with complimentary elite status with a slew of partners, include Hilton and Starwood hotels and a variety of rental car companies. Getting 5x points for airfare isn’t bad either.
But really the best thing about this card is its unbeatable airport lounge benefit. Not only will you get access to Priority Pass lounges and Delta Sky Clubs, but you’ll also get into the elite (and very swanky) Centurion Lounges. Not only do they offer celebrity chef created menus and exclusive cocktails, but, depending on the location, they also include spa services, wine bars, showers, family rooms and more.
Best Metal Business Card: The Business Platinum From American Express
I know it seems a little cheap to follow up the Amex Platinum card with the Business Platinum, but it really is the best metal business card. It’s nearly identical to the personal Platinum, though there are a few key differences.
First, it currently has an offer for a huge 100,000-point sign-up bonus. The catch is that you have to spend a total of $25,000 in three months to get the full bonus. You’ll earn 50,000 points after spending $10,000, and another 50,000 after spending $15,000 more.
If you can do that, jump on this offer now.
Next, you’ll get a 35% points refund when you redeem for any first or business class flight or for any class with your preferred airline. Plus, all purchases over $5,000 earn 1.5X points, instead of the standard 1X points.
You know have to give something up for that, right? You lose the $200 Uber credit. On the bright side, this Amex Platinum metal card costs $100 less, at $450 a year.
Best Cashback Metal Card: Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
This is the only true cashback card on our list. And avid Amazon Prime shoppers will love the sleek look of this metal card, as well as the excellent reward rate for purchases made with the retailer.
You’ll earn an impressive 5% cash back at Amazon and Whole Foods all the time, not just periodically. This isn’t a special rotating bonus category. The card also gives you 2% cash back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.
Redemptions are simple, too: 100 points equals $1 in rewards. Your Amazon card’s rewards can be easily redeemed at the Amazon checkout or as cash back or gift cards.
There is no annual fee for this card, making it one of the most accessible metal cards available this year. However, you have to be an Amazon Prime member to get this version of the card. Non-Prime members get the standard version of the Amazon Rewards card, which isn’t metal.
The Original Metal Card: Chase Sapphire Reserve
The original metal card for the masses, the Sapphire Reserve was so popular leading up to its debut in 2016 that Chase ran out of the metal to make the cards. The banking giant approved thousands of initial applications, with cardholders loving the big sign-up bonus, fantastic benefits and sleek metal card.
The Sapphire Reserve, sometimes referred to as the Chase Black card, is still one of the most popular metal cards today. This Chase metal card is especially good for travelers, with many perks that will make your trips more comfortable and rewarding.
You’ll get 50,000 bonus Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 within your first three months.The perks don’t stop there. You’ll also get:
- An annual $300 credit toward any travel purchase
- Free Priority Pass lounge access for you and two guests
- 3x Ultimate Rewards points for travel and dining
- 50% bonus for points redeemed for travel through the Ultimate Rewards website
- Global Entry/TSA PreCheck fee reimbursement
- Ability to transfer points to several airline and hotel partners
- No foreign transaction fees
I know the $450 annual fee may scare some of you away from applying for this Chase metal card. But trust me, if you travel, you can easily get your money’s worth.
An Affordable Alternative: Chase Sapphire Preferred
At just $95 (waived the first year), this card offers a 50,000-point bonus and double points for travel and dining. Gone is the lounge access, travel credit and Global Entry reimbursement.
You will still get a bonus for purchases made through the Ultimate Rewards Travel portal, though it will be just 25% instead of 50%. That means you’ll get 1.25 cents per point.
A Metal Card for Hotels: The Ritz-Carlton Credit Card
The Ritz-Carlton card isn’t near the bottom of my list because it isn’t good. It’s because it will only appeal to a limited number of people. In short, you have to stay at Ritz-Carlton properties regularly to get much out of this card. If you do, this is a great option.
The Ritz card is another premium offering, meaning it has a big annual fee and lots of perks. It costs $450 a year, but you’ll get an annual $300 credit that can be used for bag fees, seat upgrades, lounge access and more.
The other major annual benefit is 3 upgrades to the Ritz-Carlton Club level for stays of up to 7 nights. As a sign-up bonus, you’ll get 2 complimentary nights at any Ritz-Carlton tiers 1-4 if you spend $4,000 within your first three months.
It also comes with the standard premium benefits, including Priority Pass lounge access, a fee reimbursement for Global Entry and elite status with select car rental companies.
The earning structure for the Ritz card isn’t bad. You’ll get 5 points per dollar at Ritz and Starwood properties and 2 points per dollar for airfare, rental cars and dining out. There are several redemption options, but the best use is for hotel stays at Ritz-Carlton or Marriott properties. You’ll get rather poor rates for other types of redemptions.
Best Metal Airline Card: United MileagePlus Club Card
Like the Ritz-Carlton card, the United MileagePlus Club card will only appeal to a limited number of people. If you don’t often fly on United, you won’t get much out of this card. It will be hard to justify it’s big annual fee.
If you do use United at least a few times a year, and you’re searching for a way to make a little more out of those experiences, this metal card could work for you.
You’ll get United Club lounge access, 2 free checked bags per flight and Premier Access travel services at the airport (including priority check-in, security screening, boarding and baggage handling).
The card also includes Discoverist elite status with Hyatt and Hertz Gold Plus Rewards President’s Circle status.
You’ll earn 2 miles per dollar with United and 1.5 miles per dollar everywhere else. The 50,000-mile sign-up bonus isnt’ bad either. However,
If you’ve been wanting one of those impressive metal credit cards for your wallet, there’s no time like the present! There are a lot of metal cards from a variety of issuers, including Citi, Amex, Capital One and Chase.
Options include excellent