Metal cards, which are regularly made with stainless steel or titanium and can include brass, palladium and even gold, are often associated with exclusivity and luxury. According to Nilson Report, a card and mobile payment publication, there were over 32 million metal credit cards in circulation worldwide in a recent year, an increase from around five million cards five years earlier. Nilson predicted that the number of metal cards would quadruple by the end of 2021. So how can you get a hold of a metal card in Australia?
Are there really metal credit cards?
Yes, there are metal credit cards available in Australia and around the world. The history of metal cards can be traced back to 1999 when American Express launched its invite-only Centurion Card, also known as the Amex Black Card. Later, more credit card providers began releasing metal cards. In fact, in 2016 when the Chase Sapphire Reserve Credit Card was released in the United States, demand was so high that Chase ran out of metal and had to temporarily send customers plastic versions of the card. Apple also notably released its own titanium Apple Card in the US in 2019. This card is not yet available in Australia.
Who offers metal credit cards in Australia?
There are a few providers offering metal credit cards and other types of metal cards in Australia, including American Express, Qantas and Revolut.
American Express metal cards
The Amex Platinum Card is made of metal. It is a charge card, meaning it has no pre-set spending limit, but customers are required to pay off the balance in full each month. The card offers benefits like the ability to earn Membership Rewards Points, which can be transferred to airline partner programs like Qantas Frequent Flyer and Velocity Frequent Flyer, and other benefits like access to airport lounges. To apply for an Amex Platinum Card, you currently must have an annual income of $100,000 or more and a $1,450 annual fee applies.
Amex also offers the Centurion Card, which is made of anodised titanium. As previously mentioned, it is an invite-only card and you can’t apply for the card on Amex’s website. The exact eligibility requirements and benefits are also not published by Amex, but it is thought to be reserved for those with high incomes who are spending a large amount on their card each year.
Qantas metal cards
Qantas offers the Qantas Premier Titanium Card. The credit card offers benefits like the ability to earn Qantas Points per dollar spent, discounts on eligible Qantas flights and Qantas First Lounge invitations. To apply for a Qantas Premier Titanium Card, you currently need an annual income of $200,000 or more. The annual fee is currently $1,200.
Revolut metal cards
Money transfer and exchange company, Revolut, offers the Revolut Metal card. It is a contactless debit card that allows you to make purchases in various currencies at the interbank exchange rate. Other benefits include the ability to earn up to 1% cashback in any supported currency. Revolut says the card is made from a single sheet of reinforced steel and weighs 18 grams. The Revolut Metal card is available for customers in Australia.
Custom metal cards
There are also some companies that will transfer your existing debit or credit card to a metal card. Metal credit cards have been popping up on TikTok. Notably, there is Carbon Co Skins, an Australian-based custom metal credit and debit card company, which has amassed over one million followers and 13 million likes on the platform at the time of writing. The cards don’t come cheap – a metal card with a pre-made design currently sets you back $150 – but it may be something to consider if you are simply after the look and feel of a metal card and want to keep your existing card. However, unlike the other metal cards mentioned, you will not be able to make contactless payments.
What are the benefits of a metal credit card?
Metal credit cards are likely to be more durable than the average plastic credit card. However, this can present somewhat of an issue when it comes to destroying your card. Destroying a plastic credit card is usually as simple as grabbing a pair of scissors and cutting it in half. With metal credit cards, you may need to contact your credit card provider and send it back to them to be destroyed.
Aside from that, the benefits of a metal credit card are probably mostly aesthetic and subjective, such as the sense of luxury they can give. Some people may prefer metal credit cards for their sleek design and weighty feel. There’s also the unique sound that metal cards make when they hit the table. For some customers that clang is critical.
“I’ve had calls with customers in Asia, where they will want us to drop a card on the desk or the table so they can hear it over the phone, and get a sense of what it sounds like,” Jon Wilk, CEO of luxury credit card manufacturing company CompoSecure told Robb Report.
At Canstar, we don’t recommend customers choose a credit card simply because of the way it looks, feels or sounds. It’s more important to consider factors like the interest rate, fees and features on offer, as well as your personal circumstances and needs. If the card happens to be made of metal, that could be a nice added bonus.
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