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Weighing the best (and heaviest) metal credit cards

Metal credit cards can be seen as a status symbol, but do they also symbolize the strongest rewards?

Summary

After the introduction of the first titanium credit card, the Centurion® Card from American Express, in 1999, other luxury credit cards quickly took notice of the potential beyond extra durability. A deck of the heaviest credit cards became a status symbol, boasted only by the thickest wallets. In…

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After the introduction of the first titanium credit card, the Centurion® Card from American Express, in 1999, other luxury credit cards quickly took notice of the potential beyond extra durability. A deck of the heaviest credit cards became a status symbol, boasted only by the thickest wallets.

In the years since, the metal credit card craze has picked up enough steam that you don’t need deep pockets to make room for a metal card. There are even a few metal credit cards with no annual fee worth considering. Nowadays, the question isn’t just “how to get a metal credit card,” but also “are metal credit cards worth it?”

The best metal credit card is always the one that fits your budget and rewards your spending the most, but if deep down what you really want is to flex a hefty card after dinner, we’ve also listed the weight of our top cards.

See related: What are the most exclusive credit cards?

The Business Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for small-businesses owners

Weight: 18.8g

Besides being the heaviest card on our list (and perhaps the heaviest American Express metal card), the Business Platinum Card is also one of the most rewarding business credit cards on the market.

Your purchases can earn a whopping 5X points on prepaid flights and hotels booked through amextravel.com, plus 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points per year; 1X points on all other purchases).

On top of its high-yield reward rates, this Amex business metal card offers a wealth of travel protections, annual credits and elite hotel loyalty status upgrades. Jetsetters will also love its 35% bonus points back (on up to 500,000 points per calendar year) when you Pay with Points for eligible airfare. If you need a card to take on your business travels, the stainless-steel Business Platinum Card can withstand the miles.

Take a closer look:

  • 100,000 American Express Membership Rewards points after spending $15,000 on eligible purchases with your card in the first three months
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels via amextravel.com
  • 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000 or more (up to 1 million additional points annually)
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • $595 annual fee

Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card: Best for flat-rate travel rewards

Weight: 16.46g

Capital One’s flagship credit card is also its heaviest metal card. If travel rewards cards with lots of moving parts aren’t your speed, the Venture Rewards card is as streamlined as it is sleek. You can rake in unlimited 2X miles on all purchases without breaking the bank thanks to its $95 annual fee.

Unfortunately, the card’s other features leave a bit to be desired. Aside from the Capital One travel transfer partners that improve the flexibility of your miles and the up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check application fee credit (which comes standard for many travel cards), you won’t get many value-boosting perks. But if you’re looking for a well-rounded metal rewards card, it doesn’t get much easier than the Venture card.

Take a closer look:

  • 60,000 bonus miles after spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months.
  • Unlimited 2X miles on all purchases
  • More than 15+ airline and hotel travel transfer partners
  • $95 annual fee

Apple Card: Best for Apple Pay users

Weight: 14.75g

The Apple Card* sticks to its brand’s minimalist aesthetic with a laser-etched, white titanium credit card. But if you’re looking into a metal finish for its hardy qualities, Apple’s card isn’t a shining example.

Since its release, the Apple card has been known to scratch easily and permanently discolor just from your fingerprints, wallet or jeans. Plus, you’ll only earn rewards in its 2% and 3% reward categories by using Apple Pay, so you probably won’t get the opportunity to flaunt its design like you would with other cards.

We’ve also found that unless you’re a die-hard Apple fan, the Apple Card is less rewarding than other metal credit cards because of its niche bonus categories. Its novel design, mobile wallet focus and no-fee approach are very appealing, but scant features outside its specialized reward categories make the Apple card a valuable opportunity mainly for its core audience.

Take a closer look:

  • Occasional sign-up bonuses
  • 3% cash back on Apple purchases
  • 3% cash back on T-Mobile store, Panera Bread, Exxon/Mobil, Walgreens, Nike and Uber and Uber Eats purchases with Apple Pay
  • 2% cash back on all other Apply Pay purchases
  • 1% on all purchases with your physical card
  • No fees

American Express® Gold Card: Best for dining and U.S. supermarkets

Weight: 14.73g

If you want an Amex metal card with the Midas touch, then the Gold Card is a perfect match. Its gold-plated exterior is a good bit lighter than its sibling (the $695 annual fee Platinum Card® from American Express weighs in at 18.6g), but the Gold Card is worth its weight for cardholders that spend more on groceries and restaurants than flights.

See related: Amex Gold vs. Amex Platinum

The Gold Card earns a remarkable 4X points on restaurants and groceries at U.S. supermarkets (up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1X), plus 3X points on flights booked directly with the airline or via amextravel.com.

Foodies have even more to love since the dining rewards also cover eligible services like Uber Eats. You can also sink your teeth into up to $120 each year in monthly dining credits for participating merchants, up to $120 in monthly Uber Cash each year ($10 monthly credits) and 12 months of complimentary Uber Eats Pass (must enroll by Dec. 31, 2021; Uber Eats Pass will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment in this offer, at then-current monthly rate). These benefits and excellent reward rates can help you easily offset the $250 annual fee.

For those that think gold is a little gauche, there’s another Amex Gold Card metal finish to choose from. American Express has brought back the previously limited-edition Rose Gold design, which wraps the same great Amex Gold card features in a rosy tint. With both of these options available to current cardholders and newcomers, the Gold Card is one of Amex’s best-looking metal cards.

Take a closer look:

  • 60,000 American Express Membership points after spending $4,000 on your new card in your first six months
  • 4X points at restaurants, including eligible takeout delivery services
  • 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1X)
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with the airline or through amextravel.com
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • Over roughly $500 in credits within the first year
  • $250 annual fee

Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card: Best for online shopping

Weight: 13g

There’s hardly any competition for loyal Amazon Prime members: The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card* is the best card for Amazon.com purchases.

Not only will this metal-plated credit card help you maximize your Amazon cash back with 5% rewards on website purchases, but you’ll also earn 5% back on Whole Food Market purchases and 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores.

Since the Amazon Prime Rewards card is handy for several solid categories and perks outside the Amazon brand, it sets itself apart from other online shopping cards. Its Visa Signature status comes with valuable features that may not be common for retail cards, including Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and Concierge Service benefits along with several purchase and travel protections.

Take a closer look:

  • Choice of $70 Amazon.com gift card upon approval, or a $100 statement credit after spending $100 at Whole Foods within the first 12 months
  • 5% rewards on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases
  • 2% rewards on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases
  • 1% rewards on all other purchases
  • Requires an Amazon Prime membership to apply ($119 per year)
  • No annual fee

Chase Sapphire Reserve®: Best for travel

Weight: 12.41g

It’s almost a given for elite travel cards to be made of metal since they symbolize each issuer’s cream-of-the-cards, and the Sapphire Reserve is no exception. Not only does it carry a lower annual fee than the American Express Platinum, but it may also be the better choice for travel considering its wider coverage of travel categories.

See related: Amex Platinum vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

The Sapphire Reserve also takes the cake when it comes to reward flexibility. Thanks to the Chase Ultimate Rewards program, the 3X points you earn on dining, travel and grocery store purchases (up to $1,000 per month until April 30, 2021) gain a 50% boost when redeemed toward Chase travel and can even be worth over 2 cents apiece with the right transfer partner.

Once you consider the rich platter of travel benefits, annual credits and Ultimate Reward card combinations, the Sapphire Reserve offers some of the best travel reward opportunities on the market.

Take a closer look:

  • 60,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points after spending $4,000 on purchases within the first three months
  • 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services) and travel
  • 3X points on up to $1,000 of grocery store purchases per month (until April 30, 2021)
  • 10X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • 50% bonus point value when redeemed for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards
  • $550 annual fee

Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card: Best for no annual fee

Weight: 10g

The Wells Fargo Propel card* is already a top contender on many “best no annual fee card” lists, but its smooth alloy finish could be the cherry on top. The card earns unlimited 3X Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards points across a range of popular categories, including dining, gas stations, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays, car rentals and popular streaming services.

With no annual fee and no foreign transaction fees, the extra benefits offer even more to love about the Propel card. Paying certain purchases with your card can unlock benefits like lost luggage reimbursement and cellphone protection (up to $600 per theft or damage claim, up to 2 claims per year, when you pay your cellphone bill with the card). Plus, if you’re switching cards or you have a big purchase coming up, the 0% intro APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers (made within the first 120 days) will keep interest at bay for an entire 12 months (then 14.49% to 24.99% variable).

Take a closer look:

  • 20,000 Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards points after spending $1,000 on purchases within the first three months
  • 3X points on dining
  • 3X points on travel, including gas stations, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • 3X points on popular streaming services
  • 1X points on all other purchases
  • Solid perks, including cellphone protection and an introductory APR on purchases and qualifying balance transfers
  • No annual fee

Comparing the best metal credit cards

CardWeight (grams)Reward ratesAnnual fee
The Business Platinum Card® from American Express

 

 18.8g
  • 5X points on flights and prepaid hotels via amextravel.com
  • 1.5X points on eligible purchases of $5,000+ (up to 1 million additional points annually)
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$595
Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card

 

 16.46g
  • 2X miles on all purchases
$95
Apple Credit Card*

 

14.75g
  • 3% cash back on Apple purchases
  • 3% cash back on T-Mobile store, Panera Bread, Exxon/Mobil, Walgreens, Nike and Uber and Uber Eats purchases with Apple Pay
  • 2% cash back on all other Apple Pay purchases
  • 1% on all purchases with your physical card
$0
American Express® Gold Card

 

14.73g
  • 4X points on restaurants, including eligible delivery services
  • 4X points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 in purchases per year, then 1X)
  • 3X points on flights booked directly with the airline or through amextravel.com
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$250
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card*

 

13g
  • 5% rewards on Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market purchases
  • 2% rewards on restaurant, gas station and drug store purchases
  • 1% rewards on all other purchases
$0 (Amazon Prime membership required)
Chase Sapphire Reserve®

 

12.41g
  • 3X points on dining (including eligible delivery services) and travel
  • 3X points on up to $1,000 of grocery store purchases per month (until April 30, 2021)
  • 10X points on Lyft rides (through March 2022)
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$550
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card*

 

10g
  • 3X points on dining
  • 3X points on travel, including gas stations, rideshares, transit, flights, hotels, homestays and car rentals
  • 3X points on popular streaming services
  • 1X points on all other purchases
$0

If you truly want the extra heft and flash that only a true status symbol credit card can bring, there are a few options beyond these cards, but the actual value and accessibility may be limited unless you’re richer than rich.

The bottom rung of this tier may be the Luxury Card brand, which includes the 22-gram, 24K gold-plated Mastercard® Gold Card™ that asks a $995 annual fee. The most elite credit cards are invitation-only, including the mythical Amex Black Card and the 27-gram J.P. Morgan Reserve – perhaps the heaviest known credit card. Above those, there are even diamond-encrusted and pearl-inlaid luxury credit cards.

How to get a metal credit card

Getting your hands on a metal credit card isn’t any different than applying for a normal credit card. Metal cards can be found across a variety of credit card types, not just travel or luxury cards like in the early days of titanium Amex Centurion Card. They’re more accessible than ever, but you’ll typically need good to excellent credit (or a FICO score of at least 670) to qualify.

Bottom line

At the end of the day, the choice between a standard plastic credit card and a metal card comes down to either coincidence or personal taste.

Many cards are metal by default – especially high-end cards – but the practical benefits of having a card made of metal are limited. Aside from its extra durability, a credit card made of metal may be most appealing as a statement piece, offering some extra gravity when you toss it on the table.

Ultimately, however, a credit card is meant to be a practical financial tool. The best credit card – metal or plastic –  is the one that compliments your spending and comes with features that reward you well beyond its annual fee.

*All information about the Apple Credit Card, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature card and Wells Fargo Propel American Express card has been collected independently by CreditCards.com and has not been reviewed by the issuer.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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