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Published April 4, 2022

Black and Metal Credit Cards in Canada Explained

Black credit cards are exclusive and require an invitation before you can apply. Metal credit cards aren’t as exclusive as they used to be — today, they’re just made out of metal and are slightly heavier than traditional credit cards.

Not many people think about the physical appearance of credit cards. However, once you see a black or metal credit card in Canada, you might start wondering what they’re all about and how to get one. These credit cards are pretty prestigious and can come with benefits that will make you feel like a VIP. What may surprise you is that some of these exclusive cards aren’t actually that hard to get.

What is a black card?

Generally speaking, when people talk about a black card in Canada, they’re usually referring to the American Express Centurion Card. It’s not advertised anywhere on the American Express website, but it definitely exists in Canada. This is American Express’s most exclusive card, and it’s by invitation only.

How to get that invitation is a closely guarded secret. The rumour is that you need to spend at least $500,000 per year on an American Express Platinum Card just to be considered. In addition, there’s supposedly a high one-time fee (rumoured to be in the thousands) and an annual fee that’s in the four-digit range. Getting an invitation is serious business, as you could potentially join an elite group.

What makes the Black Card so prestigious is its list of benefits, although it’s tough to confirm the specifics. Some of the perks you can apparently enjoy as a cardholder include:

  • 24/7 concierge service
  • Premier status at various brands of hotels
  • Premier status at multiple rental car agencies
  • Exclusive hotel and shopping offers
  • Unlimited airport lounge access
  • Discounts and upgrades through the International Airline Program
  • VIP airport arrival services at select airports

The Black Card focuses on luxury experiences and benefits, which is what makes the program so exclusive. The earn rate is supposedly not the most impressive, but when you’re spending $500,000+ a year, earning points won’t be an issue.

What is a metal credit card?

Metal credit cards in Canada are another type of prestigious credit card. Functionally they’re no different from regular credit cards, but they’re made out of metal and are slightly heavier than traditional credit cards. While some people may not care what material their credit card is made of, you might enjoy some bragging rights when you put your metal credit card on the table to pay when out with friends.

In the past, metal cards were exclusive in Canada and only available to select clients with premium banking packages. However, these days, several different premium credit cards are made out of metal. There’s even a prepaid card that you can upgrade to a metal version for a fee.

» MORE: How to apply for a credit card

Are metal credit cards worth it?

Although more metal credit cards are available than ever before, there are still only a few choices available. When deciding which one is right for you, consider the benefits, potential earnings and annual fee.

While having a metal card can offer some clout, you shouldn’t pick a card based on the materials it’s made of. Always take a look at the welcome bonus, earn rate, benefits and annual fee before deciding which credit card is right for you.

» MORE: How to choose the best credit card for you

About the Author

Barry Choi
Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a personal finance and travel expert. His website is one of Canada's most trusted sites when it comes to all things related to money and travel. You can reach him on Twitter: @barrychoi.


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