Metal credit cards feel cool and sleek in the hand — and often garner attention when used to make a purchase — but is there anything worthwhile behind the design?
For some consumers, yes. Metal credit cards tend to offer premium benefits in addition to their modern look. The catch? Steep annual income requirements may prevent many from qualifying.
What is a metal credit card?
Metal credit cards in Canada are typically made of stainless steel or titanium, and often boast prestigious perks and rewards programs.
Functionally, metal cards are no different from regular credit cards, but their weight and appearance help them stand out from the traditional card fare.
In the past, like their cousin, the black credit card, metal credit 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.
How to get a metal credit card in Canada
You’ll need to fill out an application to get a metal credit card. Before you apply, you’ll want to compare your options across card providers.
Metal credit cards in Canada include, but are not limited to:
- American Express Platinum Card.
- American Express Gold Rewards Card.
- American Express Aeroplan Reserve Card.
- BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege Card.
- CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite Privilege Card.
- TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite Privilege Card.
» COMPARE: Best credit cards in Canada
Metal credit card eligibility requirements
Eligibility criteria for metal credit cards vary, but be prepared to meet the following requirements:
- Canadian resident with sufficient credit history.
- Age of majority in your province or territory.
- $150,000 individual or $200,000 household annual income.
You typically need a credit score of at least 660 to qualify for a Canadian credit card, which is considered “fair” to “good” by the major credit bureaus — depending on which one you consult.
You may need a higher credit score to qualify for a metal credit card since these cards come with hefty annual fees and steep minimum income requirements, in addition to premium perks.
Can I get a custom metal credit card?
If you’re eligible for a metal credit card, the card you receive will have your name and card number on it. But if you simply want a metal version of a plastic card, there are numerous third-party services that will convert your existing debit or credit card into a metal card for a fee.
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Compare all different credit cards side-by-side and find out the best card that will meet your need with special perks and benefits
How to compare metal credit cards
To find the optimal credit card for your financial situation, compare the following features and factors:
- Welcome bonus. You may stand to gain a sizable welcome bonus of rewards points or cash back when you sign up, so compare welcome offers before you apply.
- Rewards program. Metal credit cards often come with some form of rewards program, whether it’s points earned from everyday spending or travel miles with popular air carriers.
- Annual fee. Fees for metal credit cards range from $250 to $699, while the average non-metal Canadian credit card carries an annual fee closer to $120. A higher annual fee may mean bigger, better perks, but you’ll need to decide if the added cost is worthwhile.
- Eligibility criteria. Metal cards often have higher annual income and credit score requirements than traditional cards.
- Interest rate. All credit cards charge interest, but not all cards carry the same rate. Your metal card’s interest rate will impact how much you owe on outstanding balances, so review your options carefully.
Are metal credit cards worth it?
It depends on your lifestyle and spending habits. Metal credit cards tend to have higher annual fees, but they may also offer premium perks, including:
- Accelerated rewards points.
- Robust travel insurance.
- Premium air travel benefits, like priority boarding, airport security lane and lounge access.
- Exclusive access to Visa Infinite Privilege, a premium program that includes food and travel perks.
- 24/7 access to the Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge.
- Rental vehicle discounts.
While having a metal card may feel like a flex, 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.