Before there was a metal credit card at virtually every price point, there was the invitation-only American Express Centurion Card (aka the "Amex Black Card"), the longest-lived metal card since its release in 1999.
The release of the Amex Black Card kicked off a trend amongst the more expensive premium credit cards, including The Platinum Card® from American Express, the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve™ Visa Infinite® Card and the Citi Prestige® Card. It has since branched out to well over a dozen metal credit cards, and you don't have to pay a $5,000 annual fee nor have an excellent credit score to qualify.
Below, CNBC Select rounds up five of our top picks for those with a good credit score looking to upgrade their plastic to metal.
5X points on Lyft rides through March 2022, 2X points on travel and dining worldwide, 1X points on all other purchases
60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening — worth up to $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
17.49% to 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and the Chase Sapphire Reserve® are both made out of metal. In fact, when the Reserve® made its debut in 2016, it was so popular that the card issuer temporarily ran out of metal to make more.
Though the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is a bit lighter than its heavy metal counterpart, it is a more affordable metal card option and ranked as CNBC Select's best travel credit card with an annual fee under $100. Its $95 annual fee is on the lower end for a popular rewards travel card, and cardholders earn enough benefits to easily offset this cost.
With the Preferred®, you can earn 2X points on travel and dining worldwide and 1X points on all other purchases. New cardholders also benefit from 60,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening — which gives you ample reasoning to bring it out with you.
There is also a perk with this card when redeeming your points. If you redeem points for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards® portal, they're worth 25% more. That welcome bonus just became worth up to $750 when you book your hotels and airfare directly through the travel portal.
5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠, 2X miles per dollar on every other purchase
50,000 bonus miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months from account opening
$0 first year, then $95
N/A for purchases and balance transfers
17.24% to 24.49% variable on purchases and balance transfers
3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR
If you are searching for luxury perks that match the luxurious feel of a sturdier and heavier metal card, this low-annual-fee travel card will get you there.
Frequent travelers can earn 5X miles on hotel and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel℠ and unlimited 2X miles on every dollar spent, as well as up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee every four years.
This metal credit card also offers a strong welcome bonus for new cardholders: 50,000 miles — equal to $500 toward travel — when you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening, which is like earning about 17% back for showing off your metal card.
3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple (including Apple retail stores, the Apple online store, the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music and other Apple-owned properties) on Uber and UberEats, at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app and on Walgreens.com, in T-Mobile stores and at Nike, 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases
12.49% to 23.49% variable
See our methodology, terms apply.
There was a lot of hype around the Apple Card when it launched last August, partly because of its completely titanium material. True to Apple's clean branding, the card has some unique design elements as well. It is laser etched with the cardholder's name and doesn't have a printed credit card number, expiration date or security code.
When it comes to rewards, the Apple Card has a competitive "Daily Cash" cash-back program. Cardholders earn 3% cash back on goods or services purchased directly from Apple, on Uber and Uber Eats, at Walgreens and Duane Reade stores, on the Walgreens app and on walgreens.com, in T-Mobile stores and at Nike. It is then 2% cash back on Apple Pay purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases.
While there is no welcome bonus for this card, the Apple Card is one of the few credit cards on the market that has no fees whatsoever. There are no annual fees, no foreign transaction fees and no late payment fees.
5% cash back at Amazon.com and Whole Foods Market; 2% back at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores; 1% back on all other purchases
$70 Amazon.com gift card upon approval
$0 (but Prime membership is required)
15.74% to 23.74% variable
5%, $5 minimum
Amazon Prime members can really feel the pleasure of premium membership when using this metal card. The Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature® Card ranked as CNBC Select's best credit card for online grocery shopping for its high 5% back on purchases at Whole Foods Market or Amazon.com — and there's no limit to how many points you can earn. While there is no annual fee, a Prime membership is required ($119 for an annual membership and $12.99 for a monthly membership).
Cardholders also earn 2% back on purchases at restaurants, gas stations and drugstores, and 1% back on all other purchases. Upon approval for the card, you receive a $70 Amazon.com gift card, making it one of the few welcome bonuses that isn't connected with a certain spending requirement.
4% cash back on dining and entertainment, 2% at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases
Earn a one-time $300 cash bonus once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first three months from account opening
$95, waived the first year
0% for the first 12 months on purchases; N/A on balance transfers
16.24% to 25.24% variable on purchases and balance transfers
3% for promotional APR offers; none for balances transferred at regular APR
For those who don't necessarily care about showing off their metal card status, the Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card is the No. 1 choice for CNBC Select's best credit card for food delivery.
Enjoy the perks of unlimited 4% cash back on dining purchases without ever leaving your home (one of the few cash-back cards that offers this). You can also earn 2% cash back at grocery stores and 1% on all other purchases.
New cardholders earn a $300 cash bonus once spending $3,000 on purchases within the first three months and don't pay an annual fee their first year; after that, it's $95.
When you do want to get out, this card is a good choice for people who regularly attend concerts and plays since the unlimited 4% cash back applies to entertainment as well. You can get exclusive access to premier culinary experiences, sports and music events, such as the upcoming iHeartCountry Festival presented by Capital One in May.
Information about the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve™ Visa Infinite® Card, Citi Prestige® Card, Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card, Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature® Card, Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card, and Apple Card has been collected independently by CNBC and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of the card prior to publication.