Metal credit cards are growing in popularity: here’s why I’m not a fan

Metal credit cards are growing in popularity: here’s why I’m not a fan
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Metal credit cards have become a ‘thing’ over the past few years as providers attempt to give their premium products more of an upmarket feel.

While you may feel indifferent about this trend, did you know that metal credit cards have a number of drawbacks? Here’s why I’m not a fan.

Why are metal credit cards becoming popular?

Back in 2019, Apple unveiled its metal credit card in the United States. The launch grabbed the headlines, with a significant amount of coverage focused on the card being made of titanium.

Apple’s new credit card is yet to launch in the UK. However, it has seemingly already had an influence on card providers in Britain.

Right now, Curve, American Express, Revolt and Monzo all offer metal cards in the UK, and N26 has one in the pipeline.

However, if you want a metal card in your wallet, you have to pay. That’s because metal credit cards from any of these providers are reserved for fee-paying cardholders. This is perhaps not surprising given that card issuers typically market their metal cards as a premium feature.

It’s worth knowing that fees to hold a metal credit card can vary massively between providers. For example, the Revolut Metal costs £120 per year, while the American Express Platinum costs a whopping £575 per year. That said, the features and benefits of these cards also vary massively! 

What are the drawbacks of metal credit cards?

You may be attracted by the novelty of owning a credit card that isn’t made of plastic. However, metal credit cards have a few drawbacks, which is why I’m not a fan. Let’s take a look at a few of the key issues.

1. They don’t always work 

When I used to have a metal credit card, I found that automatic ticket machines didn’t always accept it. 

I sometimes encountered this problem when trying to purchase rail tickets, especially via machines that lacked a ‘contactless’ feature. As a result, I always had to ensure I carried a backup card. 

2. You can’t easily dispose of them

When your credit card expires, you should cut it up into small pieces for security reasons. However, you can’t do this with a sturdy metal credit card. 

Thankfully, card providers do recognise that this is an issue with metal credit cards. As a result, many will happily dispose of your old card for you as long as you send it to them through the post. So, while there is a solution to this problem, it’s a bit of a faff!

3. They encourage ‘style over substance’

While fancy designs, colours and patterns are nothing new when it comes to credit cards, the concept of them being made of metal might be considered something of a status symbol.

As a result, it’s possible card providers could soon start becoming less generous with the perks on metal cards, simply because some would already consider them more desirable than plastic. 

While you may think this is a little far-fetched, it’s important to note that there are already credit card comparison websites out there that list ‘metal credit cards’ as a separate filter. In other words, you can now sort credit cards by what they are made of rather than far-more important variables, such as the length of a 0% period or balance transfer fee, for example.

On this point, if you are seeking a specific type of credit card, it’s better not to take into account what it is made of. Instead, take a look at The Motley Fool’s top-rated 0% purchase credit cards, 0% balance transfer credit cards and travel credit cards to find the right card for you – plastic, metal or otherwise!

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Divyansh Singh

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