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What Is a Metal Credit Card?

Last Updated: October 31, 2022
2 min read

Key Points About: Metal Credit Cards

  1. The trend toward metal credit cards began about two decades ago with a handful of premium cards aimed at big spenders.

  2. Some metal cards are pure metal plates and others are metal-plastic hybrids.

  3. Ultimately, there’s little difference between metal and plastic credit cards; you still swipe, tap, or insert your chip in the same way.

Cardmembers are often looking for ways to add a touch of personalization and panache to their credit cards. Some plastic credit cards can be customized or include a unique design on the face of the card. Other cards take things up a notch: they’re made completely of metal.

History of metal credit cards

It’s hard to say for sure why metal credit cards are so popular, but one theory is that they’re perceived as a status symbol and cardmembers like their weighty feel versus lighter, plastic alternatives.

The metal credit card trend started more than two decades ago with a premium credit card offered to big spenders and soon after more credit card issuers began to offer similar cards.

Now, there are metal credit cards on the market for more average consumers.

Is there a difference between metal and plastic credit cards?

Ultimately there’s not much of a difference when it comes to using metal credit cards and plastic ones—aside from the style points and the extra heft in your wallet. With metal credit cards, you still swipe, tap or insert your chip in the same way you would a plastic credit card. Also, some metal credit cards are metal-plastic hybrids; others are pure metal plates. However, there is one noteworthy difference: how to destroy a metal credit card.

How to destroy a metal credit card

Metal credit cards cannot be shredded in the same fashion as plastic cards. If you put a metal card in the shredder, it may shred the shredder. And a regular pair of kitchen scissors won’t do the trick, either.

Did you know?

If you need to dispose of a metal credit card, you can simply call and request a pre-paid return envelope to send it back to your card issuer. They will destroy the card and dispose of it securely.

Credit cards are a fixture in many people’s lives. While metal credit cards were once designated for only the highest of spenders, more options have become available for average consumers. When it comes to functionality, there’s no difference in how you use a metal credit card versus how to use a plastic one.

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