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The Coolest Limited-Edition Credit Card Designs

Feb. 08, 2019
5 min read
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Several technologies exist to replace the physical credit card, such as mobile wallets and wearables. Yet traditional credit cards remain as popular as ever.

Jonathan Wilk, CEO at CompoSecure, one of the largest producers of metal credit cards, agrees. "We're seeing more and more issuers differentiating themselves in this competitive market with unique and/or limited-edition cards that generate instant excitement with consumers and build brand loyalty over time. Some issuers are using these designs for launches to attract new customers, and we’ve even seen certain cards designs be 'trending' on social media."

Let's look at some notable limited-edition credit, debit and gift cards that you may or may not still be able to get.

Marriott Bonvoy American Express Card

When American Express recently began revising and rebranding its line of Starwood Preferred Guest cards, it announced that starting in May 2019, it would offer an artist-designed version of the Marriott Bonvoy American Express card, currently the SPG Amex, which is closing to new applicants forever on Feb. 12.

Amex commissioned Manhattan-based mural and studio artist Tony “Rubin” Sjöman to design the new card, which it said was inspired by travel and exploration. Rubin employed the new Marriott Bonvoy colors and modern shapes to represent the sunrise and sunset reflecting off the buildings in an urban cityscape.

This card also offers 15 night stay credits toward elite status in the new Bonvoy program.

American Express® Gold Card

When American Express updated its Premier Rewards Gold Card last year with a new name and new bonus categories, it also introduced a yellow-gold metal card as well as a limited-edition rose gold card (no longer available). In fact, the rose gold card was so popular that at least one Amex agent claimed that it crashed the USPS system. In any case, American Express cited the high demand for the card to explain the delays that some customers experienced receiving the card.

The new Amex Gold offers you 4x points at restaurants and on up to $25,000 spent each calendar year at US supermarkets (then 1x), so it's more than just good looks. Other benefits include up to $120 in dining credits at select restaurants each calendar year.

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Victoria's Secret Angel Credit Card 

This lingerie retailer offers its customers the Angel store credit card. It features rewards for purchases at its stores, but isn't part of a payment network such as Visa or Mastercard. In October of 2017, the retailer announced that it would offer 10,000 metal cards, available to customers who reached "Angel Forever" elite status in the Victoria's Secret rewards program.

Limited-Edition Pokemon (Credit) Cards 

The French bank Société Générale might be best known to Americans for the time that it lost 4.9 billion euros to a rogue trader, but it has a special place in the heart of French Pokemon fans. That's because it offered French residents three limited-edition credit cards that featured Pikachu himself.

Starbucks Metal Gift Cards

While they weren't technically credit cards, Starbucks did offer 1,000 metal gift cards for $450 each back (with $400 preloaded) in 2013, and they sold out quickly. And in 2012, there was a stainless-steel card offered for the holidays. Today, these cards are so prized that they show up on eBay for hundreds of dollars.

Royal Payment Limited-Edition Mastercard Prepaid Card

Not only is the price of this card crazy, but it's also not even a credit card. It's a prepaid debit card made of 18-karat gold, and it costs 17,700 euros (~$20,219 USD) plus a 1,290-euro (~$1,475 USD) annual fee. However, it does come with Priority Pass access, and a separate plastic card for ATM withdrawals when you don't want to carry around a $20,000 card in your wallet.

CPI Card Group Business Card

I had the opportunity to visit CPI Card Group's facilities outside of Denver, where billions of credit cards have been manufactured. There, they offered to demonstrate their design and production services by making me a limited-edition business card, with an actual chip and magnetic stripe. When I offer it to people, their common responses include: "Is there any money on it?," "What happens if I try to buy something with it?" and "No, I asked for your business card."

Bottom Line

Credit cards, debit cards and gift cards are not just pretty things to carry with you; they are also important financial instruments. And while it's nice to carry around some bling, it's more important to look beyond the surface and judge a card based on its rewards, benefits and fees. But when you find a great credit card that's also beautiful to look at, even better.

Featured image by While the branding has changed considerably from the SPG days, I still get a lot of use out of the Marriott Bonvoy Amex, one of the first cards I ever applied for
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site

Rewards

3 - 4X points
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.

Intro offer

60,000 bonus points
Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

Annual Fee

$250

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for American Express® Gold Card
at American Express's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for the well-traveled foodie
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S.
4XEarn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
3XEarn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.

    60,000 bonus points
  • Annual Fee

    $250
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent/Good

Why We Chose It

There's a lot to love about the Amex Gold card. It's been a fan favorite during the pandemic because of its fantastic rewards rate on restaurants (that includes takeout and delivery in the U.S.!) and U.S. supermarkets. If you're hitting the skies soon, you'll also earn bonus points on travel. Paired with up to $120 in Uber Cash (for U.S. Uber rides or Uber Eats orders) and up to $120 in annual dining statement credits at eligible partners, there's no reason that the foodie shouldn't add this card to their wallet. Enrollment required.

Pros

  • 4x on dining at restaurants and U.S. supermarkets (on the first $25,000 in purchases per calendar year; then 1x)
  • 3x on flights booked directly with the airline or with Amex Travel
  • Welcome bonus of 60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first six months

Cons

  • Weak on travel outside of flights and everyday spending bonus categories
  • Not as useful for those living outside the U.S.
  • Some may have trouble using Uber/food credits
  • Few travel perks and protections
  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 4X Membership Rewards® Points at Restaurants, plus takeout and delivery in the U.S., and earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per calendar year in purchases, then 1X).
  • Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
  • $120 Uber Cash on Gold: Add your Gold Card to your Uber account and each month automatically get $10 in Uber Cash for Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S., totaling up to $120 per year.
  • $120 Dining Credit: Satisfy your cravings and earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with the American Express® Gold Card at Grubhub, The Cheesecake Factory, Goldbelly, Wine.com, Milk Bar and select Shake Shack locations. Enrollment required.
  • Choose the color that suits your style. Gold or Rose Gold.
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees.
  • Annual Fee is $250.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees