The prettiest credit cards, ranked
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Editor’s note: This post has been updated with new information.
There’s no question that credit card rewards are constantly evolving and becoming more valuable than ever before. However, it’s not just unique perks such as dining credits, Uber credits and automatic elite status that set cards apart. It’s also how they physically look.
Following Chase’s highly successful launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve in 2016, there’s been a rapid rise in metal cards on the market as issuers compete to offer the most eye-popping designs. And it isn’t just premium credit cards with these sleek new looks — even some low- and no-annual-fee credit cards have been getting spiffy makeovers.
Cool-looking cards make for a great conversation starter. Although this factor shouldn’t be reason enough to apply for a credit card (head to our best travel credit cards guide if you need help with that), today we’re going to take a look at the prettiest cards currently available. Notably missing from this list are invitation-only cards like the titanium-crafted Amex Centurion (Black) and J.P. Morgan Reserve cards.
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The prettiest credit cards of 2021
- American Express® Gold Card: Best for U.S. supermarkets and worldwide dining at restaurants
- The Platinum Card® from American Express: Best for high-end benefits
- Chase Sapphire Reserve: Best for travel credits
- Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard: Best for Hawaiian Airlines flyers
- Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card: Best for dining
The Amex Gold Card doesn’t just take the cake for one of the highest returns on dining and groceries, but it’s also the best-looking card publicly available. You can get the card in two different shiny metal forms: Gold or the wildly popular Rose Gold, which is now available again.
Welcome bonus: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first six months of account opening. Terms apply.
Standout benefits: Earn 4x points on dining at restaurants worldwide and at U.S. supermarkets (up to a $25,000 annual cap at supermarkets, then 1x) and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. You also get up to $120 annually in dining credits that you can use at merchants such as Boxed, Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory and participating Shake Shack locations, as well as up to $120 annually ($10 per month. Enrollment required.) in Uber Cash, which can be used on Uber Eats orders or Uber rides in the U.S. Plus, cardholders get 12 months of complimentary access to Eats Pass*, if you enroll by Dec. 31, 2021 (will auto-bill starting 12 months from initial enrollment, at the then-currently monthly rate).
Annual fee: $250 (see rates and fees)
Read our American Express Gold Card review.
APPLY HERE: American Express Gold Card
The Amex Platinum card comes in a sleek — wait for it — platinum-like color. The metal card weighs 0.7 of an ounce and came out as one of the strongest (least bendy) cards in our battle of the metal cards. The only difference between this card and the Amex Gold cards — besides the color, of course — is that it has the word “Platinum” written on it.
Welcome bonus: Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first six months of account opening. This bonus is worth $1,500 according to TPG valuations. Also, earn 10x on eligible purchases made at U.S. gas stations and U.S. supermarkets, up to $15,000 in combined spending during the first six months of card membership. Some people may be targeted for an even higher welcome offer via the CardMatch Tool (offers are subject to change at any time).
Standout benefits: This card earns a stellar 5x points on airfare booked directly with the airline or Amex Travel (up to $500,000 on these purchases each calendar year) and prepaid hotels purchased through Amex Travel. You also get up to $200 in annual airline fee credits, up to $200 in Uber credits, up to $100 in credit at Saks Fifth Avenue and a rebate for your Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. Additionally, the card offers unparalleled lounge access and automatic elite status with Hilton and Marriott, among other perks. Enrollment required for select benefits.
Annual fee: $550 (see rates and fees)
Read our American Express Platinum review.
APPLY HERE: Platinum Card from American Express
The 0.5-ounce Chase Sapphire Reserve has a minimalist design and was so popular when it first came out that there was a shortage of the metal the card was made out of. You’d be surprised how often the uninitiated mistake the Reserve for the Amex Centurion due to its dark color scheme.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months from account opening. This bonus is worth $1,200 according to TPG valuations.
Standout benefits: Earn 3x points per dollar on travel (excluding the $300 travel credit) and dining at restaurants and 10x on Lyft through March 2022. You get a $300 annual travel credit which covers virtually every trip-related charge from airfare to Uber rides, Priority Pass lounge access and a rebate for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. Plus, in 2021, you’ll get up to $60 in DoorDash statement credits and can enroll in at least one complimentary year of DashPass through DoorDash. Other benefits include primary auto rental insurance, trip cancellation coverage and no foreign transaction fees.
Annual fee: $550
Read our Chase Sapphire Reserve review.
APPLY HERE: Chase Sapphire Reserve
Add a dash of color to your wallet with the Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard. The card features an aerial shot of Hawaii’s turquoise waters that’ll hopefully help satisfy your wanderlust whenever you use it. Plus, it shouldn’t add much weight to your wallet since it’s not made out of metal. As an added bonus, these cards are made using recovered ocean-bound plastic.
Sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus HawaiianMiles after you spend $2,000 on the card in the first 90 days.
Standout benefits: Earn 3x miles on Hawaiian Airlines purchases and 2x miles on gas, dining and grocery stores. You also get a $100 companion discount each year and a free checked bag on Hawaiian Airlines-operated flights between North America and Hawaii and between neighbor islands.
Annual fee: $99 (waived the first year)
The information for the Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Mastercard has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Read our Hawaiian Airlines Mastercard review.
Although Capital One doesn’t have a reputation for offering the chicest-looking credit cards, the Capital One Savor card has a unique brushed design and now comes in metal.
Sign-up bonus: Earn $300 after you spend $3,000 on purchases in the first three months of account opening.
Standout benefits: Earn 4% cash back on dining and entertainment purchases and 2% back at grocery stores. In addition to the lack of foreign transaction fees.
Annual fee: $95
Read our Capital One Savor review.
The information for the Capital One Savor Cash Rewards Credit Card has been collected independently by The Points Guy. The card details on this page have not been reviewed or provided by the card issuer.
Issuers want you to feel proud when handing over your credit card to merchants. Despite most cards on this list being made of higher-end materials than plastic, I believe that the most important trait of a good-looking card is if it shuns the standard design of the name and account number on the front rather than what it’s made out of. After all, wallets with too many metal cards become heavy and difficult to open and close — First World problems, I know.
As a reminder, although the prettiest cards are often also the most rewarding, looks shouldn’t be a determining factor when applying for new cards. We have plenty of resources here at The Points Guy, such as our best travel credit cards guide and monthly roundup of limited-time and new welcome offers, which you can refer to if you need help deciding which credit card to apply for next.
Featured photo by John Gribben for The Points Guy.
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