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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 like free dining credits, Uber credits and automatic top-tier elite status that set cards apart. It’s also how they physically look.
Following Chase’s highly successful launch of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, 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 ones 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 Top Travel Rewards 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.
Welcome bonus: Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months. (Though keep in mind you may be able to get a targeted 50k offer which is subject to change at anytime.)
Standout benefits: Earn 4x points at US restaurants and supermarkets (up to a $25,000 annual cap at supermarkets; then 1x) and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or on
Annual fee: $250 (See Rates & Fees)
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 the strongest (least bendy) card in our battle of the metal credit 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 60,000 Membership Rewards points after you spend $5,000 in the first three months. This bonus is worth $1,200 according to our valuations.
Standout benefits: Earn 5x points on airfare booked directly with the airline or Amex Travel and prepaid hotels purchased through Amex Travel. You also get a $200 annual airline rebate for incidental fees, up to $200 in annual Uber credits, up to $100 in credit at Saks Fifth Avenue and a rebate for the Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee. Additionally, the card offers Centurion Lounge and Priority Pass lounge access, plus Delta Sky Club access when you’re flying Delta.
Annual fee: $550 (See Rates & Fees)
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.
Welcome bonus: Earn 50,000 Ultimate Rewards points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. This bonus is worth $1,000 according to our valuations.
Standout benefits: Earn 3x points per dollar on all travel purchases and on dining at restaurants. 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. The card also includes primary auto rental insurance, trip cancellation coverage and no foreign transaction fees.
Annual fee: $450
Although Capital One doesn’t have a reputation for offering the chicest-looking credit cards, the recently revamped Capital One Savor card has a unique brushed design and won’t add much weight to your wallet since it’s not made out of metal. In case you don’t like its current design, you could always personalize it and order one with the image of your choice.
Welcome bonus: Earn $500 after you spend $3,000 in the first three months.
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, cardholders enjoy secondary car rental insurance, roadside assistance, purchase protection/extended warranty and complimentary concierge services.
Annual fee: $95 (waived the first year)
Issuers want you to feel proud when handing over your credit card to merchants. Despite most cards in 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. #FirstWorldProblems, I know, 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 Top Travel Rewards Cards guide and monthly round-up of limited-time and new welcome offers, which you can refer to if you need help deciding which credit card to apply for next.
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With some great bonus categories, the American Express Gold Card has a lot going for it. The card offers 4x points at US restaurants, at US supermarkets (up to $25,000; then 1x), and 3x points on flights booked directly with airlines or through amextravel.com. It is currently offering a welcome bonus of 35,000 bonus points after you spend $2,000 in the first three months.
- Earn 35,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $2,000 on eligible purchases with your new Card within the first 3 months.
- Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. restaurants. Earn 4X Membership Rewards® points at U.S. supermarkets (on up to $25,000 per year in purchases, then 1X).
- Earn 3X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or on amextravel.com.
- Earn up to $10 in statement credits monthly when you pay with The Gold Card at Grubhub, Seamless, The Cheesecake Factory, Shake Shack, and Ruth's Chris Steak House. This is an annual savings of up to $120. Enrollment required.
- $100 Airline Fee Credit: up to $100 in statement credits per calendar year for incidental fees at one selected qualifying airline.
- Choose to carry a balance with interest on eligible charges of $100 or more.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- Annual Fee is $250.
- Terms apply.
- See Rates & Fees