Metal Credit Cards – Last Updated: March 2019
Metal credit cards are nifty items. They are much weightier than usual plastic but rarely offer any additional benefits, other than it being a conversation starter. When opening a new account, you should be looking for the products with the best rewards.
Until recently, all metal credit cards have required strict eligibility criteria. This meant only wealthy and high net-worth individuals could apply. However, in February 2019, American Express refreshed their Platinum Card. Along with improved points earning options, the card is now metal.
American Express Platinum Card
The American Express Platinum Card is the best known premium credit product in Canada. It is a charge card, which means you have to pay off the balance in full each month, but functions similar to other credit cards. The card is now metal for new cardholders. You do need good credit to apply. If you don’t currently know your credit score, here’s how to obtain it for free with Borrowell.
This is the only option available for most Canadians if you want a metal card. All other options listed below are invitation only. The current bonus is 50,000 Membership Rewards points (60,000 with a referral).The Platinum Card is one of the best choices for frequent travellers, with a swath of benefits including airport lounge access, hotel elite status, travel insurance, and more.
Application Link: The American Express Platinum Card
American Express Centurion Card
The American Express Centurion Card was probably the first metal credit card, and has been in Canada since 2009. Each country has its own Centurion card with differing features. The US version require a $5,000 initiation fee and a $2,500 annual fee. This card is invitation-only. Previously, there were rumours that $250,000 of spending was required to get an invite but that is not confirmed.
When it was first launched, this was one of the best credit products in the world. However, new credit card, such as the American Express Cobalt Card, now offer richer rewards. There have also been cutbacks with the Centurion program, and the annual fee is now higher. Added benefits of this card include Delta Platinum and Hilton Diamond status, as well as a dedicated concierge.
Additional Reading: American Express Centurion Card – Login Required
RBC Private Banking Visa Infinite Privilege
The RBC Private Banking Visa Infinite Privilege is only available to private banking clients. Joining requires a minimum of $1 million dollars in investible assets or a net worth of $3 million dollars. The closest comparable card is their mass-market RBC Avion Visa Infinite Privilege, which has an annual fee of $399, although it’s not metal. Both cards earn 1.25 Avion Points per dollar, 25% more than the typical 1 Avion point you earn with an RBC Avion Visa Infinite or Visa Platinum.
Other than the Starwood American Express Credit Card, this is the only method of indirectly earning AAdvantage miles with a Canadian credit card. You also get other Visa Infinite Privilege benefits like Priority Pass, expedited security, and a dedicated concierge, although those benefits are easily matched with the American Express Platinum Card and NEXUS.
Additional Reading: RBC Private Banking
HSBC Jade World Elite MasterCard
Jade by HSBC is the upper echelon of HSBC Premier status, requiring a minimum of $1 million dollars in deposits or investible assets. HSBC Premier normally requires holding $100,000 with them and is much more attainable. This card was very interesting given that I only had learned about it recently. Of the three cards, this seems the most attractive metal credit card option.
First, the annual fee of $299 is waived indefinitely for those that meet the requirements. The card also comes with an annual $200 travel credit, free Etihad Gold elite status, and concierge service from Quintessentially. On top of that, it is also one of the few credit cards in Canada that waives foreign transaction fees, the other being the HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard, and the HomeTrust Preferred Visa.
Additional Reading: Jade By HSBC Premier
Conclusion – Metal Credit Cards
Most cardholders who qualify for these invitation only credit cards do not really care about annual fees or rewards. For now, the easiest way to get a metal credit card is with the American Express Platinum Card, available to all Canadians who meet all the credit approval criteria. Alternatively, some people may be eligible for the American Express Global Transfer program, which opens many more options.