There is a recent trend to issue credit cards on metal rather than plastic. The metal card is heavier and has a few unique benefits: durability, exclusivity and perceived status. Metal cards issued by banks are generally reserved for only the most prestigious accounts, and often come with exorbitant fees and requirements. There are services out there, however, that allow you to transform your standard plastic credit card into a metal one. Let me share my review of a metal credit card by Metal-CreditCard.com.
The Metal Credit Card
Metal-CreditCard cards are made of high quality stainless steel. There are a variety of color options from plain brushed metal to different colors like black or red. The card itself is 0.8mm thick and weighs 25 grams–or about 0.9 ounces. The card type (Visa, Mastercard, etc.) is etched along with other information. There is no raised lettering. All of the imagery and information is laser etched into the metal. The magnetic stripe data is linked to the original card–not stored on the metal card itself–and, if your plastic card has an embedded EMV chip Metal-CreditCard provides a process to transplant the chip to the new metal card.
Getting a Metal-CreditCard
To get a metal credit card from Metal-CreditCard, you have to ship the existing plastic credit card to them. That seems risky, but it’s the only way for Metal-CreditCard to get the information it needs to properly encode the magnetic stripe on your new metal credit card, and transfer the embedded EMV chip. If it helps you sleep easier, you can send an un-activated card and wait to activate it until you receive the completed metal credit card.
Metal-CreditCard offers a laser etching process to customize the card–but for various reasons they cannot recreate the artwork or design of your plastic card. The nature of the engraving process and copyright restrictions both prevent duplication of the plastic card.
My Metal-CreditCard Experience
I gotta say–I love this card. As a former member of the US Air Force Security Forces I got the Air Force logo as well as the Security Forces logo etched on mine on the black card. It looks beautiful and the metal is of high quality.
The only thing I do not like from a design perspective is on the back the white strip for the signature line, which–in the United States at least–is no longer required because credit card provider do not require a signature at point of sale anymore. I suggested to Metal-CreditCard that they simply remove the signature line or perhaps offer the option to have your signature digitally engraved on the card.
During my testing, the card has worked 100 percent of the time. At stores that still do magstripe instead of reading the EMV chip it worked beautifully. At places that are chip-enabled it worked beautifully. It worked at the gas pump, at ATM’s, and everywhere I tried to use it.
Now I will talk about how the service works once you place order. You will have to send them your existing card so yes you will be without a card for a few days. They are going to remove the chip from your existing card and surgically put it in the new card and will send you your new card in a nice box along with your old card. They send you a pre-paid envelope that is 1-day shipping service, so when you send out your card they get it the next day, It takes about a day to make the card and then ship it back to you. In the end, you will be without a card for 3-5 business days–not too long.
Now, the down side. I feel its way too expensive at upwards of $300 USD and it will only last for 2-4 years depending on how far out your credit card is set to expire. The credit card I used was actually set to expire in June of this year, so I reported my card damaged and requested a new one. The new one is set to expire in 4 years, so that’s the one I sent to be converted to metal.
I don’t feel $300 every few years per card is worth it. Maybe if it were $50 or $99 max. If I wanted to convert every card in my wallet I would be spending more than $2,000 US. I might have to get a new credit card just to afford the process of converting my credit cards.
There is a little silver lining, though. First, the cost varies depending on the color you choose and the optional customizations you select. In addition, you can save 15 percent when placing your order at Metal-CreditCard.com by using Coupon Code: techspec15.