There’s only a handful of metal credit cards without annual fees. Drumroll please…
There are a couple of general-use travel cards, while the majority are co-branded with specific companies.
But if you’re willing to shell out an annual fee, you can find a much wider selection of metal credit cards to choose from, including a variety of premium travel cards with great perks that actually let you come out on top, even after the fee.
U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card
A newcomer to the credit card landscape, the U.S. Bank Altitude® Go Visa Signature® Card comes out swinging with 4X points at restaurants, a nice bump up from your average dining credit card. 2X points are offered for groceries, gas, and streaming services.
You’ll also get a perk rarely seen on cards without yearly fees: an annual credit, in this case $15 that’ll automatically be put toward streaming services each year. That’s pretty much like getting a free month of a standard Netflix plan.
Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card
The Wells Fargo Propel American Express® card (Review) is a strong but unassuming travel card. It doesn’t have a ton to offer, but it could be good for infrequent travelers who want to use the card for other stuff, too.
You’ll get 3X points for a set of categories that’s more diverse than usual, covering travel, gas, restaurants, and streaming services. A comprehensive spread of shopping and travel protections is included, like cell phone insurance and lost luggage reimbursement.
United Club℠ Infinite Card
OK, so we kinda snuck this one in, but the metal United Club℠ Infinite Card (Review) has no annual fee for the first year. In return, there’s no introductory bonus — but it’s actually a pretty good deal, because you get the full value of the annual fee for one year (which is bigger than a lot of signup bonuses), and with no spending requirement to boot.
Aside from that it’s a pretty run-of-the-mill premium travel card. For the high fee you get complimentary United Club airport lounge access, free first and second checked bags, priority check-in, security screening, and baggage handling, and other perks to make your flights a bit easier.
Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card
A great option for online shoppers, the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review) gives you 5% cash back for everything you buy from Amazon (and Whole Foods). You just need a Prime membership to apply.
If you don’t have a Prime subscription you can still get a decent Amazon card: The Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card (Review) offers 3% back at Amazon and Whole Foods. But it’s nothing more than flimsy plastic.
The Apple Card presents a rather unique offer: A card that’s about as digital as possible, with no account numbers or details printed on the laser-etched titanium face (aside from your name).
The Apple card naturally earns 3% cash back at Apple, in-store and online, and that includes the App Store and iTunes (along with Uber and Uber Eats, but only when using Apple Pay). And you’ll get 2% back for every other Apple Pay digital wallet purchase, a nice feature during a pandemic when no one wants to touch anything.
Verizon Visa Signature® Card
Another newcomer, the Verizon Visa Signature® Card is more restrictive than the cards above. It’s only available to Verizon customers, and while it’s pretty rewarding — 4% back on groceries and gas, 3% on dining, 2% at Verizon — the rewards you earn come in the form of Verizon Dollars, rather than typical cash back.
Why does that matter? Verizon Dollars can only be redeemed for Verizon products, which isn’t a problem if you’ll use them up in the normal course of your spending. But in general, if you’ll be making these kinds of purchases we recommend going with a general use rewards card instead, which gives you the freedom to redeem for statement credits or right into a bank account.