The number of metal credit cards in circulation has dropped significantly over the past few years. With the introduction of EMV chip technology, card issuers are moving away from traditional magnetic strip cards. However, with this shift comes a new set of problems that banks must solve before they can move on to other payment methods.
Credit cards have been around for a long time, but they are still used by many people. However, some banks are considering getting rid of metal credit cards in favor of plastic ones. Read more in detail here: when did credit cards come out.
Should Banks Already Stop Using Metal Credit Cards?
on August 2, 2021 by Gary Leff
Banks should cease providing metal credit cards, according to Nick Ewen of The Points Guy. He claims,
- They may be tough to use since certain card readers don’t fit them properly.
- They set off metal detectors at airport security, and he uses his Ritz-Carlton card to prove it.
- They’re difficult to get rid of since they can’t be broken up or shredded.
- They’re no longer distinctive, and they don’t make a statement since they’re ubiquitous (and what sort of message were they making anyway?).
There are at least two dozen cards, and possibly many more, that are heavier than normal plastic. Even the Amazon Prime Rewards Visa Signature Card is the equivalent of a Sapphire Reserve card in terms of weight.
Let’s start by eliminating an overgeneralization. Metal detectors at airport security don’t always detect heavier cards. I’m not aware of any other cards that are heavier than the Ritz-Carlton card, which is no longer accepting new applications. It’s comparable to the JP Morgan Reserve in terms of timing. These cards contain enough metal to cause a security problem at airports. Place them in your carry-on bag and go through the x-ray machine.
Those two cards are approximately 50% heavier than almost every other metal card on the market, including the Platinum Amex, which in my experience does not set off an alert.
The less thick cards also don’t cause as much of a problem with certain card reader devices. Nick’s dissatisfaction with metal is likely due to his experience with the Ritz-Carlton product as well as metal cards in general.
The fact that these cards are more harder to dispose of is when the complaints begin to ring true. Rather of returning his card to Chase, one reader used a blow torch. However, how frequently do you discard a credit card? I’m not convinced it happens frequently enough to make a difference.
Metal cards, on the other hand, are no longer unique due to their widespread use. They felt good in the wallet and in the hand when they first came out, and they stated, “This is a one-of-a-kind card.” It was a discussion starter, which was precisely what the issuers were looking for:
- to make consumers happy with their credit card
- as a result, they’d like to pay using a credit card
- and even discuss it (the best salespeople are customer evangelists)
Sure, some individuals enjoyed admiring shop workers, which is at best uncomfortable. But it was mainly about a person’s own story that the card stated something about them (Barclays’ old Arrival+, a non-metal card, advertised “I’ve Arrived”).
However, I can’t recall the last time I raised an eyebrow in response to a metal card. If you want to feel better about yourself, impressing a shop clerk isn’t going to happen very frequently, owing to the fact that store clerks have seen so many of them, and perhaps because trying too hard to impress them makes you seem like a jerk.
So, what is the best way to design credit cards? Even though most of commerce goes online and many in-person purchases are done through app, real cards are still required. So, in addition to providing good benefits, you want a card that looks and feels good. It’s tough to tell a card apart in the marketplace, which is why some issuers have done away with raised numbers (when was the last time you required that for carbon copies of an imprint?).
Heft is one of the simple things an issuer can do – simply don’t make it too heavy (Ritz-Carlton, J.P. Morgan Reserve) and attempt to improve the look. Colors, such as the yellow and red American Express cards, are one method to accomplish this.
There’s also Rose Gold to consider:
Another option is to modify the card’s design, although this may cause controversy. I’ve long advocated for issuers to consider the card in a customer’s wallet as a kind of mobile advertising. Why not include the card’s main advantages on the card itself? Airlines are missing out on a chance to advertise on the walls of airplane lavatories. It’s a marketing opportunity that’s often overlooked:
Should issuers abandon metal? Not necessary, but if the aim is to stand out or assist customers tell a narrative about themselves, they should become more creative with design during the time when we still require physical cards.
More From the Wing’s Perspective
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my credit card have metal in it?
The credit card you are using must have a metal strip at the back of it, which is used to detect whether or not the card is genuine.
Do metal cards set off metal detectors?
No, metal cards do not set off metal detectors.
Are metal credit cards a status symbol?
Metal credit cards are a status symbol in the sense that they are exclusive and expensive.
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