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5 credit cards that aren't 'plastic'

Titanium? Palladium? Carbon? What metal is in your wallet?

By MSN Money Partner Jul 13, 2012 12:02PM

This post comes from Jeanine Skowronski at partner site on MSN MoneyNot all credit cards are "plastic" in the traditional sense. Here are a few cards composed of alternate materials.


Image: Credit card (© Tetra Images/Tetra Images/Corbis/Corbis)American Express Centurion Card

AmEx is tight-lipped about the terms and conditions surrounding its ultra-exclusive Centurion card, reserved for high-net-worth consumers, but it is widely known that the card is made of anodized titanium. The use of titanium gives the card a decisive plunk factor and helps it live up to its slogan: "Rarely seen, always recognized."


JPMorgan Palladium Card

Chase's invitation-only card, reserved largely for private wealth clients and investors, is made of the precious metals palladium and gold. A Bloomberg article estimates the value of the raw materials used to make the card  at $1,000. Both the cardholder's signature and account information are etched into each card, which is also outfitted with Visa smart chip technology. (Post continues below video.)

Chase Sapphire Preferred

Chase couldn't disclose the specific components of its popular travel rewards card because it doesn't own the patent on the unique design, but a spokeswoman did confirm there's metal in its mix. The card also sports the account information on the back. The design certainly helps the product stand out among competitors. Though not invitation-only, the card is available only to those with great credit scores.

Barclays Visa Black Card

Barclays' answer to the Centurion, the Visa Black Card, is made from carbon, which, though lighter than titanium, still allows for a certain visibility when handed to a store clerk or set down at a cash register.

Biodegradable Discover Card

OK, technically Discover's green version of its popular credit cards is made from polyvinyl chloride (PVC). But it's a biodegradable type that will begin to break down when exposed to landfill conditions and is designed to fully degrade within five years. The card can be identified by the three-leaf insignia on its front.


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Jul 13, 2012 8:52PM
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