Metallurgical reactions between contacts and SiC can alter the electrical characteristics of the contacts, either beneficially or detrimentally. Simultaneously, consumption of the underlying SiC epilayer takes place. During prolonged operation at elevated temperature, contacts that are not in thermodynamic equilibrium with SiC may continue to react with it. For this reason, interest in thermally stable carbide and silicide contacts to SiC has been growing. To select appropriate carbides or silicides for further study, however, knowledge of the transition metal-silicon-carbon (TM-Si-C) phase equilibria is required. A significant body of literature on the TM-Si-C systems exists and should therefore be examined in the context of electronic applications. In this paper, phase equilibria for representative TM-Si-C systems are presented, trends in these systems with respect to temperature and position of the metal in the periodic table are discussed, and attractive carbide and silicide contacts and processing schemes for thermally stable contacts are highlighted.