Plasmonics has established itself as a branch of physics which promises to revolutionize data processing, improve photovoltaics, and increase sensitivity of bio-detection. A widespread use of plasmonic devices is notably hindered by high losses and the absence of stable and inexpensive metal films suitable for plasmonic applications. To this end, there has been a continuous search for alternative plasmonic materials that are also compatible with complementary metal oxide semiconductor technology. Here we show that copper and silver protected by graphene are viable candidates. Copper films covered with one to a few graphene layers show excellent plasmonic characteristics. They can be used to fabricate plasmonic devices and survive for at least a year, even in wet and corroding conditions. As a proof of concept, we use the graphene-protected copper to demonstrate dielectric loaded plasmonic waveguides and test sensitivity of surface plasmon resonances. Our results are likely to initiate wide use of graphene-protected plasmonics.