As a premium credit card, the Mastercard® Gold Card™'s lackluster benefits don’t justify its exorbitant annual fee.
Some things in life aren't meant to be a good deal — they're done for the panache. Coming with a $995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account) annual fee, the gold-plated Mastercard® Gold Card™ is one of those things.
With an average rewards program and no sign-up bonus, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ won't earn you much in the way of travel benefits. But it will earn you style points, and that counts for something ... right? Read our full review to decide for yourself.
Mastercard® Gold Card™
$995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account)
- Patented 24K-gold-plated front and carbon back—weighing 22 grams.
- 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 2% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
- Annual Airline Credit—up to $200 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry.
- Enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest limit. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
- 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat. Around-the-clock service to help you save time and manage tasks big and small.
- Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, room upgrades, free wifi, breakfast for two and more) at over 3,000 properties.
- Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus additional World Elite Mastercard® benefits.
- Annual Fee: $995 ($295 for each Authorized User). Terms and conditions apply.
Our Mastercard® Gold Card™ review: Is it worth the annual fee?
- This Mastercard luxury card comes with some unusual gifts and benefits.
- The card's fees outweigh its average rewards program.
- Its coolest perk is simply the fact that it's heavy and plated with gold.
With an annual fee just shy of a grand ($995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account), the Mastercard® Gold Card™ is one of the most expensive luxury cards on the market. But it offers little to make up for that cost, compared to other available high-end cards.
Still, if the annual fee doesn't bother you and you're interested in a flashy card, you can earn decent rewards if you use the card enough. Here's what the Mastercard® Gold Card™ has to offer.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ benefits
On the whole, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ offers a decent rewards program, which we’ll break down below. We don't think the rewards are enticing enough to justify the card's high annual fee, but it does come with some interesting benefits in addition to its standard rewards rate.
In addition to a 24/7 travel concierge service, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ also comes with a number of travel perks to help your trips feel more luxurious.
- Car rental benefits: Receive competitive pricing and upgrades from Luxury Card's auto rental partners.
- Airport meet & assist: Arrange for a representative to expedite the airport process.
- No foreign transaction fees (0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.): Avoid extra fees for using your card abroad.
- Luxury Card Travel®: Luxury Card Travel offers cardmembers an average value of $500 in travel benefits and services per average stay (three nights average) with over 3,000 properties around the world. Benefits may include spa credits, breakfast vouchers, complimentary food and beverages, room upgrades, free Wi-Fi, airport taxi service, early check-in, late checkout and welcome perks. View travel benefit examples at the Luxury Card Hotel & Travel site.
Travel credits and protection
On top of the perks outlined above, Mastercard® Gold Card™ membership includes complimentary travel credits and protection, which the company values at a total of $500:
- Annual airline credit: Cardholders will receive an annual $200 air travel credit every year, which can be used toward ticket purchases, baggage fees, upgrades and more.
- Global Entry & TSA Precheck application credit: Cardholders will receive a $100 statement credit to cover the cost of these programs’ application fees, so they can enjoy expedited arrival into the U.S. at participating international airports.
- VIP airport lounge access: With Priority Pass™ Select membership, you can access more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.
- Travel insurance: If your baggage is delayed in-transit during a trip you purchased with your Mastercard® Gold Card™, or if your travels are canceled altogether, you may be reimbursed through Luxury Card's travel insurance packages. Review your benefits guide for the full terms of your coverage.
Luxury card app
Available only to cardmembers, concierge agents are available 24/7 via live chat to assist with any request. Designed to inspire and handle cardmembers’ everyday needs, app users can browse and book a memorable and unique Luxury Card experience, make travel arrangements and explore exclusive cardmember offers and perks.
Finally, Mastercard® Gold Card™ cardholders can expect to receive exclusive access to events, golf courses and Priceless® Surprises. The company doesn't divulge what these surprises may be, choosing instead to say, "You never know where, when or who we will surprise next!"
Average rewards rates
One of the biggest strikes against the Mastercard® Gold Card™ is its rewards program — it offers an underwhelming rewards program when you consider its high annual fee.
You will earn a 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 2% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
You can easily find the same rate with many no-annual-fee cashback cards, like the Wells Fargo Active Cash℠ Card. However, if you choose to redeem those points for airfare or cashback redemptions, your rewards rate increases to 2 points per dollar spent.
The company values its points at 2 cents each, since 50,000 points can be redeemed for a $1,000 airline ticket.
With the Mastercard® Gold Card™, you cannot transfer your points to partnering rewards programs to maximize their value, like you could with Chase or American Express cards. This inflexibility can be limiting for the way you choose to use your rewards.
24-karat bragging rights
The card’s design is its biggest selling point. This Barclays luxury card (Barclays is its issuer, by way of Luxury Card) has a patented 24K-gold-plated front and carbon back — weighing 22 grams. This is purely a style perk, as we doubt you'd be able to resell the card for its gold content.
But if you're in the market for a luxury item, a gold-plated credit card might be exactly what you're looking for.
0% intro APR on balance transfers
One other useful benefit of the Mastercard® Gold Card™ is that it offers a 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that, (and for balance transfers that do not post within 45 days of account opening) your APR will be 14.99%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ eligibility
You don't need to be a member of the 1% to qualify for the Mastercard® Gold Card™ — but you will need Excellent/Very Good credit when you submit your card application in order to gain credit approval. In addition, you'll need a spare $995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account), unless you want to start carrying a balance on your card after the very first month.
Aside from the Mastercard® Gold Card™'s high annual fee of $995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account), there is also a high fee for additional users. Most credit cards allow you to add authorized users to your account for no extra fee, but since the Mastercard® Gold Card™ is plated in gold, you'll have to pay $295 for each authorized user you add to your account.
How does the Mastercard® Gold Card™ compare against other luxury cards?
There are several luxury cards available for people who charge a lot to their credit cards each year. Most other high-end cards offer better incentives than the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Better benefits for a lower annual fee
Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a far better deal than the Mastercard® Gold Card™. Although it comes with an annual fee much higher than most credit cards — $550 — it's far less than the fee charged by the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
Plus, the rewards rate is better. You can earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. With your Chase Sapphire Reserve®. If you transfer those points to certain partners on the Ultimate Rewards portal, you can squeeze even more value out of them.
Finally, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® comes with a great sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. It also comes with a $300 travel credit, lounge access and comparable travel benefits. If you're looking for a luxury credit card with high-end benefits, it may be hard to beat the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs. The Platinum Card® from American Express
The ultimate luxury travel card
When it comes to travel benefits, The Platinum Card® from American Express is a tough competitor to the Mastercard® Gold Card™ — which is to say, it beats the Mastercard® Gold Card™ by a long shot.
The Platinum Card® from American Express is targeted specifically toward people seeking luxury travel amenities, such as access to Amex Centurion and Priority Pass lounges, concierge service for high-end reservations and travel upgrades.
You'll also earn up to 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. You'll also earn further benefits, like up to a $200 airline fee credit each year (enrollment required) and up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue (enrollment required). New cardholders earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
And although its $695 annual fee is rather high, it's still much cheaper than the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs. Mastercard® Black Card™
Watered-down benefits for a lower annual fee
With an annual fee of $495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account), the Mastercard® Black Card™ is a lot more affordable than the Mastercard® Gold Card™, but you'll also take a slight hit on the rewards for this reduced price.
While most of the benefits are the same, cardholders will only receive 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent. Also, earn an annual travel credit of just $100. And the card isn't made out of gold.
On the whole, it's still probably a better option than the Mastercard® Gold Card™, since you can still lock in a 2% rate when redeeming for airfare, and it costs $500 less to carry the card. However, when compared to similarly priced cards, such as those above, we don't think the Mastercard® Black Card™ stands out.
How can you make the most out of your Mastercard® Gold Card™?
If you're dead set on getting the Mastercard® Gold Card™, you might as well make the most of it by utilizing its top benefits:
- Take advantage of its travel credits to help offset the annual fee: The $200 annual airline fee credit and the $100 Global Entry/TSA Precheck credit saves you money and time while traveling.
- Be sure to use airport lounges: You'll get a Priority Pass™ Select membership with this card, which means you can access more than 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.
- Make use of the travel perks and discounts: With Luxury Card Travel, you'll get access to a range of upgrades and credits at over 3,000 worldwide properties. Some of these may include spa credits, breakfast vouchers, room upgrades and more. You'll also get Mastercard® Gold Card™ travel insurance with this card, which is worth taking advantage of.
- Take up golf: With this card you'll get luxury Mastercard golf perks and access at courses around the world.
- Make the Mastercard® Gold Card™ your primary premium card: Use this card for its luxury benefits and amenities, and only keep other credit cards that have low to no annual fees — and preferably have higher rewards rates.
Is the Mastercard® Gold Card™ worth it?
In our opinion, if you're looking for a credit card to use for day-to-day spending, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ isn’t worth it. Its rewards rates for non-travel purchases are low, and we don't believe the card's benefits outweigh the ridiculously high annual fee. Other premium credit cards have more to offer at significantly lower prices.
However, if you’re a frequent traveler who is looking for a swanky card with luxury travel benefits, this card could be a decent choice for you. If you plan to take advantage of the travel perks, credits, discounts and lounges, and value an extravagant gold-plated credit card, you may find that the Mastercard® Gold Card™ could certainly be worth it.
Does the Mastercard® Gold Card™ waive its annual fee for military members?
No, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ does not waive its annual fee for active military members. Though Barclaycard previously offered perks like 0% APR and no annual or late fees to active duty military cardholders, they have since removed those benefits. However, there are still a few Mastercard® Gold Card™ military benefits that are required by the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA) — these include items like a capped interest rate during and after the time of active military duty.
How do I qualify for the Mastercard® Gold Card™?
In order to qualify for the Mastercard® Gold Card™, you will need to have Excellent/Very Good credit and be able to afford the annual fee of $995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account).
Is the Mastercard® Gold Card™ really gold?
Yes, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ has a 24K-gold-plated stainless steel front and a carbon back. The card is heavy, weighing in at 22 grams, which outweighs several similar competing premium credit cards.
Is the Mastercard® Gold Card™ worth it?
In our opinion, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ isn’t worth it for the average consumer. If you're a frequent traveler with a luxurious lifestyle, the travel benefits of this card could be worth it for you. However, other premium credit cards offer better benefits at lower prices.
How to get a Mastercard® Gold Card™?
For gold card eligibility, you will have to have a Excellent/Very Good. You'll also need to be able to pay the high annual fee. If you meet both of these requirements, you can fill out the Mastercard® Gold Card™ application online.
What is a Mastercard® Gold Card™?
The Mastercard® Gold Card™ is a luxurious, gold-plated, rewards-earning credit card. Mastercard is widely accepted throughout the world and offers a variety of useful travel perks.
How much is a gold credit card?
The Mastercard® Gold Card™ charges an annual fee of $995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account).
What does it mean to have a Mastercard® Gold Card™?
Owning a Mastercard® Gold Card™ is considered to be a status symbol. These types of cards are often more expensive to own and come with a variety of exclusive rewards and benefits.
Is a Mastercard® Black Card™ better than a Mastercard® Gold Card™?
Whether a Mastercard® Black Card™ is better than a Mastercard® Gold Card™ will depend on your personal preferences. Both black and gold cards tend to fall into the premium credit card category, which grants a level of status exclusive to these types of cardowners.
Is there a Mastercard® Gold Card™ sign-up bonus?
No, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ does not offer a sign-up bonus.
Terms apply to American Express benefits and offers. Visit americanexpress.com to learn more.