Mastercard® Gold Card™: The Swankiest Credit Card on the Market

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any credit card issuer.

Editor's Rating

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Flashy design for people looking to make a statement. If you want solid rewards, you're better off with a different card.
  • On Barclays' Secure Website
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Editor's Rating

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{"onCurrent":true,"message":"Our team rates credit cards objectively based on independent research, the features the credit card offers users, and how it compares with other available cards in its category. The ratings are the opinion of our editors, and are not influenced by any outside factors, including any compensation the site may receive from certain advertisers.","showIcon":false,"tooltipLabel":"?"}

Flashy design for people looking to make a statement. If you want solid rewards, you're better off with a different card.
  • On Barclays' Secure Website
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Citi is an advertising partner.

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, this gold-plated credit 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.

Our Mastercard® Gold Card™ Review: Is It Worth the Annual Fee?

Key Take-Aways:

  • This Mastercard luxury card comes with some unusual gifts and benefits.
  • But 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 $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 high-end cards available.

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 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, which may be of value if you travel a lot.

Travel Perks

In addition to a 24/7 travel concierge service, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ also comes with a number of travel perks to help your trip feel more luxurious.

  • Global luggage delivery: Send your luggage ahead of time to avoid the hassle of managing your baggage while you travel.
  • Car rental: Receive competitive pricing and upgrades from Luxury Card's auto rental partners.
  • Cruise privileges: Get access to exclusive cruise amenities while traveling on participating cruise lines.
  • Charter services: Charter a private jet or yacht.
  • Chauffeured transportation: Arrange for a personal driver for your next vacation or business event.
  • Airport meet & assist: Arrange for a representative to expedite the airport process.
  • Wireless communication: Access secure wireless connections abroad without absorbing roaming fees.
  • No foreign transaction fees: Avoid extra fees for using your card abroad.

Travel Credits & 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 voucher: Cardholders will receive a $100 statement credit to cover the cost of the Global Entry application fee, 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 receive reimbursement through Luxury Card's travel insurance packages. Review your benefits guide for the full terms of your coverage.

Luxury Gifts

As a "thank you" for carrying the Mastercard® Gold Card™, cardholders will receive luxury gifts throughout their membership. The program has no set schedule or frequency, and the gifts may vary in value. But past cardholders have received items such as personally engraved, gold-plated pens as a part of the program.

Surprises

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

The Mastercard® Gold Card™ offers an underwhelming rewards program when you consider its high annual fee. Every dollar you charge to the card will earn you 1 point—a rate you can easily find with many no-annual-fee cash-back cards, such as the Discover it® Cash Back. However, if you choose to redeem those points for airfare or cash-back redemptions, your rewards rate increases to 2 points per dollar spent.

The company values its points at 1 cent each, since 50,000 points can be redeemed for a $1,000 airline ticket.

24-Karat Bragging Rights

The most obvious perk of the Barclays gold card (Barclays is the issuer, by way of Luxury Card) is the fact that it's plated in 24-karat gold. 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.

Mastercard® Gold Card™ Requirements

You don't need to be a member of the 1% to qualify for the Mastercard® Gold Card™. But you do need excellent credit when you submit your card application in order to gain credit approval. Additionally, you'll need a spare $995, unless you want to start carrying a balance on your card after the very first month.

Other Cons

Aside from the Mastercard® Gold Card™'s high annual fee of $995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account), there are few other cons to consider.

Fees 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 additional user you add to your account.

The information related to the Mastercard® Gold Card™ has been collected by ValuePenguin and has not been reviewed or provided by the issuer of this card prior to publication.

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®

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is a far better deal than the Mastercard® Gold Card™.

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

  • On Chase's Secure Website

$550

16.99%-23.99% Variable

Excellent

  • Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $750 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. $0 foreign transaction fees.
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $750 toward travel
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,000+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select
  • Up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • One Year Complimentary Lyft Pink ($199 minimum value). Complimentary DashPass subscription from DoorDash after activating by 12/31/21.
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Although it comes with an annual fee much higher than most credit cards—$550[/data-lightrail—it's still less than half the fee charged by the [data-lightrail on_current="true" id="1201"]Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Additionally, 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 & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. With your Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Note that you're only eligible to earn the 3 points on travel after using the $300 annual travel credit. 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 50,000-point sign-up bonus, provided you meet certain spending requirements; a $300 travel credit; lounge access and comparable travel benefits. If you're looking for a luxury credit card with high-end benefits, it's h7

ard to beat the Chase Sapphire Reserve®.

Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs The Platinum Card® from American Express

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

$550

N/A

Good/Excellent

  • Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 3 months.
  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and free rides in the U.S. up to $15 each month, plus a bonus $20 in December. That can be up to $200 in annual Uber savings.
  • 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel.
  • 5X Membership Rewards points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com.
  • Enjoy access to the Global Lounge Collection, the only credit card airport lounge access program that includes proprietary lounge locations around the world.
  • Receive complimentary benefits with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts. Learn More.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit, up to $200 per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $550 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
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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 and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked on amextravel.com. A $200 airline fee credit each year, up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue, and a one-time, 60,000-point welcome offer after you charge $5,000 to your card within three months of opening your account.

And although its $550 annual fee is rather high, it's still far cheaper than the Mastercard® Gold Card™.

One quirk about The Platinum Card® from American Express is that it's a charge card, meaning you're required to pay off your balance in full at the end of every billing cycle. While this is a limitation, it does encourage good spending habits.

For rates and fees on The Platinum Card® from American Express, click here.

Mastercard® Gold Card™ vs Mastercard® Black Card™

The Mastercard® Black Card™ is basically a watered-down version of the Mastercard® Gold Card™, but it also comes with a lower 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 1.5% back on cash redemptions and an annual travel credit of just $100. Also, 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.

Compare How These High-End Cards Could Perform for You

Our credit card comparison tool allows you to see how each card performs for your unique spending habits. Enter the amounts you typically spend each month to see your potential earnings over a two-year period.

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Daniel is a former Staff Writer at ValuePenguin, covering insurance, retirement and other personal finance topics. He previously wrote about compliance and best practices for K-12 school districts at Frontline Education.

These responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

Advertiser Disclosure: The products that appear on this site may be from companies from which ValuePenguin receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). ValuePenguin does not include all financial institutions or all products offered available in the marketplace.

How We Calculate Rewards: ValuePenguin calculates the value of rewards by estimating the dollar value of any points, miles or bonuses earned using the card less any associated annual fees. These estimates here are ValuePenguin's alone, not those of the card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer.

Example of how we calculate the rewards rates: When redeemed for travel through Ultimate Rewards, Chase Sapphire Preferred points are worth $0.0125 each. The card awards 2 points on travel and dining and 1 point on everything else. Therefore, we say the card has a 2.5% rewards rate on dining and travel (2 x $0.0125) and a 1.25% rewards rate on everything else (1 x $0.0125).

  • On Barclays' Secure Website
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