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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?
- 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.
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.
- Car rental: Receive competitive pricing and upgrades from Luxury Card's auto rental partners.
- Airport meet & assist: Arrange for a representative to expedite the airport process.
- 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 (3 nights average). With over 3,000 properties around the world. Benefits may include spa credits, breakfast vouchers, complimentary food and beverages, room upgrades, free-wifi, airport taxi service, early check-in, late check-out and welcome perks. View travel benefit examples at https://www.luxurycard.com/hotelandtravel.
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 & TSA Pre✓® Application Credit: 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 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.
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.
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. 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 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 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.
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.
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.
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™.
Although it comes with an annual fee much higher than most credit cards—$550—it's still less than half the fee charged by the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
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 including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 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 great sign-up bonus: Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. Additionally, it 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's hard 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 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 with American Express Travel. A $200 airline fee credit each year, up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue. New cardhoders earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you use your new Card to make $5,000 in purchases in your first 6 months.
And although its $550 annual fee is rather high, it's still far cheaper than the Mastercard® Gold Card™.
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 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.