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The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ may be an ideal choice for successful individuals with a passion for traveling and desire for luxury. But beyond this niche demographic, it’s difficult to see why anyone else would pursue this card over its alternatives. The variety of travel benefits is somewhat impaired by weak cash back rewards coupled with a high annual fee.
Mastercard® Titanium Card™ Review: Our Thoughts
If you have an excellent credit rating, can afford the high sign-up cost and imagine yourself using your credit card rewards exclusively for memorable traveling experiences, then the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ could be a great fit. It offers a tremendous range of premium perks, including 24/7 concierge service. However, it offers a fairly low rewards rate: 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent. There are cards without annual fees that are able to offer 2% cash back, which should make consumers hesitate to apply for the Titanium Card.
Phenomenal Hotel and Travel Perks
The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ finds its greatest strength in VIP travel benefits. Cardholders are exposed to various luxury perks including airport meet and assist, spa credits, and airport taxi service.
There is also an increased level of security provided with this card, allowing consumers to travel with confidence. The luxury card boasts of baggage delay insurance, Mastercard ID Theft Protection, $0 fraud liability protection and price assurance. Baggage delay insurance is the guarantee that individuals will be reimbursed the cost of replacing necessary personal and business items when checked baggage on a flight purchased on a Luxury Card is delayed.
While all of these luxury hotel and travel perks are appreciated, access to the Luxury Card Concierge may be the most desirable for consumers. Concierge specialists are available 24/7 and help fulfill requests from arranging extravagant travel itineraries to searching for tickets to sold-out events.
Shortcomings of the Mastercard® Titanium Card™
Unfortunately, the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ completely lacks a sign-up or loyalty bonus, so racking up enough points to redeem them for something desirable will be a challenge. Additionally, while the card may offer one point for every dollar spent, the points will not amount to much unless redeemed for airfare — the only category where each point has 2% value as opposed to 1%.
The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ offers a range of exclusive and noteworthy travel perks, no foreign transaction fee and more security. While these are great features, they are diminished by the high annual fee, lack of loyalty or sign-up bonus, and especially by an inefficient cash-back rewards system that constrains individuals to redeeming their points for airfare.
If your passion is traveling and the high annual fee is not an issue for you, then this card may be a good choice as your sole travel card. If you do choose to apply for this card, you may want to consider supplementing the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ with a good cash-back credit card to earn higher than average rewards for your general spending.
Alternatives to the Mastercard® Titanium Card™
As noted, the biggest weakness of the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ is that it only offers 1% value for all cash-back rewards exclusive of airfare. Below, we’ve highlighted three cards that will provide better benefits and are more worth their annual fee from a holistic perspective.
Chase Sapphire Reserve®
The Chase Sapphire Reserve® is an extraordinary credit card, because it excels as a luxury travel card and rewards credit card simultaneously. Whereas the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ offers 2% value for airfare and 1% value for other cash-back rewards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® provides a stellar 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. The card also provides standard airport lounge access.
Although the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ has more luxurious premium perks, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® is an altogether more functional card that will provide lasting benefits through a much more efficient cash-back rewards system. This credit card is easily worth its hefty annual fee.
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
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- Earn 75,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $5,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
- Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on your new Card at U.S. Gas Stations and U.S. Supermarkets, on up to $15,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership. That’s an additional 9 points on top of the 1 point you earn for these purchases.
- Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member and Additional Centurion Cards only.
- Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel. Starting January 1, 2021, earn 5X points on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
- 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
- Enjoy complimentary 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 through American Express Travel with an average total value of $550 with Fine Hotels & Resorts® program at over 1,100 properties . Learn More.
- Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases at Saks Fifth Avenue on your Platinum Card®. That’s up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
- $550 annual fee.
- Terms Apply.
For those that were attracted to the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ for its luxury perks, The Platinum Card® from American Express may be the most suitable alternative given its array of benefits. Although The Platinum Card® from American Express has a high annual fee of $550 (See Rates & Fees), it offers use of Amex Centurion lounges, gold status in Hilton and Starwood hotels, and the Platinum Concierge which serves a similar function as the Luxury Card Concierge.
We conservatively evaluate the benefits on The Platinum Card® from American Express to be well worth the annual fee and more. If a consumer is simply seeking the most luxurious traveling experience possible, The Platinum Card® from American Express should be their No. 1 choice.
For rates and fees of The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is one of our favorite travel cards given its flexibility. The card offers 2X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases worldwide. There is no foreign transaction fee. Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn a $50 statement credit towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening. Get a 1:1 point transfer to airline and hotel loyalty programs.
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card is also a much more affordable credit card than the Mastercard® Titanium Card™, Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express. This card has only a $95 annual fee. Given the flexibility of this card, it would be a great fit for more casual travelers.