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Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™ review

Published: April 6, 2018

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Ratings Policy
Balance Transfer Rating:
3.1 rating
3.1 rating
3.1 / 5
Introductory Offer: 3.3
Net Value: 1.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

The Mastercard Gold Card comes with a long introductory period for balance transfers and a reasonable regular APR for new purchases — however, many cardholders may find the $995 annual fee unaffordable .

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0% Introductory Period
15 months

Transfer Fee
$5 or 3% (whichever is higher)

Introductory Purchase APR
None

Regular APR
16.49% (variable)

Annual Fee
$995

Other Notable Features: 24-Gold-Plated stainless steel front and carbon back; no foreign transaction fees; $200 annual fee credit; $100 Global Entry credit; Priority Pass Select membership; 24/7 Luxury Card concierge service; global luggage delivery service; car rental services, including upgrades and discounts; cruise privileges; private jet and yacht charter services; chauffeured transportation; airport meet and greet; baggage delay insurance; trip delay insurance; travel accident insurance; car rental insurance; trip delay/cancellation/interruption insurance; travel assistance; price protection; purchase protection; return protection; extended warranty; ID theft protection; access to Mastercard priceless cities; access to exclusive events and experiences; private golf club access; luxury magazine; special surprises

Luxury Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

Designed for well-heeled cardholders who can afford to pay a nearly four-figure annual fee, this splashy metal credit card offers surprisingly few rewards for a card of its kind; but elite travelers with a taste for luxury will appreciate the Gold Card’s exclusive discounts and services.

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Rewards Rate
1 point per dollar on every purchase (2% bonus for cash back redemptions, 2% bonus for airfare redemptions)

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$995

Average Yearly Rewards Value ($75,000 spend)
$592

APR
16.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit on points you can earn
  • Use points for all or a portion of your purchase
  • Low number of points required for redemptions (50 points for airfare)
  • Redeem points for a wide number of categories: travel, merchandise, gift cards, experiences
  • Purchase travel from outside services and redeem for statement credits
  • Double points by redeeming for travel through Luxury Card rewards site

Cons:

  • No travel partners

Other Notable Features: 24-Gold-Plated stainless steel front and carbon back; no foreign transaction fees; $200 annual fee credit; $100 Global Entry credit; Priority Pass Select membership; 24/7 Luxury Card concierge service; global luggage delivery service; car rental services, including upgrades and discounts; cruise privileges; private jet and yacht charter services; chauffeured transportation; airport meet and greet; baggage delay insurance; trip delay insurance; travel accident insurance; car rental insurance; trip delay/cancellation/interruption insurance; travel assistance; price protection; purchase protection; return protection; extended warranty; ID theft protection; access to Mastercard priceless cities; access to exclusive events and experiences; private golf club access; luxury magazine; special surprises

Rewards Rating:
2.4 rating
2.4 rating
2.4 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 3.9
Rewards Flexibility: 4.7
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

With an exorbitant annual fee and average rewards earning rate, the Mastercard Gold Card is not for the average cardholder; cardholders looking for a unique card that conveys status may, however, enjoy the card’s luxury perks.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1 point per dollar on every purchase (2% bonus for cash back redemptions, 2% bonus for airfare redemptions)

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$995

Average Yearly Rewards Value
$(477)

APR
16.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit on points you can earn
  • Use points for all or a portion of your purchase
  • Low number of points required for redemptions (50 points for airfare)
  • Redeem points for a wide number of categories: travel, merchandise, gift cards, experiences
  • Purchase travel from outside services and redeem for statement credits
  • Double points by redeeming for travel through Luxury Card rewards site

Cons:

  • No travel partners

Other Notable Features: 24-Gold-Plated stainless steel front and carbon back; no foreign transaction fees; $200 annual fee credit; $100 Global Entry credit; Priority Pass Select membership; 24/7 Luxury Card concierge service; global luggage delivery service; car rental services, including upgrades and discounts; cruise privileges; private jet and yacht charter services; chauffeured transportation; airport meet and greet; baggage delay insurance; trip delay insurance; travel accident insurance; car rental insurance; trip delay/cancellation/interruption insurance; travel assistance; price protection; purchase protection; return protection; extended warranty; ID theft protection; access to Mastercard priceless cities; access to exclusive events and experiences; private golf club access; luxury magazine; special surprises

Travel Rating:
2.2 rating
2.2 rating
2.2 / 5
Rewards Value: 0.0
Annual Percentage Rate: 4.3
Rewards Flexibility: 4.2
Features: 4.0

In a nutshell:

The Mastercard Gold Card offers meager rewards earnings along with one of the priciest annual fees on the market, but elite travelers may enjoy its unique array of luxury perks.

Learn more about this card

Rewards Rate
1 point per dollar on every purchase (2% bonus for cash back redemptions, 2% bonus for airfare redemptions)

Sign-up Bonus
None

Annual Fee
$995

Average Yearly Rewards Value
$(477)

APR
16.49% (variable)

Rewards Redemption
Pros:

  • Points don’t expire
  • No blackout dates
  • No limit on points you can earn
  • Use points for all or a portion of your purchase
  • Low number of points required for redemptions (50 points for airfare)
  • Redeem points for a wide number of categories: travel, merchandise, gift cards, experiences
  • Purchase travel from outside services and redeem for statement credits
  • Double points by redeeming for travel through Luxury Card rewards site

Cons:

  • No travel partners

Other Notable Features: 24-Gold-Plated stainless steel front and carbon back; no foreign transaction fees; $200 annual fee credit; $100 Global Entry credit; Priority Pass Select membership; 24/7 Luxury Card concierge service; global luggage delivery service; car rental services, including upgrades and discounts; cruise privileges; private jet and yacht charter services; chauffeured transportation; airport meet and greet; baggage delay insurance; trip delay insurance; travel accident insurance; car rental insurance; trip delay/cancellation/interruption insurance; travel assistance; price protection; purchase protection; return protection; extended warranty; ID theft protection; access to Mastercard priceless cities; access to exclusive events and experiences; private golf club access; luxury magazine; special surprises

With a nearly four-figure annual fee and a strikingly low rewards rate, the Mastercard Gold Card is in a league of its own. Offering just one point for every dollar you spend (plus an effective 100 percent bonus if you redeem your points for cash or travel), it has little to offer rewards hunters looking to maximize their spending. It also charges such a high annual fee that any rewards that cardholders do earn are eaten up by annual charges.

So why would anyone spend nearly $1,000 for a Gold-plated stainless steel credit card that costs more than twice the amount of many of its competitors? For many cardholders, it comes down to services, rather than value.

Like most upscale credit cards, the Mastercard Gold Card offers a number of premium benefits that help partially offset the card’s annual fee, including travel credits, airport lounge access, premium travel insurance, 24/7 concierge service and invitation-only experiences. But in addition to more standard luxury card perks, such as premium insurance, it also offers elite services that can make life easier and more pleasant for super premium cardholders, such as global luggage delivery so you don’t have to haul around your luggage and a personal greeter to help you zip through the airport.

Deciding whether this card is for you depends, in part, on what you’re looking for from a credit card and whether or not you’d actually use the Gold Card’s perks. Here’s what else you should know about the Mastercard Gold Card:

Paltry rewards rate

Compared to most super premium cards, the Mastercard Gold Card offers one of the stingiest rewards programs around. For example, many of the Gold Card’s competitors offer bonus points on certain types of popular spending, such as travel or restaurant tabs. The Gold Card doesn’t. It offers just one point for every dollar you spend, no matter what you buy. Most super premium cards also offer hefty sign-up bonuses, making cardholders’ first year especially lucrative. Not the Gold Card. It doesn’t offer any kind of sign-up bonus — which is unusual for a card of its caliber — nor does it offer an annual bonus.

Above average value

The Mastercard Gold Card tries to get away with offering such a low rewards rate by promising a higher rewards value when you redeem your points for travel or a statement credit. For example, rather than value rewards points at a penny each, Mastercard will value points at two cents each, which is well above what most other cards offer. As a result, the Gold Card’s rewards rate effectively grows to 2 points for every dollar spent.

But even if you redeem all your points for cash and travel, the higher rewards value still doesn’t make up for the card’s paltry rate. You’d have to charge more than $4,000 a month just to earn back its annual fee. Meanwhile, you can find no-annual fee cards that offer the exact same 2 percent rewards rate — no annual commitment required.

Fewer options for redemption

The Gold Card also strictly limits how you can use your rewards points, and so you may not find this rewards program worth it if you’re a member of other travel loyalty programs. For example, unlike many of the Gold Card’s competitors, this card doesn’t let you transfer your points to airline or hotel partners. That’s a huge drawback for frequent travelers who like to mingle rewards between different programs.

The Gold Card does let you pay for travel with partial points, though, and so you don’t necessarily need to earn a huge amount of points to find it valuable. For example, if you have a limited number of points, you can use your points to slash the price of an upcoming a flight, rather than wait until you have enough points to redeem a completely free trip.

Some high-value perks

The Gold Mastercard also offers a number of travel benefits that help make it somewhat less expensive — especially if you were already planning to purchase the benefits it offers on your own. For example, cardholders get a $200 annual airline credit, an application credit for Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check (up to $100 value), airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select (a nearly $400 value) and upgraded travel insurance, including lost baggage protection and trip delay or cancellation insurance.

In addition, the Gold Card caters to elite travelers by offering access to a number of high-end amenities, such as chauffeured car services, private boats and jets, extra perks on cruises and more. Cardholders also get access to exclusive events and experiences and are periodically treated to luxury “surprises.”

Lots of services

Perhaps the biggest selling point for the Gold Mastercard, though, is its extensive list of high-end, personally tailored services.  For example, cardholders can ask for a representative to greet them at the airport and assist them with navigating the airport more quickly.

Or cardholders can have their baggage delivered directly to their destination so they don’t have to haul it themselves. In addition, the Gold Card offers an elite 24/7 concierge service that will personally tailor recommendations and help you book hard-to-get reservations. If you crave more extensive customer service than what’s typically offered through the average credit card, then this card may appeal to you.

Why get the Mastercard Gold Card?

  • You want upgraded customer service.
  • You enjoy luxury perks, such as high-end gifts and exclusive experiences.
  • You want a simple rewards card with a flat rewards rate.

How to use the Mastercard Gold Card:

  • Maximize your rewards earnings by redeeming your points for travel or a statement credit.
  • Use your card regularly in order to earn enough points to win a free trip or a significant amount of cash back.
  • Get to know the card’s ancillary benefits so you can fully take advantage of all your card has to offer and enjoy the Gold Card’s more valuable perks.

All reviews are prepared by CreditCards.com staff. Opinions expressed therein are solely those of the reviewer and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, presented in the review is accurate as of the date of the review. Check the data at the top of this page and the bank’s website for the most current information.

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