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Mastercard® Gold Card™ Review: Is it worth a $995 annual fee?

Updated Oct 20, 2021 | Published Mar 16, 202011 min read

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Mastercard® Gold Card™

Min Credit Level Excellent
Annual Fee $995
Regular APR 14.99% Variable
At a glance

The Mastercard Gold Card is a pricy premium credit card with solid travel benefits and an underwhelming rewards program. The card doesn’t quite measure up to some of its less-expensive competitors, but if you love to travel and desperately want a gold-plated credit card, this is an option.

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Our Rating: 3 Out of 5 Stars

The Mastercard® Gold Card™ offers some great benefits, like airport lounge access, a $200 airline credit, a 24/7 concierge available via live chat, and thousands of dollars in potential hotel credits. You may very well be able to get more than enough value from this card to offset the annual fee from the benefits.

However, it only earns the equivalent of 2% cash back on all purchases, which you can get on cards with no annual fee. There’s no introductory bonus, unlike many cards with and without annual fees.

Why We Like It

  • Strong travel benefits
  • Unique design, plated with 24k gold

Why It Could Be Better

  • Low rewards
  • No introductory bonus
  • Very high annual fee
  • Does not hold up well to the competition
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Mastercard® Gold Card™
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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$995
  • Purchase APR14.99% Variable

The Mastercard Gold Card is a 24k-gold-plated metal rewards credit card for people with excellent credit who travel frequently. It comes with high-end benefits and a hefty annual fee.

If you want a heavy, metal credit card plated in actual gold, then this may be the card for you. It’s one of the heaviest metal credit cards out there.

This card is on the highest end of the Luxury Card line of rewards cards, which includes:

Keep reading to learn all about this card, or compare it to alternatives.

Insider tip

While it has its perks, and it’s not an overtly terrible card if you’re a huge spender, the Gold Card actually earned a spot on our list of the worst credit cards thanks to its massive annual fee and benefits that are matched or exceeded by cards with lower annual fees.

Insider Advice: Getting the Most Out of Your Card

  • Take advantage of the airfare credit: Use the full $200 airline fee credit every year to offset part of the annual fee (you can do this by purchasing at least $200 in airfare on the card).
  • Check out the airport lounges: Use this card for Priority Pass airport lounge access for you and unlimited guests. Enrollment is automatic after being approved.
  • Utilize the travel benefits: Make the most of the VIP Hotel & Travel Benefits while staying with any participating hotels to help offset the annual fee by getting hundreds or thousands of dollars in credits and discounts.
  • Get through security lines faster: If you don’t already have Global Entry and plan to apply, pay the application fee with this card to help offset the annual fee. Global Entry can include TSA PreCheck, too, if you choose to sign up.
  • Unwind on a private golf course: Use your Mastercard Priceless Golf benefit and bring along one other person to get access to private golf courses, where you’ll be treated like a member.
  • Pay with the card that offers the best rewards: For purchases, only use this card when you won’t earn 2% cash back value or more with another card (unless you’re aiming to use one of this card’s benefits, like trip cancellation insurance — in that case you’ll need to pay with the card to get the benefit).
  • Limit your high annual fee cards: You probably don’t need more than one high annual fee travel card in your wallet, whether it’s this card or one of its top competitors, because they have similar benefits.

The Rewards

This card earns the equivalent of 2% cash back on all purchases when you redeem for a statement credit or to a bank account, or for airfare redemption booked through Luxury Card. There are also a few ways to redeem for less value.

Most travel-focused cards earn a sign up bonus for spending a certain amount within the first few months of account opening, but this card doesn’t.


Spending Rewards
  • 1X point per dollar on every purchase


There are two possible values you’ll get when you redeem points:

  • 2 cents per point when you redeem as a statement credit, direct deposit to a bank account, or for airfare booked through
  • 1 cent per point when you redeem for hotels, car rentals, gift cards, or merchandise

As long as the account is open and good standing, points don’t expire. Unlike Amex Membership Rewards points or Chase Ultimate Rewards points, these points can’t be transferred to airline or hotel loyalty programs. You can often get more rewards value when you transfer points to travel partners, so it’s unfortunate that the Gold card has no transfer partners.

As far as rewards potential goes, a maximum of 2% cash back equivalent is low, especially for a card with such a high annual fee. For example, the Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer (Review), which has no annual fee, earns 2% cash back on all purchases (1% on purchases, and 1% on payments as long as you pay at least the minimum due on time).

Reward redemptions start at $1 of redemption value, so you could cash in as few as 50 points at a time for $1 in airfare, a statement credit, or a direct deposit. Or, as few as 100 points for gift cards, merchandise, hotels, and car rentals.

The Benefits

Sitting at the high end of the credit card spectrum when it comes to fees, the Gold card comes with what might seem like a disappointing set of benefits. These include a handful of useful credits and access to a number of luxury programs.

  • $200 annual airline credit: The Gold Card includes a $200 annual air travel credit. This means you can charge up to $200 of airline tickets, baggage fees, or in-flight purchases and they’ll get credited back to your account — you won’t ever have to pay for those purchases.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Most high-end travel cards with an annual fee above $300 come with some kind of airport lounge access. These airport lounge benefits often include Priority Pass Select, which is the program you get access to with the Gold Card. Unlike most other cards, the Gold Card lets you bring in unlimited guests for free
  • Global Entry credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection offers Global Entry, which is a program that provides expedited entry to the United States. There’s a $100 application fee to apply for Global Entry, and if you charge that fee to the Gold Card it will be reimbursed automatically. Global Entry can include TSA PreCheck, if you sign up for it.
  • VIP Hotel & Travel Benefits: Every year, Luxury Card sends a physical book to cardholders that covers a wide variety of specific benefits at hotels. You can find a link to a digital version here. This benefit is potentially one of the most valuable aspects of this card, since it provides some large credits (over $100 in some cases) and significant discounts at luxury hotels.
  • Luxury Card Concierge: The Gold Card includes a personal 24/7 concierge service. Most credit cards with a concierge require you to call a phone number to contact the concierge, which you can do with this card, but the Luxury Card app also lets you chat with a concierge any time through a messaging interface.
  • Luxury Gifts: As far as we can tell, this means they’ll randomly send you gifts in the mail. The official card website says the gift program “has no predetermined schedule or frequency.” So, if you get this card you might occasionally get some surprise packages.
  • Luxury Magazine: The Luxury Card website says this magazine is “exclusive to Luxury Card members,” yet they link to, which appears to be accessible to anyone. They probably mean the print edition is only available to cardholders, but either way this seems like a weak benefit.

Mastercard Benefits

  • Mastercard Priceless Program: According to the Luxury Card website, “members enjoy curated, invitation-only, once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Enjoy a look behind the scenes, sit courtside, see the dress rehearsal before opening night or learn skills from top experts in their trade. Priceless delivers exclusive opportunities to go beyond the ordinary.”
  • Mastercard Priceless Golf: Schedule a tee time on a private course at a TPC Golf course through Mastercard Golf. You’ll need at least one other person to utilize this benefit. There are other perks you could take advantage of too, including private member treatment, locker room access, membership amenities, and more. Fees will vary depending on the course you choose.
  • Avis Preferred Plus membership: Membership perks include complimentary upgrades when available, an opt-in 25%–50% Avis Preferred Point bonus, and a special membership number for reservations and customer support.
  • Lyft credits: Get $5 in Lyft credits per month when you take three eligible rides and pay with your card.
  • DoorDash credits: Three free months of DashPass, renews automatically after the trial ends; $5 off first two DoorDash orders per month until 9/30/22.
  • Boxed discount: Get 5% cash rewards on eligible purchases.
  • Fandango discount: Enroll in Fandango VIP for free to earn 250 Fandango VIP+ points per ticket, enough for a $5 reward.
  • ShopRunner: Enroll in ShopRunner to get free two-day shipping and returns at participating online retailers.
  • onefinestay membership: Get a 10% discount on onefinestay bookings, plus free WiFi and a complimentary iPhone (with free local calls and data) to use during your stay.
  • Shopping and travel protections: Including cell phone protection, baggage delay insurance, trip interruption/cancellation insurance, and more

The Terms & Fees

Purchase APR Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
14.99% Variable 0% for 15 billing cycles, then 14.99% Variable 25.24% Variable
Annual Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
$995 0%
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee
3% ($5 min) 5% ($10 min)
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
N/A Up to $39 Up to $39

The annual fee stands out most here. It’s hard to justify at a whopping $995. Authorized users cost an additional $295. The introductory APR for balance transfers looks a little odd on a card like this, too.

This card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, which is expected for a high-end travel card.

Interest rates are relatively low, although that shouldn’t matter, because we recommend you avoid interest completely by paying the full statement balance every month. The intro APR on balance transfers is OK, but it’s not something people considering this card would likely need. It would probably be a better idea to put the $995 toward paying off credit card balances than opening this expensive card and transferring a balance to it!

The Bottom Line

Whether the Mastercard® Gold Card™ is right for you depends largely on how much you’ll be able to use its benefits. The wide range of credits provided by Luxury Card’s VIP Hotel & Travel Benefits Program could offer seemingly endless value to the luxury-minded, travel-oriented cardholder.

But even with its appealing benefits, the Mastercard Gold Card is far from the best premium travel card on the market. Its annual fee leans toward exorbitant, and its rewards program is average at best.

So, if you’re seriously in the market for a function-first premium credit card, you may want to consider the alternatives (which you’ll find below). You’ll generally pay a much lower annual fee, and you’ll probably end up with better rewards and comparable or better benefits, including the Global Entry credit, airline fee credit, and airport lounge access flaunted by the Gold Card, plus more.

If it’s a heavy, shiny, gold-plated credit card you’re after, however, the Mastercard Gold Card could be the right choice. Because it’s pretty much the only choice.

How Do I Apply for the Mastercard Gold Card?

This card is issued by Barclays. If you apply they’ll usually pull information from your TransUnion credit report. You can securely fill out an application and apply now by following the link below. You’ll typically here back instantly if you’ve been approved or denied.

What Credit Scores Do I Need to Qualify for the Mastercard Gold Card?

You should have excellent credit before applying for the Mastercard Gold Card.

In order to have excellent credit, your credit scores would need to be within the ranges of 800–850 for FICO and 750–850 for VantageScore.

But there are other factors credit card issuers take into account when deciding your creditworthiness. Barclays will look at things like your source of income, total annual income, and occupation making its decision. So if your scores are lower than those ranges, this additional information could lead to your approval.

However, that also means even if your scores are high enough, you might be denied.

Qualifications and Requirements

  • Must be 18 to apply
  • General information: Name, permanent address, time at permanent address, residence status
  • Employment and financial information: Source of income, occupation, total annual gross income
  • Contact information: Primary phone, email address
  • Security information: Date of birth, Social Security number, mother’s maiden name
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Mastercard® Gold Card™
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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$995
  • Purchase APR14.99% Variable

Frequently Asked Questions

What benefits come with the Mastercard Gold Card?

The Mastercard Gold Card comes with a slew of benefits, including a $200 annual incidental airline fee credit, a Priority Pass Select membership, a Global Entry credit, Luxury Card Concierge, VIP Hotel & Travel Benefits, the ability to earn Lyft credits, and a handful of shopping and travel protections. These include baggage delay insurance, trip interruption/cancellation insurance, travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, and more.

You can see all the benefits in greater detail right here.

What’s the Mastercard Gold Card’s annual fee?

The annual fee is a hefty $995. But, there are quite a few benefits attached, including a $200 annual airline fee credit and a valuable Priority Pass Select membership that help soften the blow (a little bit).

What’s the Mastercard Gold Card made out of?

The Mastercard Gold Card is a heavy, metal card, plated with 24-karat gold. Pretty unique, albeit perhaps slightly unnecessary.

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Alternatives to the Mastercard Gold Card

There are a few other cards with lower annual fees and great benefits that you might want to check out if you’re considering the Mastercard Gold Card.

  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$695
  • Purchase APRSee Pay Over Time APR

Rates & Fees

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: 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 only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
Why We Picked It

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Review) established the idea of a high-priced travel card with great benefits.

The Platinum is considerably more rewarding than the Gold Card. It offers multiple categories in which you’ll earn points, whereas the Gold only offers 1X point on all purchases. You’ll have a chance to earn a sizable intro bonus with the Platinum, unlike the Gold Card. The benefits package for the Platinum is also more enticing than what the Gold Card offers, with the best airport lounge access available on a card, elite hotel statuses, and a variety of annual credits.

You’ll have to decide if you want a more rewarding, less expensive experience with the Platinum, or if you want to make a splash with an actual gold-plated credit card. But the Platinum card is impressive in its own right — and it’s not quite so gaudy.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X Membership Rewards points per dollar on:
    • Flights booked directly through airlines or through Amex Travel (on up to $500,000 spent per calendar year, then 1X)
    • Prepaid hotels booked through Amex Travel
  • 2X Membership Rewards points per dollar on other eligible travel expenses booked through Amex Travel
  • 1X Membership Rewards point per dollar on other eligible purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 100,000 bonus points for spending $6,000 in the first 6 months; 10X points on eligible purchases at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during the first 6 months
Key Features
  • Global Lounge Collection: Enroll for complimentary access to Priority Pass, Centurion, American Express International, Delta Sky Club, Escape, Airspace, Lufthansa, and Plaza Premium Lounges.
  • Up to $200 in annual Uber Cash: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get up to $15 in Uber Cash per month, plus a bonus $20 in December; U.S. Eats orders and rides only.
  • $200 hotel credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits each year for prepaid hotels booked through The Hotel Collection and Fine Hotels & Resorts; must pay with the Platinum card.
  • $300 Equinox credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $300 in statement credits annually with Equinox (up to $25 per month), for Equinox All Access, Destination, E by Equinox, or Equinox+ membership fees.
  • $240 digital entertainment credit: Pay with your Platinum card to get up to $240 in statement credits annually for digital entertainment (up to $20 per month), only for eligible purchases from Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times.
  • CLEAR credit: Up to $179 in statement credits annually for CLEAR biometric security, enough for a membership.
  • Uber Eats Pass: Get unlimited $0 delivery fees and 5% off orders at eligible restaurants for 12 months; must enroll by 12/31/21. Taxes and service fees may apply and do not count toward the order minimum. Eats Pass will start auto-billing 12 months from enrollment, at then-current monthly rate. Learn more.
  • Uber VIP status: Add your Platinum card to the Uber App to get Uber VIP status where available.
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit: A statement credit for the application fee of either Global Entry ($100 every four years) or TSA PreCheck ($85 once every four and a half years)
  • Complimentary elite hotel statuses: Hilton Honors Gold status and Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • The Hotel Collection: A $100 hotel credit and room upgrades when available for every eligible two-night stay
  • Fine Hotels & Resorts Program: Daily breakfast for two, room upgrades when available, amenities valued at $100, and more at eligible properties
  • $100 annual Saks credit: Up to $100 in statement credits each year for Saks Fifth Avenue: $50 from January through June, and $50 from July through December
  • Global Dining Access by Resy: Resy provides access to exclusive reservations and dining experiences.
  • Point transfer: To a selection of airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Shopping and travel protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty; Return Protection; Baggage Insurance Plan; Car Rental Loss and Damage Insurance; Trip Delay Insurance; Trip Cancellation and Interruption Insurance
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $695

Enrollment required for select benefits; terms and limitations apply.

The Platinum Card® from American Express (Rates & Fees)

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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$550
  • Purchase APR16.99% - 23.99% Variable
  • 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. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • Earn 5X total points on air travel and 10X total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards® immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3X points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • 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
  • With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more
Why We Picked It

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® (Review) boasts a much lower annual fee than the Gold Card, along with a higher travel credit.

You’ll have the opportunity to earn more with the Sapphire Reserve than with the Gold, especially given the point redemption and transfer opportunities. The travel credit is top-notch. The other benefits are largely the same, each card providing a pretty strong set.

So if you’re looking to save some money annually while getting better rewards and benefits, this might be a solid choice for you.

Spending Rewards
  • 10X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Chase Dining through Ultimate Rewards
    • Hotel stays and Car rentals through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Lyft rides (through 3/31/22)
  • 5X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar on Air travel through Ultimate Rewards (after the full travel credit is used)
  • 3X Ultimate Rewards points per dollar:
    • Travel (after the full travel credit is used)
    • Dining
  • 1X Ultimate Rewards point per dollar on all other purchases
Introductory Bonus
  • 50,000 bonus points after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months

You’ll also earn an additional 50% point bonus when redeeming for travel through the Chase Ultimate Rewards portal, which would give you 1.5 cents per point.

Point transfers to partner airlines and hotels could provide an even better value, potentially giving 2 cents per point or more.

Key Features
  • $300 annual travel credit: You’ll get a $300 travel credit every year that will be automatically applied to any travel-related expenses you charge to your card.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Cardholders get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, which provides access to over 1,000 airport lounges and restaurants worldwide. You must manually activate this benefit, and you’ll receive a Priority Pass Select member card in the mail.
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Every four years you’ll get up to a $100 credit towards the application fee for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85).
  • Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection: The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection provides some complimentary services and benefits at participating hotels and resorts.
  • Elite hotel benefits at Relais & Châteaux: Cardholders get accelerated progress towards Club 5C member status with Relais & Châteaux luxury hotel and resort properties; just stay two nights at qualifying properties in a 12-month period. Club 5C status provides benefits like a VIP welcome, room upgrades, access to a unique experience at each property, and invitations to exclusive events. You must book using the Visa Infinite Concierge.
  • $120 Peloton credit: Enroll to get up to $120 back for an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership (through 2021). No fitness equipment is required.
  • Visa Infinite Concierge: Call 1-877-660-0905 for non-emergency help of all kinds, like making dinner reservations or finding good tickets to a show. You can also ask for travel recommendations, for flights, tourist attractions, the best shopping spots, restaurants, night clubs, etc. This benefit is probably most useful when visiting a new city.
  • Special car rental privileges: You can access your special car rental privileges by logging in to Chase Ultimate Rewards and following the instructions to enroll. You’ll get perks at Avis, Silvercar, and National Car Rental like rental upgrades, discounts, and occasional promotional offers.
  • Lyft Pink membership: One-year exclusive saving opportunities with Lyft Pink membership, providing 15% off rides, relaxed cancellation fees, priority dispatch at airports, and more
  • DoorDash membership, $60 annual DoorDash credit: Chase will pay for a DoorDash subscription for two years (a DashPass). You’ll also get $60 in DoorDash credits in 2020, and $60 in 2021 (learn more about Chase DoorDash benefits).
  • Shopping protections: Purchase Protection; Extended Warranty Protection; Return Protection
  • Travel protections: Primary Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver; Roadside Assistance; Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance; Baggage Delay Insurance; Travel Accident Insurance; Trip Delay Reimbursement; Lost Luggage Reimbursement; Travel and Emergency Assistance; Emergency Evacuation & Transportation
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $550
  • Min. credit levelGood
  • Annual Fee$495
  • Purchase APR16.99%–23.99% Variable
  • 5X ThankYou points on Air travel and Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points on Hotels and Cruise Lines
  • No limit to the amount of points you can earn
  • Rewards never expire
  • $250 travel credit
  • Complimentary 4th night free on eligible hotel stays, capped at twice per year
  • Complimentary Priority Pass Select membership
  • Global Entry or TSA Pre✓ Application Fee Credit
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • $495 annual fee
Why We Picked It

The Citi Prestige® Card (Review) is another top-tier travel card with great benefits and a lower annual fee than the Gold Card.

The Prestige is more rewarding than the Gold Card in many respects. You’ll earn a solid amount of points in many categories, including dining and when you book at hotels, rather than a flat 1X point on every purchase.

You’ll get a higher travel credit and equally strong perks (including the excellent 4th night free benefit), for nearly half the price. There’s also a nice intro bonus, unlike the Gold Card.

It’d be tough to earn more points per dollar in the Prestige’s categories with another card; if they look good, and if hotels are your thing, this is definitely a card to consider.

Spending Rewards
  • 5X ThankYou points per dollar on:
    • Air travel
    • Restaurants
  • 3X ThankYou points per dollar on:
    • Hotels
    • Cruise lines
  • 1X ThankYou point per dollar for every other purchase
Introductory Bonus Offer
  • 50,000 ThankYou points for spending $4,000 within 3 months of account opening
Key Features
  • $250 annual travel credit: Get an automatic $250 credit to use for practically any travel expense
  • Complimentary 4th night stay: Get one free night with no blackout dates if you book four nights in a row through, and pay using your card, ThankYou points, or a combination of both. Capped at two uses per year.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: You and your authorized users can access Priority Pass lounges at no charge (with up to two guests for free).
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck application fee credit: Get a statement credit for the application fee for either Global Entry ($100) or TSA PreCheck ($85) every five years.
  • Purchase and Balance Transfer APR: 16.99%–23.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $495

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  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$495
  • Purchase APR14.99% Variable
  • Patented black-PVD-coated metal card—weighing 22 grams.
  • 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.
  • Annual Airline Credit—up to $100 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: $495 ($195 for each Authorized User). Terms and conditions apply.
Why We Picked It

The Mastercard® Black Card™ (Review) is a sleek, stainless steel high-end travel card that’s similar to the Gold card but with a much lower annual fee.

If you’re looking to make an impact with a metal card, this one could still do the trick (and might be confused with the infamous Amex “Black” Card). The Mastercard Black and Gold both offer a flat 1X point on all purchases, with the chance of earning up to a 2% return on spend, but the Gold has a better cash back redemption rate.

The Gold Card also has some stronger benefits, but that doesn’t count the Black Card out. You’ll still receive an annual flight credit and airport lounge access, just with half the annual fee, and it’d be easy to argue that it’s a better deal all around.

If you’re looking for a powerful card you might not want to go for the gold. The Black Card still carries strong benefits and practically the same reward system, all while costing significantly less.

Spending Rewards
  • 1X point per dollar on all purchases

You’ll get 1.5 cents per point for statement credit redemptions (less than the Gold), and 2 cents per point for airfare (the same as the Gold).

So you’re getting a cash back equivalent of 1.5% for statement credits, and 2% for airfare.

Key Features
  • $100 annual travel credit: Get a $100 travel credit every year, which can be applied to travel expenses like airfare, baggage fees, and in-flight purchases.
  • Global Entry application fee credit: Receive a $100 Global Entry application fee credit, once every four years.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: Gain access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide at no charge, and bring unlimited guests with you.
  • Luxury Card ConciergeGet access to 24/7 concierge service for help with travel suggestions, restaurant reservations, entertainment tickets, and more.
  • Purchase APR: 14.99% Variable
  • Balance Transfer APR: 0% for 15 months, then 14.99% Variable
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Annual fee: $495
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Mastercard® Gold Card™
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • Min. credit levelExcellent
  • Annual Fee$995
  • Purchase APR14.99% Variable

Do you use the Mastercard Gold Card? Let us know how you like it in the comments below!

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

Written by

Brendan Harkness

Brendan has been writing about personal finance for over eight years, and is now taking on the challenge of bringing high-quality credit education to the masses. He makes sure that Credit Card Insider is covering the most important credit topics transparently and precisely, and that we have up-to-date reviews of credit cards so you can find cards that are right for you.

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

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