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Review

Mastercard® Titanium Card™ Review: Is it worth a $195 annual fee?

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Brendan Harkness By Brendan Harkness Mar 12, 2018 | Updated Dec 02, 2019
Our rating
Min. credit level: Good
Annual Fee: $195
Regular APR: 16.49% Variable

The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ is a stainless steel rewards card for frequent travelers with excellent credit scores.

Considering the annual fee, the rewards program is not as lucrative as you may find on other cards with annual fees, but the benefits, like the concierge available via live chat in their app and hotel credits, can be quite valuable depending on how you use them. This is a thick, heavy, metal credit card, so it may be the card for you if you want to make an impression.

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

Card Annual Fee
Mastercard® Titanium Card™ (This Review) $195
Mastercard® Black Card™ (Review)  $495
Mastercard® Gold Card™ (Review)  $995

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

Mastercard® Titanium Card™

Mastercard® Titanium Card™

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$195
Regular APR16.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Our Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

You can get a similar or better rewards value from less expensive cards, but this card is designed to shine in other areas: the benefits offered on the card and the physical design of the card itself.

The VIP Hotel & Travel benefits stand out as one area this card can provide a ton of value. If you can use those credits and discounts frequently, the card can quickly be worth the annual fee.

Luxury Card has a smartphone app where you can chat with Luxury Card Concierge 24/7 to get access to exclusive tickets, help with tasks, and more. This is the only issuer we’ve seen that offers this, as most cards with a concierge require a phone call.

The maximum rewards value you can get for spending on this card is the equivalent of only 2% cash back, but that’s only if you redeem your rewards for airfare. There are cards with no annual fee that earn 2% cash back on everything, so this card doesn’t offer a ton of value in terms of rewards.

If you travel frequently and you’re willing to pay an annual fee in the $300–400 range, you may be able to get some good benefits and rewards with other cards. These benefits, like airport lounge access, travel credits, and a credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck could outweigh the fee, especially combined with higher rewards potential.

Insider Advice: Using This Card as Part of Your Credit Card Strategy

  • Use the VIP Hotel & Travel benefits as much as possible each year to get as much value as you can from this card.
  • Download the Luxury Card app to chat with a concierge to get exclusive tickets and help with requests
  • Only redeem rewards for travel to maximize rewards value, and only use it for spending where you wouldn’t earn the equivalent of 2% cash back with another card.
  • 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 tend to have similar benefits.

The Rewards

This card earns the equivalent of 2% cash back on all purchases when you redeem for airfare purchases. Otherwise, when you redeem for statement credits or to a bank account, you’ll only get the equivalent of 1% cash back.

Many travel cards, especially those with annual fees, earn an introductory bonus when you spend a certain amount in the first few billing cycles of account opening, but this card does not.

Earning

All purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent. There are no bonus categories that earn more points with this card.

Redeeming

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

  • $0.02 per point for airfare redemptions booked through myluxurycard.com
  • $0.01 per point when you redeem as a statement credit, direct deposit to a bank account, or for hotels, car rentals, gift cards, or merchandise

As long as the account is open and in good standing, the points don’t expire. Some cards let you transfer points to partner loyalty programs. For example, you can exchange Chase Ultimate Rewards points and American Express Membership Rewards points for airline miles at several different airlines to get more redemption value from them. However, your options are much fewer with the Titanium Card.

Reward redemptions on this card start at $1 of redemption value. That means you can cash in as few as 50 points at a time when you’re redeeming for airfare, since that’s what it takes to equal $1 in airfare. Otherwise, you’ll need to redeem a minimum of 100 points at a time, since the points don’t go as far with other redemption options.

A maximum of 2% cash back is low for a card with an annual fee, especially one over $100. For comparison, the Uber Credit Card (Review) has no annual fee and earns 5% back on Uber purchases, 3% back on dining, hotels, and airfare, and 1% on everything else. But, that card does not have the same level of benefits offered by this card.

How to Offset the Annual Fee

When we just look at rewards, you would need to spend at least $9,750 per year on this card and redeem all your points for airfare for your rewards value to equal the $195 annual fee.

If you were to use all your points for cash back redemptions to a bank account or as a statement credit, you would need to spend $19,500 per year just to cover the cost of the annual fee.

If you mix your redemptions between both categories, the amount you’d need to spend would be somewhere in between. To actually come out ahead in rewards value, you’d need to spend more than just enough to cover this cost. If you check out other travel cards with annual fees, there are ways to spend less before you start coming out ahead, so this is not a very good deal when you’re just looking at card rewards.

When you consider the benefits, though, there’s one that stands out most for getting value from the card: the VIP Hotel & Travel benefits. This includes $100+ credits at some hotels, which can add up quickly to make up for the annual fee of this card. If you maximize your use of these benefits this card could be well worth its cost.

The Benefits

There are few major benefits of this card Here are a few of the highlights.

VIP Hotel & Travel Benefits

Each year, cardholders get a physical book that covers many different travel benefits. Some of these include car rental discounts and upgrades, and discounts or valuable credits at certain hotels. If you want to see the 2019 copy of the book sent to cardholders, there’s a digital version online here.

The discounts and credits available with this benefit can quickly add up to hundreds or thousands of dollars. If you travel frequently, this benefit can quickly make the card worth its annual fee. However, if you don’t travel often this card is probably not for you, as it will take quite a bit of spending to make up for the annual fee in rewards value.

Concierge

The Titanium Card includes a 24/7 concierge service. Most credit card concierges are available by phone, but Luxury Card offers an app where you can chat live with a concierge. You may find this useful for booking travel and other travel assistance, like finding restaurants in a new city. The concierge may also have access to tickets to sold-out concerts and events or be able to help you get other limited-availability reservations. Having the immediate access through a live chat interface seems a lot more useful that a concierge that requires a phone call.

To learn more about credit card concierges and what people request from them check out this Reddit AMA with a former Amex concierge.

Baggage Delay Insurance

If you purchase transit tickets with this card, you’ll be reimbursed for the cost of replacing items if your luggage is delayed more than 12 hours. We found the details about this benefit in the same guide linked above. Certain items aren’t covered, including contact lenses, hearing aids, prosthetics, documents, money, checks, and business samples.

Other Luxury Benefits

The Titanium Card, along with the other Luxury Cards, has some other “luxury” benefits. Here are a few of those.

Luxury Gifts

This benefit is somewhat ambiguous. The official Luxury Card website says the gift program “has no predetermined schedule or frequency.” From what we gather based on conversations with customer service, you might get some surprise packages in the mail occasionally if you have this card.

Luxury Magazine

According to the Luxury Card website, cardholders get a magazine that’s “exclusive to Luxury Card members.” However, they probably only mean the print edition is exclusive, since anyone can see it online at luxurymagazine.com. This doesn’t seem like a valuable benefit, and can actually be kind of annoying, because they print and send this big book even if your account is set up as paperless.

Other Benefits

Besides the high-end perks above, the Luxury cards also come with some World Elite Mastercard benefits:

  • Lyft Credit: Get $10 in Lyft credits per month when you take five rides and pay with your card.
  • Postmates Discount: Get a $5 discount on all orders over $25.
  • Boxed Discount: Get 5% cash rewards on eligible Boxed.com 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.

The Costs & Fees

Annual Fee Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular Purchase APR Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR
$195 0% for 15 months 16.49% Variable 16.49% Variable 26.74% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee Cash Advance Fee Foreign Transaction Fee
3% ($5 min) 5% ($10 min) 0%
Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
N/A Up to $37 Up to $37

The main consideration here is the $195 annual fee. Authorized users cost an additional $95.

This card doesn’t have a foreign transaction fee, which should be expected on any travel card with an annual fee.

The APR for purchases is somewhat low compared to other cards, but that should not matter. We recommend you avoid interest completely by paying the full statement balance every month.

Oddly, there’s an introductory APR for balance transfers on this card, which probably isn’t something people considering this card would need. Instead of getting this card with a $195 annual fee, that money could be put toward paying off existing credit card debt instead of transferring it. And if you’re looking to do a balance transfer, there are cards with much better offers.

How to Apply for the Mastercard Titanium Card

The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ card is issued by Barclaycard. If you submit a credit card application, they will usually check your TransUnion credit report.

This card is designed for people with excellent credit, so if your credit doesn’t meet the minimum requirements you may not be approved.

Mastercard® Titanium Card™

Mastercard® Titanium Card™

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$195
Regular APR16.49% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

Alternatives to the Mastercard Titanium Card

If you’re considering the Mastercard Titanium Card, there may be some better options out there for you:

 

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Our rating
Min. credit levelExcellent
Details
Annual Fee$450
Regular APR18.49% - 25.49% Variable
  • higher annual fee
  • $300 annual travel credit
  • great introductory bonus and rewards on travel and dining

 

American Express® Gold Card

American Express® Gold Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
(Rates & Fees)
Annual Fee$250
Regular APRN/A
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

American Express is a Credit Card Insider advertiser.

  • charge card with a $250 annual fee (Rates & Fees)
  • $100 annual airline fee credit

 

Uber Credit Card

Uber Credit Card

Our rating
Min. credit levelGood
Details
Annual Fee$0
Regular APR17.49%, 23.49% or 28.24% Variable
Apply Now

securely on the issuer's website

  • no annual fee
  • 5% back in Uber Cash for Uber purchases (Uber rides, Uber Eats, JUMP bikes and scooters)
  • 3% on dining, hotels, airfare, and travel agencies
  • 1% for everything else

Also, be sure to check out our top travel credit card picks to see our favorites for best sign-up bonus, best with chip-and-PIN, best no annual fee travel card, best premium travel card, and best hotel credit card.

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AT A GLANCE

The Mastercard Titanium Card is a premium metal rewards credit card that earns 1X point per dollar and provides a host of benefits geared toward the frequent traveler.

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