Review of the MasterCard® Black, Gold, and Titanium Credit Cards

Brendan Harkness

Brendan Harkness | Reviews

May 11, 2015 | Updated Feb 23, 2016

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MasterCard offers three high-end, luxury credit cards for travelers: the MasterCard® Titanium Card™, the MasterCard® Black Card™, and the MasterCard® Gold Card™.

All of these cards offer some cash back for purchases, as well as some VIP travel benefits. The Titanium has the lowest annual fee and is the least rewarding, and the Gold card has the highest fee and is the most rewarding. The Black card is in the middle.

The Gold card is made with 24K-gold-plated-steel on the front and carbon on the back, so it’s sure to make a very big impression if you pull it out. The Titanium and Black cards are made with stainless steel on the front and carbon on the back.

These cards are quite similar in many ways, especially the Black and Gold cards. Is one of them right for you? Keep reading to learn more and find out.

MasterCard® Titanium Card™

For People with
Good Credit

  • Annual Fee: $195
  • Interest Rate: 15.24% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 1% cash back on every purchase
  • Double points when redeemed for airfare
  • Spend $1,000 in the first 90 days and earn 10,000 bonus points

MasterCard® Black Card™

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $495
  • Interest Rate: 15.24% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 1.5% cash back on every purchase
  • Double points when redeemed for airfare
  • Spend $1,500 in the first 90 days and earn 25,000 bonus points

MasterCard® Gold Card™

For People with
Excellent Credit

  • Annual Fee: $995
  • Interest Rate: 15.24% (Variable)
Quick Card Facts
  • Earn 2% cash back on every purchase
  • Double points when redeemed for airfare
  • Spend $3,000 in the first 90 days and earn 50,000 bonus points

The Rewards

MasterCard Titanium Card

  • 1% cash back on all purchases
  • Double redemption value when redeeming for airfare
  • Spend $1,000 in the first 90 days and earn 10,000 bonus points

MasterCard Black Card

  • 1.5% cash back on all purchases
  • Double redemption value when redeeming for airfare
  • Spend $1,500 in the first 90 days and earn 25,000 bonus points

MasterCard Gold Card

  • 2% cash back on all purchases
  • Double redemption value when redeeming for airfare
  • Spend $3,000 in the first 90 days and earn 50,000 bonus points

The Verdict

As you can see, the rewards for these cards are pretty straightforward. You’ll earn a greater percentage of cash back with the Black and Gold cards, and the signup bonus gets bigger too.

With each of these cards, your rewards will be doubled if you redeem your cash back for airfare. So use your cash back to pay for flights if you want to get the most out of your card.

The Benefits

The Black and Gold cards come with almost the same set of extra benefits, while the Titanium card doesn’t have as many.

Check your card’s Guide to Benefits to learn the specific benefits available to you, and how to access them.

Perks

  • Luxury Card Concierge

    Enjoy 24/7 access to a personal concierge assistant for all kinds of non-emergency help

  • $200 Annual Airline Fee Credit

    Each year you’ll receive a $200 credit for flight-related expenses (Gold card only; $100 credit for the Black card; no credit for the Titanium card)

  • $100 Global Entry Application Credit

    Apply for Global Entry for free and avoid the wait at customs (Gold and Black cards only)

  • VIP Airport Lounge Program

    Complimentary membership with unlimited visits to 495+ lounges in 200 cities worldwide. Cardholders must enroll in this program. (Gold and Black cards only)

  • Global Luggage Delivery

    Send your bags ahead of time to almost any destination in the world

  • Luxury Car Rental

    Get better prices and upgrades at select car rental partners.

  • VIP Treatment

    At 3,000+ hotels, resorts and villas across the globe. Includes spa treatments, room upgrades, complimentary breakfast, early check-in, late check-out and more.

  • Cruise Privileges

    Enjoy complimentary services and amenities at over 20 cruise lines.

  • Charter Services

    Relax by chartering your own private jet or yacht, for just a day or over a week.

  • Chauffeured Transportation

    Professional chauffeurs are waiting 24/7 to bring you anywhere you need to go in style.

  • Luxury Gifts

    You’ll receive luxury gifts from some of the world’s top brands.

  • Subscription to Luxury Magazine

    An exclusive magazine for the affluent, covering travel, fashion, technology, real estate, and more.

  • MasterCard Priceless® Services

    Enjoy exclusive, once-in-a-lifetime experiences in the Priceless Cities and Priceless Golf programs.

Account Management

  • Add Authorized Users

    $195 annual fee for each authorized user that is added to your account.

Security

  • Zero Liability Protection

    You will not be held responsible for unauthorized use of your card.

Shopping

  • Purchase Protection

    Items purchased with your card are protected against accidental damage and theft within 90 days of the purchase.

  • Extended Warranty

    You can get up to one extra year added to the original manufacturer’s warranty.

Travel

  • MasterCard® Global Service™

    Provides card services around the world, like lost/stolen card reporting, emergency card replacement, and emergency cash advances.

  • MasterAssist™

    Provides emergency travel assistance when traveling 100 miles or more from home, along with baggage loss, trip delay, and trip interruption insurance. (This benefit will vary according to the type of card)

  • MasterRental™

    Provides coverage against physical damage and theft of rented vehicles, as long as the rental company’s own insurance is declined.

  • MasterTravel™

    Provides coverage against accidental death or dismemberment for you, your spouse, and eligible dependent children.

The Costs & Fees

Card Annual Fee Purchase APR Intro APR for Balance Transfers Regular Balance Transfer APR Cash Advance APR Foreign Transaction Fee
MasterCard Titanium $195 15.24% (Variable) 0% for 15 months 15.24% (Variable) 25.49% (Variable) 0%
MasterCard Black Card $495 15.24% (Variable) 0% for 15 months 15.24% (Variable) 25.49% (Variable) 0%
MasterCard Gold Card $995 15.24% (Variable) 0% for 15 months 15.24% (Variable) 25.49% (Variable) 0%
Card Penalty APR Late Fee Returned Payment Fee
MasterCard Titanium See Terms Up to $37 Up to $37
MasterCard Black Card Up to 27.24% (Variable) Up to $37 Up to $37
MasterCard Gold Card See Terms Up to $37 Up to $37

The Bottom Line

The MasterCard Titanium, Black, and Gold Cards are expensive to carry, but they also come with quite a few nice travel benefits. You’re also likely to get a very high credit line (higher with the Black and Gold cards).

If you’re interested in one of these cards, examine your lifestyle and spending habits. How often would you use the card, and how often are you going to travel? Are you going to be able to make use of most or all of the benefits fairly often?

Take note that there isn’t much of a difference between the benefits of the Black and Gold cards, even though the Gold card costs $500 more per year. Some of the benefits will be better with the Gold card, but the differences don’t seem very significant.

If you don’t travel often or you don’t expect to make use of the perks, these cards are unlikely to be worth the annual fee. Take a look at our picks for the Best Travel Credit Cards for 2016 if you’d like to see some less-expensive travel cards.

If you examine your spending and travel habits and you find that you could use this card and its benefits quite frequently, the annual fee may be justified.

Especially valuable will be the complimentary lounge access, VIP treatment at hotels and resorts, and the other travel perks; if you spend a lot of time at airports and in hotels, the fee could start to seem like a pretty nice deal.

Do you use one of these luxury credit cards? How do you get the most out of it? Leave your own review of the Titanium, Black, or Gold Card!

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