Full Review of Mastercard Black Card
Rewards can be redeemed for values above 1 cent per point
Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers
$100 airline credit
Extensive travel benefits
No one-time offer
$495 annual fee
Earn only 1 point per dollar spent
- Rewards Can Be Redeemed for Values Above 1 Cent per Point: Points can be redeemed for airfare at a value of 2 cents per point. If you’d rather have cash back, points can be redeemed for cash back at a value of 1.5 cents per point. These redemption values are some of the best in the industry.
- Introductory 0% APR on Balance Transfers: If you transfer a balance within the first 45 days of opening your account, that balance will qualify for an introductory 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles. Many cards only offer 12 months.
- $100 Airline Credit: As a cardholder, you'll receive up to $100 in credit each year for flight-related purchases. Eligible purchases include airline tickets, baggage fees, and even upgrade fees.
- Extensive Travel Benefits: The Mastercard Black card offers several useful travel benefits including up to a $100 credit to cover application fees for Global Entry (expedited arrival into the U.S. from international destinations) and TSA Pre Check, Priority Pass Select, baggage delay insurance, trip delay coverage, trip cancellation and interruption coverage. Also, it charges no foreign transaction fee.
- No One-Time Offer: Unfortunately, this card does not offer a bonus—an unusual omission. Competing travel credit cards with annual fees almost always come with one.
- $495 Annual Fee: Annual fees are common on premium travel credit cards. That said, the $495 annual fee that comes with this card is higher than some competing cards that offer comparable benefits.
- Earns Only 1 Point per Dollar Spent: Even though the value of each point earned is above a penny per point, the 1-point-per-dollar spent rewards rate is low. The card does not offer bonus categories to earn additional points as many competing premium travel cards do.
This Card is Best For
Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
Incurs gasoline or other commuting expenses each month
The Mastercard Black card is for frequent travelers with excellent credit who want the exclusivity of having one of the sharpest-looking stainless steel credit cards available and the luxury benefits the card offers. The points earning and redemption rates don't offer any additional value compared to no annual fee credit cards. Thankfully, the travel benefits the card offers are extensive.
Even so, the high $495 annual fee makes this card difficult to recommend to most consumers. Other cards offer similar benefits with at least the same if not higher point earning potential for a similar or lower annual fee.
Rewards Earning Details
Earning rewards with this card is as straightforward as it gets. There are no limits to the number of points you can earn and your points never expire. Unfortunately, other details are not so good. You earn an unimpressive 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases.
Other cards typically offer higher earning rates in certain bonus categories, especially cards with high annual fees. Some cards even offer similar rewards earning rates on all purchases without an annual fee.
Rewards Redemption Details
You have many options to redeem the points you earn, but one stands out as the best value: buying airline tickets. You can redeem rewards for airfare at a value of 2 cents per point by calling the number on the back of your card or by booking using Loyalty Edge on the My Luxury Card website.
Other alternatives provide a lower redemption value for your points and include:
- Cash back in the form of a direct deposit to a U.S. bank account or a statement credit at a value of 1.5 cents per point
- Hotel and car rentals at a value of 1 cent per point
- Gift card or merchandise redemptions that vary based on your gift card or merchandise selection
Cash back bank deposit redemptions are limited to $500 per day.
Even with these high point redemption values for airfare and cash back, the total rewards earned per dollar spent are at most equal to those you can earn on every purchase with a no annual fee credit card.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
Maximizing your rewards is simple with this card. Put all eligible purchases on it to earn the most points possible. To get the most value when redeeming your points, you'll need to book airfare by calling the number on the back of your card or using Loyalty Edge on the My Luxury Card website.
Other cards offer rewards worth the same value but do not charge an annual fee. However, those cards do not usually offer the same travel benefits the Mastercard Black card offers.
Mastercard Black Card's Outstanding Benefits
- Airport lounge access: Get complimentary access to over 1,200 airport lounges with Priority Pass Select.
- Annual $100 airline credit
- Baggage delay insurance: Get reimbursed for replacing essential personal or business items if your baggage is delayed on a common carrier flight you purchased with your card.
- Global Entry fee reimbursement
- Travel benefits: An average value of $500 in travel benefits and services per stay which may include spa credits, complimentary food and beverages, room upgrades and welcome perks.
- Trip cancellation and interruption coverage: Receive secondary coverage of up to $5,000 per trip and $10,000 per 12-month period for trips canceled or interrupted due to a covered reason.
- Trip delay coverage: Receive secondary coverage of up to $300 per trip and $600 per 12-month period for trips delayed more than six hours.
- Auto rental collision waiver secondary to other insurance
- Concierge for booking event tickets, travel and other services
- Exclusive invitation-only experiences
- Extended warranties
- Price protection
- Purchase assurance for damaged or stolen items
- Satisfaction guarantee to refund covered purchases when vendors won’t accept returns
While it isn't widely advertised, the Mastercard Black card is issued by Barclays U.S. Barclays U.S. scored 806 points in the 2019 J.D. Power U.S. Credit Card Satisfaction Study which happens to match the national issuer average.
This card offers access to a free FICO score, the Luxury Card app and a 24/7 Luxury Card concierge. You can reach customer service for the Luxury brand cards at 844-724-2600.
Cardholders can expect standard security features with this card. In addition, the card does offer chip and PIN functionality for when you’re traveling overseas as well as free expedited card replacement if you happen to lose your card.
Hidden Fees to Watch Out For
This cards high $495 annual fee does come with some premium benefits. Unfortunately, you can find similar benefits on other cards with lower annual fees and equal or higher rewards earning potential, too. Additionally, the $195 authorized user fee is steep and the cash advance fee is higher than some other cards offer.
If you do plan to transfer a balance, watch out for the balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of the balance transfer, whichever is greater. Some cards offer introductory periods with no balance transfer fees at all.
The Mastercard Black card's high $495 annual fee makes it difficult to recommend for the majority of consumers or even frequent flyers. The value of the rewards you earn can be matched with no annual fee credit cards and this card doesn't even offer a bonus.
The card does offer numerous luxury travel and purchase benefits, though. Those who journey abroad often, for business or leisure, might well enjoy them. Also, if you value exclusivity, premium benefits and the feel of a substantial piece of stainless steel and carbon in your palm, this card may be a good fit for you.
Otherwise, consider other cards with similar benefits for a lower annual fee and pair it with a no annual fee cash back credit card that offers higher cash back on all purchases.