Full Review of Mastercard Gold Card
Introductory 0% APR on balance transfers
Solid points rewards
Annual airline credit of up to $200
Ample premium benefits
$995 annual fee
No one-time offer
- Introductory 0% APR on Balance Transfers: Balance transfers that post to your account in the first 45 days of account opening get a 0% APR for the first 15 billing cycles following each balance transfer. This is far from the longest 0% balance transfer offer on the market, and it doesn’t also cover purchases. Still, it’s a decent offer for a rewards credit card.
- Solid Points Rewards: The points you earn with the Mastercard Gold Card can be redeemed at a value of 2 cents per point if you redeem them for airfare, cash back, or as a statement credit. While some other cards offer redemption options worth 1.25 cents or 1.5 cents per point, a straightforward value of 2 cents per point is fairly rare.
- Up to $200 Annual Airline Credit: Cardholders receive an annual air-travel credit of up to $200 to use toward flight-related purchases. While a few other cards with lower annual fees offer higher travel credits, that’s still a sizable amount. Also, unlike some such bonuses, which apply only to incidental charges such as baggage fees or seat upgrades, this credit can be applied to airfare as well. The credit posts automatically to your account when eligible spending is made.
- Many Premium Benefits: You’d expect a card costing nearly a thousand dollars a year to be loaded with extras, and the Mastercard Gold Card meets that expectation.Leading the way is a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, a $430 value that allows access to more than 1300 airport lounges around the world. There’s also a Luxury Card Concierge, to “assist you with travel bookings, various personal requests and more...24/7 with no hidden fees.” Included insurance benefits include coverage for baggage delays, cell phones, trip cancellations and interruptions, travel accidents, and rental car collision waivers. There’s a credit of up to $100 to cover the fees to get Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
- $995 Annual Fee: The Mastercard Gold Card charges a $995 annual fee from the time you get it; there’s no waiver in the first year, as some cards offer. This fee is very high for the relatively low rewards earning rate. That said, it does offer other benefits that certain cardholders may find useful. Even so, it is difficult to justify an annual fee this high when competing cards offer many of the same benefits for a significantly lower annual fee.
- No One-Time Offer: This card doesn’t offer points or cash as an incentive to receive it. That’s extremely rare for a rewards credit card, especially one with an ultra-premium annual fee. Almost all such high-end cards proffer bonuses worth north of $1,000 in exchange for a required amount of spending within the first few months of account opening.
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
Mastercard Gold Card is for travelers who seek a full range of benefits and credits in a single card. But its $995 price tab and stylish materials and design make it also for those who are happy to pay a steep premium for bling value. The ideal cardholder is likely to be someone who is somewhat ambivalent about the value of the rewards they earn, as they could potentially earn more rewards with other cards.
Rewards Earning Details
You’ll earn 1 point per dollar spent on all purchases, with no bonus categories, a low number for any card, let alone one with a fee this steep. There is no limit to the number of points you can earn. Your points won’t expire as long as your account is open, active and in good standing.
As with other cards, you may not be able to earn or redeem points during a billing cycle in which you fail to make the minimum payment, your account becomes delinquent, enters default, or you engage in illegal activity that is deemed to be abusive or gaming. Your points will be forfeited if your account becomes seriously delinquent, you engage in fraudulent activity, illegal activity that is deemed to be abusive or gaming, your account is closed or your account is in default under your cardmember agreement.
Rewards Redemption Details
The small upside to the Mastercard Gold Card’s paltry points earnings is that each point is relatively valuable. They’re worth a flat 2 cents when redeemed for airfare, cash back to a US bank account, or as a statement credit. Other redemption options—including hotel stays, car rentals, gift cards and merchandise—generally offer less value. To redeem your points, visit MyLuxuryCard.com or call the customer service number on the back of your card. Redemptions start at 50 points for airfare redemption and 100 points for cash back, statement credits, hotel stays, and car rental redemptions. Gift cards and merchandise minimums depend on the specific item for which you choose to redeem your points.
You can’t transfer points from your Mastercard Gold account to any other person or program.
How to Maximize Your Rewards
All purchases earn 1 point per dollar spent, so there’s little to do to boost your return on rewards except to use your Mastercard Gold Card often. To maximize the value of your redemptions, use your points for airfare, cash back to a US bank account or statement credit, all of which give you a value of 2 cents per point—double the point value for all other options.
Mastercard Gold Card’s Outstanding Benefits
- 24/7 concierge: Accessible by phone, live chat, and email to help meet your needs including research, finding difficult information, arranging special experiences, and more.
- Airport meet and assist: Get through airport procedures in an expedited fashion with a professional representative escorting you through the process.
- Baggage delay- and trip cancellation and interruption coverage: You may be eligible for reimbursement of covered items for up to $100 a day (to a maximum of three qualifying days) for qualifying baggage delays of more than 4 hours from the time you arrive at your travel destination (arrival at your primary residence is excluded).
- Cell-phone protection: Get supplemental coverage for eligible damage or theft of eligible devices.
- Global Entry or TSA PreCheck Application credit: Get up to $100 to pay for application fees.
- Priority Pass Select membership: Allows unlimited access to 1,300 airline lounges around the world.
- Up to $200 annual airline credit: Can be applied against any airline spending, including flights and seat upgrades.
- $10 monthly Lyft credit: Received as a statement credit if you take 5 eligible rides a month.
- Auto-rental collision damage waiver
- Discounts or special offers from Postmates, Lyft, Boxed, ShopRunner, Fandango, and Onefinestay
- $250,000 in travel accident insurance
Barclays, which issues this card, was ranked fifth in the 2019 J.D. Power Credit Card Satisfaction Study, with an overall rating on par with the average for all national card issuers. (As with much else about the Mastercard Gold, this middling record may concern you given how much you must pay for the card.) The bank offers access to customer service 24 hours a day, seven days a week, which is standard for major card issuers. You’ll also get free access to your FICO credit score, which is the score most lenders use in lending decisions. Check your score regularly to know where you stand and what you can do to make improvements. You can reach customer service by calling 844-589-2273 or you can manage your account online or with the Luxury Card app, created by the company that manages the card’s rewards and benefits.
The Mastercard Gold Card offers security features that fall in line with industry standards. The card offers chip-and-PIN capabilities, which can be useful when making purchases at unattended terminals overseas. It also provides Mastercard ID Theft Protection to help with card replacement and notifying credit agencies if you become a victim of identity theft.
Fee To Watch Out For
Apart from this card’s sobering $995 annual fee, it costs $295 a year to add authorized users. Far more than the token fees that other cards charge, this cost may reflect in part how expensive it is to manufacture each card.If you plan to take advantage of the 0% APR offer, make sure you consider the balance transfer fee of $5 or 3% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater. While that’s a standard fee for most cards, a few dedicated balance-transfer cards charge no balance-transfer fee during an introductory period, but they may not offer credit card rewards.
Unless it’s unusually important for you to own a 24K gold-plated credit card that is designed to impress others, and to pay handsomely for it, you would be better off choosing a credit card other than the Mastercard Gold. Several other rewards credit cards offer similar benefits with much lower annual fees. As far as rewards go, even some cards with no annual fee provide similar cash back rates.There is also the Mastercard Titanium Card, a sibling to this card that carries an annual fee that is $800 less. It, too, is heavy and stylish in design but only offers the ability to redeem at a rate of 1 cent per point regardless of redemption method as where the MasterCard Gold allows a redemption rate of 2 cents per point when redeemed for airfare, cash back or statement credit and 1 cent per point for all other redemption methods.