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Mastercard Gold Card Review

overall rating

With high fees and few rewards, this card seems more like a status symbol than a smart card choice

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Constructed of 24K gold-plated stainless steel and carbon, the Mastercard Gold Card is heavy physically and costly financially, with a jaw-dropping $995 annual fee. While it provides some premium benefits and credits and has a 0% APR offer, its rewards aren’t commensurate with its lofty annual fee and there’s no one-time offer.

Mastercard® Gold Card™

Overall Rating
Mastercard® Gold Card™
On Luxury Card's Secured Site.
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Regular APR (%) 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $995
Rewards Earning Rate Earn one point for every dollar you spend.
INTRO BALANCE TRANSFER APR 0% for 15 Billing Cycles
Balance Transfer Fee Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Foreign transaction fee (%) 0%
how this card stacks up
When compared among all rewards cards in our database:
Low Fees
Security/Customer Experience
Low Interest
worst best

The Mastercard Gold Card is not one of our top-rated rewards credit cards. You can review our list of the best reward credit cards for what we think are better options.

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

Pros Explained

  • 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 used 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 in accordance with eligible spending. 
  • 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 $469 value that allows access to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world. There’s also a 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge who can help you book travel, handle various personal requests, and more with no hidden fees. 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.

Cons Explained

  • $995 Annual Fee: The Mastercard Gold Card charges you a $995 annual fee immediately; 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 offers no points or cash as an incentive to get 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

  • Avatar for Rewards Strategist Persona
    Seeks to maximize points or miles earnings across spending categories
    Rewards Strategist
  • Avatar for Frequent Diner Persona
    Dines out regularly while traveling or in home city
    Frequent Diner
  • Avatar for Head of Household Persona
    Primarily responsible for household grocery and other major purchases
    Head of Household
  • Avatar for Driver/Commuter Persona
    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 tag and stylish materials and design also make it a card 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. That's 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 or 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 U.S. 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 or call the customer service number on the back of your card. Redemptions start at 50 points for airfare redemption and cash back, statement credits, hotel stays, and car rentals. Gift cards and merchandise minimums depend on the specific item for which you choose to redeem your points.

Transferring 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 U.S. bank account, or statement credit, all of which give you a value of 2 cents per point. That's 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 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 (up 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. 
  • $5 monthly Lyft credit: Received as a statement credit if you take three eligible rides a month. 

Standard Benefits

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Discounts or special offers from Lyft, Boxed, ShopRunner, Fandango, and Onefinestay
  • $250,000 in travel accident insurance

Cardholder Experience

Barclays, which issues this card, was ranked seventh in the 2022 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 see 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.

Security Features

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.

Fees 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.

Final Verdict

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. 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.

Next Steps
For Mastercard® Gold Card™
on Luxury Card's Secured Site.
Compare This Card
See how this card compares to similar cards
Mastercard® Gold Card™
overall rating
Recommended Credit
Score Our recommended ranges are based off of the FICO® Score 8 credit-scoring model. Credit score is one of the many factors lenders review in considering your application.
350 579
580 669
670 739
740 799
800 850
Regular APR (%) 19.24% variable
Annual Fee $995
Rewards Earning Rate Earn one point for every dollar you spend.
Investopedia Credit Card Rating Methodology
Investopedia is committed to delivering the best credit card recommendations in the industry. We’ll tell you when a card is good, we’ll tell you when a card is bad, and we’ll only call a card the best if we would recommend it to our friends or family members.
Overall Star Rating Explained
To rate credit cards we objectively assess, score and weight nearly 100 individual card features which roll up into five major feature sets: fees, interest, rewards, benefits and security/customer service. Here’s how we weighted those feature sets for the overall star rating of a card:
We have applied our proprietary rating methodology to every generally-accepted credit card in the U.S. domestic market to allow consumers to make fully informed choices. It’s important to note that for our overall score that we make a number of assumptions about how you would be using your credit card:
  1. While we make no assumption as to whether balances are carried on a given card we do assign varying weights to all credit cards’ introductory APR (if present) in addition to the regular, long term purchase and balance transfer interest rates.
  2. We utilize BLS (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics) income and average category spending data to calculate annual earnings rates for rewards cards that offer cash back, points or miles rewards at a set rate on all spending or in consideration of bonus rewards for certain spending categories, like gasoline, groceries, restaurants or travel.
  3. We determine the maximum points value of rewards cards by dividing the points, cash back or miles required to exchange for the retail price of the most valuable redemption option (for example, in the case of a card that offers a domestic roundtrip airline ticket as a redemption option vs. another redemption option of lesser value that requires the same amount of points or miles to acquire, we would base the rewards value on the airline ticket).
  • Cards that are selected best overall in their respective categories generally feature most if not all of the following attributes:
  • Low or Reasonable Fees Credit card fees come in many forms but the primary ones involve those for annual card membership and balance transfer. There are a myriad of reward and non-reward card options that charge no annual fee but for the many that do assess an annual fee the cost is often justified by their lucrative ongoing rewards and initial signup bonuses. Balance transfer fees are occasionally waived during introductory periods with certain cards, a factor which is heavily and positively weighted in our scoring model for cards offering this benefit. When charged, balance transfer fees range between 3% - 5%, which we grade accordingly. Other standard fees can generally be avoided, such as those for paying late or taking cash advances but we rate those relative to other cards in the market for reference, though with less weight assigned
  • Competitive Interest Many cards offer 0% introductory APR on purchases and balance transfers for varying lengths and then revert to a permanent or regular APR (based on a variable rate tied to the prime rate) that applies to any balances not paid in full. We rate both introductory APR percentage and length (in months) along with the midpoint of the variable regular APR interest rate range.
  • Valuable Rewards Credit card reward programs can be based on cash back, points or travel rewards (which can be generic or travel partner-specific, as with airline and hotel co-brand card programs). For cards that offer rewards we determine the value per dollar spent along with average redemption values and assign more favorable ratings to cards that offer superior consumer value. We also assign value to sign-up bonus offers and their initial spending requirements, when present.
  • Excellent Benefits Credit card benefits cover a range of offerings like concierge service, TSA Pre-check, auto rental coverage, travel accident insurance, lost luggage assistance and free credit scores. We rate cards on the number and level of over a dozen standard and upscale benefits and provide extra weighting emphasis for those travel-related perks that apply to premium travel cards when present.
  • Solid Security/Customer Service Security and customer service features like lost or stolen card replacement, being able to lock one’s card from an issuer app and 24 hour customer support are becoming more standard across the card market and we provide a significant amount of weighting to features in this area.
  • You can also read the full version of our methodology for a more in-depth look at how we assess cards and award them the best in various categories.