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Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider’s terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed, or approved by any of these entities.

Mastercard Black Card Review 2024 (Is It Worth It?)

Author Deepti Nickam

Today, I’m reviewing a 22-gram black metal card that screams flamboyant—and no, I’m not talking about the black card you’ve seen celebrities flash. That would be the American Express Centurion Card (an invitation-only card for folks who spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year).

Instead, I’m reviewing the more attainable (not necessarily better) Mastercard Black Card. For a steep $495 annual fee, you’ll bag a cool stainless steel chip card and some lukewarm benefits. 

So, where does that leave the Mastercard Black Card in the hierarchy of high-end travel cards? And more importantly, should you go for it?

This article will include:

  • How the Luxury Black Card works.
  • The pros and cons of using this extravagant metal card.
  • How it compares to other rewards cards.

Read more:

Our Verdict

2.8
Welcome Bonus
N/A (can't find this in QMP)
Annual Fee
annual_fees
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Credit Score
credit_score_needed

 

Mastercard Black Card: On FIRE Score

 

Annual Fee annual_fees 3/5
APR  reg_apr,reg_apr_type 4/5
Intro Offer  bonus_miles 1/5
Maximum Rewards 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 2/5
Everyday Rewards 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. 4/5
On FIRE Score 2.8/5

 

What is the Mastercard Black Card?

 

While it might not dazzle with the flair of its gold-plated counterpart, the Mastercard Black Card undeniably earns its status as a symbol of prestige. 

Crafted from metal and featuring a chip, this credit card boasts a sleek design and a staggering 83 design patents globally—impressive to some, and to others like me, that’s just a bit wild.

If you find yourself marveling at such details, this card could be your perfect fit. But whether it’s a smart choice is a whole different ballgame, especially given all the other luxury travel rewards cards vying for attention.

 

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Use our link to Join and receive a bonus of up to $50 .

 

How Does the Mastercard Black Card Work?

 

Barclays slaps you with a annual_fees annual fee when you get your hands on the Mastercard Black Card, and that’s before you throw in an extra $195 for each authorized user you add to your account.

Once you’re swiping the card, you’re raking in points at the rate of 1 point per dollar. You can cash in these points at a mediocre 2% for airfare or a less thrilling 1.5% for cash back. You can only redeem these rewards for purchases on myluxurycard.com. 

Let’s break this down with some math gymnastics. Drop $50,000 with this card, and you’re looking at 50,000 points. That translates to $750 in cash or $1,000 in airline tickets. Not too bad—until you compare it to other high-fee reward cards.

For instance, the card_name gives you 5x miles flights booked through Capital One Travel. So, if you spend the same $50,000 on this card, you’d get 250,000 Chase Miles in return—the average value of these miles comes up to over $3,250. 

The Black Card gives you a 0% intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months. But even this has a catch—a balance transfer fee that’s either $5 or 5% of the transfer amount, whichever stings more. 

On the (slightly) brighter side, the Black Card offers some decent travel perks, including Priority Pass lounge access, a 24/7 travel concierge, up to a $100 TSA PreCheck or Global Entry credit, and $100 in airline credits.

 

Black Mastercard Fees

 

Details Metric
Annual fee annual_fees
Sign-up bonus bonus_miles
Intro APR intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration
Purchase APR  reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Balance transfer intro APR  balance_transfer_rate
Cash advance fee cash_advance_fee
Balance transfer fee balance_transfer_fees
Foreign transaction fee foreign_transaction_fee
Late fee late_payment_fee

 

Black Card Review: Pros and Cons

 

Here’s a glance at all the pros and cons of getting this Barclay Black Card:

 

Pros

  • It’s a heavy metal card.
  • Decent airfare and cash back redemptions.
  • Fancy perks like Luxury Card Concierge.
  • Airline credit and other travel perks.
  • Travel insurance and protection.

 

Cons

  • Sky-high annual fee of $495.
  • No welcome bonus.
  • Rewards don’t justify the cost.
  • $100 annual airline credit is underwhelming.
  • 0% balance transfers marred by a 5% (min $5) fee.

 

Why I like it

 

It’s a heavy metal card

The issuer highlights the card’s weight as its standout feature, so let’s start here. The Mastercard Black Card is a black-PVD-coated metal card that weighs a full 22 grams and has over 83 patents worldwide. 

I find it difficult to wrap my head around the fact you’d pick a card just for its looks. But maybe that’s just me. 

 

Decent airfare and cash back redemptions

As I mentioned earlier, the Black Card gives you okayish rewards. You’ll earn 2% value for airfare redemptions and 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. 

I’ve taken a look at some government data to estimate what this rewards system looks in real life. Let’s assume we’re dealing with a US average annual income of $87,432 and an average of $25,087 in credit card expenses.

The Mastercard Black Card offers 1 point per $1, so for a spend of $25,087, you’ll earn 25,087 points. But when redeemed for airfare, your points (valued at 2%) add up to $501.74. When redeeming for statement credits, the redemption rate is 1.5%, making the points worth about $376.31.

Take a look at the top travel cards with better travel and cash back rewards.

 

Fancy perks like Luxury Card Concierge

One feature of the Mastercard Black Card that actually justifies its “luxury card” tag is its 24/7 concierge service. You’ll have a team of consultants ready to aid you with anything, whether you’re at home or on the move internationally. 

Luxury Card claims its most frequent concierge requests include:

  • Recommending spa services.
  • Delivering gifts and flowers.
  • Booking tea times.
  • Accessing concert and event tickets.
  • Making travel arrangements.
  • Sourcing high-demand products.
  • Planning sightseeing and hiking trips.
  • Arranging dinner reservations.

Black Card’s website also claims that the team fulfilled some unique requests like:

  • Determining the best school districts for a family moving to Denver.
  • Securing the jumbotron in Times Square for a cardholder’s surprise marriage proposal within two hours.

 

Airline credit and other travel perks

Here are some valuable travel perks you can access via the Black Card:

  • Annual airline credit: You get a $100 in annual air travel credit toward qualifying purchases. That’s forgettable when compared to the $300 travel credit you’ll bag with the card_name—but it’s something.
  • Credit for Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee: You’ll bag a standard $100 statement credit for the cost of the Global Entry or TSA Precheck application fee, making airport arrivals a breeze.
  • Priority Pass Select membership: As with most travel rewards cards, you’ll get access to over 1,300 airport lounges, mini-suites, and airport restaurants with this Priority Pass Select membership. But the standout feature here is that you and your guests can enjoy unlimited visits. 
  • Airport escort: This one is a nifty feature where an agent can “accompany you through the airport, bypassing crowds and speeding up formalities,” as per the issuer’s website.
  • Luxury Card Travel: The Luxury Card Travel program dishes out a sweet $500 value per stay, loaded with an exclusive set of benefits and services. You can enjoy these perks at over 3,000 global properties, including big names like Waldorf Astoria, Ritz-Carlton, Montage, The Peninsula Hotels, and a bunch of others.

 

Travel insurance and protection

Here’s a quick look at the insurance the Black Card offers:

  • Trip cancellation and interruption: You can recover losses from canceled or interrupted trips, with a max of $5,000 per insured person.
  • Auto rental collision waiver: If you fully pay for an eligible rental vehicle with your card and turn down the rental agency’s coverage, you’ve got secondary coverage for damages.
  • Travel accident insurance: Charge your entire travel fare to your eligible card for a trip, and you’re covered for up to $250,000 in case of accidental death and dismemberment.
  • Baggage delay insurance: If your bags take more than four hours to reach your travel destination, claim up to $100 a day for covered items as reimbursement for the inconvenience.
  • Travel assistance: When you’re 50 miles or more from home, this service is your travel companion. Available 24/7, 365 days a year, it offers Master Trip Travel Assistance, Medical Assistance, and Master Legal Referral Service to assist you or your travel companions.

Looking for work-related rewards instead? Explore the best business credit cards.

 

Why you may want a different card

 

Sky-high annual fee of $495

The Mastercard Black comes with a hefty $495 annual fee, and there’s an additional $195 charge for each authorized user. 

Sure, this card covers some essential features but it falls short when compared to luxury cards that offer similar benefits at a lower annual cost.

The card_name boasts a more budget-friendly $395 annual fee. With Venture X, you get 10 times the miles on hotels and rental cars, a yearly bonus of 10,000 miles on your card anniversary, and a $300 annual travel credit. 

 

No welcome bonus

The Mastercard Black Card doesn’t have a welcome bonus, which obviously takes away from its appeal. It does give you a break on balance transfer APR at the start, but no such luck for purchases.

For most folks, this could be a deal-breaker. Usually, cards with sky-high annual fees come with welcome offers that more than make up for the first-year cost. 

Take the card_name—it hits you with a similar $550 annual fee but sweetens the deal with a 60,000-point welcome bonus after you drop $4,000 in the first three months. You can cash in those points for up to $900 on travel through the Ultimate Rewards portal, easily covering the annual fee for the first year.

 

Rewards don’t justify the cost

You’re pulling in 1 point for every buck you spend on your Black Mastercard, which is on the lower side compared to your typical rewards card. When it comes to cashing in, the redemption game has its highs and lows. You’re looking at $0.02 per point for airfare, $0.015 for a statement credit, and $0.01 for hotel or car rental reservations.

Let’s say you play your cards right and cash in all your rewards at 2 cents per point—that’s on par with what you’d get from the cheaper card_name—which fetches 2 miles per dollar on most buys, with each mile being worth 1 cent.

 

$100 annual airline credit is underwhelming

If you find yourself traveling at least once a year, you can shave the Mastercard Black’s annual fee down to $395, thanks to its $100 annual airfare credit. 

It takes a bit of the sting out, but let’s be real, the overall price tag is still pretty hefty.

 

0% balance transfers marred by a 5% (min $5) fee

Moving a balance over to the Mastercard Black Card will give you a decent 15 months to square things away before the interest kicks in—just as long as you keep up with on-time monthly payments. 

Unfortunately, your balance gets a bump with a 5% (min $5) transfer fee. You’d hope Mastercard Black would cut you a break on this fee like some others do, but alas, no such luck.

 

How to Maximize Your Mastercard Black Card Points

 

 

There’s not much to play around with, but if you’re still keen on this card, you can make the most of it by focusing on the most lucrative redemption options. 

Here’s a detailed breakdown of how to maximize your Mastercard Black Card points:

 

Double your point value with airfare redemption

The sweet spot lies in redeeming your Black Card points for airfare through the Luxury Card rewards site. You get a decent 2 cents per point, which is twice the typical value for other redemption methods. 

So, if you’ve gathered 50,000 points from $50,000 in purchases, you can snag $1,000 worth of airfare (significantly better than the $750 you’d get as cash back rewards).

 

Leverage the Luxury Card Travel Program, travel perks, and credits

Delve into the Luxury Card Travel program to unlock exclusive hotel perks. There are over 3,000 featured properties in this program, including The Ritz-Carlton and Shangri-La.

Book your stays at these properties and indulge in upgrades that are worth almost $500. This includes free room upgrades, early check-ins or late check-outs, and complimentary breakfasts. These additional benefits can elevate your travel experiences without additional costs.

Also, don’t forget about the card’s travel credits—$100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck and $100 in airline credits. These perks can help offset the card’s hefty annual fee.

 

Keep an eye out for offers

We’re all salty about about the Black Card skipping on a good welcome bonus but it doesn’t hurt to keep an eye out for special offers or incentives that may pop up. 

Stay informed to milk extra points and exclusive deals for specific purchases or activities.

 

Check for exclusive offers on mastercard.us/worldeliteoffers

Explore the special offers available on mastercard.us/worldeliteoffers, covering travel, shopping, and special services. These deals can give you unique opportunities to earn extra points.

 

Best Credit Cards to Pair With the Luxury Black Card

 

I recommend searching for a card with a more lucrative rewards rate overall. If you don’t mind keeping track of rewards tiers, the card_name offers some of the best cash back rewards rates on travel. 

You earn 5% on travel purchased through Chase Ultimate Rewards, 3% on dining at restaurants, 3% on drugstore purchases, and 1.5% on all other eligible purchases. And did I mention there’s no annual fee? It’s an absolute steal.

If you don’t mind carrying another (smaller) annual fee, I recommend getting the card_name

For $95 a year, you get unlimited 5x miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel, and unlimited 2x miles per dollar on every purchase. There’s also a welcome bonus of 75,000 bonus miles once you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first 3 months.

 

Alternatives to the Luxury Black Card

 

Here are some Luxury Black Card alternatives worth checking out—

card_name
Score: 2.8
card_name
Score: 4.4
card_name
Score: 4.6
Annual fee
annual_fees
Annual fee
annual_fees
Annual fee
annual_fees
Intro APR
intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration
Intro APR
intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration
Intro APR
intro_apr_rate,intro_apr_duration
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Regular APR
reg_apr,reg_apr_type
Bonus Intro Rewards
bonus_miles_full
Bonus Intro Rewards
bonus_miles_full
Bonus Intro Rewards
bonus_miles_full

 

Mastercard Black Card Useful Links

 

  • Visit the card_name website
  • Apply for the here.
  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s website.

LEARN MORE ABOUT APPLYING FOR THIS CREDIT CARD

 

Mastercard Black Card Customer Reviews

 

These customer reviews will give you a better insight into this luxury Mastercard:

 

“The concierge and customer service are great. I also love using their new app. You can live chat with the agents and get everything done without even calling and it’s all free! They’ve helped me find gifts, book reservations for dinner, get a free drink, etc.”

“It’s a decent card. Nothing to do flips over but it’s a status card. Would be better if it had a sign-up bonus. Overall it’s ok if you know how to take advantage of the few perks that are offered.”

“Every time Barclays gets a credit line request they do a hard pull which hurts my credit score. I have three accounts with Barclays, all in excellent standing, and they denied me a credit line increase on my Black Card.”

“I’ve received poor service from Barclays whenever I have contacted them. Also, the high fees, travel perks, and memberships are confusing and of not much value. I’ll stick with other cards.”

 

Is the Mastercard Black Card Worth It?

 

Unlike other exclusive cards that need an invite, you can throw in your application for the Mastercard Black Card publicly. 

So, if you don’t mind shelling out around 500 bucks a year for it and you want a card that screams fancy, go ahead and apply. 

But if you’re after a better bang for your buck with a beefed-up rewards program, skip this one and look at other high-end credit cards.

Apply for the Mastercard Black Card.

 

FAQ

 

What are the Mastercard Black Card requirements?

To snag a Mastercard Black Card, you’ll need to tick off a few boxes:

  • Solid credit score: Shoot for at least 700+.
  • US residency: You need to be living in the US to apply.
  • Age factor: You need to be at least 18.
  • Financial capability: Show you can handle the $495 annual fee and pay the monthly bills.
  • Income matters: There’s no exact income figure, but the more you make and the less you owe, the better. Your credit history and any debts you’re juggling will also be in the mix.

 

Is it hard to get the Mastercard Black Card?

Unlike the other black credit cards that are invitation-only and reserved for big spenders, the Mastercard Black Card is way more accessible.

As long as you have a good to excellent credit score (ideally above 700) and a strong financial standing, getting this card isn’t hard.

 

What is the limit on a Black Mastercard?

The minimum limit on the Mastercard Black Card starts at $5,000. Considering this card is about luxury and slaps you with a $495 annual fee, you should expect a high limit.

But whether that happens or not depends on your credit history, income, and how much debt you’re lugging around.

 

Our Methodology

 

Our credit card reviews aim to provide a comprehensive assessment of both quantitative and qualitative factors. The quantitative analysis focuses on the financial costs and benefits associated with each card, including interest rates, fees, rewards programs, cash back offers, and other monetary perks. However, we also consider qualitative aspects that impact the everyday use and value of the card. These include the simplicity of the application process, the structure of the rewards program, the likelihood of utilizing certain card features, and the suitability of the card for frequent or infrequent use. Our On FIRE rating system allows for quick comparisons between cards within a particular category. When choosing a new credit card, consumers should weigh the quantitative dollar amounts along with qualitative ease-of-use factors to select the best overall option for their needs.

 



 

Terms and Restrictions Apply
Physician on FIRE has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Physician on FIRE and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.
Some or all of the card offers that appear on the website are from advertisers. Compensation may impact on how and where card products appear on the site. POF does not include all card companies or all available card offers. Credit Card Providers determine the underwriting criteria necessary for approval, you should review each Provider's terms and conditions to determine which card works for you and your personal financial situation.
Editorial Disclosure: Opinions, reviews, analyses & recommendations are the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, endorsed or approved by any of these entities.

User-Generated Content Disclosure: Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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