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Mastercard Gold Card Review 2024

Editor Deepti Nickam

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.

Travel perks, exclusive Mastercard benefits, and a 24k gold-plated card. Sounds like the epitome of luxury, especially wrapped in its $995 annual fee. But you might lose those bragging rights once you realize that all that glitters isn’t necessarily gold. 

There’s more than what meets the eye with this shiny swiper. I’ll uncover if it’s really worth the extravagant price tag and how it compares to other luxury cards on the market. 

This article will include:

  • A breakdown of how the Mastercard Gold works. 
  • All the Mastercard travel perks and rewards. 
  • How it stacks up against other luxury cards. 

Read more:

Mastercard Gold Credit Card: Quick Facts

  • Full name: card_name
  • Who it’s best for: Those looking for a flashy card and don’t mind a hefty annual fee.
  • Card issuer: Barclays
  • Qualifying credit score: 700 or higher (Excellent)
  • On FIRE score: 2.8/5

 

Mastercard Gold Card: On FIRE Score

 

Annual Feeannual_fees3/5
APR reg_apr,reg_apr_type4/5
Intro Offer N/A1/5
Maximum Rewards2% value for airfare and cash back redemptions. 2/5
Everyday Rewards1 point for every $1 spent.4/5
On FIRE Score2.8/5 

 

What Is the Mastercard Gold Card?

The Mastercard Gold claims to be a top-tier “luxury” card with its annual_fees price tag and 24k gold-plated design. The Mastercard website highlights that their 22g card is the heaviest in the industry. But on closer inspection, this card appears to be more style than substance. 

But we’ll give it the benefit of the doubt (for now) and look at its top features. 

The card tries to make up for its lack of a welcome bonus with a 0% intro APR for 15 billing cycles. And no, this isn’t the regular APR—this only applies to balance transfers. 

The rewards system is pretty simple. You’ll earn 1 point for every $1 spent, with an added 2% value for airfare redemptions and cash back redemptions. I’ll give props to the card for having no restrictive categories to earn points, though its 1x points offering is pretty low compared to other top-tier cards. 

Like other luxury credit cards, Mastercard Gold also comes with 24/7 concierge and travel perks, including a $200 annual airline credit and airport lounge access.

 

How Does the Mastercard Gold Credit Card Work?

Let’s start with the golden elephant in the room—the annual_fees annual fee. That’s one of the highest fees out there, even topping the Amex Platinum’s annual_fees. So, what’s justifying that fee? 

First, you earn a base rate of 1x points on every purchase. That gives you the flexibility to earn every time you spend, with no specific categories holding you back. But when it comes to popular categories like groceries and dining, the 1 point per $1 is pretty lackluster. 

You can also boost these rewards with a 2% value—but only on airfare and cash back redemptions. 

Let’s compare these rewards to other luxury cards (with lower annual fees)—

 

Credit Card Annual fee Rewards 
card_nameannual_fees

5x points on flights. 

5x points on prepaid hotels. 

1x points on other purchases. 

card_nameannual_fees

10x total points on hotels, car rentals, Lyft rides, and Chase Dining purchases. 

5x points on flights through Chase Ultimate Rewards. 

3x points on dining and travel purchases.

1x points on all other purchases. 

Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite$550

Unlimited 2 points for every dollar spent on travel and dining purchases.

Unlimited 1.5 points per dollar on all other purchases.

 

No surprises here—cards with almost half the annual fee offer higher reward rates in bonus categories, such as dining and hotels. 

So, do the redemption options fare any better? You can redeem for gift cards, merchandise, hotels, car rentals, and experiences (with points varying depending on your purchases). 

However, you’ll get the best deals by redeeming for airfare and cash back, as Mastercard Gold offers an added 2% value—that’s 50 points for $1 or 5,000 points for $100. 

They’ve also thrown in a few travel perks, such as $200 airline credit, $100 Global Entry and TSA Pre Application credit, and VIP Priority Pass to airport lounges. These are all nice to have—but again, cards with lower annual fees offer the same perks or more.

 

Mastercard Gold Credit Card: Fees

DetailsMetric
Annual feeannual_fees
Regular APRreg_apr,reg_apr_type
Cash advance APR cash_advance_apr
Balance transfer APR0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles. After that, 21.24%–28.24%. 
Cash advance fee cash_advance_fee
Balance transfer fee balance_transfer_fees
Foreign transaction feeforeign_transaction_fee
Returned payment feeUp to $40
Late feelate_payment_fee

Mastercard Gold Credit Card: Pros and Cons

In the spirit of trying to give a balanced argument, here’s a look at the pros and cons—

 

Pros

  • 2% value for airfare and cash-back redemptions.
  • $200 airline credit and other travel perks. 
  • Travel insurance and protection. 
  • 24/7 luxury card concierge services. 

 

Cons

  • Steep annual_fees annual fee. 
  • No welcome bonus. 
  • Excellent credit is required. 
  • Style over substance.

 

Why I like it

 

2% value for airfare and cash-back redemptions

When you redeem for airfare or cash back, you’ll get 2% value—so 50,000 points will convert to $1,000. These reward rates won’t be winning the luxury card race anytime soon—but at least it offers more than the base rate of 1x points. 

You can redeem points for travel bookings via InComm InCentives on myluxurycard.com or by calling customer service. You’ll need to book all travel, including airfare, hotels, and car rentals via InComm InCentives to benefit from the cash-back rate. 

Cash back redemptions can come in the form of statement credits or bank deposits (both with a 2% redemption rate). Mastercard will post statement credits within one to two business days, and bank deposits take three to four business days. 

Keep in mind that the daily redemption limit is $500.

For better rewards, check out the best cash-back credit cards.

 

Airline credit and other travel perks

When most premium credit cards offer the same textbook travel perks—do these classify as “pros”?—debatable.

Here’s a rundown of the travel benefits anyway: 

  • Priority Pass: Enjoy unlimited access to select airport lounges for yourself and your guests. The Priority Pass Select membership card will arrive within two weeks of opening your account. 
  • Global Entry or TSA PreCheck: Cardholders can claim a statement credit for the $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee once every five years. Global Entry gets you a five-year membership for speedy US entry at major airports, while TSA PreCheck offers quick security screening for US flights.
  • Annual airline credit: You can get up to $200 yearly as a statement credit for eligible airline purchases if you’re account is in good standing. Eligible purchases include airfare, baggage fees, lounge access, and in-flight buys. 
  • Luxury Card Travel: The program offers you a value of $500 per hotel stay with exclusive perks and services at over 3,000 global properties. These benefits include potential room upgrades, complimentary Wi-Fi, and access to unique amenities. 

Take a look at the top travel cards with cash back for more jet-setting perks.

 

Travel insurance and protection

The Mastercard Gold Card offers plenty of coverage if your vacation takes a turn for the worse. 

If your round-trip gets canceled or cut short, you’ll get secondary coverage for up to $5,000 per person to cover losses. You’ll also get secondary coverage for rental vehicles and up to $100 a day for baggage delays

Plus, travel assistance services are available 24/7 when you’re more than 50 miles from home. It covers Master Trip Travel Assistance, Medical Assistance, and Master Legal Referral Service. 

In the unfortunate case of accidental death or dismemberment, you can get up to $250,000 in coverage if you charge the entire fare to your card.

 

24/7 luxury card concierge services

Mastercard’s luxury services are available round the clock, helping with everything from making reservations to planning vacations. 

Here’s a summary of what to expect—

  • Personal profile: The concierge will use your preferences to find the best travel, hotels, dining, and entertainment options. They’ll also consider special occasions, food allergies, and your dislike for blue cheese. 
  • Reminders: Ever got that sinking feeling after realizing you had an anniversary dinner…two days ago? The concierge will remind you about any dates or services you can’t afford to miss.
  • Exclusive access: The concierge will do their best to get you access to restaurants and special events—even if the spots are technically sold out. 
  • Local experts: You can get on-site assistance for everyday household needs—like having someone collect your kid’s 12-foot bouncy house on your behalf. 
  • Pre-trip planning: From weather forecasts and travel requirements to city-specific news and suggested packing lists—the Gold Card’s concierge will help you plan your whole vacation. 

A word of warning: A common complaint about concierge services is that cardholders can do most of the legwork themselves in less time. So, if you’re a stickler for planning or tend to book tables way in advance—you might use the concierge services less than you think.

 

Why you may want a different card

 

Steep annual_fees annual fee

The high annual_fees fee earns its place at the top of the “cons” list. While the card delivers on all the top-tier basics (some more impressive than others), it pales in comparison to luxury cards with lower annual fees. 

Let’s compare it to the Amex Platinum, which has a $695 annual fee. While this card isn’t perfect, it offers more rewards and benefits to justify the cost. 

Amex Platinum gives you 5x points on flights and hotels—compared to Mastercard’s 2% value on airfare and cash-back redemptions. Plus, the Platinum offers $200 hotel credit, $200 in Uber Cash, and $189 CLEAR Plus credit (to name a few).

 

No welcome bonus

Almost every other luxury card has some kind of welcome offer, so the lack of one here definitely works against the steep annual fee. That’s right—there are no points or cash back when you sign up and make your initial purchases. 

In comparison, the Amex Platinum offers 80,000 Membership Rewards Points after spending $8,000 in the first six months. And Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 in the first three months. And to reiterate—both these cards come with significantly lower annual fees. 

 

Excellent credit is required

To qualify for the Mastercard Gold Card, you’ll need excellent credit—preferably a FICO score of 700 or higher. While this isn’t too crazy in the world of top-tier credit cards, it can be a hurdle if you’re still building your credit.

If you want more lenient requirements for a luxury credit card, consider the Amex Platinum—known to accept those with 690 credit scores or higher.

 

Style over substance

The first thing you see on the Mastercard Gold website is an image of the flashy card and the statement—“Made with 24K Gold”. Yes, this 22g card beats out the competition for how much it’ll weigh your pocket down, and you’ll certainly hear that satisfying clink on the counter. 

But behind the bling, the card doesn’t stack up to its “luxury card” label, especially when you pit it against other cards in the same ballpark. To reach top-tier status, it needs to amp up its rewards and offer a generous welcome bonus—lowering that annual fee won’t hurt either. 

 

Mastercard Gold Credit Card: Additional Things to Know

 

How to get a Mastercard Gold card?

The main Mastercard Gold Card requirement is having an excellent credit score—aim for a FICO score of 700 or higher. This card also typically caters to those with top-notch credit histories.

To apply for the card, you need to be over 18 and a permanent resident of the US. The easiest and quickest way to apply is through the Mastercard Gold website

Here’s the information you’ll need for the application—

  • Name, email, phone number, and address. 
  • Social security number and date of birth. 
  • Occupation and total annual gross income. 
  • Monthly housing payments. 

If your application is approved, you’ll get your shiny new card via FedEx delivery within two working days.

 

Mastercard Gold vs. Mastercard Black: What’s the difference?

Let’s start with the obvious—the Mastercard Gold Card is plated with 24k carat gold, while the Black Card is made from black-PVD-coated metal. That said, both will give you a nice clink weighing in at 22g.

The next big difference is the annual fee. While the Mastercard Gold is just shy of $1,000, the Black Card stands at a more reasonable $495. This yearly charge aligns much better with the Black Card’s travel perks, which are surprisingly similar to the Gold. 

Both cards offer—

  • 24/7 concierge services. 
  • Mastercard special offers. 
  • Access to airport lounges. 
  • Airline credit ($200 for Gold and $100 for Black). 
  • Luxury card travel hotel perks. 
  • Travel insurance and protection.
  • $100 global entry and TSA pre-application credit. 

But while many of the travel perks are almost identical, the rewards rates show some differences. 

Both cards offer 1 point per $1 on all purchases. However, the Gold Card offers 2% added value on airfare and cash-back redemptions, while the Black Card only offers 2% value on airfare, with a decreased 1.5% value on cashback redemptions. 

Aside from that, there aren’t any more notable differences—pretty bizarre considering the Black Card’s annual fee is cut in half.

 

How do the Mastercard Gold Card benefits compare to other luxury cards?

There’s no denying that the Mastercard Gold offers some decent travel perks—but with the $995 price tag, it should go above and beyond what other luxury cards with a lower annual fee offer. 

To put it to the test, I’ve rounded up some common credit card perks found in top-tier cards to see how the Mastercard Gold compares—

 

Benefits card_namecard_namecard_nameBank of America Premium Rewards Elitecard_name
Concierge services YesYes YesYesYes
Airline or travel creditYesYesYesYesYes
Global Entry and TSE pre-application credit YesYesYesYesYes
Airport lounge access YesYesYesYesYes
Premium hotel perks YesYesYesYesYes
Hotel creditNoYesNo NoYes
Hotel membership status NoYesNoNoNo
Store credit or points NoYesYesNoNo
Digital entertainment credit YesYesNo YesNo
Rideshare credits or offers (Lyft/Uber)YesYesYesYesNo
Food delivery service credits or offers YesYesYesYesNo

 

Just as I predicted, there’s no significant difference that can justify the shocking annual price tag.

The Amex Platinum shines with its travel perks (many of which aren’t listed in this table). And Chase Sapphire Reserve and Bank of America Premium Rewards Elite aren’t far behind, offering a range of premium benefits.

And although the Capital One Venture X Rewards doesn’t have as many added perks, it still offers impressive rewards, including 10x points on hotels and rental cars and 5x points on flights. Plus, it throws in a generous sign-up and anniversary bonus to sweeten the deal.

 

How to Maximize Value With the Mastercard Gold Card

Timing is key. Sometimes, bonus point offers or incentives pop up to entice new cardholders. Remember, the card doesn’t have a welcome bonus, so stay in the loop to snag extra points or deals for specific purchases or activities.

You can also keep an eye out for any special offers on mastercard.us/worldeliteoffers. These offers cover travel, shopping, and special services

There aren’t any typical bonus categories for earning more points, but you can get a better deal with its redemption options. Your best bet is going for airfare or cash back as Mastercard offers a 2% value—for instance, if you redeem 10,000 points, you’ll get $200 in airfare or cash back. 

And don’t forget about the Luxury Card Travel program that gives you access to hotel perks in over 3,000 properties and trusted hotel brands around the globe. Always ask about room upgrades, see if you can get an early check-in or late check-out, and set your alarm for that complimentary breakfast.

 

Best Cards to Pair With the Mastercard Gold Credit Card

The Mastercard Gold doesn’t make it into my top luxury card recommendations—but if you’re still tempted by the flash of gold, at least consider pairing it with some solid credit cards.  

While the Mastercard has some decent premium travel perks, its rewards fall behind other top-tier cards. To boost your earning potential and broaden your spending categories, consider pairing with the Chase Sapphire Preferred. Not only does it have a much more modest annual_fees annual fee, but you can also earn 5x points on travel purchases, 3x on dining, groceries, and streaming services, and 2x on all other travel purchases. 

If you can justify the Mastercard Gold’s steep annual_fees annual fee, the Amex Platinum annual_fees fee shouldn’t be too much of a stretch. The Platinum makes its mark with lucrative travel perks and rewards, with 5x points on flights and prepaid hotels. You can also transfer your points to most airlines and hotels at a 1:1 ratio.

 

Alternatives to the Mastercard Gold Credit Card

If my glowing review has put you off the Mastercard Gold, here are some luxury card alternatives worth checking out—

 

card_namecard_namecard_namecard_name
2.5/53.8/54/54.4/5
annual_feesannual_feesannual_feesannual_fees
reg_apr,reg_apr_type21.24%–29.24% variablereg_apr,reg_apr_typereg_apr,reg_apr_type
N/Abonus_miles_fullbonus_miles_fullbonus_miles_full

2% value for airfare and cash back redemptions 

1 point for every $1 spent

$200 annual airline credit 

5x points on flights 

5x points on prepaid hotels 

$200 airline fee credit

10x points on hotels and car rentals

Earn 5x points on flights

$300 Annual Travel Credit

10x miles on hotels and rental cars

Get 10,000 bonus miles every year

$300 annual travel credit

Learn more Learn more Learn more Learn more

If Chase has caught your eye, check out Chase Sapphire Preferred vs. Sapphire Reserve.

 

Mastercard Gold Credit Card: Useful Links

 

Mastercard Gold Card Customer Reviews

To give you more insight, here are some firsthand reviews from those who’ve tried and tested the Mastercard Gold. 

I like this card, and the customer service is phenomenal. But, the annual fee of $995 is exorbitant, and you are better off opting for the Black or Titanium for $495 and $195. Hands down, the better deal is to get the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite MasterCard by the same issuer. Or the Amex Platinum Card.”

I’ve been a gold card member for over a year and couldn’t be happier with the experience. I just returned from a trip where I utilized my Priority Pass at the airport (as I often do) and the concierge feature on the Luxury Card app, and I have nothing but positive things to say about this service! It was quick, reliable, easy to use, and helpful.

You’re better off with an Amex card, which will get you a much lower annual fee and better rewards and perks. This card is totally worthless—even the gold contents amount to nothing.”

 

Is the Mastercard Gold Card Good for Me?

The Mastercard Gold Card packs some solid travel perks that might catch your eye, along with that 24k gold plating that can give you some bragging rights.

But here’s the deal: The card doesn’t match up to its “luxury card” tag in terms of rewards. Sure, it’s got some travel perks, but when you look at the big picture, the 2% maximum rewards are underwhelming and certainly don’t justify the $995 annual fee. 

This card seems more about the status symbol than the rewards or benefits. So, while it might catch your eye, I recommend exploring other options, such as the Amex Platinum, that give you better rewards without burning a big hole in your pocket. 

If you still want to add some bling to your wallet, apply to the Mastercard Gold here.

 

FAQ

 

Mastercard Gold Card vs. Amex Platinum: Which is better?

The Amex Platinum offers a broader range of travel perks, including access to more airport lounges and hotel elite statuses. The card also comes with a generous welcome bonus and 5x points on flights and hotels. 

While the Mastercard Gold Card also comes with a range of travel perks, its rewards are limited to 1 point per $1 and 2% value on airfare and cash-back redemptions. Plus, there’s no welcome offer to tempt new customers. 

With the Amex Platinum having an annual fee of $695 compared to the Gold’s $995—the Amex Platinum emerges as the clear winner.

 

What’s the Mastercard Gold Card credit limit?

The Mastercard Gold doesn’t have a preset credit limit, and applicants can’t request specific limits. Instead, Mastercard looks at other factors, such as your credit history, income, and overall financial profile. 

However, as a luxury card, it tends to offer a higher credit limit compared to standard credit cards, often providing more financial flexibility for significant purchases or expenses.

 

How much do you have to earn for a gold card Mastercard?

While there’s no specific requirement officially disclosed for the Mastercard Gold Card, it typically caters to individuals with higher incomes. Plus, you’ll want to have a steady and substantial income to manage the card’s potential expenses and $995 annual fee.

 

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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