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Mastercard® Gold Card™ Review

Mastercard<sup>®</sup> Gold Card™

Mastercard® Gold Card™ Review

Balance Transfer Intro Rate
0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that, (and for balance transfers that do not post within 45 days of account opening) your APR will be 16.49%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.
Rewards
2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 2% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
Extra Perks
Enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest limit. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

Who is the Mastercard® Gold Card™ best for?

The Mastercard® Gold Card™, issued by Barclays, is one of the most expensive luxury travel cards on the market. Cardholders pay an annual fee of $995 ($295 for each authorized user added to the account).

However, the benefits and credits this card offers can make it worth the fee for those who like to travel in style. Plus, the physical credit card is quite a conversation-starter. It’s made of a 24K-gold-plated stainless steel front and carbon back weighing in at 22 grams.

Barclays also issues the Mastercard® Black Card™ and the Mastercard® Titanium Card™, luxury travel cards that come at a slightly lower price point than the Mastercard® Gold Card™. How frequently you travel and how robust you need your card’s travel benefits and credits to be will likely be the deciding factor in which of these cards is right for your wallet.

Travelers who like to maximize their credit card rewards and appreciate the flexibility to transfer points to airline and hotel loyalty programs might not find these cards a good fit, however. The earning rate is low and you can only book travel through InComm InCentives. A better choice might be the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or The Platinum Card® from American Express.

Mastercard® Gold Card™ overview

    • Patented 24K-gold-plated front and carbon back—weighing 22 grams.
    • 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 2% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.
    • Annual Airline Credit—up to $200 in statement credits toward flight-related purchases including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. Up to a $100 application fee credit for the cost of TSA Pre✓® or Global Entry.
    • Enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select with access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide with no guest limit. Includes credits at select airport restaurants for cardholder and one guest.
    • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge®—available by phone, email and live mobile chat. Around-the-clock service to help you save time and manage tasks big and small.
    • Exclusive Luxury Card Travel® benefits—average value of $500 per stay (e.g., resort credits, room upgrades, free wifi, breakfast for two and more) at over 3,000 properties.
    • Cell phone protection for eligible claims of up to $1,000 each year. Plus additional World Elite Mastercard® benefits.
    • Annual Fee: $995 ($295 for each Authorized User). Terms and conditions apply.
  • Credit needed:
    720 850
    Excellent
  • Foreign transaction fee: 0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.
  • Receive “a comprehensive suite of travel services” at more than 3,000 properties worldwide.
  • Airport Meet & Assist representative to help you through the airport process.
  • Luxury Card EXPERIENCES such as sporting events, culinary activities, and more.
  • Schedule a private jet expedition with TCS World Travel and get a $1,000 gift card for any journey that departs in 2021 (must spend at least $35,000 per person to qualify).

 

Intro Purchase APR

N/A

Regular Purchase APR

16.49%

Intro BT APR

0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening.

Regular BT APR

After that, (and for balance transfers that do not post within 45 days of account opening) your APR will be 16.49%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate.

Annual Fee

$995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account)

Cash Advance Fee

Either $10 or 5% of the amount of each cash advance, whichever is greater.

Foreign Transaction Fee

0% of each transaction in U.S. dollars.

Balance Transfer Fee

Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

Pros and cons

Pros

  • Boosted redemption values
  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge
  • Airport lounge access
  • Valuable travel credits
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance

Cons

  • Expensive annual fee
  • Subpar earning rate
  • Doesn’t offer a sign-up bonus
  • Can’t transfer points

What we like about the Mastercard® Gold Card™

  • Rewards

    This card earns points at a low flat rate but offers a boosted value when you redeem points for airfare or cashback. Get 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 2% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent.

  • Concierge to help you out 24/7

    This service is available 24/7 to assist with travel bookings and more. Barclays describes the Luxury Card Concierge as offering cardholders “a complete lifestyle management tool.” You can access it via live chat, phone, or email. Some of the things cardmembers have used it for include:

    • Having research done on school districts before a move.
    • Getting cash and jewelry picked up after they were forgotten in a hotel room.
    • Organizing a delivery of children’s Tylenol late at night.
  • Priority Pass Select membership

    With a complimentary Priority Pass Select membership, you can access more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world. Enjoy unlimited visits for yourself, authorized users, and guests.

  • Annual airline credit

    Credits will automatically be applied to your account for up to $200 of flight-related purchases such as airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades, and more.

  • Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit

    If you dislike being stuck in line, Global Entry (which offers expedited arrival from international locations) or TSA PreCheck (which offers expedited domestic security screenings) can make your airport experience smoother. You can get a statement credit for the application fee (up to $100 for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck) when you charge it to this card. This credit is available once every five years.

    Note that if you have Global Entry, TSA PreCheck is included.

  • Even more benefits

    Additional benefits with the Mastercard® Gold Card™ include:

    • Baggage delay insurance (up to $100 a day for three days)
    • Trip cancellation and interruption coverage (up to $5,000 per insured person)
    • Travel accident insurance of up to $250,000 for accidental death or dismemberment
    • Auto rental collision damage waiver
    • Travel assistance when 50 or more miles from home
  • Intro APR period

    New cardmembers get a 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. Note that there’s a balance transfer fee of either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.

What to watch out for with the Mastercard® Gold Card™

  • High annual fee

    Premium travel cards often have annual fees in the $500 range, but the Mastercard® Gold Card™ makes that look downright affordable by comparison. Its annual fee is $995 ($295 for each authorized user added to the account). So, for example, if you got this card and added a spouse as an authorized user, you’d be paying $1,290 a year to carry the Mastercard® Gold Card™.

  • Low rewards rate

    Earning one point on every $1 spent is a subpar rewards rate. For a premium card with an eye-popping annual fee, you’d expect better rewards. It’s true that when redeeming points for airfare or cash back with this card, each point is worth 2 cents. However, that only comes out to an effective 2% rewards rate, and there are cards with no annual fee that earn a flat-rate 2% back on every purchase.

  • No sign-up bonus

    With some premium travel cards, a generous sign-up bonus can help offset the annual fee for the first year you have the card. For example, the Chase Sapphire Reserve® offers the following sign-up bonus: New Offer! Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Unfortunately, the Mastercard® Gold Card™ does not offer a sign-up bonus.

  • Can't transfer points to partners

    Many popular travel cards, including those from Capital One, Chase, and American Express, let cardholders transfer points to travel partners. This provides flexibility when booking travel, because you have the option of converting your credit card rewards to points with your favorite airline or hotel loyalty program. With the Mastercard® Gold Card™, you can’t transfer points — you must book travel via InComm InCentives on myluxurycard.com or by calling the customer service number on your card.

Alternate travel card

Compare it to The Platinum Card® from American Express

| Disclosures
The Platinum Card® from American Express
The Platinum Card® from American Express
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
N/A
See Pay Over Time APR
$695
5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum Card®, Platinum x Kehinde Wiley, or Platinum x Julie Mehretu.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings, which requires a minimum two-night stay, through American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. And if you fly, you can receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year after you select a qualifying airline and incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Audible, Disney+, The Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, Peacock, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Cover the cost of a $12.95 monthly Walmart+ membership with a statement credit after you pay for Walmart+ each month with your Platinum Card. Cost includes $12.95 plus applicable local sales tax. Plus Ups are excluded.
  • American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. There are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one select qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status is available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on the Equinox+ digital fitness app, or eligible Equinox club memberships when you pay with your Platinum Card®. Enrollment required.
  • $189 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $189 back per year on your CLEAR® membership. CLEAR® is available at select airports and stadiums.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
720 850

How Does LendingTree Get Paid?

LendingTree is compensated by companies on this site and this compensation may impact how and where offers appears on this site (such as the order). LendingTree does not include all lenders, savings products, or loan options available in the marketplace.

If you’re looking to save a few hundred dollars on your card’s annual fee, earn a generous welcome offer, and gain the flexibility to transfer points to airline and hotel partners, consider The Platinum Card® from American Express. The annual fee is $695, but that’s still a few hundred dollars cheaper than what cardholders will pay to carry the Mastercard® Gold Card™. You can earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

To see the rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Points can be transferred from The Platinum Card® from American Express to the following partners:

  • Aer Lingus AerClub
  • Aeromexico Premier
  • Air Canada Aeroplan
  • Air France/KLM Flying Blue
  • Alitalia MilleMiglia
  • ANA Mileage Club
  • Avianca LifeMiles
  • British Airways Executive Club (Avios)
  • Cathay Pacific AsiaMiles
  • Delta SkyMiles
  • El Al Matmid
  • Emirates Skywards
  • Etihad Guest
  • Hawaiian Airlines HawaiianMiles
  • Iberia Avios
  • JetBlue TrueBlue
  • Qantas Frequent Flyer
  • Singapore KrisFlyer
  • Virgin Atlantic Flying Club
  • Choice Privileges
  • Hilton Honors
  • Marriott Bonvoy

For ongoing rewards, cardholders earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. You’ll also get benefits such as:

  • Marriott Bonvoy Gold Elite status
  • Hilton Honors Gold status

When it comes to luxury travel cards, The Platinum Card® from American Express is hard to beat.

Compare the Mastercard® Gold Card™ to similar cards

Comparison of four different credit cards
Mastercard<sup>®</sup> Gold Card™ Mastercard<sup>®</sup> Black Card™ The Platinum Card<sup>®</sup> from American Express Chase Sapphire Reserve<sup>®</sup>
Mastercard® Gold Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™ The Platinum Card® from American Express Chase Sapphire Reserve®
Apply Now
on Luxury Card's secure site
Apply Now
on Luxury Card's secure site
Apply Now
on American Express's secure site
Terms Apply
Apply Now
on Chase's secure site
Annual Fee
$995 ($295 for each Authorized User added to the account) $495 ($195 for each Authorized User added to the account) $695 $550
Welcome Offer
N/A N/A Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. New Offer! Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®.
Rewards Rate
2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 2% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent. 2% value for airfare redemptions with no blackout dates or seat restrictions. 1.5% value for cash back redemptions. Earn one point for every one dollar spent. 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. 5x points on flights and 10x points on hotels and car rentals through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
Intro Purchase APR
N/A N/A N/A N/A
Regular APR
16.49% 16.49% See Pay Over Time APR 18.49% - 25.49% Variable
Intro Balance Transfer APR
0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. 0% introductory APR for the first fifteen billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. N/A N/A
Regular Balance Transfer APR
After that, (and for balance transfers that do not post within 45 days of account opening) your APR will be 16.49%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. After that, (and for balance transfers that do not post within 45 days of account opening) your APR will be 16.49%. This APR will vary with the market based on the Prime Rate. N/A 18.49% - 25.49% Variable
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. Balance Transfer Fee: Either $5 or 3% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater. N/A Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever is greater
Recommended Credit
Excellent Excellent Excellent/Good Excellent
Card Details
Mastercard® Gold Card™ Mastercard® Black Card™ The Platinum Card® from American Express Chase Sapphire Reserve®

Is the Mastercard® Gold Card™ right for you?

Thanks to its robust concierge service, travel-related fee credits, and the airport lounge access it provides — not to mention its stylish, 24-karat gold plating — the Mastercard® Gold Card™ might appeal to those looking for a luxury travel card. However, some travelers are likely to balk at the annual fee of $995 ($295 for each authorized user added to the account).

If that’s more than you want to pay to carry a travel card, you might prefer the less expensive Mastercard® Black Card™, also issued by Barclays. It doesn’t offer quite as much as the Mastercard® Gold Card™, but its annual fee is only $495 ($195 for each authorized user added to the account). You might also consider The Platinum Card® from American Express, which provides excellent value for an annual fee of $695.

To see the rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express, please click here.

Apply Now
on Luxury Card's secure site