If you’re looking for a good travel credit card, this is not the right card for you. Due to popular demand, we’re reviewing this card for entertainment purposes only.
We recently reviewed the MasterCard Titanium Card here, the next card in the luxury series is the Black Card.
Luxury Mastercard Black Card
- Annual fee: $495 ($195 for each additional user)
- Stainless steel metal card
- Earn 2x when you redeem points for airfare
- Earn 1.5x value when you redeem points for cash back
- Luxury concierge
- $100 annual airline credit
- $100 Global Entry application fee credit
- Luxury gifts
- Free subscription to Luxury Magazine
- Priority Pass
Annual fee and metal card
The MasterCard Black Card was created before the Chase Sapphire Reserve existed. Back in the day, the Black Card’s main competitors were the Amex Platinum and the Citi Prestige card.
Unlike the competition, the Black card doesn’t have any redeeming benefits that make it a viable card. It almost seems like the only selling point is the card is made out of stainless steel.
With a $495 annual fee and $195 fee per authorized user, it doesn’t make sense to get the Black Card.
The Black Card has 5 main benefits, but if you take a closer look, there are better cards out there.
$100 Annual airline credit
The $100 annual travel credit that can be spent on airfare and qualifying airline purchases.
This perk is low in value if you compare this perk to any other luxury credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, which issues $300 in travel credit.
With the Citi Prestige, there’s a $450 annual fee, but you receive the $250 travel credit twice since it’s issued per the calendar year.
The American Express Platinum card has a $550 annual fee, but you receive the $200 travel credit twice since it’s issued per the calendar year. You also receive $200 annual Uber credit.
Another thing to consider is the Luxury Black Card does not have a sign-up bonus, as opposed to the competitors that usually have $500+ value sign-up bonus.
To improve the card, MasterCard would need to add a sign-up bonus and increase the value of the travel credit.
$100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck
The $100 credit towards Global Entry or TSA Precheck comes standard with most premium credit cards.
Some no annual fee credit cards like the Amex TravElite card offer the Global Entry credit.
Earn 1x points on spend
Earn 1x points on all purchases. If you redeem the points for cash back, the points are valued at 1.5x. When you redeem the points for travel, the points are valued at 2x.
Again, there are better alternatives to the Black card if you want to earn 2x back on spending. Earn 2% cash back with the no annual fee Citi Double cash card. The Chase Freedom Unlimited earns 1.5% cash back on all purchases — the Ultimate Rewards points can be transferred to the Chase Sapphire Reserve for even better redemption rates.
Another benefit is that you get a luxury concierge. This isn’t really a selling point because most luxury credit cards have their own concierge.
The final benefit is “free luxury gifts”.
The main problems are:
- You don’t know what they are
- You don’t know when
- You don’t know if you’ll receive them
Some people on Reddit have mentioned they received a free pen worth $130 with their name engraved on it. The issue is the pen is personalized so you can’t resell them, and I would never spend $130 on a pen.
One of our viewers mentioned they received 2 pairs of Raybans (retail $100 each) and a flashlight (retail $50).
It’s hard to value these gifts at a fair market price unless you would have otherwise purchased them yourself.
At the end of the day, this card doesn’t make any sense because there are similar cards that lower effective annual fees with better perks and sign up bonuses.