Luxury MasterCard Gold Card Review

 If you’re looking for a good travel card, then skip to another post. This card is not a good value.

Of the three luxury cards MasterCard offers in this series, this is the worst one. Check out our review of the Titanium and the Black card here.

 The basics

  • Annual fee: $995 ($295 for each additional user)

  • Stainless steel metal card

  • Earn 2x when you redeem points for airfare

  • Earn 2x value when you redeem points for cash back

  • Luxury concierge

  • $200 annual airline credit

  • $100 Global Entry application fee credit

  • Luxury gifts

  • Free subscription to Luxury Magazine

  • Priority Pass

Annual fee and gold-plated card

One of the main selling points of the gold card is that it’s made with 24K gold.

 We were curious to see how much the materials are worth, given that it’s gold, so we did some quick research.

Since the card is gold plated, that means there is almost no inherent value to the gold applied. The gold card also uses electroplating to coat the card. The coating applied by electroplating is usually around .0002 inches thick.


The purpose of gold plating is to make the card look like it’s made of 24K gold when it isn’t. This brings the value of the card itself to $0.

$200 Travel credit

Even when if we assume the $200 travel credit is applied each calendar year, the annual fee still doesn’t make sense. If you apply for the card now, you’ll receive a credit in May 2017, and another one in May 2018.

$995-$400=$595 effective annual fee

There are a ton of better options in the luxury credit card market that make a lot more sense than the Gold card.

$100 Global Entry or TSA Precheck credit

This benefit comes standard with most premium cards. There are even no annual fee cards like the Amex First National Bank of Omaha TravElite card that offer it.

If you have a premium credit card like the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Amex Platinum, then you already have access to this perk.

Luxury gifts

Luxury gifts do not have a predetermined schedule or frequency. It’s not guaranteed when or if you’ll receive any gifts at all.


Given the competition in the luxury/premium card market, MasterCard has a lot of catching up to do. The Gold card doesn’t make sense because there’s not a way to break even from the effective annual fee.

There are a ton of better alternatives out there like the Chase Sapphire Reserve, Citi Prestige, and the Amex Platinum card. If you want to stick with earning 2% back on purchases, the Citi Double Cash card is a good option — and it doesn’t have an annual fee.

Editorial Note: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, vendors or companies, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. 

UGC disclosure: These 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.