Edited by: Jessica Merritt
& Stella Shon
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If you’re into earning travel rewards through premium credit cards, you probably receive a ton of mail from issuers trying to convince you to apply for the latest travel card.
Premium credit cards are known for having enhanced benefits — and high annual fees. But the perks can’t be overstated: hotel elite status, elevated earnings, airport lounge access, and more.
I thought I’d heard of them all until I recently received a mailer for Luxury Card. I hadn’t heard of it, unlike the dozens of mailers I received each month for credit cards — often with hefty welcome bonus offers.
I wasn’t too familiar with the card and program before receiving the mailer, so I did some digging into both to see whether the cards are worth the annual fees and how they stack up compared to other premium cards currently available on the market.
There’s a lot to cover about Luxury Card, so with that being said, let’s dive right in!
Billed as a “global leader” in the premium credit card market, Luxury Card is a Mastercard product that allows you to earn points that you can redeem for airfare and statement credits. It also offers some travel benefits and redemptions, though we’ll talk more in-depth about these later.
Underneath the Luxury Card umbrella are 3 separate cards — Mastercard® Gold Card™, Mastercard® Black Card™, and Mastercard® Titanium Card™.
One of Luxury Card’s selling points is not just the perks or value of the card but the actual make and design of the physical card. You’ll find references to the cards’ material all over the site — there’s even an entire page on the website dedicated to the card’s construction and how much it weighs.
But, if you’re curious, the Mastercard Gold card comes wrapped in 24k gold-plated stainless steel, the Mastercard Black card is black PVD-coated stainless steel, and the Mastercard Titanium card is brushed stainless steel.
Luxury Card says its cards are accepted at more than 8 million domestic retailers in 210 countries, with no foreign transaction fees.
As mentioned above, there are 3 different cards, all offering different benefits. As such, all have varying annual fees. The card with the highest fee — the Mastercard Gold card — will set you back nearly $1,000 in annual fees. That’s more expensive than even The Business Platinum Card® from American Express, which is $695 annually (rates and fees) and one-fifth the price of the exclusive (and elusive) Centurion® Card from American Express, which is said to have a $5,000 yearly fee.
With those details in mind, let’s take a look at how much a Luxury Card will cost you yearly, depending on which card you choose:
Luxury Card offers many of the benefits that premium cards, such as The Platinum Card® from American Express, Chase Sapphire Reserve®, and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, provide. Where it falls short, however, is in its earning structure.
Regardless of which Luxury Card you select, you’ll earn 1x points for every $1 you spend. That’s a pretty low bonus rate, especially when considering other premium cards:
Luxury Card offers 2% value for airfare redemptions – meaning 50,000 points will get you a $1,000 airline ticket. That comes to a value of 2 cents per point, similar to our valuations for other flexible loyalty programs. However, other programs like Amex Membership Rewards or Chase Ultimate Rewards allow you to transfer flexible points to travel partners to book business or first class award travel or luxury hotel stays. In some instances, you can get a redemption value of up to 10 cents per point with these partners.
If you prefer to redeem Luxury Card points for cash, you’ll receive a value of up to 2% cash-back — 1% for the Mastercard Titanium card, 1.5% for the Mastercard Black card, and 2% for the Mastercard Gold card. This can either be deposited into your bank account or used as a statement credit. But unlike other cards, you can’t turn the cash-back into transferable rewards because Luxury Card has no transfer partners.
Now let’s take an in-depth look at the benefits you’ll receive with each card:
|Mastercard Gold Card||Mastercard Black Card||Mastercard Titanium Card|
|Earning Potential||Earn 1x points for every $1 you spend|
|Value for Airfare Redemptions||2%|
|Value for Cash-Back Redemptions||2%||1.5%||1%|
|Annual Airline Credit Toward Qualifying Airline Purchases||$200||N/A|
|Global Entry Application Fee Credit||$100||N/A|
|Priority Pass Select Membership||Yes||N/A|
With Luxury Card, you find some of the same benefits as other premium cards. Here are some of the benefits you could be eligible for after opening a Luxury Card:
Mastercard Gold card or Mastercard Black cardholders receive up to $200 in annual air travel credit toward flight-related purchases, including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades and more. This credit is automatically applied to your account.
Mastercard Black card and Mastercard Gold cards receive up to $100 statement credit towards a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership. A Global Entry membership gets you expedited arrival into the U.S. from international destinations. Enrolled Global Entry members will also have TSA PreCheck.
Similar to other high-end credit cards, you’ll get complimentary access to more than 1,300 airport lounges around the world with Priority Pass Select if you have a Mastercard Gold card or Mastercard Black card.
All cards come with secondary coverage for damages to an eligible rental vehicle when you pay for the entire rental transaction using your card and decline the coverage offered by the rental agency.
All 3 cards come with the following additional travel benefits:
As a Luxury Card member, you’ll have access to travel, shopping and special benefits and offers. Restrictions, limitations and exclusions may apply. These offers may be amended or canceled at any time without notice. Here are some of the offers currently available:
Because Luxury Card is part of the Mastercard family, you’ll receive perks associated with holding a Mastercard. Make sure to check out mastercard.us/worldeliteoffers to see other offers.
People looking for a statement card — that is, a card that will draw eyes when thrown down at the dinner table — may enjoy this card. Luxury Card offers some decent benefits, but the annual fees, especially for the Mastercard Black card and Mastercard Gold card, will be a hard pill to swallow for many travelers.
There are some decent benefits, like the travel concierge and Luxury Card Travel program, that can get you discounted rates and benefits at thousands of properties. Similar benefits come with other premium cards, but it’s nice to see a new player offer similar perks.
One of the most significant offsets to having a high-annual-fee premium card is being able to transfer those points — be it Amex, Capital One, Chase, or Citi — to an airline or hotel partner, which can give you outsized value. Unlike other premium credit cards, Luxury Card doesn’t partner with hotel or airline loyalty programs, which means you won’t be able to earn points through the program and then transfer them to a partner. And while you can redeem points earned from the cards for airfare, it doesn’t appear that you’re able to do the same for hotel stays, which is something that many high-end credit cards offer.
And, unfortunately, you won’t receive any hotel elite status with Luxury Card like you would when holding the Amex Business Platinum card or Amex Platinum card, both of which offer complimentary Hilton and Marriott elite status (enrollment required).
You do have access to the Priority Pass network and TSA PreCheck/Global Entry statement credits with the Mastercard Gold card and Mastercard Black card, but again, these are perks that come standard with many premium travel rewards cards.
If you decide against Luxury Card — or decide that you want several premium cards in your wallet — there are several alternatives offering immeasurable benefits. Let’s take a look at a few:
Check out our detailed comparison of the Mastercard Black card vs. the Amex Platinum card.
Luxury Card makes sense if you want a cool credit card that will make your friends’ eyes go wide. But that’s pretty much where the draw ends. It has some decent benefits like a travel concierge and travel discounts. Still, the high annual fee on the premium cards and the limited benefits on the lower-tier card makes it difficult to justify opening it.
The information regarding the Mastercard® Gold Card™ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Mastercard® Black Card™ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ was independently collected by Upgraded Points and not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
The information regarding the Centurion® Card from American Express was independently collected by Upgraded Points and was not provided nor reviewed by the issuer.
Luxury Card is a Mastercard that offers airfare and cash-back redemption. You’ll earn points that can be used to pay for airfare and cash-back that can cover statement credits or be deposited directly into your account.
Luxury Card has 3 credit cards available to apply for. They are the Mastercard Gold card, which has a $995 annual fee ($295 for each authorized user), the Mastercard Black card, which has a $495 annual fee ($195 for each authorized user), and the Mastercard Titanium card, which has a $195 annual fee ($95 for each authorized user). The more expensive the annual fee, the more perks you’ll receive.
Yes, but only on the Mastercard Black card and Mastercard Gold card. These cards receive an up to $100 statement credit towards a TSA PreCheck or Global Entry membership, while the Mastercard Titanium card does not have this benefit.
Yes, depending on which card you have. Luxury Card offers a 2% value for airfare redemption and up to a 2% value for cash-back redemptions.
No. Luxury Card does not have any transfer partners, so you won’t be able to transfer your points to another program. You can use your points to receive cash-back as a statement credit or transfer it directly to your bank.
Yes. You’ll receive up to $200 in annual air travel credit toward flight-related purchases, including airline tickets, baggage fees, upgrades, and much more, with the Mastercard Gold card and Mastercard Black card.
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UP's Bonus Valuation
This bonus value is an estimated valuation calculated by UP after analyzing redemption options, transfer partners, award availability and how much UP would pay to buy these points.