Home Top Cards Comparing the Black and Gold Luxury Card Mastercard, Fall 2020

Comparing the Black and Gold Luxury Card Mastercard, Fall 2020

It’s an elite credit card showdown.

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Find out which card better suits you and your lifestyle.
Find out which card better suits you and your lifestyle.
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If you’re considering a Luxury Card Mastercard credit card but debating between the Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™ and the Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™, we’re here to help.

The Black Card is a more affordable version of the ultra-luxury Gold Card in terms of annual fee ($495 versus $995, respectively). Yet the suite of services and benefits is almost identical between the two cards. Meaning, the main difference lies in the power of prestige.

Here’s what you need to know when deciding between these two cards.

The Gold Card is more prestigious than the Black Card

While both cards are viewed as status symbols, the Gold Card carries more weight and power in the world of credit cards.

Unlike the tiered color structure of other credit card brands, the Gold Card is the top-level card within the Luxury Card Mastercard portfolio. Technically, both the Gold and Black Cards represent the apex of metal card design and construction with 54 patents issued globally. The Gold Card is a 24K-gold-plated card while the Black Card is a black-PVD-coated stainless steel card. Suffice to say, they are definitely heavier and more eye-catching than other elite credit cards.

Both offer the same great customer service and concierge service

Strong customer and concierge services are what really set these cards apart from their competitors such as Chase Sapphire Reserve®. Both Mastercard Gold Card and Black Card members have 24/7 access to the Luxury Card Concierge™. Cardmember requests are recorded so their preferences are automatically taken into consideration for future requests. This concierge service can secure tables at popular restaurants, purchase airline tickets, reserve seats to sold-out events, source hard-to-find gifts, and help fulfill special requests. This service has come in especially handy in today’s world when cancellations seem to be the rule rather than the exception.

Holders of both cards can also download the Luxury Card App, which is more comprehensive than other credit card apps on the market. It offers the concierge and personal assistant services via live chat, 24/7, directly from the app. This is a game changer for those who love using premium credit cards’ travel and concierge services but don’t feel like calling in to make bookings or changes.

Both offer exclusive Luxury Card Experiences™, adapted to pandemic life

All Luxury Card holders are privy to dozens of highly curated, once-in-a-lifetime bookable Experiences, which range from the extraordinary to the ultra-extraordinary and have been adapted to reflect today’s times.

For example, if you dream of being a Broadway star, you can enroll in “Virtual Lessons with a Broadway Star,” 60-minute, one-on-one sessions with actors from hit shows like Mean Girls and Beetlejuice. Focus on acting, dancing, audition preparation—the choice is yours. Want to connect with your favorite celebrity? Book a “Virtual Celebrity Meet and Greet,” which plays out as a 5- to 20-minute Zoom call with a celebrity of your choice, based on availability. Love fashion? Book a personal styling session with style icon Rachel Zoe, glam squad included. Desperate to travel again? Experience the ultimate in social distancing with “American’s National Parks by Private Jet,” an adventure that whisks travelers to the likes of Yellowstone, Arches, Zion, and Grand Canyon National Parks in high style (with a local expert guide included in each location). This is just one of a dozen exceptional domestic itineraries Luxury Card has created.

These offerings are available to cardholders of both cards when booking through Luxury Card Concierge™ (available 24/7 by phone, email or live chat) and paying with a Luxury Card.

The Gold Card offers a higher cash back rate

Both cards promise strong rewards on everyday spending. Cardholders simply earn one point on every dollar spent, regardless of spending category. The value of these points lies in the power of redemption. With the Gold Card, points are redeemed at a rate of 2% toward unrestricted award travel or 2% cash back. With the Black Card, points are redeemed at a rate of 2% toward unrestricted award travel or 1.5 % cash back.

Both come with a top-tier Priority Pass™ Select membership

The Priority Pass lounge network is the largest independent airport lounge access program in the world. It includes more than 1,300 lounges in over 500 cities worldwide. While you can buy into this membership-based network for $429 per year (plus $32 per guest), membership is complimentary for both Gold and Black Card members. Both come with an industry-leading, unlimited guest policy. No other credit cards offer such a generous guest policy, especially useful for those traveling with large families or fellow conventioneers. Thankfully, as of September 2020, a number of Priority Pass lounges have started to reopen with new safety measures.

Both reimburse the Global Entry Application Fee and have other similar travel benefits

Both cards provide a $100 Global Entry Application Fee statement credit every four years. An increased Global Entry fee of $120 will go into effect in October 2020, but we’re confident the cards will up the statement credit to reflect this change.

The Gold card also provides a $200 travel credit per calendar year valid toward any purchase categorized as “air travel,” including airfare, baggage fees, flight upgrades, and select in-flight purchases (alcohol and food: yes; duty-free: no). The Black Card provides a $100 travel credit per calendar year.

Cardholders of both can take advantage of the Luxury Card VIP Hotel & Travel program. Amenities might include room upgrades, spa credits, and complimentary food and beverage. In addition, the card provides a fast track to elite level with National Car Rental, offering complimentary Emerald Club Executive status.

Both cards provide the identical implicit travel insurances

The implicit travel insurances with both cards are similar to those offered from other cards within the World Elite Mastercard portfolio.

When charging a trip’s entire common carrier fare to either, cardholders are automatically covered by worldwide travel accident insurance with maximum coverage provided up to $500,000. For the auto rental collision damage waiver benefit (Auto Rental CDW), coverage is secondary within the United States and primary outside the United States, if your automobile insurance does not cover you abroad. The amount covered is often the lesser amount of the cash value of the rental vehicle, the actual repair amount, or contractual liability assumed by the renter with the owner of the rental vehicle.

When charging a trip to either card, the implicit trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance policies compensate loss for reasons such as quarantine imposed by a physician for health reasons (including COVID) and inclement weather. Coverage is provided up to $5,000 per trip.

Both cards provide cellular telephone protection

Last year, all World Elite Mastercards, including the Black and Gold Luxury Cards, began offering secondary coverage for eligible damage or theft of eligible cellular wireless telephone. To get coverage, you must charge your monthly eligible cellular wireless telephone bill to the card. This benefit provides up to “$800 per claim, and $1,000 per card per 12-month period” for covered reasons of theft and damage. Each claim will be subject to a $50 deductible, and coverage is limited to two claims per 12-month period. And in case you were wondering about coverage for dropping your iPhone and cracking the screen, here’s the official policy on what’s NOT covered: “Cosmetic damage to the Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephone or damage that does not impact the Eligible Cellular Wireless Telephone’s ability to make or receive phone calls (including minor screen cracks and fractures less than 2 inches in length that do not prevent the ability to make or receive phone calls or to use other features related to making or receiving phone calls).” Meaning, if it’s a total bust or completely cracked and unusable, you should be covered!

Shopping benefits do not vary between cards

In November 2019, both cards unfortunately did away with price protection, return protection, and their extended warranty policies. Most cards have been eliminating price and return protections over the years, but the loss of the extended warranty policy really stings. As a reminder that policy doubled the manufacturer’s warranty up to two years on eligible manufacturer’s warranties of two years or less (and is still a common feature on all other elite credit cards).

On a more positive note, both cards do offer perks with specific retail partners in line with other World Elite–embossed Mastercards. When booking with onefinestay, a website that provides access to thousands of high-end rental homes and villas around the world, cardholders may receive a 10% discount on eligible bookings. When riding Lyft, cardholders will receive a $10 credit for every five rides taken in a calendar month, which will be automatically applied to the next ride, capped at once per month. Cardholders will earn 5% cash rewards on purchases with Boxed, which can be used toward future purchases. Cardholders also receive a free ShopRunner membership, which provides free two-day shipping and free return shipping at over a hundred online retailers.

Neither offers a sign-up bonus

There are no sign-up bonuses for either card nor bonus categories for earning points. These two cards look to serve their bases long-term through services and benefits that more than pay for themselves.

The winner

There’s no clear victor in this battle of Gold vs. Black. The cards are almost identical except for their appearances, small difference in cash back rate, $100 difference in annual travel credits, and $500 difference in annual fee. The deciding factor here: your personal value in a status symbol.

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Award-winning travel writer and economist Paul Rubio is a credit card enthusiast, whose sophisticated use of points and rewards has helped him travel to 132 countries for free. Paul is a Harvard graduate with a master’s degree in public administration and a master’s degree in economics. He also holds a bachelor’s degree from Boston University with a double major in economics and environmental policy and a minor in conservation biology. He attended both undergraduate and graduate schools on full scholarships. Paul worked in the field of wildlife conservation before embracing his writing talents full-time in 2008. Since then, he has won more than two dozen national awards for his exemplary work in travel journalism. The prolific writer contributes to a number of top-tier international, national, and regional publications including Condé Nast Traveler, Florida Design, Fodors.com, Palm Beach Illustrated, and Robb Report.