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Updated March 23, 2024

Mastercard Black Card Review: Is $495 Worth It?

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Want to know if the Mastercard® Black Card™ is worth its cost? Discover the privileges and requirements in this in-depth review.

5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Stainless steel and carbon card
  • Concierge service
  • Travel benefits
  • $495 annual fee
  • No signup bonus

Bottom Line

Stainless steel and carbon card with luxury benefits

If you're looking for a luxury credit card, the Mastercard Black Card offers some great perks.

The card comes with 24/7 concierge service, 2% cash back on airfare redemptions, lounge access at airports, and more. Plus, the sleek, stainless-steel card will definitely turn a few heads.

But with no sign-up bonus or transfer partners, is it actually worth the $495 annual fee?

Find out if the benefits make up for the hefty fees, and see how it compares to other premium travel cards.

Who the Mastercard Black Card Is Good For

First, let's get something straight. The Mastercard Black Card is definitely not designed for everyone.

So who is this card for?

  • Frequent Travelers: With perks like Global Entry application credit, airport lounge access, and more value on airfare redemptions, the Black Card is intended for those who travel often. However, where it really shines is its concierge service. Specialists are available 24/7 to assist with ANY travel need or desire.

  • Big Spenders: With a high $495 annual fee and mediocre rewards (more later), this card is aimed at those who do not want to juggle multiple credit card reward programs and are capable of spending enough to take full advantage of the luxury perks.

The card's value is based more on the benefits than its actual monetary card rewards structure.

That said, it's still important to understand what you get, and what similar cards offer.

How to qualify and get a Mastercard Black Card:
Mastercard Black Card is not an invitation-only card. But it does require excellent credit. This usually means a credit score of 720 or more. There is no income requirement to qualify, though a higher income will be more favorable.

Pros & Cons of Mastercard Black Card

Pros:

  • 24/7 Luxury Card Concierge by phone, live chat, SMS, & email
  • Up to $100 annual airline fee credit
  • 1.5% redemption value for cashback and 2% for airfare
  • Premium travel perks, such as airport lounge access
  • Travel and cell phone protections
  • No foreign transaction fee
  • Reward points never expire
  • Very heavy luxurious stainless steel and carbon card

Cons:

  • No welcome bonus
  • No bonus categories
  • No airline transfer partners
  • $495 annual fee, not waived the first year

What is the Mastercard Black Card Credit Limit?
Mastercard Black Card is a high-limit credit card. Users with high incomes report credit limits of $20,000 to $25,000 or even more. The lowest reported credit limit is $5,000.

Earning and Redeeming Rewards

The Mastercard Black Card has no sign-up bonus to help offset the annual fee for the first year.

The reward rate is 1 point for every $1 spent on purchases. There are no bonus categories.

The redemption value is:

  • 2% when redeemed for airfare. Redeem through Luxury Card's travel portal for airfare with no blackout dates or seat restrictions.

  • 1.5% when redeemed for cash back. Can be applied as statement credit or direct deposit into your bank.

This means the most you'll get is equivalent to 2% back. This may not be the best (when compared to similar cards), but it's actually a pretty decent redemption rate. Keep in mind, no other elite cards offer a 1.5% cash back rate on everyday purchases.

You can redeem your points at myluxurycard.com or by calling the number on the back of your card.

Premium Benefits & Luxury Perks

The Black Card is meant to be more about the benefits than the card rewards. So let's take a look at what kind of benefits it offers. We'll also offer some comparisons so you can make your own choice.

Concierge Service

This is one of the most valuable perks of the MasterCard Black Card, though maybe not in the monetary sense.

The Luxury Card Concierge provides perhaps the highest caliber of service offered by premium credit card concierges.

A dedicated team is available 24/7 around the world to help with both travel and personal requests - no matter how outlandish (as long as it's legal). The concierge can be accessed by phone, SMS, email, and live chat.

The Luxury Card concierge is different from the World Elite concierge. The perk for World Elite card holders is that you're connected directly to a specialist.

Services can include:

  • Helping you research and plan trips
  • Booking complicated travel itineraries for large groups
  • Making restaurant reservations in a foreign country
  • Finding tickets to a sold-out show
  • Arranging for items left at home (or a hotel) to be picked up
  • Arranging for a rep to be at your home to sign for a delivery
  • Helping plan the perfect proposal
  • Booking appointments for you
  • Making meeting room reservations in other countries
  • Arranging a private meet and greet with one of your favorite celebrities

This benefit can be invaluable for busy people who don't have time to deal with the little things. All services are free of charge, but you'd have to pay for anything you purchase through them, of course.

Luxury Card Concierge can be reached at any time at (844) 724-2500. Or contact them 24/7 via live chat on the Luxury Card app. For less urgent requests, you can write through email.

Lounge Access Through Priority Pass Select

You get complimentary Priority Pass Select membership. This gives you access to over 1,300 airport lounges across the world.

For very frequent travelers, this membership can be worth a great deal. The Mastercard Black Card also allows you to bring in unlimited guests at no extra cost (though individual lounges may have their own rules).

This is a little better than similar cards, as Chase Sapphire Reserve® and Platinum Card from American Express (a CreditDonkey partner) only allow 2 guests at no charge.

This is the equivalent of the Priority Pass Prestige membership, which costs $469/year. The benefit is even better, as you can bring in unlimited guests at no extra cost.

$100 annual airline fee credit

Every calendar year, you'll receive up to $100 air travel credit toward flight-related purchases, such as:

  • Airline tickets
  • Baggage fees
  • Seat upgrades
  • Lounge access
  • Certain in-flight purchases

This credit can be used for any airline. It will be automatically applied to your account. This credit effectively reduces the annual fee by $100.

In comparison, Chase Sapphire Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit, and AMEX Platinum offers a $200 airline fee credit.

$100 Global Entry Application Fee Credit

Every 5 years, you get an application fee credit of up to $100 to Global Entry or $85 for TSA PreCheck. Global Entry pre-approves you for expedited entry upon returning to the US by allowing you to use automated kiosks.

It's not an automatic enrollment in the program, as you'll still have to pass the screening. You're credited back the fee when you use the card to pay for the application. Take note that for this benefit to apply, your account must be open 7 days prior to the application fee being charged.

Once you get the Global Entry membership, it also includes access to the TSA Pre-Check program with no additional application or fee required.

Hotel Benefits

When you book eligible hotel stays with Luxury Card Travel, you get competitive rates and complimentary benefits such as:

  • Late checkout and early check-in
  • Room upgrades when available
  • Access to luxury hotels (including the Four Seasons, Peninsula Hotels, etc.)
  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • Resort and dining credits which can be used for spas, wine blending experiences, gift shops, etc. (depending on the hotel)
  • Complimentary wifi
  • Welcome amenities

Mastercard Black Card claims that the average total value of benefits is about $500 per stay (based on a booking of 3 nights).

Luxury Travel Services

The Mastercard Black Card offers some services to reduce your hassle on travel days. These include:

  • Global luggage delivery: Send your luggage ahead of time so you don't have to deal with checking, baggage claim and even going through customs.

  • Airport meet & assist: Have trained agents assist you through the airport process to avoid crowds and speed up airport formalities.

  • Chauffeured transportation: Hire a professional driver from EmpireCLS or Carey International to shuttle you around. Travel in style in late-model luxury cars while conveniently moving around in 1000 different cities.

However, these services are NOT free. You still have to pay. It's just that the Mastercard Black Card reps can help assist you with the arrangements.

Exclusive Luxury Benefits

Some perks just for the Luxury Card include:

  • Mastercard Priceless events: Get access to invitation-only events, such as sporting events and shows.

  • LUXURY MAGAZINE: You'll receive the exclusive biannual publication covering travel, fashion, real estate, vehicles, technology, etc.

Lifestyle Discounts & Benefits

You also get these benefits for Luxury Card World Elite MasterCard cardholders. These provide some extra rewards for common day-to-day use.

  • Priceless Golf: Get access to over 1,000 private country clubs across America, Scotland, and Ireland. Not only that, Mastercard also provides cardholders access to prestigious championships (like the Open and Arnold Palmer Invitational) for golf.

  • ShopRunner membership: ShopRunner provides free 2-day shipping, free returns, and deals with hundreds of brand-name stores. Receive a complimentary membership with your Luxury Card (normally $79/year).

  • Cellular Telephone Protection: When you pay for your mobile phone bill using your luxury card you also activate coverage for eligible theft or damage claims.

  • Lyft credit: Download the Lyft app and enroll your Luxury Card. Lyft will automatically add a $5 Lyft credit to your account once you take three rides in a month and pay with your Luxury Card. Limit one Lyft credit per calendar month.

  • Instacart: When you use your luxury card to pay, you get $10 off of your 2nd order each month. Apart from this, you'll also get two months of free delivery with Instacart+.

  • Peacock: You'll get a $3 statement credit each month when you use your Luxury Card to pay. But if you use your card to pay for Peacock Premium Plus, you get a $5 statement credit.

Travel & Purchase Protections

Mastercard Black Card also offers these travel and purchase benefits:

  • Cell phone protection: If you charge your monthly cell phone bill to your Luxury Card, you are eligible for protection against covered cell phone theft or damage. You can receive up to $800 per claim, for a maximum of 2 claims for up to $1,000 per 12-month period. Each claim is subject to a $50 deductible.

  • Car rental insurance waiver: You are covered against theft and damage when you rent an eligible car and decline the rental company's collision insurance. Coverage is secondary when you rent a car within the U.S. and primary when you rent a car abroad.

  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption: You can be reimbursed up to $5,000 per trip (up to $10,000 per 12-month period) when your eligible trip is canceled or interrupted due to covered reasons. Coverage is secondary.

  • Baggage delay: If your checked baggage is delayed in transit for more than 4 hours, you can be reimbursed for replacing eligible items up to $100/day for up to 3 days.

  • Travel accident insurance: You and your family are insured up to $250,000 in cases of accidental death or dismemberment when riding in a common carrier.

  • Mastercard ID theft protection: Should you become the victim of Identity theft, you get 24/7 assistance with replacement of your card and notifying the credit bureau.

Interested in applying? Keep reading to see if you're eligible.

Requirements and How to Qualify

While marketed as a prestigious card, the Mastercard Black Card is not by invitation-only. Anyone can apply online.

For your best chances of approval, it's best if you:

  • Have an excellent credit
  • Have higher income and a stable job history
  • Keep balances on your other credit cards low (ideally under 30% credit utilization)
  • Have at least 1 year of on-time payments
  • Have at least 2-3 years of credit history
  • Don't have too many new accounts and inquiries

There is no official credit or income requirement, though cardholders generally have excellent credit and high income in the 6 digits. A higher income will definitely help, especially if your credit score is not quite excellent. Or visa versa, a very high credit score will help if your income is lower.

Downsides of Black Card

Mastercard Black Card is NOT aimed towards miles collectors and value seekers. If you're all about gaming the airline miles system, it will not appeal to you.

The Mastercard Black Card has:

  • No signup bonus. Welcome bonuses are one of the best things about credit card offers, and the Mastercard Black Card offers none. There's nothing to help offset that huge annual fee.

  • No bonus categories. You only get 1 point per $1. This makes it hard to rack up points fast. Other cards offer more points in bonus categories (like the Reserve's 3x points on travel and dining).

  • No transfer partners. There are no travel partners. You will not be able to squeeze in more value by transferring points to airlines and hotels.

If you're a miles collector, look into cards like Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Platinum instead.

How Mastercard Black Card Compares

Maybe you're looking for a smaller annual fee? Or maybe better benefits? In this section, check out how the Mastercard Black compares to the other Luxury Cards as well as to the other credit cards.

To the other Luxury Cards:

FeaturesMastercard GoldMastercard BlackMastercard Titanium
Annual Fee$995$495$195
Airfare Rewards2% value for airfare redemptions2% value for airfare redemptions2% value for airfare redemptions
Cashback Rewards2% value for cashback redemptions1.5% value for cashback redemptions1% value for cashback redemptions
Annual Airline Credit$200$100None
Global Entry Application Fee Credit$100$100None
Priority Pass SelectYesYesNo
Luxury Card ConciergeYesYesYes
Competitive hotel rates and complimentary benefitsYesYesYes
Luxury magazine subscriptionYesYesYes
Card Material24K-Gold-Plated Stainless Steel CardBlack-PVD-Coated Stainless Steel CardBrushed Stainless Steel Card

To other credit cards:

Compared to AMEX Platinum:
American Express Platinum
Apply for The Platinum Card from American Express
AMEX Platinum has a higher annual fee of $695 (See Rates & Fees), but it is loaded with benefits with monetary value. These include:

  • Earn 80,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $8,000 on eligible purchases on your new Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership. Apply and select your preferred metal Card design: classic Platinum, 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.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get up to $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®. The Hotel Collection requires a minimum two-night stay.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 back in statement credits each month on eligible purchases made with your Platinum Card® on one or more of the following: Disney+, a Disney Bundle, ESPN+, Hulu, The New York Times, Peacock, and The Wall Street Journal. Enrollment required.
  • The American Express Global Lounge Collection® can provide an escape at the airport. With complimentary access to more than 1,400 airport lounges across 140 countries and counting, you have more airport lounge options than any other credit card issuer on the market. As of 03/2023.
  • $155 Walmart+ Credit: Save on eligible delivery fees, shipping, and more with a Walmart+ membership. Use your Platinum Card® to pay for a monthly Walmart+ membership and get up to $12.95 plus applicable taxes back on one membership (excluding Plus Ups) each month.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Select one qualifying airline and then receive up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year when incidental fees are charged by the airline to your Platinum Card®.
  • $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. Terms Apply.
  • $189 CLEAR® Plus Credit: CLEAR® Plus helps to get you to your gate faster at 50+ airports nationwide and get up to $189 back per calendar year on your Membership (subject to auto-renewal) when you use your Card. CLEARLanes are available at 100+ airports, stadiums, and entertainment venues.
  • Receive either a $100 statement credit every 4 years for a Global Entry application fee or a statement credit up to $85 every 4.5 year period for TSA PreCheck® application fee for a 5-year plan only (through a TSA PreCheck® official enrollment provider), when charged to your Platinum Card®. Card Members approved for Global Entry will also receive access to TSA PreCheck at no additional cost.
  • Shop Saks with Platinum: Get up to $100 in statement credits annually for purchases in Saks Fifth Avenue stores or at saks.com on your Platinum Card®. That's up to $50 in statement credits semi-annually. Enrollment required.
  • Unlock access to exclusive reservations and special dining experiences with Global Dining Access by Resy when you add your Platinum Card® to your Resy profile.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

In addition, you get automatic elite status at Marriott, Hilton, and certain car rental companies. You also get hotel and shipboard credit on qualifying hotel and cruise bookings.

You can transfer points to over 20 transfer partners, including Delta, Hawaiian, Air France, and Air Canada.

Compared to Chase Sapphire Reserve:
Chase Sapphire Reserve
Apply for Chase Sapphire Reserve
Chase Sapphire Reserve offers 3x points on travel and dining purchases worldwide. The points are worth 50% more value when you book travel on the Chase Travel℠ portal. They can also be transferred to airline and hotel partners for even more value (including United, Southwest, and JetBlue).

Check out some other features of Chase Sapphire Reserve:

  • Earn 75,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,125 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Travel℠.
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year.
  • Earn 5x total points on flights and 10x total points on hotels and car rentals when you purchase travel through Chase Travel℠ immediately after the first $300 is spent on travel purchases annually. Earn 3x points on other travel and dining & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Travel℠. For example, 75,000 points are worth $1125 toward travel.
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit every four years for Global Entry, NEXUS, or TSA PreCheck®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
  • Member FDIC

Despite the $550 annual fee, the Reserve offers a $300 annual travel credit. This can be used for any eligible travel purchase, like airfare, hotels, Uber, trains, and even parking garages.

Bottom Line: Is Luxury Black Card Worth It?

This is a difficult question to answer.

Is a Gucci handbag worth it? Is a Bentley worth it? If you're asking the right demographic, then yes. If you're asking discount shoppers, then no way.

Those who can afford it will love how impressive it looks. And the rewards are still better than average, with some luxury perks thrown in. It also makes a good alternative black card for those who aren't quite qualify for the iconic AMEX Centurion Card (also known as American Express Black Card).

If we're purely talking from a value standpoint, other cards, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve and AMEX Platinum offer more travel rewards. But they tend to be more complicated to use.

Remember - the Mastercard Black Card is not for those concerned with getting maximum value. It's a luxury product aimed to impress while delivering solid perks and a premium time saving user experience. Terms and conditions apply.

Next Step: View the issuer's official application, terms, and details

Write to Anna G at feedback@creditdonkey.com. Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for our latest posts.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer. This site may be compensated through the Advertiser's affiliate programs.

For rates and fees of the American Express Platinum card, please click here.



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