Mastercard Black Card
Advertiser Disclosure: This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertising partners.
The Mastercard Black Card is the middle card in a metal-themed Luxury Card trio, right in between the Titanium and Gold cards. It offers more perks than the Titanium card, but it still fails in comparison to elite travel cards with big annual fees.
If you can afford a pricey rewards card and want all the plush perks that go along with it, do yourself a favor and get one that also gives you a big sign-up bonus.
For the $495 annual fee, Black comes with many of the upscale perks we’ve come to expect from an expensive travel card:
- Priority Pass membership for airport lounge access
- A $100 reimbursement for the Global Entry application fee
- An airline incidentals fee credit
- Travel and auto insurance and protections.
The rewards rate is simply OK.
You will earn double points per $1 when redeemed for airfare and 1.5% for cash back. The website for the Luxury Cards highlights the upscale benefits of card ownership like airport meet-and-greets and chauffeured transportation. But dig a little deeper and you’ll see that these are not included offers, they’ll cost you extra.
And, when you compare this card to other issuers’ premium offerings, the Mastercard Black Card falls short. For example, at a slightly lower cost of ownership, the $450 Chase Sapphire Reserve will give you all the same perks, but offers an annual $300 travel credit to be used any way you like versus the Black Card’s $100 airline incidentals credit. And, the Chase Sapphire Reserve pays a higher rewards rate on more than just airfare. All dining and travel earn 3X the points per $1 spent.
The one area where this card may be a better choice is if you typically carry a balance. If you’re deciding between this card and the Platinum Card from American Express, for example, the Black Card is the clear winner as the Platinum Card is a charge card, meaning you’ll have to pay the balance in full every month. And the variable APR on the Chase Sapphire Reserve is 16.99% to 23.99% versus the Black Card’s APR of 15.99%.
Who should get this card
This card could be a good fit for someone who wants a card with high-end travel perks and rewards but at the lowest APR in the category.
Fees and APR
- You’ll pay a variable APR of 15.99%.
- Enjoy an introductory 0% APR offer for 15 billing cycles on balance transfers that post to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that it’s a variable 15.99%
- This card has an annual fee of $495.
- There’s a balance transfer fee of 3%.
- There’s no foreign transaction fee for purchases made outside the U.S.
- Late payments won’t affect your APR but there is a $37 late payment fee.
How this card compares
The Mastercard Titanium is a more affordable option with many of the same perks. For $195 a year, you can earn a flat 1 point per $1 spent, although if booking airfare through the Loyalty Edge program you can double the value of those points and access to the luxury card concierge. But there’s no Global Pass reimbursement, $100 airline credit or airport lounge access. Cash-back rewards with this card are also a flat 1 percent to the Black Card’s 1.5%.
The Chase Sapphire Reserve card’s boosted redemption value when using the Chase portal and a generous rewards program make this card a stand-out among travel rewards cards offering big value in spite of the price tag. Since Chase Ultimate Rewards points can be used for everything from flights to lodging to cruises, this also makes it one of the most flexible redemption programs among travel cards. Where it really shines is the 50,000 point sign-up bonus worth as much as $750 if used for travel booked through the Chase Website.
Opinions expressed here are author's alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.