Mastercard® Black Card™

Robin Saks Frankel  in  0% APR How we rate our cards  |  Advertiser Disclosure
Luxury Card Image

Recommended Credit Score

Excellent (740 - 850)

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Apply Now On Luxury Card's secure website
Annual Fee:
$495
Purchase Intro APR:
N/A
Balance Transfer Intro APR:
0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles on BT within first 45 days; APR after will be 16.49%
Regular APR:
16.49% Variable
Terms and Restrictions Apply

Bankrate Rating

Commonly used for: Airport Lounge Access, Auto Rental Insurance, Balance Transfer, Concierge Service, EMV, Excellent Credit, Extended Warranty Program, Free Credit Score, Lost Luggage Reimbursement, Mobile Pay Ready, No Foreign Transaction Fees, Points, Price Protection, Private Jet Access, Purchase Protection, Rewards, Roadside Assistance, Travel, Travel Accident Insurance, Travel Assistance, Trip Cancellation Insurance, TSA/Customs Reimbursement, Ultra-Premium Card, Unsecured credit card, World Elite Mastercard®, Zero Fraud Liability.

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.

Review

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 range on the Chase Sapphire Reserve is higher than the Black Card’s variable APR of 16.49%.

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.

Advantages
  • Points take on double value when redeemed for airfare, so 50,000 points can be redeemed for $1,000 in airfare
  • Points redeemed as a statement credit or into a U.S. bank account take on 50% more value. So, 50,000 points can be redeemed for $750 cash back.
  • If you take advantage of it, the $100 airline incidental fees credit and the $100 Global Entry application reduce the first-year ownership cost to $295.
  • The APR on this card is lower than other luxury travel rewards cards
Disadvantages
  • To receive the bonus point benefit, air travel must be booked through the Mastercard Loyalty Edge program.
  • Other premium travel cards give greater rewards and in more categories.
  • There's no sign-up bonus.

Fees and APR

  • You’ll pay a variable APR of 16.49%.
  • Enjoy an introductory 0% APR offer for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers that post to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that it’s a variable 16.49%
  • 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 an up to $37 late payment fee.