Mastercard® Black Card™ review
Best for upscale travel perks
- Rewards rate: 1 point for every $1 spent
- Welcome offer: N/A
- Annual fee: $495 ($195 for each authorized user)
- Purchase intro APR: N/A
- Balance transfer intro APR: 0% intro APR for the first 15 billing cycles on balance transfers within first 45 days; APR after will be 14.99% variable
- Regular APR: 14.99% variable
The Mastercard® Black Card™ is part of the Mastercard Luxury Card trio (the others are the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ and Mastercard® Gold Card™), which offers cards full of travel perks and access to numerous upgrades.
This luxury travel credit card is impressive to feel—it weighs 22 grams and is made from patented black-PVD-coated metal. But unfortunately, the annual fee is just as hefty as the physical card, costing you $495 a year ($195 for each authorized user).
Are the posh perks worth the annual price? Let’s take a closer look.
Mastercard Black Card current welcome offer
As of this writing, the Mastercard Black Card does not offer a welcome bonus.
You might expect a luxury card to have a superior rewards program, but in the case of the Mastercard Black, the rewards are lacking.
For every $1 you make in purchases you will earn 1 reward point. (1.5% bonus for cash back redemptions, 2% bonus for airfare redemptions)
You can stretch your rewards points further by redeeming them through the Luxury Card rewards site. In some cases, it will double your point value by simply using this redemption method. For example, if you book airline travel with your points, they will be worth 2 percent. So, if you’ve made purchases of $50,000 and have 50,000 points, you’ll have a $1,000 airline redemption. If you want to convert your points to cash back rewards, you’ll earn a 1.5 percent value.
Mastercard Black Card: Benefits
What is a Mastercard Black Card if it doesn’t offer you the benefits you’d expect from a luxury card? Fortunately for cardholders, there are several travel and gift benefits worth noting.
For starters, you’ll receive an annual airline credit of up to $100 toward qualifying airline purchases. You’ll also receive an up to $100 Global Entry application fee credit and get access to the Priority Pass Select, giving you access to more than 1,300 airport lounges in more than 500 cities worldwide.
The card provides you 24/7 access to the Luxury Card Concierge — a service that helps you with everything from booking your travel and vacations to locating a must-have, hard-to-find gift for someone. If you’re traveling to one of the 3,000 featured properties, you’re treated to upgrades worth an average of up to $500.
Cardholders of the Mastercard Black receive luxurious gifts from some of “the world’s most iconic and recognized brand names” throughout the year.
Rates and fees
If you like the idea of the travel perks and rewards, it’s going to cost you with this card. The Mastercard Black has a pricey annual fee of $495, plus a $195 fee for each authorized user. Some luxury black cards have annual fees in the thousands, so this may sound like a bargain to some cardholders. The good news is, this card does not charge any foreign transaction fees, which is helpful if you need to use your card overseas.
The rates are not very competitive, either. Although you do have a 0 percent intro balance transfer APR for the first 15 billing cycles (balance transfers made within the first 45 days; variable APR after will be 14.99 percent), all purchases will be at the 14.99 percent variable APR. If you do initiate a balance transfer, it’s subject to a $5 or 3 percent fee, whichever is greater. Cash advances are subject to a 25.24 percent variable APR and a $10 or 5 percent cash advance fee, whichever is greater.
The Mastercard Black Card credit limit is difficult to find, but like most credit cards, it’s safe to assume it will depend on your creditworthiness.
How the Mastercard Black Card compares to other travel cards
The Mastercard Black Card technically falls into the luxury card category, but unlike most luxury cards, you apply for it instead of receiving an invitation. On the other hand, the card’s numerous travel benefits make it more like a travel credit card. So how does it compare to other popular travel cards?
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card has a $95 annual fee but doesn’t have an introductory APR on purchases or balance transfers. However, you do receive a welcome offer of 100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards points once you spend $4,000 in the first three months.
Compare the Mastercard Black to the Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card, which doesn’t have an annual fee. This card features a 0 percent introductory APR on purchases for 12 months (15.49 percent to 25.49 percent variable APR thereafter) and offers a 20,000-mile welcome offer if you spend $500 in the first three months. You can use these points toward airline travel and more.
|Card name||Welcome offer||Reward structure||Intro APR||APR||Annual fee||Foreign transaction fee|
|Mastercard Black Card||None||1 point for every $1 spent, redeem through the Luxury Card Rewards portal||0% intro on balance transfers made within the first 45 days for the first 15 billing cycles||14.99% Variable||$495 ($195 for each authorized user added to the account)||None|
|Chase Sapphire Preferred||100,000 Chase Ultimate Rewards® points if you spend $4,000 in the first three months||2X points per dollar on travel and dining at restaurants, 1X point per dollar on all other purchases and 5X points per dollar on Lyft rides through March 2022||None||15.99% to 22.99% Variable||$95||None|
|Capital One VentureOne Rewards Credit Card||20,000 mileage bonus for spending $500 in the first three months||1.25 miles per dollar earned on all purchases||0% intro on purchases for 12 months||15.49% to 25.49% Variable||$0||None|
Best cards to pair with the Mastercard Black Card
If you want to carry the Mastercard Black Card, you should pair it with another card that offers a 0 percent introductory rate on purchases. This way you will have the best of both introductory worlds—0 percent on purchases and 0 percent on balance transfers.
Bankrate’s take—Is the Mastercard Black Card worth it?
The best way to get your money’s worth from this expensive card is if you travel to the featured 3,000 properties enough to take advantage of the estimated up to $500 in upgrades with each stay. If you use the travel credits (up to a $100 Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee and up to a $100 airline credit) it can offset the cost as well. The introductory 0 percent APR for 15 months for balance transfers is another big plus (variable APR of 14.99 percent thereafter). If you can’t use these major benefits, then it’s best to look at other travel or luxury cards.
- Cool travel perks
- 0 percent intro APR on balance transfers for 15 months (variable APR of 14.99 percent thereafter)
- Luxury gifts
- High annual fee
- No introductory rate on purchases