MasterCard Black Card Review: Knowing Who it’s Best For & How it Works
The Mastercard Black Card™ is a metal rewards credit card for anyone with an excellent credit, clearly designed to provide a top-notch credit card experience. If you are looking for a thick, black, metal credit card this is one of the most impressive card designs out there.
It has a yearly charge of $495, and although the rewards program is not the most valuable out there, this card comes with some high and appalling benefits like airport lounge access, a concierge available for live chat via the Luxury Card mobile app and thousands of dollars in credits at hotels.
What Is Mastercard® Black Card™?
The Mastercard® Black Card™ is the middle of the three products in MasterCard’s Luxury Card range. Though it has a $495 annual fee, it offers many of the features you will find with the $995 Gold Card — minus the 24-karat gold plating of course.
The Priority Pass Select airport business lounge access is its most valuable feature. It also offers 15 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers, and also numerous travel insurance and shopping protection benefits
Mastercard® Black Card™ Features
|Introductory Financing||15 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers completed within 45 days of account opening, with a 3% balance transfer fee|
|Rewards for Spending||2% rewards toward airfare; 1.5% rewards toward cash back|
|Foreign Transaction Fees||None|
|Travel Benefits||$100 annual airline credit; $100 Global Entry application fee credit; Priority Pass Select airport business lounge membership; Luxury Card travel program; baggage delay insurance; trip cancellation and interruption coverage; trip delay coverage|
|Shopping Benefits||Luxury Card concierge; return guarantee; extended warranty|
|Mobile Wallet Compatibility||None|
|Contactless Payment Compatibility||No|
|Customer Service||Phone: Mon–Sun 7A–12A; Email|
If you really enjoy luxe gifts and feeling like a superstar, the Mastercard black card can give that vibe. The card comes with a number of high-end perks and rewards.
Earning rewards with this credit card is fairly straightforward. You receive one point for each dollar you spend in buys. The most significant rewards bonuses come on the redemption end.
If you redeem your points on airfare, you get a 2% redemption value. Primarily, if you spend enough to get 50,000 points on your card, you can redeem those points for a $1,000 ticket on any airline — without having worries about seat restrictions or blackout dates.
However, to take advantage of this benefit, you must book your airfare using Luxury’s partner agency. You can also choose to get cash back at a rate of 1.5%. So, those 50,000 points would be worth $750 if you get cash instead of an airline ticket.
Annual Airline Credit
Each year that you’re a Mastercard black card holder, you receive $100 in airline credit, helping you reduce the cost of flying. You can apply this credit to tickets, baggage fees, and even in-flight purchases.
Luxury Card Concierge
Consultants are available 24hrs every day of the week to help you manage just about anything you’re interested in, whether you’re at home or traveling.
You can get help choosing a travel destination that appeals to you, find tickets to a sold-out show, find hard-to-get gifts for loved ones, or even get advice on finding a restaurant you’d enjoy. Basically, it’s like having a hotel concierge available to you at any time.
In addition to the concierge, the Mastercard black card also offers a unique perk in its Luxury Gifts program. However, gifts don’t come on a schedule. The website just promises “iconic and recognized brand names” will surprise you in the mail on occasion.
VIP Travel Perks
If you’re looking for the royal treatment when you travel, the Mastercard Black Card’s VIP perks might be a good place to start. Travel perks include:
- Global luggage delivery
- Chauffeured services
- “Meet and greets” at airports
- Global Entry application fee credit & TSA Precheckfee credit
- Cruise privileges
- Upgrades at thousands of luxury hotels worldwide
- Access to a worldwide network of luxury lounges (some even have showers)
Many of these perks are somewhat unique, taking the concept of credit card travel benefits to the next level.
Mastercard Priceless Access
The Priceless program offered by the Mastercard Black card offers access to exclusive experiences. You might be able to see a dress rehearsal before opening night, get courtside seats to a basketball game, or enjoy other curated experiences. Additionally, you have access to the Tournament Players Club, a network of private club golf courses.
Mastercard Black Card holders receive benefits including:
- A $100 credit toward Global Entry or TSA Precheck expedited screening
- Airport lounge access with Priority Pass Select
- Auto rental collision waiver
- Baggage delay insurance
- Cellphone protection
- Mastercard global service
- Mastercard ID theft protection
- Shoprunner free 2-day shipping
- Travel accident insurance
- Travel assistance services
- Trip cancellation and interruption insurance
- Up to a $100 annual airline credit
Mastercard® Black Card™ Pros and Cons
- Rewards — This card offers 2% rewards value for airfare and 1.5% for cash-back redemptions.
- Interest-Free Financing — New applicants receive 15 months of 0% APR financing on balance transfers completed within 45 days of account opening.
- Airport Lounge Membership — The Priority Pass Select membership offers you access to 1,400 lounges and restaurants around the world.
- Luxury Gifts — Mastercard will send you high-priced merchandise from name-brand companies.
- Global Entry, the TSA’s Trusted Traveler Program — You receive a $100 application fee credit.
- Credit Toward Airfare Purchases — Enjoy a $100 annual annual credit toward airfare.
- Travel Insurance and Purchase Protection Benefits — This card offers numerous policies such as trip delay insurance and extended warranty coverage.
- Annual Fee — The $495 annual fee is very high.
- Additional User Fees — You have to pay $195 for each additional user.
- No Signup Bonus — Most other premium reward cards offer a bonus for new applicants.
Who Is Mastercard® Black Card™ Good For?
First things first: To qualify for a Mastercard® Black Card™, you need excellent credit. It’s also designed for higher net-worth individuals; the high annual fee of $495 may present a barrier to entry for many everyday folks, but those who can afford it will find the fee worth it for the luxury benefits they receive.
|Good For…||Bad For…|
|Those looking for a stainless steel credit card||Anyone who wants expansive lounge access|
|Individuals looking for a premium credit card with decent everyday spend rewards||People who don’t travel too much|
Basically, you can get better benefits for less money with other credit cards. Those who like this card’s stainless steel construction, luxury magazine subscription, and other ancillary benefits may want to sign-up regardless – these features are fairly unique. However, from a pure dollar perspective, consumers can do better.