Barclaycard has released three new credit cards under the umbrella brand “Luxury Card.” They are, it seems, aimed at the high-end of the credit card market.
Why do I think that? Because the word “luxury” is part of it. Oh, and the annual fee on the most expensive of the three is a whopping $995. Yup, just short of a grand. Yikes!
Luxury Card Comes in Three Flavors
As mentioned, the new Luxury Card series comes in three different versions, including the:
- Titanium Card
- Black Card
- Gold Card
Each has different benefits (and costs) so let’s go through each one separately to see if there’s any value here for new cardmembers.
MasterCard Titanium Card Offers 1% Cash Back
The MasterCard Titanium Card is, you guessed it, not made of titanium! Haha. Sorry. But it is made of a patented mix of brushed stainless steel and carbon. It looks pretty cool I suppose and can probably slice a piece of paper.
Anyway, this entry-level version of Luxury Card comes with 10,000 bonus points after you spend $1,000 in the first 90 days.
Those 10,000 points are worth $200 if you use them for airfare, or just $100 if you opt for a cash back credit on your statement.
You also get access to the Luxury Card Concierge and the members-only Luxury Magazine. That’s a lot luxury, eh?
The annual fee is a not so cheap $195 and $95 for any additional cardmembers.
They claim this card is better than the Amex Platinum because 50,000 points is worth $1,000 in airfare, as opposed to just $500.
Thing is you can transfer Amex points to frequent flyer programs and get even more value than $1,000 if you book business class or first class tickets.
MasterCard Black Card Offers 1.5% Value for Cash Back
The MasterCard Black Card is the mid-tier version of the card that comes with all the same stuff as the Titanium Card plus a little more.
For example, you get 1.5% value for your points when you redeem for statement credits. And you get 25,000 bonus points when you spend $1,500 in the first 90 days.
That works out to $375 if you opt for cash back. It also doubles the redemption value when you redeem for airfare, so $500 on that opening bonus.
It also comes with a $100 annual airline credit for incidental airline purchases, $100 for Global Entry applications, and complimentary Lounge Club membership. Oh, and luxury gifts, whatever those are?
The downside is the $495 annual fee (and $195 for each additional cardholder). That ain’t cheap.
MasterCard Gold Card Is Actually Made of Gold
The MasterCard Gold Card is the cream of the crop, and surprise, is actually made of gold.
Yup, 24 karat gold plating and carbon. Pretty cool, right? Well, not if you pay attention to the annual fee of $995. Yes, basically $1,000 a year for this puppy.
I’ll be adding this card to my list of the most expensive credit cards.
Oh, and additional cards run $295 a piece…great deal! Just kidding!
The Gold Card comes with everything the Black Card has with a few boosts. For one, you get 50,000 bonus points after spending $3,000 in the first 90 days.
That’s good for $1,000 if you redeem for cash back because it doubles on this version of the card. Or $1,000 toward airfare. So you can cover your annual fee the first year with the sign-up bonus.
You also get a $200 annual airline credit. Other than that you’re paying an arm and a leg for not much else.
My Thoughts on the Luxury Cards
These new Luxury Cards seem to be more style than substance. While it may be cool that the gold-plated card “reflects your status,” you may go broke in the process with that staggeringly high annual fee.
Additionally, most if not all of these benefits are available on other cards with much lower annual fees. I’d personally opt for the Citi Prestige instead and snag the 50,000 sign-up for a much lower fee.
That card also comes with an annual $250 airline credit that can be used on actual airfare. So just running the math it’s a no-brainer to avoid these cards in favor of cheaper, yet still awesome alternatives.
If you want 100,000 points, you can sign up for both Citi Prestige and Citi ThankYou Premier, with the latter having its annual fee waived the first year.
You’ll wind up with 100k points that can be transferred to leading airlines and you’ll only pay $450 the first year, less all those valuable airline credits.
Oh, and you’ll get to take advantage of bonus categories for things like travel, hotels, and so on. Meanwhile, the Luxury Cards will only give you one point per dollar no matter what you charge.
Alternatively, you could just apply for a 2% cash back credit card such as Citi Double Cash, or take advantage of double miles your first year on the Discover it Miles card.
What I’m saying here is that there are plenty of better, cheaper options to swipe with.