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Barclaycard Rebrands Visa Black, Adds Titanium and Gold Luxury Cards

March 8, 2016
Credit Cards, Rewards Credit Cards, Travel Credit Cards
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Known for its exclusivity and prestige, the former Visa® Black Card from Barclaycard is now the MasterCard® Black Card™. Barclaycard also has expanded its luxury selection with two more credit cards, the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ and the MasterCard® Gold Card™.

Let’s dig into the details of each to find out whether they’re a good pick for you.

MasterCard® Titanium Card™

The most affordable of the bunch, the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ is made of brushed stainless steel and carbon and comes with a $195 annual fee. Here are the key benefits:

  • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend. Points are worth 2 cents apiece when redeeming for airfare or 1 cent apiece when you redeem as cash back (in the form of a statement credit) or for merchandise, gift cards or experiences.
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that, your APR will be 15.24% (variable). There is a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
  • VIP travel perks include an airport escort, chauffeured transportation, charter services by jet or yacht, global luggage delivery and complimentary room upgrades, spa credits, food and beverages.
  • Access to MasterCard Priceless benefits, including unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Exclusive 24/7 concierge service.
  • Members-only Luxury Magazine.

Verdict: For rewards alone, you can do much better than the MasterCard® Titanium Card™. And unlike many premium travel cards, the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ doesn’t offer complimentary lounge access. The Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express is comparable.

MasterCard® Black Card™

In the middle of the pack, the MasterCard® Black Card™ offers many of the same benefits that the Visa® Black Card did, but with some key improvements. It’s constructed of stainless steel and carbon and, like its predecessor, charges a $495 annual fee. Other benefits include:

  • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend. Points are worth 3 cents apiece when redeeming for airfare or 1.5 cents apiece when you redeem as cash back (in the form of a statement credit) or for merchandise, gift cards or experiences.
  • 0% introductory APR for the first 15 billing cycles following each balance transfer that posts to your account within 45 days of account opening. After that, your APR will be 15.24% (variable). There is a balance transfer fee of 3% or $5, whichever is greater.
  • Get a $100 annual credit toward qualifying airline purchases.
  • Get a $100 credit for a Global Entry application fee.
  • VIP travel perks include airport Lounge Club access, an airport escort, chauffeured transportation, charter services by jet or yacht, global luggage delivery and complimentary room upgrades, spa credits, food and beverages.
  • Access to MasterCard Priceless benefits, including unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Exclusive 24/7 concierge service.
  • Members-only Luxury Magazine.
  • Luxury gifts.

Verdict: The introductory 0% APR balance transfer offer, 1.5% cash-back redemption and Global Entry and airline fee credits are additions that weren’t offered on the Visa® Black Card. So with the annual fee unchanged, MasterCard® Black Card™ members are getting much better value. See our Best Premium Credit Cards roundup for similar options.

MasterCard® Gold Card™

The MasterCard® Gold Card™ is the most valuable of the three, both physically and in terms of rewards and perks. The card is 24-karat-gold plated and comes with a sky-high $995 annual fee. But its benefits are fit for a king:

  • Earn 1 point for every $1 you spend. Points are worth 4 cents apiece when redeeming for airfare or 2 cents apiece when you redeem as cash back (in the form of a statement credit) or for merchandise, gift cards or experiences.
  • Get a $200 annual credit toward qualifying airline purchases.
  • Get a $100 credit for a Global Entry application fee.
  • VIP travel perks include airport Lounge Club access, an airport escort, chauffeured transportation, charter services by jet or yacht, global luggage delivery and complimentary room upgrades, spa credits, food and beverages.
  • Access to MasterCard Priceless benefits, including unique excursions, privileged access to exclusive events and insider opportunities.
  • No foreign transaction fees.
  • Exclusive 24/7 concierge service.
  • Members-only Luxury Magazine.
  • Luxury gifts.

Verdict: The MasterCard® Gold Card™ is the creme de la creme of luxury cards open to the public. Its perks go above and beyond anything offered by top-tier travel cards cards.

Should you apply for a luxury card?

Valuable mostly for their cachet, the Barclaycard luxury cards’ ongoing rewards and perks are unlikely to outweigh their cost significantly enough to be worth it for the average spender. But if you’re a frequent flier, the VIP travel perks may be worth the annual fee.

Before you apply, however, check out other similar cards to see how these stack up in terms of both rewards and prestige.

Ben Luthi is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: bluthi@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @benluthi.


Image via iStock.