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Mastercard Black Card Review May 2024

Mastercard® Black Card™ review
  • The Mastercard Black Card is intended for high-income individuals who crave simplicity and customer service over maximized rewards.
  • What we think: There’s a lot of hype behind the Mastercard Black Card due to its physical weight and stainless steel design, but with a high annual fee and mediocre rewards it might not be the most luxurious card around.
  • There is no welcome bonus, but there are plenty of travel-based benefits, including airport lounge access, Global Entry or TSA Pre-Check credits, trip cancellation coverage, baggage delay insurance, rental car coverage and no foreign transaction fees.
  • Other perks include a 24/7 concierge, annual airline credits and car rental upgrades.
  • There is a $495 annual fee and a $195 fee for an additional approved user.
  • Regular interest rates are 21.24%, 25.43% or 28.24% variable APR.
  • The Black Card is geared toward high earners who have a good to excellent credit score.

Managing store checkouts can feel like a juggling act when you have separate credit cards designated for travel, groceries, dining out, and a specific hotel chain. For high earners who value a streamlined card experience, excellent service, and simplicity, the Mastercard® Black Card™ may be the way to go.

In this Mastercard Black Card review, we’ll look at the pros and cons of this premium credit card, including topics like:

  • Is the Mastercard Black Card worth it?
  • Mastercard Black Card rewards and benefits
  • How the Mastercard Black Card compares


  • Great redemption rate on airfare
  • Airport lounge access
  • Global Entry/TSA PreCheck credit


  • High annual fee of $495
  • Low reward earning rate
Mastercard® Black Card™
Key Information
Earn 1 point per dollar spent. Points are worth 2 cents each for airfare redemptions and 1.5 cents each for cash back. $495 annual fee.

Is the Mastercard Black Card worth it?

The bottom line is that this rewards credit card might be worth it if you’re busy booking 10+ trips a year and desire ease of use, high-level customer service and exclusivity overall.

The Mastercard Black Card markets itself as the antidote to mass-market cards by favoring quality over quantity. Marketing often centers on stand-out features like flat-rate cash-back rewards and airfare redemption across a multitude of spending categories. 

The card’s patented stainless-steel design, weighing in at a whopping 22 grams, is another branding point. It literally looks and feels different, which may speak to potential customers who like showier accessories.

As attractive as a simple rewards scheme, swanky card construction and personalized attention might be, there are also some drawbacks.

Mastercard Black Card pros and cons

  • Flat-rate rewards system is easy to understand and navigate
  • Concierge service that offers personalized assistance to cardmembers
  • Benefits include travel perks, like credits toward TSA PreCheck and Global Entry enrollment
  • Flashy weighted card design is a physical symbol of elite status
  • No foreign transaction fees
  • Steep annual fee of $495
  • Other fees, like triple-digit authorized user add on, add to the cost
  • Flat-rate rewards could represent a loss versus cards with high-rewards categories that speak to consumer spending
  • Requires excellent credit
  • No welcome offer

Mastercard Black Card rewards

The Mastercard Black Card takes a flat-rate approach to rewards. You earn easily and can redeem rewards without figuring out which category has the better rates or how many points you’ll actually get or need. Mastercard has designed rewards to apply to all purchases, not just a favored few.

Welcome bonus

The Mastercard Black Card does not offer a welcome bonus to new card members. This is unusual in the credit card industry and could make the Black Card less financially attractive.

Earn Mastercard Black Card rewards

It’ll be easy to remember the earnings scheme of your Mastercard Black Card because it’s just 1 point per every dollar spent. No more, no less. And that earnings potential is unlimited, too.

As long as your account remains open and in good standing, your points won’t ever expire. If you fail to make your minimum monthly payment, however, you won’t be able to redeem points until your account is no longer past due.

Redeem Mastercard Black Card rewards

Redeeming your Mastercard Black Card rewards points is almost as easy as earning them. 

Redemption rates are:

To see what that might look like in real life, imagine you got your Black Card and spent $25,000. 

You would earn a total of 25,000 points, which you could redeem for:

Note that you’d need to spend at least $25,000 to get enough points to break even on your $495 annual fee — and that’s only if you redeem for airline tickets. If you intend to redeem for cash, you’ll need to charge over $33,000 to equal the card’s annual fee.

Mastercard Black Card benefits

The Mastercard Black Card comes with a wide range of benefits beyond points-based rewards.

Airport lounge access

Card members have unlimited Priority Pass access to 1,500+ lounges and partnered airport restaurants, and they can bring guests along to enjoy gourmet snacks and free Wi-Fi, too. Compare this to Priority Pass perks from other credit cards that typically limit guests to just two travel companions.

Luxury Card Travel program

Book into over 3,000 partner properties via the Black Card’s private hotel network (not a bargain travel platform) and get benefits such as early check-in, room upgrades, complimentary breakfast for two and a $100 experience credit. Additional room credits, spa credits and unique amenities total out to an average value of $500 per stay.

Luxury Card Concierge

One of the most high-end perks of the Black Card is the concierge service, reachable 24/7 by phone, email, SMS and live chat through the Luxury Card app. The concierge can help with show plans, suggest things to do in a particular city, book salon appointments and help fulfill various personal requests.

Global Entry and TSA Pre-Check application credit

Mastercard Black Card membership includes a $100 statement credit for TSA PreCheck or Global Entry programs. The first expedites processing through security checkpoints in airports within the United States. The second expedites entry into the United States by air, land and sea.

Annual airline credit

Some airline cards are dedicated to a single airline, but Mastercard Black Card underscores flexibility and personal preference by offering $100 in broad airline credits each year. This is a notable departure from the approach often used by competitors, which sees credits given specifically for purchases like checked baggage or in-flight drinks.

Travel insurance

When your travel plans go awry, the Black Card steps in with numerous types of travel insurance that can help you get back on track — or at least take away the sting of a lost bag or road trip fender bender.

Types of travel coverage include:

Mastercard MasterRental coverage acts as a secondary policy to your own automobile insurance. This policy only kicks in after you meet two requirements: pay for the rental transaction using your Black Card and decline the insurance offered by the rental agency when you book and/or pick up your vehicle.

Cell phone protection

Your phone is your lifeline, and Mastercard totally gets it. That’s why this luxury card offers $1,000 in annual cell phone protection coverage. Reimbursement is limited to a maximum of $800 per claim and two claims per year, and it covers both repairs and theft.

Mastercard ID Theft Protection

Mastercard Black Card gives the gift of extra peace of mind courtesy of identity theft resolution services available 24/7. Agents manning the helpline can assist with time-sensitive tasks like notifying credit agencies that your ID was compromised and replacing your card.

Other benefits

Consider these extras when you’re looking at the Mastercard Black Card versus the competition.

Mastercard Black Card fees, rates & limit

Mastercard Black Card has plenty of perks in terms of rewards and travel benefits, but it’s vital you understand how those perks balance out with fees, interest rates and your overall credit limit.

Mastercard Black Card fees

The Black Card is known for its high annual fee, but that’s not the only costly charge that could end up on your statement just for applying for and accepting the card.

Fees include:

Mastercard Black Card interest rates

Interest rates vary depending on your credit score and history. There’s also an option for balance transfer introductory APR, which allows you to transfer a balance from a higher-APR card to the Black Card. Pay off that balance before the introductory period is over and you could save big bucks.

The interest rates are:

Mastercard Black Card credit limit

Based on our research, there is a wide range of credit lines starting from $5,000. Many applicants may be eligible for a much higher limit depending on their credit score, debt-to-income ratio and overall credit history. Your credit limit may change over time, too, if you report a significant change in your income or establish a solid payment history with your new card.

How the Mastercard Black Card compares

Because the Mastercard Black Card thrives on a reputation for exclusivity and simplified rewards, it’s crucial to understand how it stacks up against other luxury and high-rewards offerings.

Overall, the Black Card’s biggest boast is its flat-rate rewards and easy redemption scheme. You earn what you earn, no matter how or where you’re spending your hard-earned dough. This certainly takes the stress out of racking up rewards, but it could mean leaving money on the table if you could get more than the point-per-dollar offering via other cards.

There’s also a very high annual fee of $495. Add another approved user and you’ll be paying an extra $195 for the privilege. You need to spend a lot to justify the fees, but for some people, that tradeoff is well worth skipping a complicated reward structure.

Mastercard Black Card vs. Chase Sapphire Reserve

This luxury Black Card struggles to compete against the Chase® Sapphire Reserve Card in terms of two reward categories: dining and travel. If you spend a lot on eating out and seeing the world, the simpler rewards scheme offered by the Black Card might not be the best for your bottom line.

But Chase Sapphire Reserve has a more complicated redemption process, too — you’ll only get 1% cash back versus Mastercard’s 1.5%. Furthermore, all redemption-related travel must be booked through Expedia-powered Chase Travel, which can be quite limiting. With your Black Card, you can book airline travel through Luxury Card Travel, which offers a unique experience and tailored service levels not found in widely outsourced travel agencies.

Mastercard Black Card vs. The Platinum Card from American Express

The Amex Platinum Card takes the cake with a $695 annual fee — $200 more than the Mastercard Black Card. It’s also a matter of leveraging credits and rewards. This Amex card has a tiered point system with 5x points for flights and hotels and 1x points on other eligible purchases. If you fly and stay in hotels often, this could add up quickly and easily offset the high annual fee. If you desire ease of use, high-level customer service and exclusivity overall, you could be better off with the Mastercard Black Card’s simple workhorse approach that gives a point per dollar.

Is the Mastercard Black Card right for me?

You might like the Mastercard Black Card if you’re a busy professional or other high earner with excellent credit and no tolerance for rewards-related hassle. Black Card card members don’t want to overthink their spending and rewards. They just want to charge purchases without wondering if they’ll get points and, if so, how those points will total up.

But if you’re someone who only keeps a credit card on hand for emergencies and you don’t tend to spend a ton, this is not the card for you. You’ll also want to look elsewhere if you have a particular category you spend a lot on, like dining or online grocery shopping, which is a high-rewards category for another card.

If you’re still on the fence, consider the Titanium Card. It has an annual fee of just $195 per month and still offers luxury benefits like concierge access, travel protection and elevated customer service.

How do I apply for the Mastercard Black Card?

You can get your very own luxury Mastercard Black by applying online. 

Your chances of approval improve if you have excellent credit, a laudable credit history and a decent income-to-debt ratio. This is not a card for anyone looking for their very first credit card. Consumers with lackluster credit history may be better served by a secured credit card.

FAQ: Mastercard Black Card

Do I need to be invited to apply for the Mastercard Black Card?

You do not need an invitation to apply for the Mastercard Black Card. The card’s reputation for exclusivity comes from the unwritten rule that applicants need to have good to excellent credit to be approved. Other indications of creditworthiness, like a lengthy and positive credit history and a favorable debt-to-income ratio, also play a role in approval.

What credit score do I need for the Mastercard Black Card?

There is no official credit score threshold for acceptance as a Mastercard Black Card member, but having good to excellent credit makes approval more likely. This translates to a credit score of at least 700. It also helps to have a long-standing credit history.

What is the credit limit on the Mastercard Black Card?

According to our research, the Mastercard Black Card has a wide range of credit lines starting from $5,000. However, each cardholder’s credit limit is determined individually based on their credit score, credit history and debt-to-income ratio. Mastercard may increase your credit limit over time as well, especially if your income increases and/or you make regular, timely payments.

Is the Mastercard Black Card metal?

The Mastercard Black Card is made of stainless steel and weighs 22 grams. It’s part of a trio of Mastercard Luxury Cards, including the Mastercard® Gold Card™ and Mastercard® Titanium Card™.

Is the Mastercard Black Card the most prestigious card I can get?

The Mastercard Black Card is considered a luxury or premium credit card, but it is not the most prestigious card on the market. The Centurion® Card from American Express card is invite-only based on a history of high spending through an existing Amex account. But the Mastercard Black Card has a more streamlined rewards system and still comes with a sense of exclusivity and luxury.

Alana Luna (Musselman)
Alana Luna (Musselman) Writer & Content Strategist

Alana Luna (Musselman) is a versatile storyteller with over a decade of writing experience. She is passionate about helping people build their business through unique and engaging content. Some examples of her current freelance projects include building content strategies for small businesses, completing industry research to build case studies, crafting buyer guides and more.

She has a passion and keen ability to simplify complex ideas through storytelling to make it easier for readers to understand hard-to-digest information. As such, Alana’s writing holds strong three principles – content that educates, engages and entertains.

Apart from her contributions to LA Times Compare, Alana has freelanced and ghostwritten for large publications and prestigious brands such as Orbitz, Groupon, Amazon, JCPenney, Walmart and more.

* Opinions expressed here are those of the LA Times Compare Cards Team and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser or entities included within this content. See our editorial policy for more details.

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