The Luxury Card series is an upscale card series for avid travelers looking for their card to provide a distinct appearance and luxurious perks. The card series is issued by Barclays and works as a MasterCard. With a serious annual fee, you’ll get serious benefits, but with three cards to chose from, which is the best fit for you, if any?
Hint: there’s no sign up bonus offered on these cards, and someone looking for a premium travel card may want to wait until later this month…
The Luxury Card series allows you to earn points for air travel and other rewards, as well as cash back on statement credit. All the Luxury Cards provide 1 point for each $1 spent on the card. To note, these cards are only eligible for individuals. There is no corporate version of the card as it is for personal and household expenses only.
However, a bonus is that with each card, there is no limit to the number of points you can earn, so long as your account stays in good standing. So, although the earning rate isn’t the highest, you can continue earn as long as you keep your account. And the real benefit is in how you redeem your points.
To redeem points, you can choose between airfare, cash back towards your balance, gift cards and merchandise.
Redeeming points for airfare is where the card really shines. You can redeem points at 2% or 50 points for $1 towards your flight, which is an industry-leading rate. There are no restrictions or black-out dates, but the flight must be booked through the Rewards Service Center.
With cash back, the rate changes depending on the card. For Titanium, you’ll receive 1% cash back. The Black Card has a 1.5% rate, or more specifically, you need to use 66 points for each $1 redeemed. The Gold card increases the rate yet again, earning you 2% cash back on your spending. The cash back credit will be posted within 7 business days, but cannot be used for the minimum payment.
For other kinds of rewards, such as gift certificates and merchandise or car rental, the rate depends on the item, and that information can be found through the call center and online redemption store, though generally the rate is 1%.
If you like your credit card as an accessory as well as a monetary tool, the Luxury series will hold plenty of appeal for you. Each card has a unique design. The Titanium card has a bright, brushed steel front and carbon back. The Black card is made of a sleek stainless steel front and carbon back to provide a durable and striking card. The Gold card, appropriately, is plated with 24K gold, giving it a distinct and impressive look.
Annual Fee and Annual Percentage Rates
The Titanium card costs $195 annually and $95 for each additional card. The Black card will run you $495 for its annual fee, plus $195 for each additional user. The Gold card’s fee is $995 and $295 for each additional user. The steep increase in annual fees follows the increase in perks and card appearance.
Conveniently, the Annual Percentage Rate is 15.24% for the all three cards, and an introductory 0% for balance transfers for the first 15 months, and then returns to 15. 24%.
Annual Airline Credit & Luxury Gifts
With two higher levels of the Luxury card, you will receive credit towards airfare once per year. With the Black card, you’ll receive $100 statement credit towards a flight of your choice. With the Gold card, you’ll receive $200 annually. These credits are automatically added to your account, so there’s no worry of losing or tracking down these credits.
These two levels of the card are also eligible for luxury, brand name gifts. The information on the type and timing of the gifts is difficult to gather, so this should not weigh into your card decision, but see it as it is: a pleasant present surprise.
Airport Perks: Lounge Card and Global Entry
Though the Titanium card doesn’t offer these perks, the Black and Gold cards offer a smooth and enjoyable airport experience. The combination of perks either improves or reduces your wait time in the airport. The Black and Gold cards receive a complimentary membership to the Lounge Club by signing up online, and then your membership will be automatically renewed annually. With this membership, you receive access to lounges across the world, from the Aspire Lounge in Amsterdam to First Class Lounge in Shanghai. In addition, you are eligible $100 fee credit towards expedited entry into the United States through the Global Entry program. You simply need to complete the application and notify the card company for a credit on your account.
Luxury Card Concierge and Magazine
All three cards provide access to the exclusive 24/7 Concierge. The Concierge service provides expert travel advice to improve your experience. They have city guides, event tickets, gift recommendations and more, all within reach by a phone call. In addition, you’ll receive a quarterly copy of the Luxury Magazine. It’s intended to be a keepsake magazine with its cover art, and articles on topics ranging from travel, fashion, home design, automobiles, real estate, and technology.
The Luxury Card series is providing the allure of luxury with the card design and airport perks. The 2% flight redemption is a great cross-card quality as it is an industry competitive rate. When balancing the different cards’ offers and annual fees, the Black card offers the best of both worlds. The airline credit, increased cash back percentage, airport perks of the Global Entry, Lounge Card and Luxury Magazine are all included at the Black Level. The significant increased in the Gold card annual fee seems to pay for the gold plating, as the other increased features don’t balance out the increased cost. On the other hand, the Titanium card has limited luxury features for the annual fee paid and can likely be found at a better rate with other cards. If you’re interested in the balance of luxury perks and costs, then the Black card is the best choice of these 3, but there are better premium travel rewards cards out there.
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Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.