Mastercard Titanium Card Review: Is It Worth the Annual Fee?
The Mastercard Titanium Card is a luxury credit card featuring a lower-than-average annual fee and the ability to double the value of your rewards points when you book airline tickets.
This card is one of three luxury cards Mastercard offers. The other two cards, which we’ll talk about later in this review, have a higher annual fee but better rewards.
Because the Mastercard Titanium Card has a lower annual fee, it presents you with an interesting option. It’s a luxury card without the luxury card price.
We’ll help you decide if this card is right for you by analyzing its rewards and benefits, breaking down its rates and fees, and comparing it to Mastercard’s two other luxury cards, as well as a pair of non-Mastercard luxury cards.
Like most rewards credit cards, the Mastercard Titanium Card will reward you with points nearly every time you use your card to buy something.
However, unlike other cards outside the Mastercard luxury portfolio, the Mastercard Titanium Card works off a bonus system that utilizes a redemption bonus instead of bonus categories.
For example, many cards will give you extra rewards points for every dollar you spend on special categories like restaurants and gas.
The Mastercard Titanium Card gives you one point for every dollar you spend no matter if its at a restaurant, gas station or a grocery store.
However, when it’s time to redeem those points, Mastercard will give you two options for redemption bonuses: cash and airfare.
If you redeem your points for cash, you’ll get a conversion rate of one cent per point. We believe the average luxury card user can spend $35,000 a year, which means each year you can earn $350 in cash back.
However, if you choose to redeem those points for airfare through Mastercard’s booking portal, the points are worth $700.
We’ll put that point total in the context of other credit cards in a few minutes. For now, we’ll move on to the extra benefits you get from owning this card.
The card’s benefits are where it falters a bit, as other cards with lower annual fees provide travel-friendly perks like reimbursement for the Global Entry program fee or free entrance into Priority Pass airport lounges.
Here’s a quick list of the benefits you get with this card:
- Baggage delay insurance
- Price protection
- Purchase assurance
- Travel accident insurance
- Extended warranties
- Auto rental insurance
We’d like to point out that three of these benefits are travel related. Also, there was a time when nearly every major credit card offered at least a few of these benefits.
We say this to remind you that what you’re getting here is a group of benefits that are good but certainly not as lucrative as free airport lounge members, reimbursement for federal programs that give you expedited security check-ins at the airport or travel credits.
That being said, these benefits are useful. For example, the baggage delay insurance will cover you up to $100 per day for three days if a flight you bought with your Mastercard Titanium Card loses your luggage. According to the fine print, a “delay” qualifies baggage that’s more than four hours late, according to the fine print.
The price protection feature will reimburse you the price difference of an item you buy with your card if it goes down in price within 120 days of the purchase. You’ll have to contact Mastercard at 1-800-Mastercard to start the claim.
These benefits are indicative of what you can expect from your Mastercard Titanium Card. As we mentioned earlier, these benefits used to be commonplace among credit cards as recently as 2018. In that sense, we believe there isn’t much of a “luxury” or “premium” nature to these benefits.
One of the aspects of a credit card you need to take seriously is its rates and fees. Mastercard will charge varying levels of money if you make late payments or don’t pay your balance in full.
Understanding what these fees are is essential to taking full advantage of a credit card. The following bullet points highlight the Mastercard Titanium Card’s rates and fees:
- Interest rate for purchases and balance transfers: 17.24%
- Interest rate for cash advances: 27.49%
- Balance transfer fee: $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee: $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Foreign transaction fee: None
- Late/returned payment fee: Up to $37
- Annual fee: $195
- Authorized user fee: $95
Unlike most credit cards, this one has a single APR, which means this is the interest rate you get Mastercard approves your application. The following bullet points show you how much that interest rate will cost you if you carry five different average daily balances every day for a year:
- $1,000 daily balance: $172.40 interest paid in a year
- $2,000 daily balance: $344.80 interest paid in a year
- $3,000 daily balance: $517.20 interest paid in a year
- $4,000 daily balance: $689.60 interest paid in a year
- $5,000 daily balance: $862.00 interest paid in a year
These figures are meant to give you an idea of what an interest rate means in practical terms. Keep in mind that the data we’ve researched indicates that, if you use your credit card regularly, the odds say you’ll carry a balance.
If you have a habit of carrying balances on credit cards, keep our interest-payment data in mind as you decide if this card is right for you.
From here, we want to direct your attention to the card’s annual feel and authorized user fee. The annual fee is between $255 to $300 cheaper than full-fledged luxury cards.
The authorized user fee, however, is equal to some of the luxury cards we’ll show you in the next section. The fee is what Mastercard charges you if you want to add another user to your account. The user will get a card with their name on it but the card number is identical to yours.
The advantage of having an authorized user is that the purchases they make earn points that go to your rewards account.
In our conclusion, we’ll give you our perspective about if this card’s rewards potential is worth the annual fee and authorized user fee.
We’ve mentioned a few times that this card doesn’t have quite the features and benefits that more expensive luxury cards feature. At the same time, looking at non-luxury travel cards reveals that the Mastercard Titanium Card may not even measure up to cards with annual fees below $100.
The following chart shows the key metrics of this card along with Mastercard’s two other luxury cards, one leading luxury card from American Express and one non-luxury card from Chase:
|Mastercard Titanium Card||Mastercard Black Card||Mastercard Gold Card||Platinum Card from American Express||Chase Sapphire Preferred Card|
|Sign-up bonus||None||None||None||60,000 points||60,000 points|
|Rewards rates||1x with||1x on all purchases||1x||5x/5x/1x||2x/1x|
|Yearly points on $35K annual spending||70,000 points for airfare, 35,000 for cash||70,000 for airfare, 52,500 for cash||70,000 for cash or airfare||47,000 points||39,865 points|
|TSA/ Global Entry reimbursement||None||$100||$100||$100||None|
|Travel partners||None||None||None||21 (15 int’l airlines, 3 domestic airlines, 3 hotels)||12 (9 int’l airlines, 3 domestic airlines, 3 hotels)|
|Lounge access||None||Priority Pass Select||Priority Pass Select||AmEx Centurion, Delta SkyClub, Priority Pass Select, three others||None|
|APR||17.24%||17.24%||17.24%||N/A||16.24% to 25.24%|
|Annual fee/ Authorized user fee||$195/$95||$495/$195||$995/$295||$550/NA||$95|
What this chart reveals is that Mastercard Titanium Card lacks the yearly travel credit and Global Entry/TSA PreCheck perks of Mastercard’s Black and Gold cards, and the Platinum Card from American Express.
This is a considerable drawback, in our opinion, because the lack of these extra benefits reduces the Mastercard Titanium Card to a simple rewards card similar to a cash rewards card.
Interestingly, the no-fee Citi Double Cash can earn you $700 per year on $35,000 spending, which equals the Mastercard Titanium Card’s airfare redemption rate.
Based on our research, we think the Platinum Card from American Express offers the best set of benefits and features and is well worth the extra $355 you’d pay to get it.
The card has a $95 annual fee and it doesn’t charge an additional user fee. Also, it has a 60,000-point sign-up bonus, a perk that is painfully absent from the Mastercard Titanium Card. However, the card from Mastercard has better yearly rewards totals.
The issue here is that Mastercard requires you to use your points for either cash or airfare redemptions, whereas the Chase Sapphire Preferred card allows you to transfer your points to three hotel brands and nine airlines.
If you’re someone who stays in hotels more frequently than takes flights, then the Chase Sapphire Preferred is the smarter choice because you can send your points to Marriott, Hyatt and IHG hotels.
Overall, we think this card’s annual fee puts it in an awkward spot between cheaper cards with comparable benefits and more expensive cards with superior benefits.
We believe our research and analysis shows that this card finds itself in an unglamorous middle ground. There are luxury cards with excellent benefits and basic travel cards with features you could argue are as good or better than the Mastercard Titanium Card.
The card would be far more valuable if it had a sign-up bonus, which is a common benefit of most travel and luxury cards. Second, your points get their best value for when you book them for points.
However, the card offers no additional benefits to make your flight experience more enjoyable.
The Mastercard Black gives you, for example, a travel credit you can use for flight upgrades and bags, as well as entrance into Priority Pass airport lounges. These are the type of luxury benefits you’d expect from a card with a more expensive annual fee.
In our opinion, you would be better off choosing a lower-fee travel card like the Chase Sapphire Preferred or a full-fledged luxury card like the Platinum Card from American Express. Both of these cards maximize the value of the annual fee you pay.
Money was stolen off cards. We submitted everything they asked for - police report, dispute form.
After 9 months of nothing being done we called, they could find dispute forms and were beyond unhelpful. So we have lost over $2500.00 because of their terrible service and difficult to use site.
Most difficult, unreliable company ever. Avoid at all costs!
If I could post a negative star, I would.
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
I applied for and received a Luxury Card Titanium MasterCard earlier this year in the spring (end of March/ beginning of April). It was easy to reach the sign on bonus ($1000 spend within 3 months of account opening). What I like about this card: 1. Easy to log in and view account details 2. It's a flat 2% towards airfare (I travel, however, infrequently at about once a year or so). Airport lounges and global credits may not be worth it for me. 3. It's replacing several cards I had with variable 5% rotating categories that have 1% towards non-rotating categories. I no longer have to keep track of so many cards and which card to use based on which category. My life is simpler & easier and 2% is decent for not having to bother to check 5 different accounts all the time.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend
Great steel card
This is a really good card, and I don't really need the airport lounge or a yearly gift, just to have the 2% airfare reward is good enough. Now, let's talk about the looking of the card, wow, everyone looks at it with that wing face (lol). The card look so nice that I get eyeballed all the time on it.
Bottom line, I recommend this card over any Amex cards!
Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend
Just got approved for Titanium Card
I applied today for the titanium Mastercard card, not expecting much. My balances are at 45%, and my mid score on TU was 665. So, I expected a decline, and I got a response that my app needed to be reviewed manually.
So, I called the Barclay line to inquire and was told that my sole 1x30 late and 16 inquiries were too much to offer me a card. And, "to call back in a few months."
I kept pushing, and after a brief review of my credit history and admission, I'm a current Barclay cardholder in good standing and they offered me a card with a $5k credit line. Super stoked about getting the card.
I guess the moral of this story is to never assume it's over until you've put your best effort forward and given it your all.
Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend