MasterCard® Titanium Card™ Review: A Premium Annual Fee without Premium Travel Perks
MasterCard® Titanium Card™
The MasterCard® Titanium Card™ is the most affordable of Mastercard’s Luxury Cards. While it provides premium travel benefits without the premium travel card price, its $195 annual fee is still hard to justify. The card offers trip and purchase protections, but sorely lacks airline credits or airport lounge access. If price matters, plenty travel rewards cards offer similar benefits with lower annual fees. Frequent travelers may want to consider stepping up to the MasterCard® Black Card™ instead. To find the best card for you, be sure to try out the CardCruncher tool. Otherwise, read on for our full review of the MasterCard® Titanium Card™.
Titanium Credit Card Review
These are the key details you need to know before signing up for the MasterCard® Titanium Card™:
Annual Fee: $195
APR: 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, then 17.24%
Sign-Up Bonus: $0
- 1 point per dollar on all purchases
- Points worth $0.02 each when redeemed for airfare, or $0.01 each as cash back
- 24/7 concierge service
- No foreign transaction fees
- Complimentary benefits, like free room upgrades, when you book through Luxury Card Travel
- Travel and rental car insurance
- Price protection and extended warranty on purchases made with the card
- Access to exclusive events through Mastercard Priceless
- Balance transfer fee of $5 or 3%, whichever is greater
- Cash advance fee of $10 or 5%, whichever is greater
- Up to $37 late payment fee
- Up to $37 returned payment fee
Why Apply for the Titanium Credit Card
Here are a few reasons to apply for the MasterCard® Titanium Card™:
You want rewards for your travel
The MasterCard® Titanium Card™ offers just 1 point per dollar on every purchases. But when you redeem points for airfare, they’re each worth $0.02. That’s basically the same as getting 2 points per dollar. Most premium travel cards offer 2X points, so the rewards compare favorably.
Additionally, you’ll have access to Luxury Card Travel through the MasterCard® Titanium Card™. Booking through this portal makes you eligible for free room upgrades, spa credits, complimentary meals and more. The card is a great choice if you plan to travel internationally, too, since it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees.
It offers valuable travel and purchase protections
The MasterCard® Titanium Card™ includes travel accident insurance, rental car insurance, and baggage delay insurance, along with trip cancellation and interruption coverage. Plus, if you find a lower price within 120 days on an item you purchase with your MasterCard® Titanium Card™, the card issuer will refund you the difference. The card will also double the warranty on eligible items purchased with your card. You may never need to take advantage of any of these benefits, but if you do, they’re potentially worth hundreds of dollars.
It can help you pay down credit card debt
If you transfer a balance to the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ within 45 days of account opening, you’ll be able to take advantage of the card’s APR of 0% for 15 months on balance transfers, then 17.24%. There card does charge a balance transfer fee— the greater of $5 or 3% of the balance—but this is pretty standard. Ideally, you’ll be able to pay off the full amount within the 0% APR period, but if you can’t, any remaining balance will accrue interest at the standard APR.
Titanium Credit Card: Drawbacks and Downsides
The MasterCard® Titanium Card™ has a number of attractive features, but a few drawbacks, too:
It has a high annual fee
The MasterCard® Titanium Card™ charges a $195 annual fee, plus an additional $95 fee for every authorized user you add to the account. This isn’t terribly expensive in the realm of travel rewards cards, but most cards in this price range offer perks like annual travel credits and free airport lounge access to justify their high costs. The MasterCard® Titanium Card™ doesn’t offer these perks. For the money, you can’t probably find a more versatile card.
It earns rewards at a low rate
If you don’t have any flights planned in the near future, you may be tempted to redeem your MasterCard® Titanium Card™ rewards for cash back. Each point is worth only $0.01 when redeemed for cash, compared to $0.02 when redeemed for airfare. Many other rewards credit cards offer higher cash back rates and bonus rewards on select purchases. There’s a good chance you can find a card that better fits your spending, and in turn, offers better rewards.
Titanium Credit Card Alternatives
If the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ isn’t a great fit for your lifestyle, consider one of these cards instead:
MasterCard® Black Card™
The MasterCard® Black Card™ is the mid-tier option in Mastercard’s Luxury Card line. It’s similar to the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ in terms of features, but with a few key differences. Points redeemed for airfare are still worth $0.02 each, but points redeemed for cash back are worth $0.015. On the MasterCard® Black Card™, points redeemed for cash back are worth just $0.01. In addition to the travel insurance and concierge service on the MasterCard® Titanium Card™, you also get a $100 annual airline credit, a $100 Global Entry credit, and free access to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide.
Of course, those perks don’t come cheap. The MasterCard® Black Card™ will cost you $495 per year to add to your wallet. But if you travel often, the annual credits and the possibility for free upgrades when you book through Luxury Card Travel may be enough to justify this high cost.
Chase Sapphire Preferred®
The Chase Sapphire Preferred® offers 2 points per dollar on all travel and dining purchases. It also earns 1 point per dollar spent on everything else, with no limits on how much you can earn. The card even comes with a cool sign-up bonus of 50,000 points. You can book travel with any company, but you’ll get 25% more value when you book through Chase Ultimate Rewards. You can even transfer your rewards to partner travel rewards programs for more lucrative redemptions.
The card charges an annual fee of None, but it still offers many of the same perks as the MasterCard® Titanium Card™. Those include travel and rental car insurance, purchase protection and an extended warranty on select items. If you want premium perks, but don’t think you’ll spend enough to justify the MasterCard® Titanium Card™’s fee, look into the Chase Sapphire Preferred®.
Titanium Credit Card FAQs
Here are answers to frequently asked questions about the MasterCard® Titanium Card™:
What credit score do you need to get approved for the MasterCard® Titanium Card™?
The company that issues the MasterCard® Titanium Card™, Barclays, doesn’t publish minimum credit score requirements for its credit cards. But given the exclusive perks and the high cost of the MasterCard® Titanium Card™, expect that you’ll need good to excellent credit. This is usually a score of 700 or better.
Does the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ offer free airport lounge access?
No, unfortunately, the MasterCard® Titanium Card™ doesn’t offer free airport lounge access. If you want airport lounge access, you consider upgrading to the MasterCard® Black Card™ or the MasterCard® Gold Card™. Even better: Look into a more affordable travel rewards card that includes airport lounge access. Plenty of credit cards do.
Bottom Line: Should You Apply for the Titanium Credit Card?
The MasterCard® Titanium Card™ sits in an odd place between more affordable travel credit cards with fewer perks, and more expensive cards with premium travel benefits. It straddles the two tiers, but in doing so, failes to justify its $195 annual fee. Frequent jetsetters should consider upgrading to the MasterCard® Black Card™, while those who travel once or twice per year should simply look for a more affordable travel rewards card.