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The difference between standard, gold and platinum credit cards
Compare standard, gold and platinum credit cards to find the right card for you.
Standard, gold and platinum credit cards offer different rewards, perks and drawbacks, and each is tailored toward a certain type of spender. Offering access to different rewards including points per $1 spent, insurance and cash back rewards, learn about the differences between these cards to find the right credit card for your spending needs.
If you’re weighing up whether to go with a standard, gold or platinum card, use this guide to compare which type of credit card fits your spending and lifestyles needs, so you don’t end up with perks that don’t benefit you in any way or rewards you won’t use.
Standard, gold and platinum credit cards offer different features to suit a range of spending habits and goals.
- If you have trouble paying off your balance or don’t use a credit card very often, a standard credit card (including low rate and low fee options) can give you access to credit without the bells and whistles that comes alongside premium cards.
- At the other end of the scale, platinum credit cards offer additional perks such as complimentary insurance, concierge services and rewards that are suited to people who spend a lot and can afford to pay off the balance.
- The small selection of gold credit cards on the market come somewhere in between, offering some rewards that will be better than standard credit cards, but less powerful than the rewards offered by platinum cards.
Think about how you plan to use a credit card to help you decide whether a standard, gold or platinum card is right for you.
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Compare standard, gold and platinum credit cards for 2021
- How much do they cost? Standard cards are an entry-level option and typically have lower costs than gold and platinum cards. Annual fees for standard credit cards can range from $0 to $150 and standard variable interest rates for standard cards could be as low as 8.99% APR or as high as 22.99% APR, but are usually comparatively lower than more premium options.
- What are the features? Common features include interest-free days on purchases and no liability fraud guarantees. Standard credit cards have the lowest minimum credit limit and lowest minimum income requirements. You’ll also find many cards with cost-saving features such as $0 annual fees, although you can find gold and platinum versions of these types of cards too.
- What are the downsides? Standard credits are light on value-adding features such as rewards. For the few standard cards that do offer rewards, you can expect a lower number of points per $1 than premium cards. In addition, standard cards don’t offer extensive insurance when compared to gold and platinum cards.
- How much do they cost? Gold credit cards rate in between standard and platinum credit cards with annual fees to match, ranging from around $40 to $200. Interest rates can range from 8.99% APR. to 22.99% APR., with lower rates and perks such as rewards usually driving up the cost of the annual fee.
- What are the features? More competitive promotional balance transfer or purchase rate offers alongside gold extras such as insurance and rewards.
- What are the downsides? There are usually fewer gold cards available on the market, which means there are less options. If you’re set on getting a gold card, you will find that you’ve only got a few to choose from.
- How much do they cost? Annual fees for platinum credit cards range from around $99 to $650. These cards also usually have high rates of interest for purchases and cash advances.
- What are the features? Platinum reward cards usually offer a higher number of points per $1 when compared to standard or gold options. Other popular features include comprehensive travel insurance, purchase insurance coverage, airport lounge passes and concierge services.
- What are the downsides? High annual fees and high interest charges can sting you if you don’t pay your balance off by the statement due date. If you don’t earn enough rewards to justify the cost of the card or you don’t use the rewards, you may find the card is not worth the price.
As well as considering standard, gold and platinum cards, you may want to look at these options:
- Black credit cards. A step up from platinum cards, black credit cards provide the ultimate in elite features and benefits. The most well-known black card might be the American Express Centurion card, which requires a rumoured massive annual spend requirement of at least US$250,000 on your current Amex card just to get an invitation to apply for the Centurion card. Although there aren’t any easily attainable black credit cards offered in Canada that are similar to the elusive black cards in the US, there are alternatives that could be considered black cards such as the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card. Offering big signup bonuses and premium perks, these cards are great alternatives to the black card as we know it – but with annual fees to match. Expect to pay between $350 to $800 for a credit card that offers premium benefits – and the prestige to go with it.
- No annual fee credit cards. While standard, gold and platinum credit cards usually have very different annual fees, there are some cards that waive the annual fee or come with zero annual fees (including some gold and platinum options). If you want to avoid paying ongoing fees for your credit card, you may want to focus your comparison on these options.
- Low rate cards. While standard credit cards typically provide lower rates than their more premium counterparts, you can also find low rate credit cards that come with gold or platinum benefits.
- 0% interest credit cards. Some credit cards offer a promotional 0% interest rate on balance transfers during the introductory period. If you’re looking to save money while tackling your debt in the short term, it could be worth considering a card that offers this option.
The difference between standard, gold and platinum credit cards comes down to the different features and rewards typically offered by each of these types of cards, as well as the annual fee that you’re going to pay.
If you’re trying to decide between a standard, gold or platinum card, look at the rates, fees and complimentary extras in relation to the fee of the card. You can then eliminate any cards that don’t offer you the features you want or that cost too much annually.
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