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Platinum, gold and black credit cards comparison
Get exclusive benefits, but watch out for the high annual fees.
Platinum, gold and black credit cards are often considered premium options with exclusive benefits. However, this largely depends on the card issuer. Some cards, such as the no-annual-fee Wells Fargo Platinum Card, carry the premium name while having no special perks and benefits.
On the other hand, American Express, Mastercard and some other providers have designed platinum, gold and black cards for individuals who are large spenders. These cards have high annual fees and interest rates and are a step up from standard offers. They offer features such as higher credit limits, more reward points and a huge range of complimentary extras.
Learn more about the benefits and costs of these three premium choices so you can find a card that’s right for you.
What’s the difference between platinum, gold and black credit cards?
The difference between these cards largely depends on the card issuer. Check out all premium options in the comparison tables below.
American Express credit cards
|Amex Gold Card||Amex Platinum Card||Amex Black Centurion|
|Annual fee||$250 (see rates & fees)||$550 (see rates & fees)||$2,500 plus $7,500 one-time initiation fee|
|Welcome offer||60,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months||100,000 points after spending $5,000 in your first 6 months, plus 10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 in combined purchases in the same timeframe||N/A|
|Rewards||3x points on directly-booked flights; 4x at restaurants; 4x at US supermarkets on up to $25,000 annually (then 1x points)||10x points at US gas stations and US supermarkets on up to $15,000 combined in the first 6 months, 15x points on directly-booked flights or on flights and hotels on Amex Travel. 1x points on all other purchases. Starting January 1, 2021, your 15x points on flights will be capped on up to $500,000 annually (then 1x points).||1x points on purchases and 1.5x points on purchases over $5,000 with a cap of 1 million additional points per year|
|Airline fee credit||$100||$200||$200 and complimentary companion airfare for international flights|
|Hotel benefits||The Hotel Collection $100 credit||Fine Hotels and Resorts benefits valued at $550||Complimentary night when staying at least one night during the same stay in every Mandarin Oriental hotel worldwide once a year (excluding New York).|
|Additional perks||$120 dining credit||Complimentary lounge access||Complimentary lounge access|
|Additional note||Charge card — you must pay in full when due||Charge card — you must pay in full when due||Charge card — you must pay in full when due|
Luxury Card™ Mastercard® credit cards
|Luxury Card Mastercard® Titanium Card™||Luxury Card Mastercard® Black Card™||Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™|
|Rewards||1x points on all purchases||1x points on all purchases||1x points on all purchases|
|Rewards redemption rates||2% for airfare; 1% for cash back and statement credits||2% for airfare; 1.5% for cash back and statement credits||2% for airfare; 2% for cash back and statement credits|
|Luxury Card Concierge||✔||✔||✔|
|Luxury Card Travel benefits||✔||✔||✔|
|Annual airline credit||None||$100||$200|
|Global Entry or TSA PreCheck fee credit||None||$100 every five years||$100 every five years|
|Priority Pass Select membership||No||Yes||Yes|
Delta credit cards
|Delta Gold||Delta Platinum||Delta Reserve|
|Annual fee||$0 intro for the first year, $99 thereafter (see rates & fees)||$250 (see rates & fees)||$550 (see rates & fees)|
|Welcome offer||35,000 miles after spending $1,000 in the first 3 months||40,000 miles and 5,000 MQMs after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months, plus $100 after making a Delta purchase in the same timeframe||40,000 miles and 10,000 MQMs after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months|
|Rewards||2x miles on Delta purchases, restaurants and at US supermarkets and 1x miles on all other purchases||3x miles on Delta and direct hotel purchases, 2x miles at restaurants and US supermarkets and 1x miles for all other purchases||3x miles on direct Delta purchases and 1x miles on all other purchases|
|Checked bag free||First bag||First bag||First bag|
|Delta SkyClub access||N/A||Discounted at $39 for you and up to two guests||Complimentary access for you and two one-time guest passes|
|Miles bonus||N/A||Earn 10,000 MQMs after you spend $25,000 in a calendar year up to two times per year||Earn 15,000 MQMs after you spend $30,000 in a calendar year up to four times per year|
|Companion certificate||N/A||Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate when you renew of your card each year||Domestic First Class, Delta Comfort+® or Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate when you renew of your card each year|
Black credit cards
|Citi Prestige||Sapphire Reserve||United MileagePlus Club||Citi AAdvantage Executive World Elite|
|Welcome offer||50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months||50,000 points after spending $4,000 in the first 3 months||50,000 miles after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months||50,000 miles after spending $5,000 in the first 3 months|
|Rewards||5x points on flights and dining, 3x points on hotels and cruises and 1x points on all other purchases||10x points on Lyft rides, 3x points on dining and travel after earning your $300 travel credit and 1x points on all other purchases||2x miles on United and 1.5x miles on all other purchases||2x miles on American Airlines and 1x miles on everything else|
|Checked bag free||N/A||N/A||First and second bag||First bag on domestic flights|
|Lounge access||VIP lounge access through Priority Pass Select||VIP lounge access through Priority Pass Select||United Club membership each year on card renewal and access to participating Star Alliance affiliated lounges worldwide||Admirals Club membership|
|Travel credit||Up to $250 travel credit each year||$300 annual credit each year||N/A||N/A|
|Hotel benefits||Complimentary 4th night stay after a minimum 4 consecutive nights booked through ThankYou.com, limited at 2 nights annually||The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection benefits||The Luxury Hotel & Resort Collection benefits||N/A|
What to consider before applying for a platinum, gold or black credit card
The benefits of a platinum, gold or black credit card are only worth it if they offer more value than the costs that come from any interest charges or annual fees. Consider the following questions to help you find options that work for you.
- How often do you use your credit card? These cards have high annual fees and are meant for big spenders. If that’s not you, a no-annual-fee card could be a better choice.
- How much do you spend on your credit card? If you’re considering a rewards option, you should make sure the value of the points you earn outweighs the cost of the annual fee.
- How many premium card features will you actually use? Be realistic about which benefits you’ll use so you can find a card that provides value based on your spending habits and circumstances.
- Do you carry a credit card balance? You could end up paying hundreds of dollars in interest and fees every year if you carry a balance using a gold, platinum or black card as most have high standard interest rates. If you don’t use a credit card often, you might want to consider a low APR option instead.
- Do you have an excellent credit history and credit score? These credit cards all require good to excellent credit history. If you have black marks on your credit file, such as late payments or defaults, you may not be eligible to apply for a gold, platinum or black credit card.
Compare platinum, gold and black credit cards
If you have an excellent credit score, high income and you intend to use the additional perks, platinum, gold or black cards can be a solid option.
However, if you think the annual fee is too high or if you have other options in mind, compare other credit cards to find something that’s right for you.
Frequently asked questions
Pictures: Getty Images
- See rates and fees for American Express® Gold Card
- See rates and fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express
- See rates and fees for Delta SkyMiles® Gold American Express Card
- See rates and fees for Delta SkyMiles® Platinum American Express Card
- See rates and fees for Delta SkyMiles® Reserve American Express Card
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