Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard® review
Earn up to 4% back in value at some wine merchants for a $149 annual fee.
- Get this card if you love wine, live near a West Coast wine region and you don’t mind paying a high annual fee.
- Pick something else if you want a better rewards card with no annual fee.
- Apply with a good to an excellent credit score of 720 or higher.
Points as welcome offer
Up to 7x
14.99% to 22.99%
Purchase APR (variable)
Kliment Dukovski is a credit cards writer. He's written over 600 articles to help readers find and compare the best credit cards. Kliment has also written on money transfers, home loans and more. Previously, he ghostwrote guides and articles on foreign exchange, stock market trading and cryptocurrencies.
The Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard® — serviced through Deserve, Inc. issued by Celtic Bank — improved its features recently, becoming a better card for wine lovers. The main benefit now is that you can earn up to 7x points at the wine merchant where you spend most money every month. You also still earn 5x points at the 400 plus Grand Reserve partners and 3x points at wineries that aren’t partners.
However, the card’s annual fee may not make the card worth it. For the first year, you won’t pay the fee, which is great. But starting from the second, expect to pay $149 each year. This will eat heavily through your rewards. If you aren’t able to break even on the fee by earning the signup bonus, you’ll need to spend around $3,500 at your top wine merchant.
The old downsides still remain. For example, you can’t redeem your points for wine, which kind of defeats the purpose of being a “wine card.” Granted, you can redeem points for wine tasting and weekend getaways, but some of these options cost more than 200,000 and 400,000 points. You can mostly redeem your points for glasses, openers, books, trays and such.
Note that the 400 plus Grand Reserve partners where you earn 5x points are located in 12 states, with the majority being in California, Oregon and Washington. If you don’t live in any of those regions, you’ll only earn 3x points on purchases made at wineries. That’s around 1.8% back in rewards. A flat rewards card like the Citi® Double Cash Card earns more than that and on all purchases. And it doesn’t have an annual fee.
Despite its shortcomings, this can be a solid wine card if you live in one of the major wine regions and you spend thousands of dollars per year at wineries. Otherwise, it may cost you more than it’s worth.
How to apply for the Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard®
The application process is simple. Here’s how it works:
- Click Apply now.
- Fill out the application form.
- Review the form and submit.
What credit score do I need?
Increase your chances of approval with a good credit score of 720 or higher.
What to watch out for
- Annual fee. For the first year, there’s a $0 annual fee. But every year after that, expect to pay a $149 annual fee for the card.
- Can’t redeem points for wine. Despite being a wine card, you can only redeem your points for wine accessories, such as glasses, coolers, preservers and openers. You can also redeem points for wine-tasting experiences, which start at 15,000 points for a 90-minute in-person experience for two at Switchback Ridge. But overnight stays start from 75,000 points and go all the way up to 483,300 for an all-inclusive two-night Napa Valley weekend getaway.
- No balance transfers or cash advances. You can’t get a cash advance with your card and you can’t use it to make balance transfers.
- Reports to two credit bureaus. Unlike most credit cards that report to the three major credit bureaus, the Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard® reports to two — TransUnion and Experian.
Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard® benefits
- Rewards. Earn 5x points at Grand Reserve Partners, plus an additional 2x points at your top wine merchant each month for a total of 7x points. Earn 3x points at any winery, wine club, wine shop, restaurants and bars and 2x everywhere else. Redeem points only for wine accessories and experiences starting from 750 points. Points are generally worth 0.6 cents each.
- Signup bonus. Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $3,000 in your first 90 days of account opening. For 50,000 points you can get either a 36-Bottle Vino View, which typically costs around $350 or a 28-Bottle VinoView Wine Cellar, which also costs around $350.
- Specialized benefits. As a cardmember, you get a complimentary priority wine pass membership and access to exclusive Grand Reserve member events. A one year wine pass costs $59.99.
Compare rewards credit cards
The Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard® is a niche card aimed at wine lovers. It comes with a high annual fee of $149 from your second year of card membership and with solid rewards if you live near a major wine region. Otherwise, a general rewards credit card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited® may offer a better value.
With the latter, you get to earn a flat 1.5% on all purchases, except some categories where you earn either 3% and 5% back. This beats the rewards earned with the Grand Reserve™ World Mastercard®, and it costs $0 annually.