Platinum, gold and black credit cards are premium options that open the door to a range of exclusive benefits. These cards are a step up from standard offers, with features such as higher credit limits, more reward points and a huge range of complimentary extras.
However, along with these perks and prestige, platinum, gold and black credit cards often have higher annual fees and interest rates than standard options. Here, we look at both the benefits and potential costs of these premium credit card choices so you can find a card that is right for you.
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
Purchase interest rate
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card
The American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card offers a low interest rate on purchases. Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards bonus points when you apply online and spend $750 in the first 3 months of Card membership. This offer is available to new Card Members only.
Annual fee: $149 p.a.
Purchase rate (p.a): 2.99% APR for 6 months (reverts to 19.95% APR) on purchases
What’s the difference between platinum, gold and black credit cards?
While platinum, gold and black credit cards are all premium options, each represents a different level of status and service. Gold credit cards are a step up from standard cards; platinum credit cards are above gold; and black credit cards sit at the top of the pack.
This means the specific features and benefits vary based on whether a card is a gold, platinum or black option. To help put this in perspective, we have outlined the common features and benefits for each type of credit card.
Gold Credit Cards
Gold credit cards are the “entry level” option for premium credit cards and are designed to suit people who are interested in receiving more features and benefits, but don’t want to pay much more than they would for a standard card. Some of the most popular features of gold credit cards include:
Features of a Gold credit card
Complimentary travel insurance
Complimentary purchase protection insurance
More reward points per NZD$1 than standard cards
Higher reward point caps than standard cards
Annual fees ranging from $75 to $105
Minimum credit limits starting from $5,000
Gold credit cards have slightly higher income and credit history requirements than standard cards,but not as high as those of platinum or black cards. You also need to have good credit history to apply for a gold credit card.
Platinum Credit Cards
Platinum credit cards build on the benefits offered by gold credit cards, by providing a wider range of features and more flexibility. They are designed for people who regularly pay with plastic and want to be rewarded for it in a range of ways. In comparison to gold options, platinum cards may include:
The features you can expect from a Platinum credit card
Complimentary international travel insurance with broader coverage
Some platinum credit cards may also provide other spending benefits for customers. For example, The American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card offers you one complimentary direct domestic return flight every year.
The minimum income requirements for platinum credit cards also tend to be higher in comparison to gold cards. While some platinum options have a minimum income requirement as low as $25,000, most are around $50,000, like the American Express Platinum Edge Credit Card. You also have to have excellent credit history to get a platinum credit card, making them even more exclusive.
Black Credit Cards
Black credit cards are considered the ultimate in premium credit cards, with the highest and broadest range of benefits. In addition to the complimentary extras you can find with gold or platinum cards, a black credit card may provide:
The perks and features you can expect from a Black credit card
The highest amount of points per NZD$1 for reward programmes
Complimentary airport transfers
Dedicated travel booking services
A personal concierge service
Invitations to exclusive events or promotions
Higher credit limits (sometimes up to $100,000)
Annual fees ranging from $349 to $700
Black credit cards are designed for high earners who pay with plastic on a daily basis. As such, the minimum income requirements for these cards are usually between $75,000 and $150,000. You also need flawless credit history to get a black credit card.
Questions to ask before choosing 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. Asking the following questions before choosing which type of card to get will help you find an option that works for you.
How often do you use your credit card? Premium gold, platinum and black credit cards are designed for people who regularly use a credit card and their annual fees and credit limits reflect that. Many of the complimentary extras available on these cards, such as travel insurance, also require you to pay with plastic to activate them. If you don’t use a credit card very often, you might want to consider a low rate or no annual fee option instead.
How much do you spend on your credit card? If you are considering a rewards option, you should make sure the value of the points you earn outweighs the cost of the annual fee. You can do this by estimating your average monthly or yearly spending on credit and working out how many points per $1 you will earn. For more information, check out our guide on calculating the value of rewards points.
How much money do you earn? Gold, platinum and black credit cards typically have higher minimum income requirements than standard credit cards, so you will need to factor this in when considering different options.
How many platinum, gold or black credit card features will you actually use? Complimentary extras can help offset the cost of a credit card, but only if you use them. When considering different gold, platinum or black credit cards, make sure you are realistic about which benefits you will use so you can find a card that provides value based on your spending habits and circumstances.
Do you carry a credit card balance? Most gold, platinum and black credit cards have high standard interest rates. This means you could end up paying hundreds of dollars in interest every year if you carry a balance on one of these premium cards. If you don’t pay your account off in full each month, you may want to consider a premium credit card that has a lower ongoing interest rate, such as the Westpac World Mastercard.
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.
Natasha chooses between a gold, platinum and black credit card
Natasha is interested in getting a premium credit card that earns Airpoints but doesn’t know whether to choose a platinum, gold or black option. To help her make a decision, Natasha decides to compare a credit card from each of these categories.
Natasha has chosen gold, platinum and black credit cards to compare
With these details in mind, Natasha considers her own circumstances and spending habits:
She regularly uses a credit card for everyday purchases.
She spends around $5,000 per month on credit.
Her salary is $85,000.
She takes one overseas holiday per year.
She aims to pay her balance in full each month.
She has an excellent credit score.
Natasha decides she would like to have the option of earning Airpoints per $1 with an American Express card, but doesn’t want to pay more than $$150 on an annual fee. Based on her current spending, Natasha would be able to earn an average of 66 points per month with the Airpoints Platinum Mastercard, so she chooses this card out of the three options above.
Premium credit cards unlock a whole world of potential value through features such as higher credit limits, greater rewards, complimentary insurance, travel perks and more. So now you know the differences between gold, platinum and black credit cards, you can choose the right category for your circumstances and start comparing cards to find a great option for you.
Frequently asked questions about gold, platinum and black credit cards
Generally, you need a positive credit history. The majority of these cards also have a minimum annual earnings requirement of around $35,000 – $70,000.
Platinum credit cards have higher status than gold credit cards. This is reflected in the credit limits, annual fee, reward points earn rates and additional features such as complimentary travel insurance and 24/7 concierge services.
When you apply for the credit card, most issuers will let you know if your application has been approved or rejected within a minute. If you receive a pending response, this means the bank needs to spend more time assessing your application. In this case, you can usually expect a response within a week.
While some gold and platinum credit cards do have point caps, they tend to be higher than the caps on standard credit cards. Most black credit cards, on the other hand, offer uncapped points. You can also find a list of cards that don’t cap rewards points on this page.
Amy Bradney-George is the acting editor for Finder X and a senior writer for credit cards and Finder Green. She has more than 13 years' experience as a journalist and writer, with bylines in publications including The Equity Magazine, The Sydney Morning Herald, ABC News and produce industry website FreshPlaza. Amy has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism and Drama from Griffith University, and when she’s not putting (virtual) pen to paper, she spends her time as an actress.
Kiwi credit card holders could be overpaying millions of dollars in interest over the next two years unless they switch to a lower rate, according to Finder, a financial research and credit card comparison website in New Zealand.
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