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How to compare gold credit cards
Unlock a host of rewards and exclusive benefits with a gold credit card.
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Gold 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 rewards points and a wide range of complimentary extras.
In this guide, we look at both the benefits and potential costs of gold credit cards to help you find a card that meets your needs.
Why should I consider a Gold Credit Card?
Gold credit cards are a premium option that build on the features of standard credit cards by offering greater benefits. Some of the most popular gold credit card features include:
- Complimentary international travel insurance
- Purchase security cover
- Extended warranty insurance
- More rewards points per $1
- Higher rewards points caps
- Concierge services
- Other travel benefits such as airport lounge access
Gold credit cards also have higher minimum credit limits than standard credit cards, which can be convenient if you use credit a lot.
More on special offers with gold credit cards
As aforementioned, banks offer promotional benefits with credit card offers to sweeten the deal when you apply. These include:
Promotional interest rate offers
- 0% purchase offers. If you plan to spend a lot of money on your gold credit card when you first get it, this type of offer can help you avoid or reduce interest charges.
- Balance transfer offers. If you want to transfer debt from an existing credit card to a new gold credit card, look for balance transfer offers that have lower interest rates and a long introductory period so you can save money on interest and pay off the debt faster.
- Bonus points offers. You can boost your reward points balance by getting a gold credit card that offers bonus points to new customers. Look at both the points offered and the requirements to get them to find a good gold card option for you.
- Frequent flyer/rewards points earnings rate. Reward programs vary between gold credit card options and there are also different point rates depending on the type of card, with American Express cards usually earning the highest amount of points per $1. Some cards have both an AMEX and a Mastercard to offer flexibility with different point earning rates.
- Uncapped/capped rewards points earnings. A point cap limits how many rewards you can earn in a month or year, but doesn’t always affect cardholders. You can work out if a capped or uncapped reward card is right for you by looking at your average monthly credit card spending and comparing it to the points you would earn; if you spend less than the cap then it should be fine.
Travel benefits and insurance
- Gold credit card insurance. The insurance offered on gold credit cards varies, and could include international travel insurance, flight inconvenience insurance, purchase protection cover, extended warranties and refund protection. Although most gold credit cards include international travel insurance, make sure you check for particular types of coverage in the card’s features, and read the specific details if it is an extra you want to use.
- Foreign transaction fees. There are three types of foreign transaction fees to look at when comparing gold credit cards:
- Overseas ATM Withdrawal Fee (typically charged by the overseas bank). Charged when you withdraw cash from an overseas ATM.
- Overseas Cash Advance Fee. Fee for withdrawing cash from your account when overseas.
- Foreign Currency Conversion Fee (MC). Charged when you make a purchase in a currency other than AUD either online or overseas.
Even a small variation in the charges applied by different gold credit cards could save you a lot of money when you are travelling.
More Gold card benefits
- Concierge service. This service can help you with travel plans, restaurant bookings, entertainment options and more.
- Global support. If you have issues when travelling, or lose your card, global support services can help you sort things out.
- Lounge passes. Some gold credit cards offer access to airport or airline lounges with complimentary passes, which can be great if you want a bit of luxury when you travel.
- Entertainment experiences:
- Mastercard Privileges and Priceless Cities. A gold Mastercard credit card gives you access to both local and global benefits for travel, dining, retail and entertainment experiences.
- Visa Entertainment. Get a gold Visa credit card and you can sign up for exclusive Visa Entertainment offers such as pre-sale concert tickets and theatre deals.
- American Express invites. An American Express gold credit card connects you to this program offering deals on stadium shows, cinema screenings, theatre events and dining experiences in partnership with Ticketmaster.
How to compare gold credit cards
The benefits of a gold credit card should be worth more than the costs associated with it. This is where comparing the features, costs and limitations of gold credit cards can come in handy. To help you determine which card is right for you, here are the factors that should come into your comparison:
- Purchase rate. This is the standard rate of interest applied to new purchases made on the card, so the lower it is the better.
- Cash advance rate. This rate is applied to transactions such as ATM withdrawals and there is usually less variation between cards (but even a fraction of a percentage could make a difference).
- Interest-free days on purchases. If you pay your balance in full every month, look for a card with a high number of interest free days so you have more time to pay off purchases without being charged interest.
- Annual fees. Ongoing gold credit card annual fees range from $0 to $169, so make sure you check the price to save money on the card.
- Credit limits. Minimum credit limits for gold credit cards give you an idea of how much credit you will have access to and are usually around $4,000 to $5,000.
- Additional cardholders. Some gold credit cards charge extra for additional cardholders and others offer them free, so check this feature if you would like to have someone else linked to your account.
Questions to ask before choosing a gold 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 options that work for you.
- How often do I use my credit card? Gold credit cards are suited 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 I spend on my 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. You can do this by estimating your average monthly or yearly spending on credit and working out how many points per S$1 you will earn. For more information, check out our guide on calculating the value of rewards points.
- How much money do I earn? Gold 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 gold credit card features will I actually use? Complimentary extras can help offset the cost of a credit card, but only if you use them. When considering different gold credit cards, make sure you’re realistic about which benefits you will use so that you can find a card that provides value based on your spending habits and circumstances.
- Do I carry a credit card balance? Many credit cards have high standard interest rates. This means you could end up paying hundreds of dollars in interest every year when 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 low ongoing interest rate.
- Do I have an excellent credit history and credit score? These credit cards typically require you to have a 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 credit card.
Gold credit cards unlock a whole world of potential value through features such as greater rewards, complimentary insurance, travel perks and more. However, make sure you are in a position to manage the higher credit card limit and annual card fee, both of which are typical features of higher-end cards.
Frequently asked questions about gold credit cards
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