Gold vs platinum credit cards: Which is best?

Compare gold and platinum credit cards to decide which is the better option for you

While exclusive means elusive for most of us, there’s now a slightly more accessible range of premium credit cards available: gold and platinum credit cards. Gold cards are a tier above standard cards, and platinum cards are a tier above gold.

These products are designed to offer greater perks such as a higher credit limit, rewards and complimentary insurance. However, gold and platinum cards also typically charge high fees for these perks.

Comparison of a gold and a platinum card

Table: sorted by representative APR, promoted deals first
Here’s a comparison of two cards from American Express – one a gold and the other a platinum.
Name Product Purchases Annual/monthly fees Initial credit limits Representative APR Incentive Link
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold Credit Card
Year 1 - £0, Year 2 onwards - £140 per annum
Min. limit £700, max. limit not specified.
59.9% APR (variable)
New Cardmember offer: Earn 20,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £3,000 in your first three months of Cardmembership.
Representative example: When you spend £1,200 at a purchase rate of 24.5% (variable) p.a. with an annual fee of £140 (£0 in first year), your representative APR is 59.9% APR (variable).
Check eligibility
The Platinum Card
Finder Award
The Platinum Card
N/A (this product is a charge card).
£575 per annum
Min. limit not specified, max. limit not specified.
N/A (this product is a charge card).
Limited Time Offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points when you spend £6,000 in your first six months of Cardmembership.

Check eligibility

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What’s the difference between gold and platinum credit cards?

Gold credit cards are considered one step up from standard options, while platinum credit cards are a step above gold. This means the benefits they offer will vary between gold and platinum status levels, as well as between individual cards. Here are some examples of differences you may find between the offerings of gold and platinum cards:

  • Complimentary extras. Complimentary extras may include travel and purchase insurances, concierge services and other travel perks like airport lounge access. Unlike platinum options, some gold cards may not offer domestic travel insurance or car rental insurance, nor personal concierge services, for instance.
  • Insurance limit. Complimentary insurance coverage may vary between gold and platinum versions of the same card, with platinum cardholders enjoying higher cover limits or lower excess costs.
  • Reward points per £1. Platinum cardholders typically earn more reward points per £1 spent than gold cardholders. As an example, a standard reward card may offer 1 point per £1, while the gold version offers 1.5 points per £1 and the platinum offers 2 points per £1.
  • Reward point cap. If a reward credit card limits the number of points you can earn per statement or per year, then a platinum card will have one of the highest caps.
  • Bonus point offer. Introductory bonus point offers may differ between gold and platinum products, with platinum cards typically offering more bonus points when you sign up.
  • Minimum credit limit. Platinum cards give higher minimum credit limits than gold cards, which can be a bonus if you spend a lot on credit and can responsibly manage your credit card payments.
  • Annual fee. Platinum cards charge higher annual fees than gold cards offered by the same provider.
  • Minimum income requirement. Platinum cards also generally require successful card applicants to have higher income levels compared to gold cards.
  • Credit history. While both cards require cardholders to have good credit history and credit rating, platinum cards tend to have stricter requirements than gold cards.

How to compare gold and platinum credit cards

When choosing between a gold and platinum credit card, the decision boils down to your individual circumstances. To help you make your decision, these are some key questions to consider:

  • How often will I use my credit card? Your yearly average spending on the card can be a strong indicator of which card type will suit you better. If you don’t use your card often, it won’t be worth paying high fees for a platinum card that you won’t use much. On the other hand, if you spend a lot on your credit card, you’d want to watch out for monthly caps on earning rewards points, which could be lower on a gold card.
  • How much can I afford to pay for a credit card? Working out a budget for your credit card expenses can be helpful in determining whether you can better manage the cost of the annual fee for a gold or platinum card.
  • What additional features do I want? Thinking about what you actually want in a card, and which card features you’ll actually use, can also bring clarity. For instance, if you regularly travel abroad, it may be worth paying a high premium for platinum travel perks like international travel insurance and airport lounge access. However, if you only go overseas once every couple of years, these features are unlikely to offset the cost of the annual fee and a gold or classic card may be more suitable.
  • Can I meet the application requirements? Keep in mind requirements like minimum income are usually tougher for platinum cards when compared with gold cards, and make sure you check these details during the comparison so you can apply for a card that’s appropriate to your circumstances. Remember that multiple applications for credit within a short space of time can hurt your credit score.

What else should I consider when looking at gold and platinum credit cards?

Here are some other factors to consider when comparing gold and platinum cards:

  • Purchase rate. This is the interest rate charged on purchase transactions, which is very relevant if you habitually carry a balance on your credit card. If you always settle your monthly statement in full, this is not a real concern because you don’t incur interest fees on your purchases.
  • Introductory interest rates. As part of a sign-up promotion, many cards come with a low or 0% introductory interest rate on purchases or balance transfers. If you wish to transfer a sizeable balance, or are about to make a large purchase, the promotional rate could well be a deciding factor. After a specified period these rates revert to the card’s regular rates, which are substantially higher. Always check how long a promotional rate is available for and what it will revert to at the end of the honeymoon period.
  • Interest-free days. Most credit cards offer an interest-free period for purchases, which typically varies between 25 and 62 days per statement period. While interest-free days can help you avoid additional charges, they are only available if you pay your balance in full by the due date on each statement. Otherwise, interest will apply from the day you make a purchase.
  • Value of reward points. A little research and calculation should reveal how much a credit card’s rewards points are worth. Consider the earn rate of the card, as well as what rewards you can get and the annual fee to get an idea of the potential value. This will help you compare rewards programmes across cards.
  • Application criteria. Keep in mind that submitting too many credit card applications in a short amount of time can harm your credit rating. Researching a credit card’s eligibility requirements helps ensure that you only apply for one when you have a high chance of application success.

Ultimately, no credit card is perfect for everyone, but you might find one that will closely match your needs and spending habits. As such, platinum cards aren’t necessarily always better than gold cards. Remember to research and compare cards to find the option that best suits your needs.
What is the most prestigious credit card?

We show offers we can track - that's not every product on the market...yet. Unless we've said otherwise, products are in no particular order. The terms "best", "top", "cheap" (and variations of these) aren't ratings, though we always explain what's great about a product when we highlight it. This is subject to our terms of use. When you make major financial decisions, consider getting independent financial advice. Always consider your own circumstances when you compare products so you get what's right for you.

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