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 cardHere’s a comparison of two cards from American Express – one a gold and the other a platinum.
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:
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.
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