Platinum, gold and black credit cards are premium options that open the door to a range of exclusive benefits. Designed for people who spend a lot on plastic, 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 annual fees and interest rates that are higher than standard options. Here, we look at both the benefits and costs of these three premium choices so that you can find a card that’s right for you.
HSBC Credit Card Offer
HSBC Platinum Credit Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 22 months on balance transfers
Offer ends 31 March 2020
Eligibility criteria, terms and conditions, fees and charges apply
HSBC Credit Card Offer
A platinum card offering 0% interest on balance transfers for 22 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, an annual fee refund each year when you spend $6,000 on eligible purchases
What’s the difference between platinum, gold and black credit cards?
While they 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.
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 getting more features and benefits, but who 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 $1 than standard cards
Higher point caps than standard cards
Annual fees ranging from $89 to $169
Minimum credit limits starting from $4,000
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. For example, the Suncorp Clear Options Gold credit card has a minimum income requirement of $30,000, while some standard cards have credit limits as low as $15,000.
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 covers, domestic interstate flight inconvenience insurance and car hire insurance
Complimentary purchase protection insurance
More reward points per $1 spent than gold cards and higher reward points caps
Personal concierge services
Minimum credit limits from $10,000
Annual fees ranging from $87 to $1,200
Some platinum credit cards may also provide other spending benefits for customers. For example, platinum Bankwest credit cards offer no international transaction fees for purchases made overseas or online with an international retailer.
The minimum income requirements for platinum credit cards also tend to be higher in comparison to gold cards. While some platinum options have minimum income requirements as low as $30,000, such as the Westpac Low Fee Platinum card, most are around $50,000.
Black credit cards
Black credit cards are considered the ultimate in premium credit cards, with the highest level of service and broadest range of benefits. In addition to the complimentary extras that you can find on gold or platinum cards, a black credit card may provide:
The perks and features you can expect from a Black credit card
The highest number of points per $1 for reward programs
Complimentary airport transfers
Dedicated travel booking services
A personal concierge service
A personal shopper
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 very regularly. 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.
What to consider before applying for 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 options that work 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’re considering a rewards option, you should make sure the value of the points you earn outweighs the cost of the annual fee. 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.
How many premium 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 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 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 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, such as the St.George Vertigo Platinum or Bankwest Breeze Platinum 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.
Frequently asked questions about gold, platinum and black credit cards
Generally, you’ll need a positive credit history. The majority of these cards also have a minimum annual earnings requirement of around $30,000 – $70,000.
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 is an editor and writer at finder.com.au with more than 10 years experience covering credit cards, personal finance and various lifestyle topics. When she’s not sharing her knowledge on money matters, Amy spends her time as an actress.
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