Gold Credit Cards

A gold card can unlock premium features such as rewards, complimentary insurance and lounge access. Here’s what you need to know to choose one.

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Name Product Bonus points Rewards program Rewards points per $ spent Purchase rate Annual fee
Qantas American Express Premium Card
Qantas Frequent Flyer
20.74% p.a.
Enjoy 30,000 bonus Qantas Points, 2 complimentary Qantas Club lounge invitations per year and the protection of complimentary insurance covers.
American Express Gold Business Card
Membership Rewards Ascent
0% p.a.
ABN holders w/ $75,000 revenue. Get 100,000 bonus Membership Rewards Points when you spend $1,000 within the first 2 months.

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Gold credit cards are a step up from standard credit cards, offering benefits that range from more points per $1 spent to higher credit limits, complimentary travel insurance and airport lounge invitations. Some gold credit cards also come with bonus points or introductory offers that can help you get more value when you sign up.

While many gold card options have been replaced with platinum cards, there are still some gold cards available. As with any credit card, you'll need to weigh up the features and costs to decide if a gold credit card is worth it – so let's take a look at your options.

What benefits can you get with 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.

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.

Special offers with gold credit cards

Banks offer promotional benefits with credit card offers to sweeten the deal when you apply. We’ve broken these down into four key benefits.

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.

Rewards points

  • 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 points 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.
  • Exclusive card offers
  • 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 Offers+Perks. Get a gold Visa credit card and you can sign up for exclusive Visa offers such as pre-sale tickets and luxury hotel benefits.
  • Amex Offers. An American Express gold credit card connects you to this program offering deals on shopping, dining, entertainment and more.

Things to consider before applying for a gold credit card

If you want to get a gold credit card, there are three important considerations that will help you find a card that works for you:

1. How much you are spending per month?

The goal with choosing a gold credit card should be to redeem rewards that are worth more than the annual fee. The more you use a gold credit card (both for spending and for the other perks) the greater the value you can get out of it. This value needs to be weighed against the cost of the annual fee if you want to save more than you spend on your credit card.

For example, let’s say you got a gold reward credit card with a $100 annual fee. The goal would be to earn enough reward points to get at least $100 value out of the reward program (i.e. a $100 gift card).

So if you knew you would spend an average of $2000 per month, and earned 1 point per $1, over a year you would get 24,000 reward points. You can then check the redemption catalogue or website for the card’s reward program to make sure that those points will get you at least $100 value in rewards so that the annual fee is worth it.

2. Are you using all the available benefits and does it suit your lifestyle?

When you’re choosing a gold credit card, it’s important to be realistic about what benefits you will and won’t use so that you can work out the value of the card for your individual lifestyle.

For example, if you get a card with travel insurance but never use it, this benefit will be worthless to you. On the other hand, if you knew you would use that travel insurance regularly, you could save hundreds of dollars buying insurance directly, which would offset the cost of the annual fee.

3. Is the credit limit suitable for your current finances?

Gold credit cards have higher minimum credit limits than many standard options. While this feature is great if you use credit a lot, it can be risky in some circumstances.

In particular, people who struggle to pay off their balance in full every month, or those that have existing credit card debt can end up with an even bigger balance if they get a credit card with a higher credit limit. So before applying for a gold credit card, think about how much access to credit you need and whether or not one of these cards will work for your circumstances.

What conditions do I need to meet to apply for a gold credit card?

Gold credit cards have a range of requirements that need to be met before your application can be approved. These include:

  • Age. You must be at least 18 years of age to get a gold credit card.
  • Credit history. You’ll need a good credit history that shows a sufficient income and ability to repay your bills on time you receive approval.
  • Income. You must have a regular income to apply for a gold credit card. Some of these cards also specify a minimum income amount, which typically range from $30,000 to $50,000.
  • Employment. Most credit card issuers prefer full-time employment but there are exceptions. If you are self-employed, retired or on a pension but have a regular income, then you could still be eligible for a gold credit card or other credit cards for pensioners. Check the application requirements for each card you’re interested in, and contact the issuer if you are unsure.
  • Required documents. During the application process, you will need to supply a number of required documents, including:
  • A copy of your driver's licence, or another official document with your address (i.e. a utility bill)
  • A copy of your passport or Medicare card
  • Proof of employment/income, such as two payslips less than 60 days old, a letter of employment or your most recent tax statement from the ATO
  • Contact details for your employer or accountant

These documents can usually be attached to the application, submitted later via a secured web-form, or posted to the bank and are essential for the application to be fully processed.

How to apply for a gold credit card?

Apply for a gold credit card using these easy to follow steps.

  1. Look at the range of gold credit cards available and choose the one that best suits your needs.
  2. Click on the ‘Go to site’ button, which will send you to the bank’s secure application page.
  3. Read over the eligibility criteria and application terms.
  4. Fill out the application with as much detail as possible and include supporting documentation when requested (see below).
  5. Submit the application. You should be notified of the initial outcome within a few minutes via the webpage or your email.
  6. If you receive conditional approval, follow the steps outlined by the bank to complete the application process.

How long will it take to receive the credit card?

The time it takes from getting your credit card application approved to receiving it varies depending on the bank or issuer. Most credit cards are received within 5-10 business days from the time of application approval, but it’s a good idea to check how long it takes for a credit card approval as some can take up to 21 days.

Gold credit cards offer a greater range of complimentary extras and rewards than standard credit cards, as well as the prestige of being a more exclusive option. So if you want to get more value out of using a credit card regularly, have good credit history and earn enough to meet minimum income requirements, then there could be a gold credit card on the market that suits your needs.

Frequently asked questions

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    24 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      HarrySeptember 21, 2016

      I have a Gold Commonwealth Bank MasterCard, I have used the travel insurance very often I am 80 years old now. How can I find out if there are extra charges when I travel again?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        DebbieSeptember 21, 2016Staff

        Hi Harry,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Unfortunately, the complimentary international travel insurance is only applicable to cardholders aged up to 79 years old. Since you’re now 80 years of age, you may need to apply for an upgraded policy but still needs the approval of Allianz Global Assistance (AGA), which is the insurer of CBA credit cards.

        As per CBA’s terms and conditions, purchasing an Upgrade Policy lets them receive a commission which is a percentage of your premium. You may need to contact CBA at 13 3982 or AGA directly at 1800 837 177 to confirm the costs and processes of purchasing an upgraded policy.

        For more information, you may read thorough our complete guide for Commonwealth Bank’s complimentary travel insurance for credit cardholders.

        I hope this helps.


      Default Gravatar
      janJuly 15, 2015

      I am intending to travel to England and then onto usa new york and across to la. Where can I find out where to obtain information on travel insurance?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanJuly 16, 2015Staff

        Hi Jan,

        Thanks for your question.

        You may obtain more information on our guide to credit cards with complimentary travel insurance or get a quote on our travel insurance page.

        Please make sure to read the eligibility criteria, features, and details of the policy, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statement of the policy before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you. If necessary, speak to the insurance brand to verify any details.

        I hope this has been helpful.


      Default Gravatar
      CatieMay 5, 2015

      Please advise if Gold Visa transaction fees incl GST?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanMay 7, 2015Staff

        Hi Catie, thanks for your inquiry!

        GST is a value added tax on most goods and services within Australia. As a result transaction fees with credit cards generally do not include GST charges.



      Default Gravatar
      MaureenMarch 17, 2015

      My husband and I are taking a couple of short cruises along the coast of Australia and to Vanuatu. My husband has just turned 80. Can we pay an excess to cover him or must we insure him separately?

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanMarch 17, 2015Staff

        Hi Maureen, thanks for your inquiry!

        To allow me to assist you further could you please clarify which Gold credit card you are using?



        Default Gravatar
        MaureenMarch 18, 2015

        Hi John,

        Re my question about insurance for husband who is 80.

        My card is a Commonwealth Bank Paypass Gold Mastercard.

        Hope this helps.



        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        JonathanMarch 18, 2015Staff

        Hi Maureen,

        Thanks for your inquiry.

        Commonwealth’s complimentary travel insurance policy is only eligible for individuals 79 years or younger. For more information on travel insurance and comparison of insurance brands, please see our Travel Insurance homepage. Please make sure to read the eligibility criteria, features and details of the policy, as well as the relevant Product Disclosure Statement of the policy before making a decision and consider whether the product is right for you. If necessary, speak to the insurance brand to verify any details.


      Default Gravatar
      JosephJanuary 16, 2015

      We have booked a cruise on Cruise ship Pacific Dawn booking number W503. This was paid for in full using out Gold Credit Card the total being $2598.00. Unfortunately my Vera is sick and been to see the doctor this morning and has a letter stating the situation. How do I make a claim against the ticket price having used the Gold Credit Card.

      Yours in anticipation

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        ElizabethJanuary 16, 2015Staff

        Hi Joseph,

        Thanks for your question.

        Would you mind telling me the name of the card you have? Then I’d be happy to tell you how to go about submitting a claim. Generally though, if you get in contact with your card issuer they should be able to tell you about the claims process.

        I hope this has helped.



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