Just like driving an expensive car or owning an lavish home, people like to own the prestigious and status associated with a gold or platinum credit card.
Whether they're worth it or not comes down to two things: You can pay for the status associated with the card for your own self enjoyment, or take advantage of its many luxuries and benefits.
Features of gold and platinum cards
Most of these cards will feature the majority of these benefits, some less and some more:
- Domestic and international travel insurance. This is the standard feature which most gold & platinum cards offer. While the extent of cover may be limited depending on the card's annual fee and level of bank service, it is a convenient mode of insurance rather than separately organizing it yourself. Make sure you carefully review the extent of your cover as it may not include cover for your family or for ski accidents for instance.
- Travel inconvenience cover, transport accident cover and medical insurance. These are all potential inclusions in the extent of your insurance.
- Generous rewards program. Most issuers will typically offer 3 versions of the same card. For example, the hypothetical 'Bank of Australia' offers the Ace Standard, Ace Gold and Ace Platinum credit cards. Each consecutive card has a higher annual fee, but a higher reward point conversion.
Card Points earning Ace Standard Offers 1 reward point for every dollar, at an annual fee of $80 Ace Gold Offers 1.5 reward points for every dollar, at an annual fee of $150 Ace Platinum Offers 2.0 reward point for every dollar, at an annual fee of $299. Australian banks tend to follow a structure similar to these, but will vary in their own unique ways
- High credit limit. If you're ever in need of a lot of credit, whether it's temporary investment, expense covers or an emergency, take comfort in knowing that up to $100,000 of credit is at your hands.
- Hotel and flight priority. Some issuers will offer a complimentary free domestic flight or night in a hotel every year. Others will offer priority in ticket bookings, and will do the hard work and effort in booking your accommodation and flight routes.
- Purchase and refund protection. For international purchases, some cards offer up to and even over 90 days purchase and/or refund security as standard.
- 24/7 Concierge service. At any time of the day, any place, you can call your card customer service line and request practically anything, from a taxi, purchase tickets or ask a general knowledge question.
- Entertainment discounts. Banks will often provide advance tickets or discount prices for a wide range of entertainment services and shows.
Advantages and disadvantages of a prestige card
- Generous reward programs with high point conversion rates.
- Travel insurance and benefits
- Purchase security and warranties
- Prestige personal service and 24/7 assistance
- High credit limits
- High annual fees and interest rates.
- Good credit history and high annual income necessary for approval.
- Can be a potential waste of money if the features are not being used.
How to determine whether a gold and platinum credit card is suitable
Touching on the metaphor in the opening paragraph, what good is paying for 6 bathrooms in your house or a performance 4WD if you never go off-road?
Likewise, these cards have countless benefits - however, they're only truly benefits if you actually take advantage of them. To the rest of us, they're simply bells and whistles.
To truly get your dollar value from prestigious cards, you need to pay your balance in full regularly to bypass the high interest rates, and take full advantage of it's travel, luxury and entertainment benefits to make the relatively high annual fee worth it.
If you're after a quality rewards program but can't afford a Gold/Platinum card or don't meet the prerequisites for approval, you can check regular rewards credit cards and compare which card most suits your lifestyle.Back to top