Mastercard Black Card against Chase Sapphire Reserve®
When considering a premium travel credit card, it is always beneficial to compare it to the Chase Sapphire Reserve. The Mastercard Black Card just doesn’t match the benefits of the Chase Sapphire Reserve.
If you just look at the earning potential of the rewards, the Chase Sapphire Reserve is clearly ahead. The card currently comes with the Welcome Bonus: Earn 50,000 bonus points after spending $ 4,000 on purchases in the first three months after opening your account. That’s $ 750 in travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. In addition, you can earn 3 Ultimate Rewards points for every dollar spent on travel and restaurant purchases worldwide. Since the card is said to be used for travel, you’ve already earned more points.
For redeeming rewards, you can currently redeem your points at a rate of 1.5 cents per point, as with the Mastercard Black Card. However, you get a little less bang for your points booking flight. The Chase Sapphire Reserve gives you only 1.5 cents per point for travel, compared to 2 cents per point for the Mastercard Black Card.
However, the big differentiator with Chase Sapphire Reserve is the ability to transfer your Ultimate Rewards points to travel partners like United and Hyatt. This gives you the flexibility and the ability to get more value from your points by redeeming premium flight and hotel experiences.
Don’t be put off by the $ 550 annual fee, which is slightly higher than the Mastercard Black Card. The Chase Sapphire Reserve has an easy-to-use annual travel balance of $ 300 (better than the $ 100 offered by the Mastercard Black Card) that easily makes up for the $ 65 difference.
When you consider that the Chase Sapphire Reserve offers many similar benefits as the TSA PreCheck / Global Entry reimbursement and the Priority Pass, the Chase Sapphire Reserve leads the way in almost all situations.
Mastercard Black Card against the Platinum Card® from American Express
Another Premium Travel Reward Credit Card to consider is the American Express Platinum Card. Here, too, the American Express Platinum card seems to immediately gain an advantage due to a welcome bonus. You can currently receive the following bonus offer: Earn 60,000 Membership Rewards® points after making $ 5,000 in purchases with your new card in the first three months.
In terms of earning potential, the American Express Platinum offers the same 1 point per dollar spent on most purchases as the Mastercard Black Card. However, the American Express Platinum offers earnings of 5 points per dollar when you book flights directly with an airline and in prepaid hotels through the American Express travel portal. This is a definite advantage. As of 1/1/21, the 5 points per dollar are limited to the first $ 500,000 per year. All purchases made thereafter receive 1 point.
With the American Express Platinum you receive Membership Rewards points with which you can use your rewards with many transfer partners. Some popular transfer partners are Delta, British Airways and Virgin Atlantic.
While the American Express Platinum has an annual fee of $ 550 (see Prices and Fees), it offers many more travel benefits than the Mastercard Black Card. In both the Hilton Honors and Marriott Bonvoy programs, you will receive free Gold Elite status, annual credit of $ 200 (albeit for incidental expenses from an eligible airline that you select each year as opposed to the airfare) and up to $ 200 per year in Uber credit, TSA PreCheck / Global Entry refunds, and Priority Pass membership.
Additionally, due to the pandemic, American Express is offering streaming credit of $ 20 per month and wireless credit of $ 20 per month through the end of 2020.
When you compare these benefits to the Mastercard Black Card, you will find that the American Express Platinum offers many of the same travel benefits and more.
Mastercard Black Card against Citi Prestige* *
The last premium travel rewards card that we compare the Mastercard Black Card with is the Citi Prestige. Once again, the Mastercard Black Card falls short. For the same $ 495 for the primary card member. The Citi Prestige offers $ 75 for each authorized annual fee and much more.
With a welcome bonus of 50,000 points after $ 4,000 in three months, travel transfer partners for your reward points, and annual travel credit of $ 250, the Citi Prestige is already ahead of the game. In addition, Citi Prestige offers some of the best bonus categories of premium travel rewards cards, including 5 thank you points per dollar for air travel and restaurants, 3 points per dollar for hotels and cruise lines, and 1 point per dollar for all other purchases.
One of the unique benefits of the Citi Prestige card is the 4th night of free hotel stay. Twice a year, you will receive a free 4th night during a consecutive stay in a hotel booked through the Citi travel portal. Note, however, that chain hotels are unlikely to see elite perks at these stays.
The flexibility and value you can get with the Citi Prestige give it a clear advantage over the Mastercard Black Card.