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Mastercard® Titanium Card™ Review

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At a Glance
Mastercard Titanium Card
4.1 / 5
Rating

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Mastercard® Titanium Card™

  • Sign-up Bonus: None
  • Rewards: Unlimited 1 point for every $1 spent on everything; 2% return on airfare redemptions
  • Benefits: 10% discount on eligible Onefinestay bookings; average of $500 annual benefits and services per stay at participating properties (per Luxury Card); member-exclusive perks and credits with Lyft, and more
  • Intro APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from account opening (terms and conditions apply)
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fees
  • Annual Fee: $195, plus $95 per authorized user
  • Credit Needed: Excellent

Advertiser Disclosure: This post includes references to offers from our partners. We receive compensation when you click on links to those products. However, the opinions expressed here are ours alone and at no time has the editorial content been provided, reviewed, or approved by any issuer.

The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ is an exclusive travel rewards credit card with a $195 annual fee and a broad rewards program that offers the best value on airfare with any common carrier. It’s backed by the Luxury Card™ brand, which offers two higher-end cards: the Mastercard® Black Card™ ($495 annual fee) and the Mastercard® Gold Card™ ($995 annual fee, and actually made of 24-karat gold).

All purchases made with this card earn unlimited 1 point per $1 spent, with no restrictions or special bonus categories. Airline redemptions value points at $0.02 apiece. There’s no sign-up bonus or recurring loyalty bonus, but Titanium does offer a 15-month 0% APR promotion on balance transfers. Terms and conditions apply.

The Mastercard Titanium Card really excels in the travel benefits department. It offers a slew of perks for people who like to travel in convenience in style, including global luggage delivery to anywhere in the world; 24/7 concierge availability by phone, email, and live chat; and airport meet-and-greet service that softens the normally hectic airport experience with a white-glove touch. Non-travel benefits include a generous cell phone protection policy, Lyft credits, and more.

And it’s made of super-strong brushed steel, so it adds some real weight (literally and figuratively) to your wallet. That’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but at least you know your card won’t break on you. Just don’t run it through your home shredder.

Key Features

Earning Points

Titanium Card users earn 1 point for every $1 spent on everything. Once earned, points do not expire as long as the account remains open and in good standing.

Redeeming Points

The Titanium Card has no confusing tiers, rotating categories, or redemption thresholds. You never have to wait to redeem your points, and no bank account is required for cash back redemption.

The most cost-effective redemption option is airfare. All redemptions in this category value points at a flat $0.02 apiece, regardless of the underlying dollar cost of the airfare, the carrier, the route, or any other factors. Airline redemptions are permitted in 50-point increments. Point-and-cash redemptions are acceptable too.

You can also redeem points for cash back at $0.01 per point. Other redemption options include gift cards (including hotel and rental card gift certificates) and merchandise. These methods have variable minimum redemption requirements and value points at $0.01 apiece unless otherwise noted.

Luxury Card Travel Benefits

Cardmembers enjoy an average value of $500 annually in benefits and services per stay at over 3,000 properties around the world, according to Luxury Card. Participating brands include Montage, St. Regis, Park Hyatt, The Peninsula, Ritz Carlton, Fairmont, and more.

Typical hotel and resort benefits include room upgrades, complimentary food and beverage, spa or resort credits, room upgrades, early check-in, late check-out, and welcome gifts. For example, stay one night at the luxe California Viceroy L’Ermitage Beverly Hills and you’ll get:

  • Breakfast for two (a $50 value each)
  • A $100 resort credit
  • Free WiFi
  • Complimentary use of the hotel’s car within two miles of the resort

24/7 Concierge Service

Titanium Card users have access to a dedicated crew of concierge staffers who specifically serve Luxury Card members.

Available by phone, email, and live chat within the app – saving international travelers the cost of a cross-border phone call – these concierge services include:

  • Help obtaining dining or event reservations, which is especially useful in countries where apps like OpenTable don’t work well or language barriers prevent easy DIY reservations
  • Help making complex travel bookings
  • Securing tickets to in-demand events
  • Arranging car rental and limousine transportation
  • Arranging delivery of flowers, groceries, and dry goods deliveries
  • Researching and pricing out hard-to-find items abroad or close to home
  • Providing directions to gas stations, supermarkets, parking garages, tourist attractions, and more

Priceless Events

Titanium cardholders enjoy access to Mastercard’s ever-changing lineup of “Priceless” events and experiences, many of which are otherwise invite-only or exclusive to high-end Mastercard cardholders. “Priceless” events include behind-the-scenes access to major golf tournaments and curated experiences in exotic destinations like Dubai. Additional fees and expenses, such as airfare, may apply.

Mastercard-Backed Travel Benefits

The Titanium Card has some notable benefits backed by Mastercard, too. Though some are commonly included in standard travel insurance policies, you don’t have to pay extra for them when you pay for travel with your Gold Card. The highlights:

  • Travel accident insurance with a death benefit of $250,000 per insured
  • Baggage delay insurance, which reimburses you for expenses occurred due to significant checked baggage delays on common carrier travel.
  • Complimentary rental car insurance when you pay the full cost of the rental on your Titanium Card.
  • Trip cancellation and interruption coverage, subject to limitations and exclusions.
  • 10% discount on eligible Onefinestay bookings.

Additional Mastercard Benefits

The Titanium Card has some non-travel benefits backed by Mastercard as well. Highlights include:

  • Join Fandango VIP to earn double the points when you use your Titanium Card – that’s 250 points per ticket). Earn 500 points to get a $5 VIP + reward.
  • Earn 5% cash rewards on eligible Boxed orders when you use your Titanium Card. Rewards are available for use on future purchases.
  • Use your Titanium Card to pay for at least 5 eligible Lyft rides per month and earn a $10 Lyft credit.
  • Sign up for a complimentary ShopRunner membership using your Titanium Card and receive 2-day free shipping and free return shipping on eligible purchases (a $79 value)

Another signature benefit, Mastercard ID Theft Protection, features monitoring on the covered cardmember’s email addresses, debit and credit cards, bank accounts, web logins, loyalty and affinity cards, driver’s license and passport, medical and vehicle insurance cards, and Social Security number.

Introductory APR

New Titanium Card users enjoy 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from account opening. Terms and conditions apply.

Important Fees

This card has a $195 annual fee that is not waived in the first year. Additional authorized users cost $95 per year, per person. There is no foreign transaction fee.

Credit Required

This card requires excellent credit. If you have any noteworthy issues in your credit history, you’re not likely to qualify.

Advantages

  1. Airfare Redemptions Offer Great Value. The Titanium Card values points redeemed for airfare at $0.02 apiece, regardless of the carrier, dollar cost, destination, demand, or other factors that normally affect airfare redemption values. While $0.02 per point isn’t a stellar rate on international travel, it’s definitely above-average for domestic flights, and it’s nice to know exactly how far your points will go ahead of time. Most popular travel cards not tied to specific airlines value points redeemed for airfare at or just above $0.01 apiece.
  2. Travel and Non-Travel Benefits Have Tremendous Potential Value. Titanium’s VIP benefits are its not-so-secret weapon. According to Luxury Card, cardmembers enjoy an average value of $500 annually in benefits and services per stay participating properties. When fully utilized, those benefits alone more than pay for the recurring charge. The member-exclusive Lyft credits add up too, not to mention the 10% discount on qualifying Onefinestay bookings.
  3. High-Touch Concierge Service. Titanium Card members enjoy 24/7 service from dedicated concierges available by phone, email, and live chat within the app. These concierges can handle everything from dinner and transportation reservations in places where cardmembers don’t speak the language to securing hard-to-find goods closer to home. Concierge access through the app can significantly reduce the cost of international calling.
  4. Long Introductory APR Promotion on Balance Transfers. Somewhat unusually for a high-end travel rewards card, Titanium has a generous introductory balance transfer promotion: 0% APR for 15 months from account opening. If you’re looking to get your credit card debt under control by transferring existing high-interest balances from other cards, Titanium is a great way to do so without foreclosing opportunities to earn rewards points or generous travel perks.
  5. Decent Value on Non-airfare Redemptions. Though airfare is clearly Titanium’s best redemption option, the alternatives aren’t terrible. Cash back statement credits value points at $0.01 apiece, which is standard, while gift card (including hotel and rental car) and merchandise redemptions usually do the same. Many competing cards, such as the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, severely devalue points when redeemed for travel alternatives.
  6. No Foreign Transaction Fee. Titanium users never pay foreign transaction fees. That’s great news for people who regularly travel abroad, whether on road trips to Canada or Mexico, or exotic honeymoons to Asia or Africa.

Disadvantages

  1. High Annual Fee. The Titanium Card has a pretty high annual fee – $195, not waived in the first year, and $95 per year, per additional authorized user. That’s a big drawback for users who don’t accumulate rewards quickly enough or use the potentially valuable fringe benefits frequently enough to offset the recurring charge.
  2. Low, Flat Point-Earning Rate on All Purchases. Titanium earns a flat, unlimited 1 point per $1 spent on everything, which is the standard base rate for most travel and cash back rewards credit cards. The problem is that Titanium doesn’t have any bonus spending categories that boost point earnings beyond the modest standard rate. This can seriously limit cardholders’ earning potential, and limits the appeal of the 2% airfare redemption rate, as it takes longer to accrue points. By contrast, Citi ThankYou Premier earns 3 points per $1 spent on travel (including gas) and 2 points per $1 spent on dining and entertainment.
  3. No Sign-up Bonus. Unusually for a travel rewards card, the Titanium Card has no sign-up bonus. If you’re looking for a card that immediately pads your rewards account, look to a popular alternative such as Chase Sapphire Preferred.
  4. No Recurring Loyalty Bonus. Titanium also lacks an annual loyalty bonus. Such bonuses typically come as free or discounted flight certificates or recurring point deposits on or around the cardmember anniversary. This is a further drawback for those looking for something tangible to offset Titanium’s high annual fee.
  5. No Reduced or Complimentary Airport Lounge Access. Titanium Card users don’t have special airport lounge access privileges, which is a drawback for travelers who like to enjoy the airport in style without spending an arm and a leg. The Luxury Card brand’s other two cards do offer airport lounge privileges, though their annual fees are much higher.

Final Word

The Mastercard® Titanium Card™ is clearly a high-end product. It’s also a bit unusual – few other travel cards have noteworthy balance transfer promotions, for instance. But, like many high-end cards, Titanium’s rewards program is almost secondary to its lineup of VIP travel benefits that make life a lot easier and more convenient for road warriors. They’re the real key to unlocking this card’s value and getting the most for your annual fee.

Verdict
Mastercard Titanium Card
4.1 / 5
Rating

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Mastercard® Titanium Card™

With a stunning brushed metal design and a slew of valuable perks that can easily offset the annual fee, the Mastercard® Titanium Card™ is tailored to seasoned, frequent travelers who take ample advantage of its considerable lineup of VIP travel benefits and other perks. It’s also great for travelers who fly often, as the inflated point values on airfare redemptions help offset the unremarkable earning rate of 1 point per $1 spent. And, somewhat unusually for a travel card, it’s a strong balance transfer candidate for people with existing high-interest credit card balances.

Titanium is not ideal for people who travel infrequently, for those seeking complimentary airport lounge access with their high-end travel cards, and for those aiming to leverage a generous sign-up bonus for free or reduced-cost travel shortly after opening their accounts.

The Titanium Card’s benefits include great value on airfare redemptions, 24/7 concierge access, amazing benefits at about 3,000 participating high-end hotels and resorts worldwide, an unusually generous balance transfer promotion, very valuable travel and shopping benefits (including Lyft credits), decent value on non-airfare redemptions, and no foreign transaction fees.

Its major drawbacks include the high annual fee and authorized user fees, mediocre point-earning rates on all purchases, no sign-up bonus, no recurring loyalty bonus, and no reduced or complimentary airport lounge access.

Overall, Titanium is great for frequent travelers who spend heavily enough and take full enough advantage of the travel benefits to cover the considerable annual fee.

Editorial Note: The editorial content on this page is not provided by any bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and has not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities. Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the bank, credit card issuer, airline, or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Brian Martucci
Brian Martucci writes about credit cards, banking, insurance, travel, and more. When he's not investigating time- and money-saving strategies for Money Crashers readers, you can find him exploring his favorite trails or sampling a new cuisine. Reach him on Twitter @Brian_Martucci.

Comments Disclosure: The below responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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