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Mastercard® Titanium Card™ Review

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 per $1 spent on everything; 2% return on airfare redemptions
  • Loyalty Status: Free subscription to members-only LUXURY MAGAZINE and 24/7 concierge service
  • Intro APR: 0% APR on balance transfers for 15 months from account opening
  • Regular APR: 17.24% variable
  • Fees: No foreign transaction fees; balance transfers 3% of transferred amount ($5 minimum); cash advance 5% of advanced amount ($10 minimum)
  • 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 a 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, and double the value for cash back, gift card, and merchandise redemptions. There’s no sign-up bonus or recurring loyalty bonus, but Titanium does offer a 15-month 0% APR promotion on balance transfers.

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, and airport meet-and-greet service that softens the normally hectic airport experience with a white-glove touch.

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 per $1 spent on everything, with no limits or restrictions. Once earned, points do not expire as long as the account remains open and in good standing.

Redeeming Points

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 (statement credit only), starting at a minimum of 100 points. Cash back redemptions always value points at $0.01 apiece. 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.

Airport Meet and Greet (Meet & Assist)

Titanium Card users can retain a “professional representative” to meet them at the airport and escort them through ticketing, security, and terminals in expedited fashion. This is a great way to avoid lines and other snags at unfamiliar airports.

Global Luggage Delivery

Cardholders can send their extra bags to virtually any international destination ahead of their trip, to “avoid the hassle of carrying, checking, and claiming bags.” On-time delivery is guaranteed, no matter where you’re headed.

Chauffeured Transportation

Titanium Card membership comes with access to professional chauffeurs in most domestic and international destinations. You can arrange pick-up in advance at your home, hotel, the airport, or other locations.

Car Rental Deals and Discounts

Titanium Card users enjoy exclusive deals and discounts on cars rented with major rental car companies. For instance, Hertz offers complimentary Hertz Gold Plus Rewards membership, 10% discounts on most short rentals, and 10% discounts plus free 1-class upgrades (for instance, midsize to full-size) on longer rentals.

24/7 Concierge Service

Titanium Card users have access to a dedicated crew of concierge staffers who specifically serve Luxury Card members. They can help with tickets to sold-out performances, reservations at exclusive restaurants, complex travel booking arrangements, recommendations in unfamiliar cities, 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.

Magazine Subscription

Titanium Card users enjoy complimentary subscriptions to LUXURY MAGAZINE, a quarterly publication that delivers “informed content tailored to our affluent audience” and covering “a broad range of categories – from travel and fashion to home design, real estate, vehicles, and technology.”

Other Luxe Travel Benefits

This card comes with a nice lineup of other travel benefits, including exclusive privileges on more than 20 cruise lines and access to chartered travel options such as private jets and yachts. Additional fees and expenses may apply.

Mastercard-Backed Travel Benefits

The Titanium Card has a few more down-to-earth benefits backed by Mastercard, too. Many are commonly included in standard travel insurance policies, but you don’t have to pay extra for them unless explicitly indicated. The highlights:

  • Baggage delay insurance, which provides reimbursement (up to specified limits) for checked baggage delayed significantly on common carrier travel
  • Price protection, which reimburses the difference should you find a lower price on an identical covered item within 120 days of purchase
  • Purchase assurance, which reimburses up to the full purchase price in the event a covered item is lost or damaged within 90 days of purchase
  • Complimentary rental car insurance (loss and damage waiver) when you pay the full cost of the rental on your card
  • Extended warranties on items with existing manufacturers’ warranties of 24 months or less

Introductory APR

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

Regular APR

From account opening, this card’s purchase APR is 17.24%. Once the balance transfer promotion period ends, the balance transfer APR is 17.24% also. The cash advance APR is 26.74% from account opening, and there is no penalty APR.

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. Cash advances cost the greater of $10 or 5%, while balance transfers cost the greater of $5 or 3% of the transferred amount. Late and returned payments both cost up to $37.

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 Benefits Have Tremendous Potential Value. Titanium’s VIP travel benefits are its not-so-secret weapon. For instance, if you frequently travel with lots of checked bags or rent cars when you travel, the global baggage delivery and rental car discount benefits can go a long way toward offsetting Titanium’s annual fee. When fully utilized, they more than pay for the recurring charge.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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 $0.02-per-point airfare redemption rate, as it takes longer to accrue points. By contrast, Citi ThankYou Premier earns 3 points per $1 spent on travel 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. The bonus offered when the card first debuted, in early 2016, has long since been discontinued. 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™

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, an unusually generous balance transfer promotion, very valuable travel benefits, 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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