What the heck is Luxury Card?
Before I begin this review, we need to go over some basic facts. There are three new cards issued by Luxury Card, which supposedly is a “card platform”. That’s a fancy way of saying that the marketing department at Barclaycard is trying to create an upscale brand distinct from the rest of its operation. Why did they choose a generic name like “Luxury Card”? And why did they–already having one generic name for the operation–decide to give their three new cards generic names like Titanium, Black, and Gold? Were all the positive-but-meaningless names like “Optima” and “Ultima” and “Infiniti” already taken? Are they going to try to sue anybody else who issues a gold card?
Perhaps we’ll never know. But, that’s what they’re called. Now then: these are marketed as upscale cards. Quick: what’s the first high-end credit card that comes to your mind? You said Amex Platinum, right? Well, Barclaycard wants you to say “Luxury Gold”. Let’s take a look at these and see if Barclaycard can change your thinking.
Barclaycard Titanium Card Review
Ranked from least
expensive prestigious to most prestigious, the annual fees for the three cards are $195 for Titanium, $495 for Black, and $995 for Gold. $495 puts you in Amex Platinum / Citi Prestige territory, and $995 puts you in rare air indeed.
With the Titanium card, you get a concierge for your $195 fee, and that’s pretty much it. No lounge access, no fee reimbursement, nothing. The benefits are so anemic that I wonder if this card exists only to make the other ones better. And that’s not a slam on the card; savvy marketers will sometimes do this intentionally to get people to buy something else.
Barclaycard Black Card Review / Barclaycard Gold Card Review
So let’s move on to the Black and Gold cards, which are indeed more interesting. You can get a $100 ($200 for Gold) airline fee reimbursement once per calendar year (as per the T&Cs), so that’s $200/$400 if you time it right. There’s a $100 Global Entry reimbursement once every five years. There’s a Lounge Club membership, and as Doctor of Credit points out, it’s an unlimited version, so you and your guests get in for free.
The rewards earning is different for the different cards too. All three cards can redeem points for air travel at a 2% valuation, but when it comes to statement credits, Titanium points are worth 1%, Black is 1.5% and Gold is 2%. Gift cards are always a 1% value, which from a business perspective seems a little odd–gift cards should be cheaper, dollar for dollar, than statement credits.
And then there are the luxury gifts. I don’t know what to expect from this:
Our way of saying, “Thanks for being a loyal Cardmember.” Throughout your membership receive Luxury Gifts from the world’s most iconic and recognized brand names.
My guess is that the luxury gifts will turn out to be disappointing, although it wouldn’t surprise me if they actually had something cool the first year to generate some buzz.
All three cards are made of metal, and the Gold card has actual gold. So, that’s kind of neat. They even filed a patent on their gold card manufacturing process, because
Barclaycard Luxury Card will stop at nothing to bring you cutting-edge luxury.
Is this card worth getting?
The sign-up bonuses for the three cards are 10,000 / 25,000 / 50,000, which work out to statement credits of $100, $375, and $1,000, Only the last of those is enough to cover the annual fee, so apparently
Barclaycard Luxury Card wants you to go ahead and get that Gold card. After the fee reimbursement (plus the smelting value of the precious metals, of course), you’ll actually come out ahead for the first year. The Lounge Club access, if you use it, would be a bonus. And hey, you’d have another 2% card in your arsenal for a year. I’m thinking about getting this one, mostly because the curiosity about the “luxury gifts” is killing me.
One final note: the T&Cs say the following:
In the event of any abusive, gaming, or fraudulent activity related to the Program, as determined by us in our sole discretion, we reserve the right to make corresponding Point adjustments to your Account and/or to cancel your Account at any time.
They’re specifically calling out gaming the system, folks. Or possibly high-stakes poker. Either way, you’ve been warned.