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When picking a new credit card, many people focus on which bank issues the card or what types of rewards it earns. Another important thing to take into account is the card’s payment network – the two largest being Visa and Mastercard. Depending on which card you choose, there may be payment network benefits on top of what the issuer offers. The top tier of Mastercard cards offers impressive rewards. Find out how they work.
Mastercard World Elite Benefits
Mastercard offers three different tiers of credit cards, and World Elite Mastercards have the most benefits. Second-tier cards are labeled World Mastercard and have a few of the same benefits as World Elite cards, but are often issued by smaller banks. Standard Mastercards have entry-level benefits and protections, like ID theft protection, zero liability and global emergency service.
In addition to the perks that come with your credit card, World Elite Mastercard benefits provide extra savings, protections and other popular goodies to its cardholders.
Hotel Stay Guarantee
If there are any issues with a three-star or higher hotel booked through Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services, a Lifestyle Manager will work directly with the hotel on your behalf to resolve the issue or find you comparable accommodations. Handing off the problem makes it easier for you to enjoy your trip.
Lowest Hotel Rate Guarantee
When you book a room through Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services, you’re guaranteed to get the lowest price. If you find the same hotel room type for a lower price online (before taxes and fees), submit your claim before checking in and Mastercard will refund the difference.
Luxury Hotel and Resorts Perks
Hotel reservations booked through Mastercard Travel receive benefits comparable to those reserved for hotel loyalty program members. Spencer Howard, a travel expert at StraightToThePoints.co, says “the Mastercard Luxury Hotels & Resorts collection flies under the radar compared to hotel elite status. However, it’s a great way to add perks to a hotel stay, with benefits like complimentary breakfast, a room upgrade, an amenity of up to $100, early check-in and late checkout.”
Mastercard concierge services assist you at the airport to enhance your travel experience. Options include meeting you at the plane door, getting fast-tracked through immigration, assisting with baggage, and being chauffeured in a luxury vehicle upon arrival. These services are available at more than 700 airports worldwide when you book through Mastercard Travel.
Monthly Lyft Credits
Each time you take at least three Lyft rides per month and use your World Elite Mastercard to pay, you’ll receive a $5 credit toward your next ride.
DoorDash DashPass and Savings
New DoorDash members receive a free three-month trial of DashPass, which includes a $0 delivery fee, reduced service charges and exclusive savings. Plus, all members receive a $5 credit off their first order each month through September 2023.
Free Two-Day Shipping from ShopRunner
Cardholders receive a complimentary subscription to ShopRunner, which normally costs $79 per year. Membership unlocks free two-day shipping and free returns at dozens of top online retailers, like Under Armour, Saks OFF 5TH and Bloomingdale’s.
Whenever you spend at least $20 on Fandango or at home on Vudu, you’ll receive a $5 Fandango Reward towards a future movie ticket purchase or at-home rental.
ID Theft Protection
Mastercard ID Theft Protection defends your personal information and monitors your credit file for fraud and suspicious activity. If there are unauthorized items, you can take action immediately and get help from experts to repair problems quickly.
Gain access to exclusive in-person and digital experiences in culture, dining, sports and entertainment. These events are available in more than 45 destinations around the world. Find an experience near your home or where you’re traveling and book it through Priceless.com.
Golfers receive exclusive discounts and opportunities through Mastercard Golf. Book rounds at over 1,000 private golf courses, get discounts on golf-related services and book one-of-a-kind experiences with professional golfers.
A complimentary concierge service is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Services include booking travel, recommending restaurants and securing reservations, getting tickets to sold-out or exclusive events, and more.
Mastercard World Elite Drawbacks
The biggest drawback of these World Elite benefits is that many cardholders don’t know they exist. Credit card advertisements often concentrate on how much you can earn from your spending or as a welcome bonus. Travelers may also focus on their perks with the associated hotel or airline.
Howard cautions that “while the benefits can be useful, it is up to each card issuer to decide whether or not to provide those perks to cardholders.”
To receive many of the World Elite benefits, you must also register your card ahead of time or book your travel through Mastercard Travel & Lifestyle Services. For example, you must sign up for ShopRunner and validate that you have an eligible Mastercard before you get free two-day shipping on your purchases.
Top-Rated Mastercard World Elite Cards
If you’re interested in getting a World Elite Mastercard with these benefits, here are a few to consider. Not only do they offer the World Elite benefits, but each card has its own perks, earning power and other features that makes it appealing on its own.
- Citi Premier Card, Earn three points per dollar at restaurants, gas stations, supermarkets, airlines and hotels. Points can be redeemed for cash back, gift cards and travel, or they can be transferred to 16 different airlines and hotels.
- Barclays AAdvantage Aviator Red World Elite Mastercard, Earn two AAdvantage miles on American Airlines purchases and one mile on everything else. Receive a companion pass each year when you spend at least $20,000 on the card, and get the first checked bag free, preferred boarding and a 25% discount on inflight purchases when flying American Airlines.
- Chase Freedom Flex, Get up to 5% cash back on quarterly rotating categories and 5% cash back on travel purchased through Chase. Plus, get 3% cash back on dining and drugstore purchases with no limits. The card also includes a 0% intro APR on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months, and there is no annual fee.
- Bilt Rewards Mastercard, This is the only credit card that earns points on monthly rent payments without a transaction fee. The card also earns three points per dollar on dining and two points on travel. Points can be redeemed for rent, travel and more, or put toward the purchase of a home. Built even partners with popular airlines like American and United.
Mastercard World Elite Competitors
Mastercard isnt the only credit card payment network to give cardholders additional perks. Visa also has its own travel and lifestyle benefits that add extra value for cardholders.
Visa Signature perks are comparable to Mastercard World Elite benefits. Cardholders can access a concierge, dining experiences, golf benefits and more. A member favorite is the perks when visiting Sonoma wine country – discounts on wine tastings, bottle purchases and shipping your purchases.
Visa also has its own luxury hotel collection where members gain special benefits that are comparable to hotel elite status, such as complimentary upgrades, breakfast and late checkout. Some hotels also offer significant discounts when booking multiple nights.
Many households may have at least one Mastercard World Elite credit card and one Visa Signature card to take advantage of all available perks.
Should You Get a World Elite Mastercard?
Jennifer Yellen, a credit card expert at Deals We Like, doesn’t recommend a World Elite Mastercard “solely because it is a World Elite Mastercard,” she says. “While World Elite Mastercard benefits can be appealing, they generally aren’t valuable enough to apply just for those features.”
The best approach is to find a credit card that aligns with your lifestyle, spending habits and financial goals. And if your credit card includes World Elite Mastercard benefits, make sure you use them. Their value could help offset any annual fees you pay and enhance the card’s other perks.