Extra features in credit cards are good only if you make use of them, so compare your options to discover if a gold or a platinum credit cards work better for you.
A number of leading credit card providers in Australia give their customers the ability to choose between gold and platinum credit cards, and applying for these cards, in all likelihood, would come with different eligibility requirements. Some of the features on offer could well be the same, but know that getting a platinum card comes with its share of unique benefits that you might not find in its gold card counterpart.
Which card is best for you boils down to personal preferences, and don’t forget that you could end up paying a slightly higher annual fee if you choose to go the platinum way.
What features can you expect from a gold or platinum credit card?
Features of a gold credit card
A gold credit card is a definite step-up from a basic no-frills credit card, and some of the common features you can find across most gold cards include the following:
- Travel insurance cover. If you pay for travel tickets using a gold card, you can often take advantage of international travel insurance that you can make use of in different circumstances like loss of baggage, medical emergencies, and flight delays.
- Purchase covers. When you make purchases using a typical gold credit card, you can expect to make use of purchase security cover and extended warranty.
- Rewards. Many gold credit cards come linked to rewards programs, and when you use such a card you can look forward to earning rewards as per your spending.
Features of a platinum credit card
Platinum cards tend to offer a little extra when compared to gold cards, and if you’re considering getting one, here’s what you can expect:
- Insurance covers. A platinum credit card offers complimentary insurance covers that a gold card does, and could also offer additional covers like interstate flight inconvenience insurance and transit accident insurance.
- Concierge service. Platinum credit cards normally provide cardholders access to around-the-clock global concierge service that offers assistance in realms like travel, dining, entertainment, and business.
- Rewards. You can expect your platinum card to come linked to a rewards program, and a platinum card normally offers a better earn rate than a gold card, meaning you can earn rewards faster.
What are the pros and cons of gold and platinum credit cards?
- Higher credit limit. If you want more spending power and don’t want to remain restricted owing to a basic credit card’s nominal credit limit, applying for a gold card or a platinum card can get you your desired credit limit.
- Interest rate offers. You can find a number of gold and platinum credit cards that come with promotional interest rate offers, and while most such offers apply on balance transfers, you can find cards with introductory purchase rate offers as well.
- Extras. Complimentary insurance covers is something you can expect either of these options, and you can also look forward to earning rewards and a making use of a range of travel benefits.
- Fees. While you can find certain gold and platinum cards that don’t charge any annual fees, expect to pay an ongoing annual fee in most cases. Some cards charge a discounted fee or no fee for the first year only.
- Interest rate. The interest you pay on purchases when you use such cards would be higher when compared to a typical low rate card. This is primarily to make up for the features offered.
What should I consider when comparing my options?
When it comes to comparing your gold and platinum card options, the following aspects require your consideration:
- Annual fee. The ongoing annual fee you have to pay depends on the card you choose, and while you can find a card that does not charge any annual fee, the annual fee of certain such cards can cross the $200 mark.
- Rewards program. Find out what you can get when it comes to redeeming your reward points at the very onset. Know that certain rewards programs limit your options to choosing rewards from select merchandise, and some others give you considerably more freedom, even allowing you to transfer your points to a frequent flyer program. The earn rate, or how many points you earn per dollar spent, also requires your attention.
- Spending habits. Certain such credit cards suit particular spending habits. For example, if you’re a heavy spender or a frequent flyer, getting a rewards or frequent flyer platinum card makes sense.
- Interest rate. If you struggle to pay your account’s closing balance in full each month, you’ll need to pay close attention to the interest rate. Even small interest rate differences can have a significant impact on how much you end up paying as interest in the long run.
- International transaction fees. If you plan to use your card overseas or through international websites, find out how much you’ll have to pay in the form of international transaction fees, because this can vary from one card to the next.
Getting a gold or platinum credit card is more than status symbol, but it would only work in your favour if you make use of the extra features it comes with, or you’ll end up paying an annual fee that goes waste. As a result, take into account just what you require, and make sure you compare your options well before deciding.
Frequently asked questions
Do gold and platinum cards offer interest-free days?
Yes, you can expect your gold or platinum credit card to come with interest-free days on purchases. You’ll have to pay you account’s balance in full every month to access these days, and the maximum number of days on offer varies from card to card.
Can I use such credit cards for cash advances?
You can, in all likelihood, but remember that the cash advance rate is typically higher than the purchase rate, and you might have to pay a cash advance fee. Also, interest-free days don’t apply to cash advances.
What eligibility criteria would I have to meet to apply?
Minimum income requirements can vary from one card to the next, and you can expect platinum cards to have higher minimum income requirements when compared to gold cards. You should be over 18 years of age and a permanent Australian resident.