Platinum and gold credit cards both offer premium benefits, but how can you determine which one is right for you?
American Express brought the idea of “credit card status” to the masses when they released their gold charge card in 1966. Today, there are low rate and no annual fee cards for low income earners and infrequent credit card users, gold and platinum credit cards for the affluent, and even black credit cards for high-rollers.
When it comes to platinum and gold options, both offer a range of benefits for cardholders. In general, platinum credit cards cost more than gold cards and have a wider range of value-adding features. But that doesn’t always mean platinum products are the better option, so it’s important to compare both platinum and gold cards to find a product that suits your needs.
American Express, Bankwest and Commonwealth Bank are the only major institutions in Australia that issue gold credit cards. Other issuers, including Suncorp Bank, BankVic and Heritage Bank also offer gold credit card products. Platinum credit cards are available from most major banking institutions.
These types of credit cards provide different features at different prices. Think about the features you need and the price you’re willing to pay for a gold or platinum credit card. Everyone is different, for some extra features like extended insurance are not worth the extra price of the account. Here, we put gold and platinum credit cards side-by-side so you can see which is better for you.
What’s the difference between gold and platinum?
Gold and Platinum cards are generally both more expensive, yet more rewarding than your standard card. So what’s the difference? We’ve analysed the features, fees and benefits offered by Bankwest, American Express and Commonwealth Bank to see how they compare across the market and to help you determine which type of card is right for you.
Bankwest Zero Gold and Platinum MasterCards
The Bankwest Zero range of credit cards are no annual fee products. The main differences between the gold and platinum Zero credit cards are the complimentary insurance cover lengths, limits and fee waivers.
|Bankwest Zero Gold MasterCard||Bankwest Zero Platinum MasterCard|
|Complimentary insurance cover length||Up to 3 months||Up to 6 months|
|Medical and hospital cover:||Unlimited||Unlimited|
|Loss and damage to property:||Up to $15,000||Up to $30,000|
|International transaction fee||2.95%||Waived|
Commonwealth Bank Gold and Platinum Awards Credit Cards
Commonwealth Bank is another major banking institution that provides both gold and platinum awards credit cards.
|Commonwealth Bank Gold Awards Credit Card||Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards Credit Card|
|Rewards Program||Commonwealth Bank Awards||Commonwealth Bank Awards|
|Earn rate||American Express: 2 Commonwealth Bank Awards Points|
MasterCard: 1 Commonwealth Bank Awards Point
|American Express: 2.5 Commonwealth Bank Awards Points|
MasterCard: 1 Commonwealth Bank Awards Point
|Intro bonus points||N/A||Commonwealth Bank Awards Points|
|Points cap||125,000 points every year||250,000 points every year.|
|Annual fee||$119 p.a.||$249|
|Complimentary insurance benefits|
|Accidental death||Up to $25,000 cardholder||Up to $50,000 per cardholder|
|Lost and damaged personal items||Subject to individual limits up to $10,000 per person||Subject to individual limits up to $5,000 per item|
|Clothing, shoes, jewellery and toiletries||Up to $3,000 per item||Up to $5,000 per item|
|Personal electrical equipment such as binoculars||Up to $3,000 per item||Up to $5,000 per item|
|Laptops and laptop equipment||Up to $3,000 per item||Up to $5,000 per item|
|Purchase security insurance||Up to $125,000 every 12 months||Up to $200,000 every 12 months|
|Extended warranty insurance||Up to $10,000 every 12 months||Up to $20,000 every 12 months|
|Interstate flight inconvenience insurance||N/A||Cover for flight and luggage delay.Cover for loss and damage to personal items.Cover for funeral expenses from accidental death.Cover for cancellation of your domestic travel plans.|
|Transit accident insurance||N/A||Benefit for loss of life (Up to $1,000,000) or injury (Up to $500,000).|
|Guaranteed pricing scheme insurance||N/A||Refund difference in price up to $500.|
The Commonwealth Bank Gold and Platinum Awards credit cards have the same purchase rate, cash advance rate and balance transfer rate. These cards also have the same number of interest free days on purchases, up to 55 days. For an extra $130, the Commonwealth Bank Platinum Awards provides a higher earn rate, annual points cap and more sign-up bonus points than the Gold Awards credit card. The Platinum Awards credit card also provides a greater range of insurance options and offers higher benefits for them.
American Express Gold and Platinum Business Credit Cards
Unlike the Commonwealth Bank and Bankwest, as well as platinum credit cards for personal use, American Express also offers gold and platinum credit cards for businesses.
|American Express Gold Business Credit Card||American Express Platinum Business Credit Card|
|Rewards Program||Ascent||Ascent Premium|
|Intro bonus points||10,000||100,000|
|Complimentary travel insurance|
|Monthly business expenses insurance||N/A||$3,000 every month (up to 6 months)|
|Purchase protection insurance||N/A||Up to $30,000|
|Refund protection insurance||N/A||Up to $5,000|
|Buyer’s advantage cover||N/A||Up to 1 year extended warranty|
|Rental vehicle excess cover||N/A||Up to $125,000|
|Priority Pass Membership||N/A||Yes|
Both the Amex gold and platinum business credit cards offer the same amount interest free days (up to 51 days) and both products allow up to 99 additional cardholders.The difference between the annual fees for these cards, however, is significant: $169 for the Gold Business card and $1,500 for the Platinum.
The American Express Platinum Business credit card also has a higher earn rate for rewards and provides a comprehensive insurance package and higher level of cover.Meanwhile, the Gold Business Credit Card offers uncapped points earning.
What are the features of gold and platinum credit cards?
- Annual fee. Platinum credit cards provide more value-adding features than gold credit cards and have a higher annual fee.
- Travel insurance. Both gold and platinum credit cards include complimentary international travel insurance. There may be differences in the length of cover and benefit limits. For example, Bankwest platinum account holders are eligible for insurance for overseas trips up to six months compared to three months for gold cardholders. Platinum cardholders may also be eligible for additional travel insurances such as transit accident insurance and flight inconvenience insurance.
- Purchase insurance. Complimentary purchase protection insurance is a benefit that protects items you buy using your credit card against loss, theft and damage. It is a standard feature for of both gold and platinum credit cards. Extended warranty insurance doubles the manufacturer’s warranty up to a year, and is also a feature of gold and platinum credit cards. The same applies to best price guarantee insurance, which refunds you the difference in price if you find the same item for cheaper elsewhere. The availability of these features varies between issuers and cards, but all of them can be included for gold and platinum accounts.
- Credit limits. Platinum credit cards have a higher minimum and maximum credit limit than gold credit cards. The minimum income application requirement is based on the minimum credit limit and is also higher for platinum cards.
- Rewards. If the account is linked to a rewards program, the platinum credit card will have a higher earn rate, higher points cap and get more signup bonus points than the gold card option.
- Concierge service. A platinum concierge can help with everything from recommendations to reservations. This is not a feature of gold credit cards.
- Platinum benefits. Visa and MasterCard provide cardholder benefits to premium account holders. For example Visa Signature cardholders are eligible for upgrades and VIP treatment at some of the world’s most luxurious hotels. Visa Platinum, Signature and Infinite credit cards are eligible for platinum perks. MasterCard make cardholder benefits available to standard and platinum account holders.
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.
Frequently asked questions
Which is better, platinum or gold credit cards?
There are benefits to both gold and platinum credit cards, which vary depending on your personal situation. We provide the pros and cons of platinum and gold credit card on this page. If you need help with your comparison, ask us a question using the contact form at the bottom of this page. Note that we can help with questions about products, but we can’t give personal advice.
How does the interest free days feature work?
Gold and platinum credit cards offer a money saving feature called interest free days. You can get up to a certain number of interest free days on credit card purchases when you pay your account in full by the statement due date each month. This lets you make interest free purchases between statement periods.
How are the eligibility requirements different for gold and platinum credit cards?
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 also must be over 18 years of age and meet Australian residency or citizenship requirements to apply for a credit card.
Why can’t I apply specifically for a gold or platinum credit card?
Some financial institutions, such as Bankwest, have a tiered credit card structure that assigned classic, gold or platinum status based on your individual circumstances. For example, if you want a no annual fee credit card, you would apply for the Bankwest Zero account. Based on your income and the financial information you provided when you applied for the account, Bankwest will assign you a credit limit. If you have a high credit limit, you automatically get the platinum product.
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