When I talk about points, I often stress the importance of building up a diversified portfolio of points and miles to give you the most flexibility both for earning lucrative bonuses when they come along as well as increasing your redemption opportunities when you want to book award travel. Credit cards are a huge part of this since they are the single most lucrative source of points and miles, but they can also provide valuable perks and benefits depending on the network such as MasterCard, Visa and American Express. I usually like having a MasterCard and Visa on me, because they are accepted in more places than American Express- especially abroad.
World MasterCards are the premium cards in the MasterCard portfolio and they come with an array of benefits and perks specifically geared toward travelers. Here are 10 of the most valuable World MasterCard benefits.
1. World Experiences and Offers: Sort of like American Express Fine Hotels & Resorts or Visa Signature Hotels, World MasterCard offers its World Experiences and Offers, which is a partnership with Fairmont, Mandarin Oriental and Relais & Chateaux properties. When you use the card to pay for your stay, you are automatically rewarded with a variety of built-in benefits. At Fairmont hotels, you receive a room upgrade to best available and late checkout (2pm) for free – though blackout dates do apply. At Mandarin Oriental properties, you receive complimentary breakfast, priority check-in and VIP status, which may include some kind of in-room amenity. At Relais & Châteaux hotels worldwide, you’ll receive the fourth night free or a bottle of champagne after a three-night stay. Though there is some overlap among World Experiences, Amex FHR and Visa Signature Hotels, World Experiences opens up several Fairmont properties and the whole family of Relais & Chateaux properties, which are spread across the globe in some of the most exclusive destinations, so carrying a World MasterCard opens up literally hundreds of new hotel opportunities not covered by the other two networks.
2. Card-Specific Bonus Spending Categories: Because World MasterCards are among the most premium card offerings from issuers, many of them often come with some great card-specific perks. For example the Barclaycard Arrival earns 2X points per $1 on all purchases and a 10% mileage refund on travel redemptions – which include things you can’t usually use your points or miles for such as taxes and fees on award tickets, passenger railways and even purchases from online travel agencies like Orbitz. It also waives foreign transaction fees, making it a good choice to carry abroad. The Citi Platinum Select AAdvantage World MasterCard offers its own list of great card-specific benefits including a 10% mileage refund on American Airlines awards up to 10,000 miles a year, and reduced mileage awards on certain domestic routes.
3. Priceless Cities: This is a perks program that with exclusive deals and offers for shopping, dining out, sporting events and more in cities all over the world including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, London, Paris, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro, Singapore, Lima, Moscow, Madrid, Istanbul and more. In New York City, for example, World MasterCard cardholders can take advantage of the new Citi Bike Program and get a 24-hour free pass to explore the city by bicycle. There are also shopping perks like free delivery from FAO Schwartz and a $50 restaurant gift card for the Shops at Columbus Circle.
4. MasterCard Airport Concierge: World MasterCard holders have access to 15% discounted prices on MasterCard Airport Concierge service, which makes the hectic airport experience that much smoother and less chaotic. World MasterCard Concierges will meet you at the plane door and get you fast-tracked through immigration, assist with baggage on departure, or send a chauffeured luxury vehicle upon arrival – it’s a great perk if you need to get in and out of the airport in a hurry – whether it’s for a business meeting or because you want to start the vacation that much faster. It is currently available at 63 airports in the US as well as hundreds worldwide.
5. Master Rental Insurance: MasterCard’s car rental insurance is among the best out there, and will pay for physical damage and theft to most rental vehicles with an MSRP of $50,000 or less when the World MasterCard is used to initiate and pay for the entire rental transaction. There are some countries that are currently excluded, including Israel, Ireland and Jamaica, but that list might change in the future to include more destinations.
6. Mastertrip: This is trip protection which includes travel assistance, replacement of lost tickets, documents and luggage. It works when you’re traveling 50 miles or more from home, and can transfer up to $5,000 to you to cover travel emergencies. The service also helps to locate luggage (though it is not baggage insurance). They also provide assistance to people in emergencies including referrals for doctors or lawyers, find ATM’s and more.
7. Lost and Delayed Baggage Insurance: World MasterCards reimburse travelers up to $100 per day for up to 3 days (maximum of $300) for amenities if your bags are delayed more than 4 hours as long as you pay for the cost of your trip with the card.
8. Worldwide Travel Accident Insurance: World MasterCard’s travel accident insurance provides automatic coverage up to $1 million for accidents while traveling. World MasterCard cardholders and eligible dependents are insured while traveling as passengers on any licensed common carrier—including air, rail, marine, and bus carriers—if their tickets have been purchased with the World MasterCard.
9. Master Roadassist: This service provides 24-hour emergency roadside assistance through AAA when you’re 100 miles or more from home. Though you have to pay, it’s better than calling a tow company because fees are pre-negotiated to be fair.
10. Purchase Protections: World MasterCard’s warranty extension coverage doubles any warranty beyond the manufacturer’s up to a total of 12 months. You also get purchase protection, which includes coverage of lost or damaged items within 90 days of purchase up to $1,000 per purchase and $25,000 annually per card annually. They provide price protection, which means that if you buy something with your World Mastercard and the same item is available for a lower price within 60 days, you get the difference between the new price and the price you paid, up to $250. You can file four claims per year.
See this page for more information on World MasterCard benefits and to compare cards.
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