Once upon a time gold credit cards were the ultimate financial status symbol representing wealth and supremacy. These days gold cards have fallen to the bottom of the premium credit card chain, overtaken by black and diamond cards. However don’t be shy if you are a gold credit cardholder or are thinking about getting one, they still come with some 24-carat rewards!
Who are gold cards for?
Gold credit cards are great for people who are wanting to be rewarded for their shopping and are looking at a card that offers some additional benefits. A gold card is also a good choice for those who are wanting to make that first big step into the world of premium cards from basic credit cards.
If you’re considering getting your hands on one of these glittery credit cards consider your spending habits and lifestyle. To reap the rewards of a gold card you need to be a fairly big spender if not the annual fee will outweigh any benefits.
A gold credit card will also only suit someone who is going to pay off their statement in full and on time each month. If not the interest rates and late payment fee will far outweigh the rewards of the card.
- You must be over 18 years
- Be a permanent Australian resident or an Australian citizen
- Have an impressive credit rating
- You need to have an annual minimum salary of around $40,000 (check with the card’s provider)
Gold card reward options
Each time you use a gold credit card to make a purchase you can earn points towards a rewards program such as; frequent flyer or travel rewards, cashback rewards, general rewards, retail rewards and supermarket rewards. You can then redeem your points on the following:
- Flights (domestic and international)
- Flight upgrades and airline lounges
- Hotels and car hire
- Retail and supermarket rewards
- Gift vouchers
- Petrol vouchers
- Charity donations
Features of a gold credit card
There are some handy and useful features that come with your gold rewards credit card. Familiarise yourself with the features so you can take advantage of them when the opportunity arises.
- Free purchase insurance: This feature offers you free repair or replacement for any item purchased on your gold credit card for the first 90 days, whether it's accidentally broken or stolen.
- Free travel insurance: For international flights purchased with your gold credit card you receive free travel insurance for you, your spouse and or children.
- Interest free period: A lot of credit card providers offer 44-55 interest free days on purchases. While this sounds like a great perk it’s always best to get in the habit of paying off your balance in full and on time each month.
- Balance transfers: Low interest rates on an outstanding credit debt - typically for 5 to 12 months. (Note that gold credit cards often have high purchase rates of 20% or more, so you'll want to pay off the entire monthly balance once the transfer has expired.)
- Credit limits: Gold credit cards have higher credit limits compared to basic or standard cards. Some gold cards come with a maximum limit of $50,000 but you will have to meet a specific criteria to be eligible.
Gold card fees
The biggest catch you need to be aware of with gold credit cards is the annual fee. The annual fee is a lot higher compared to most standard credit cards so you need to do the maths to see if the rewards outweigh the fee. Some providers can charge up to $250 and as we know, a free toaster is definitely not worth this!
If you’re heading overseas or about to make a purchase online from an international store think twice before you swipe your gold credit card. Your provider will charge you a currency conversion fee of around 3% of the Australian dollar amount.
There really is no excuse these days for paying your credit card bill late. Pay after the due date and you’ll cop a late payment fee which can be as high as $30. Avoid this penalty by automating your payments through online banking or direct debit. Read Mozo’s guide on avoiding credit card fees.
If you’re out and about and find yourself in a situation where you need cold hard cash try not to use your gold credit card to withdraw money from the ATM. If you take out money with your gold card you’ll start paying interest immediately and your provider will slap you with a cash advance fee, this is usually around 3% on the amount you take out.
If you select a gold credit card that is directly linked to an airline's frequent flyer program you may have to pay an annual frequent flyer program fee on top of the card's annual fee. Learn more about the Qantas Frequent Flyer loyalty program or if you enjoy flying with Virgin Australia read about their Velocity Frequent Flyer program.