As if the rewards credit cards aren’t confusing enough on their own, more than one kind of Mastercard exists, with different features. World Mastercard and World Elite Mastercard products may seem similar, but not all of their benefits overlap. In fact, you could think of the World Elite Mastercard as the more luxurious cousin of all other Mastercards available today.
There’s also a standard Mastercard product available, which has limited perks—mainly theft protection, credit monitoring, zero-liability for fraudulent purchases, and emergency service.
If you’d like to learn more, this guide breaks down the differences between the two most valuable Mastercards—the World Mastercard and the World Elite Mastercard.
World Mastercard: How It Works
World Mastercard credit cards do come with some travel benefits, as well as access to exclusive offers.
Cardholders who carry this product can enjoy:
- ShopRunner membership: Qualify for free two-day shipping with hundreds of online retailers.
- Travel concierge: Ask for help from a travel professional who can help you plan your trip 24/7.
- Lowest rate guarantee: If you find a prepaid hotel stay for a lower price, Mastercard will refund the difference.
- Cellphone protection: Automatically receive $1,000 annually in cellphone protection (with a maximum claim of $600 per claim). You have to pay your cellphone bill with your credit card to qualify, and there’s a limit of two claims per year.
- Global emergency services: Receive help with emergency travel planning, including medical and legal referrals, no matter where you are in the world.
- Accommodation savings: Get 10% off certain hotel and rental villas with partner Onefinestay.
- Hotel stay guarantee: If your 3-star or better hotel isn’t working out, this card provides assistance to help you get situated elsewhere. You also qualify for a lowest-rate hotel guarantee.
- Mastercard airport concierge: Receive personal airport help at arrival or departure at any time of the day or night, at over 700 airports worldwide.
- Luxury hotels and resorts: Qualify for an upgrade, complimentary breakfast, and other perks at participating hotels.
- Mastercard Priceless Cities: This program lets you book memorable VIP experiences, special promotions, and more in various cities around the globe.
- Priceless Golf: Check for exclusive golf offers and experiences with the PGA Tour.
- Advanced Identity Protection: Qualify for credit monitoring, ID-theft resolution services, and alerts that can help you notice fraudulent purchases made to your account.
Popular World Mastercard products include the JetBlue World Mastercard, SunTrust Prime Rewards, and the CitiBusiness AAdvantage Platinum Select Mastercard.
World Elite Mastercard: How It Works
World Elite Mastercard products offer a few more perks and benefits in comparison to other Mastercards, although there's potentially also a higher annual fee.
In addition to the benefits offered by the World Mastercard, you’ll receive the following benefits as a cardholder:
- Lyft credit: When you take 5 Lyft rides in a month, you’ll receive a $10 Lyft credit.
- Fandango credit: Get $5 off future movie tickets or at-home movies when you purchase two movie tickets.
- Boxed.com benefit: Get 5% back in rewards when you use your World Elite Mastercard to make bulk purchases of food and household supplies using Boxed.com.
- World Elite Concierge: Reach out for help from a personal assistant that can help you find dinner reservations or difficult-to-locate items 24 hours a day.
Other than these elements, coverage is much the same, other than the amount of cellphone coverage. This is elevated to $1,000 in coverage per year, with a maximum claim of $800 per claim.
Popular World Elite Mastercards include the Citi Prestige Card, Citi Premier Card, Free Spirit Travel More World Elite Mastercard, and the Lufthansa Miles & More World Elite Mastercard.
World Mastercard vs. World Elite Mastercard: Which Is Best?
If you’re interested in a World Mastercard or World Elite Mastercard, the best thing you can do is take the time to compare a few cards you like. For instance, look at each card's rewards programs, perks, and any free insurance products you might qualify for.
Once you find a card with the benefits you want and an annual fee you can live with, sign up and give it a try.
Disclosure: We are committed to recommending the best products for our readers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to products, but this never affects our reviews or recommendations.