Best World Elite Mastercard® Credit Cards

World Elite Mastercard® is a high-end payment program offered by Mastercard®. Most of the credit cards connected to World Elite Mastercard® are premium credit cards. In addition to perks and benefits of the cards offered by the issuer, World Elite Mastercard® offers to its cardholder a list of special and exclusive services.

Here we picked a few of the best credit cards participating in World Elite Mastercard® program. These cards are mostly travel credit cards, and we consider them on the top of the World Elite Mastercard® program.

Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®

Great for earning high amount of miles without the need to worry about category of your purchases. 50,000 signup bonus included.

  • High rewards rate on all purchases (2 points per $1),
  • 0% balance transfer for the first 12 months,
  • 0% foreign transaction fee.
  • $89 annual fee waived for the first year,
  • Minimum amount of miles to redeem for travel is $100 and $25 for other redemption options,
  • Excellent score required.

This card offers you a 50,000 signup bonus if you spend $3,000 on this card within first 3 months. For each $1 spend on any purchase you get 2 miles – unlike many other credit cards the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® grants you good amount of miles disregarding type of purchases. Miles you earned never expire and there is no limit on amount of miles you can obtain.

This card is good for travelers because 5% of points you redeem towards travel purchases come back to your account. Thus, your effective redemption rate (if miles redeemed for travel) increases from standard 1 cent per 1 point to 1.05 cents per 1 point. Moreover, not only airfare and hotel stays are considered as travel purchases – campgrounds, car rental, motels, cruises, and many other purchases also fall in “travel” category.

The nice feature of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® is that miles redemption for travel in fact works as travel expenses reimbursement. In other words, first you make a travel purchase, and then redeem particular amount of miles to cover this purchase in form of statement credit. Thus, with the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® you are not tied to particular airline or hotel loyalty program and can search for the best travel options available according to your budget.

However, there are some limitations. First, you can redeem miles for travel starting from $100 (i.e. 10,000 points), and travel purchase shouldn’t be older than 120 days. Second, this credit card offer quite low redemption rate on other options than travel – for merchandise, gift cards and other purchases you can redeem miles at the rate 0.5 cents per 1 mile only.

How much it costs

Annual fee: $89 waived for the first year.

APR on purchases: 16.74%, 20.74% or 23.74% variable APR based on your creditworthiness.

Foreign transaction fee: 0%.

Penalty fees: up to $37 for late or returned payments.

Overall, we would recommend the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard® to the travelers who cares about points redemption flexibility. To learn more about features of the Barclaycard Arrival Plus™ World Elite MasterCard®, read our full review.

Citi Prestige® Card

Great credit card for frequent travelers. Combines benefits and perks of World Elite Mastercard® with low APR, big signup bonus and good rewards for travel purchases. Unfortunately it has quite high annual fee, but in our opinion it’s totally worth it considering huge list of the Citi Prestige® Card benefits.

  • Good rewards rate (3 reward points for travel, 2 points for dining out and entertainment, 1 points on all other purchases),
  • 40,000 points signup bonus,
  • Low APR.
  • $450 annual fee.

You earn 40,000 ThankYou® points after you spend $4,000 on this card within first 3 months. For each $1 spend towards travel purchases you get 3 ThankYou® points, for entertainment and dining out – 2 ThankYou® points per $1, for all other purchases – 1 point per $1. Thus, first of all the Citi Prestige® Card will be valuable for frequent travelers or customers who dine out a lot.

The Citi Prestige® Card also is a good choice for people interested in special events and entertainment – together with good rewards rate for entertainment purchases you can enjoy advantages of Citi Private Pass® service that grants you access to VIP tickets to music, sports, theater and other events. Also, you can buy tickets that already are sold out at regular merchants.

What is even greater for frequent travelers is a juicy redemption rate. Regular redemption options – merchandise, gift cards, etc. – grant you 1 cent per 1 point. If you redeem points for travel, you get a 25% redemption rate increase. Thus, your effective redemption rate for travel will be 1.25 cents per 1 point. The Citi Prestige® Card also grant you $250 of Air Travel Credit annually. This is, in fact, partial reimbursement of your travel expenses, which you receive in a form of statement credit.

How much it costs

Annual fee: $450.

APR on purchases: variable 16.74% - 24.74% . Penalty APR 29.99% might be applied indefinitely if you make any purchase late or purchase is returned.

Foreign transaction fee: 0%.

Penalty fees: up to $35 for late or returned payments.

In general, the Citi Prestige® Card suits best to the customers who travel a lot and like to redeem their reward points for travel. Those who dine out a lot and spend a lot of time on entertainment activities also will value this card.

To learn more about features of the Citi Prestige® Card, read our full review.

Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®

Another great card from Citi connected to the World Elite Mastercard® payment program. Unlike the Citi Prestige® Card, this card is more valuable for its additional travel perks rather than for good rewards for purchases.

  • Great 50,000 miles signup bonus,
  • No foreign transaction fee,
  • Additional travel perks not included in standard World Elite Mastercard offer.
  • High annual fee.

In fact, the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® is very similar to the Citi Prestige® Card. You get a 50,000 miles bonus after you spend $5,000 on this card within first 3 months. Each year you spend $40,000 on this card in combined purchases, you receive additional 10,000 miles.

You earn 2 miles per each $1 spend on eligible purchases (mostly within American Airlines because this is a co-branded card), and 1 mile per each $1 spent on all other purchases.

In addition you get an Admirals Club® membership and an access to the Admirals Club® lounges. Also, on domestic routes operated by American Airlines for you and up to eight persons registered at the same reservation first checked bag is free.

How much it costs

Annual fee: $450.

APR: 16.74% - 24.74% APR on purchases. A 29.99% penalty APR might be applied if you make any payment late or payment is returned.

Foreign transaction fee: 0%.

Penalty fees: up to $35 for late or returned payments.

At the first sight the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® might seem less profitable than the Citi Prestige® Card. In fact, this card is just designed for another type of customers. We would recommend this card to the customers who prefer comfort over good rewards rate. Access to Admirals Club® lounge zones and membership in Admirals Club® program will cost you more than the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard® annual fee, but with this card you get it automatically. Also, rewards rate higher than 1 point for $1 spent is available only when you use American Airlines.

To learn more about features of the Citi® / AAdvantage® Executive World Elite™ Mastercard®, read our full review.