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Should I Get 'Gold' Or 'Platinum'?

Aug 18, 2007
Although some of the prestige of gold and platinum cards has disappeared over the last ten years or so, many people still feel that they have not 'arrived' until they get one of these cards. If you are looking into getting a gold or platinum card, then you should know about the benefits and drawbacks before you sign up for anything. Here are some tips to help you decide whether or not to get a gold or platinum card.

Why get gold or platinum?

Gold and platinum cards used to be something of a major status symbol, and those without one were often seen as less successful. Although this isn't so much the case anymore, gold and platinum cards do tend to carry higher credit limits and more features. If you require a high credit limit, and want to take advantage of features such as extra airport hospitality, then a gold or platinum card is for you.

How much do I need to earn?

Although gold and platinum cards are no longer reserved for the very rich, you usually need to be earning at least 20,000 a year to be considered for one. Generally, an income level higher than this is required to get a good deal and all the possible features. If you are on a good wage and have a sound credit history, then you can apply for one of these cards.

What are the costs?

Obviously, these gold or platinum cards have more features, and so you should expect to pay more for the services. They all generally charge an annual fee, as well as having higher interest rates. Before getting such a card you should weigh up the benefits of the extra features against these higher costs.

Beware of the scams

If you are going to get a gold or platinum card, you should be aware of the scams and cons that circulate regarding such cards. There are a number of cards advertised as gold or platinum that are not what they appear to be. Often you will have to pay a number of fees to get hold of the card, or call an expensive telephone number. Also, when you get the card you might find out you can only buy products from certain catalogues set by the lender. Many people get caught by these scams because of the promise that they can get better cards in the future. If you are in doubt, then don't sign anything and look elsewhere.

Are they worth it?

If you have a high income and can afford or need a high credit limit, or if you travel a lot, then a gold or platinum card might be a good choice for you. However, most average people with good credit histories will notice little difference between one of these cards and their regular cards. If you don't require the extra benefits, then go for a normal card with a lower credit limit and lower fees.
About the Author
Peter Kenny has been writing financial articles for the last 10 years, please visit Money Saving Advice and Compare Credit Cards
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