The PlayStation card from Capital One wins for crowd appeal
In this contest, the prize goes to the PlayStation card from Capital One.
Both the PlayStation card and the Mastercard Gold are rewards credit cards for people with specific interests.
The PlayStation card has the most crowd appeal by a mile.
It not only appeals to video game and tech enthusiasts, it's also affordable for the average credit card customer.
Its $0 annual fee blows away the $995 annual fee charged by the Mastercard Gold.
Why You Should Consider These Rewards Cards
One card is for serious jet-setters, the other for electronics enthusiasts
The PlayStation card from Capital One and the Mastercard Gold card are rewards credit cards appealing to two very niche audiences.
The PlayStation card rewards people who spend on Sony electronics, including video games downloaded via PlayStation's online platform.
The Mastercard Gold is a travel rewards credit card for people who travel frequently and demand the best when they are on the move.
You need to ask yourself which one suits your lifestyle best.
It will probably be pretty obvious.
Are you more likely to find yourself traveling the world, or hanging out in your basement playing games?
You're the ideal customer for the PlayStation card if you're genuinely into electronics and gaming
Tons of people would love a card that offers reward points and benefits for electronics and gaming purchases.
Biggest global entertainment industry. Last year, the worldwide gaming industry's total revenue was more than that of the movie and music industries—combined.
If you love playing video games or shopping for the latest in tech merch, the PlayStation card will reward you for your hobby.
The PlayStation card is for all Sony products. The PlayStation card doesn't just reward you for making video game purchases.
It also offers rewards for any Sony electronics products purchased with the card through Sony's online retail channels.
If you prefer a jet-setting lifestyle, you're the perfect customer for the Mastercard Gold
The Mastercard Gold has the literal Midas touch. Remember King Midas whose touch could turn anything into gold?
His story may come to mind as you gaze upon the gold-plated stainless-steel design of the Mastercard Gold card.
As a king with an unlimited supply of gold, Midas could easily afford the unbelievably high annual fee for this elite Mastercard.
Some people live for gaming, some can't get enough of fashion, and some people love travel and the high life.
If you're in the latter category, the Gold card is for you.
|PlayStation card from Capital One||Mastercard Gold|
|How high of a credit score do you need?|
|How big of a sign-up bonus do you get?|
$50 PlayStation Store Credit
50% Discount on PlayStation Plus 1 yr. membership
|How much do you need to spend to get the bonus?|
Use the card for a purchase in first 90 days after account opening
Spend $3,000 in year one
|How many points do you get for every dollar?|
5 reward points for purchases through PlayStation Store
5 reward points for Sony purchases
3 reward points for mobile phone payments
1 reward point for everything else
1 point for all purchases
5 reward points per $1 spent is only earned at authorized PlayStation and Sony retailers
1 point can be redeemed for 2 points on travel booked through Mastercard Gold's travel rewards program
1 point can be redeemed for 2 points as cash back rewards
The Winner's Strengths
The PlayStation card lives in the real world
Sorry Mastercard Gold, but most of us aren't spending our time flying around the world and racking up huge credit card bills.
Sony products are in every home. If you looked around your house right now, it's highly likely you'll find a Sony electronics product.
Even if you don't use a PlayStation you can still earn and redeem points for purchasing day-to-day devices like Sony televisions, stereos, and cameras if you buy them using your PlayStation card.
People love how the card lets you rack up big rewards points for tech purchases
If you're dropping serious coin on purchases through the PlayStation Store you can quickly earn a pile of reward points.
You earn five points for every dollar spent at the PlayStation Store and on Sony electronics and services through authorized retailers.
Discounts are almost immediate. 100 points equal $1 to spend on more technology.
If you bought $200 worth of products offering five points per $1 spent, you'd earn 1,000 points.
That translates into $10 off on your next purchase.
Get rewarded for paying your phone bill. Paying your mobile phone bill also earns extra reward points.
For every $1 you spend on phone bills with the PlayStation card gets you three points.
To top it all off, you also get one point per dollar on all other purchases.
The Mastercard Gold rewards are doubled for airfare and cash back
One-for-one earnings for points. With the Mastercard Gold, you earn one point for every dollar spent, with no limits.
Bump up the point value. When you redeem your points for travel through Mastercard Gold's travel rewards program they will be worth twice as much.
You also get the double rate when you redeem points for cash rewards as a cash back statement credit.
This means you can use the card both as a cash rewards credit card, and as a travel rewards credit card—it's up to you, and you'll redeem at 2x the rate either way.
Bonuses and Benefits
The PlayStation card has benefits for digital culture
The Sony PlayStation isn't just a video game console—it's become a veritable hub for almost all forms of entertainment.
PlayStation Vue lets you stream TV. You get a 10% statement credit when you use the card for on-demand television streaming through the PlayStation Vue service.
Get 10% discounts on music and game streaming too. The PlayStation Music service is linked to Spotify.
PlayStation Now lets you stream video games and play along with people all over the world.
Both services also qualify for a 10% statement credit if you pay with the PlayStation card.
50% off PlayStation Plus membership in year one. A membership with PlayStation Plus gives you access to an online gaming community, free games, and exclusive deals and discounts.
A 12-month membership is usually $69.99 a year.
If you spend $3,000 on the card within the first year of account opening, you get 50% of that membership fee returned as a bonus statement credit.
Another awesome sign-up bonus. When you use your card to purchase anything within the first 90 days after the account opening, you automatically get a $50 PlayStation Store Code.
The Mastercard Gold's luxury benefits somehow justifies the high annual fee
$200 for air travel costs. Mastercard Gold cardmembers get a $200 annual airline credit toward flight-related purchases.
That's not a one-time bonus or a sign-up bonus you get during the first year after the account opening—you get it every year.
It can be used to buy airline tickets, pay for baggage handling fees, flight upgrades and more.
Travel benefits are key. Avid travelers will appreciate Mastercard Gold's offer of VIP lounge access, insurance for delayed baggage, and a $100 credit to register for TSA pre-checking.
No foreign transaction fees is also a big perk for people spending a lot of time out of the country.
Travel in class with worldwide partners and services. Chauffeur services, priority access to rental cars, cruises and charters, and luggage pre-delivery are just some of perks offered to Mastercard Gold members.
You get your own magazine. Mastercard Gold cardholders feel extra-special when they receive their next copy of Luxury Magazine.
It's a limited edition quarterly publication with articles about travel, fashion, real estate and other high-end topics.
Costs and Fees
The PlayStation card is for those who spend their money on technology rather than fees
Most rewards credit cards (like the Mastercard Gold) charge an annual fee for the privilege of earning reward points or cash back.
$0 annual fee for the PlayStation card. Requiring no annual fee means the PlayStation card will allow you to use every reward point you earn for buying the latest Sony tech toys.
The lack of an annual fee of one, compared to the $995 annual fee of the other, is one of the most crucial deciding factors in the contest between these two cards.
Travel enough to justify the huge annual fee?
Mastercard Gold comes with one of the highest annual fees we've ever seen.
Just shy of $1K/year. At an eye-popping $995, the annual fee for the Mastercard Gold is going to be a huge deal-breaker for most people.
If you add an additional user at $295 a year, the total amount of annual fees you'll pay over the course of five years will be more than $6,000.
That's $6,000 spent on annual fees alone!
The right card for a high-end group. The Mastercard Gold is a flashy status-symbol.
It's an elite Mastercard.
If you're used to living in luxury and you don't mind paying nearly a grand a year on annual fees, you might find yourself tempted to sign up for the Mastercard Gold.
The $995 annual fee will be the biggest issue for most people. For perspective, you have to spend $50,000 in one year on the Mastercard Gold, and redeem the reward points for cash back at 2%, just to recoup the gigantic annual fee.
The Mastercard Gold has a reasonable APR and a good balance transfer offer
Mastercard Gold has some good features when it comes to the card's interest rates.
One semi-decent rate for everyone. Anyone who gets approved for the card gets the same 16.24% APR rate (note: this rate is variable).
Sounds OK, right?
Well, the average APR for cards requiring an "Excellent" credit score is 13.89%, so it's not a standout rate, really.
No intro APR offer for purchases. Unfortunately, the Mastercard Gold doesn't offer an introductory period where there is no interest charged for purchases.
Super-long intro APR period for balance transfers.If you want to transfer a balance to the Mastercard Gold card from another credit card, you won't pay interest for the first 15 billing cycles.
If you can overlook the annual fee, this makes it a pretty good pick for a balance transfer credit card.
The PlayStation card has an intro purchase APR offer and a competitive regular APR
The clock's ticking on the intro APR offer. The PlayStation card currently offers a 0% APR period, but it only lasts until July 2018.
Pretty decent APR on purchases. The APR charged for the PlayStation card is between 15.24% (for best credit scores) and 24.99% (variable).
The average APR comes out at a little over 20%.
Not an ideal balance transfer card. Unlike the Mastercard Gold, the PlayStation card doesn't offer a 0% APR period as an incentive to transfer a balance from another credit card.
Expect to get hit by fees the moment you use it to transfer balances from other cards.
Mastercard Gold takes the win for customer service
Customer service was one category where we thought the Mastercard Gold was clearly better than the PlayStation card.
With a $995 annual fee for this "Luxury" credit card, there's a certain expectation for top-notch quality service.
Concierge is there to meet your every need. According to the Mastercard Gold website, the Luxury card concierge offers "a complete and dedicated lifestyle management service tailored to your individual requirements."
Travel specialists at your service 24/7. The concierge can help book dream travel itineraries or help you find tickets to some of the best shows and spectacles around the world.
You basically have on-demand access to a whole team of professionals whose sole job is to arrange travel and leisure-related requests for members, no matter where they are in the world.
The PlayStation card lacks in customer service
The PlayStation Network has a forum for customers to provide feedback. But its less-than-stellar customer service performance offers a stark contrast to the Mastercard Gold's.
Haters really hate. PlayStation card clients don't have a lot of good things to say about the customer service they receive.
According to one customer, "People are here every day complaining that they are having trouble with their credit cards and customer support is absolutely no help."
Problems faced by customers include difficulties in resolving issues as simple as linking cards to PlayStation accounts for rewards.
Key Digital Services
The PlayStation card delivers on cool digital services
When your credit card is from a cutting-edge video game and technology company, you'll be expecting impressive digital services.
Access an entire digital technology marketplace. Having the card means you can earn huge reward points for buying via Sony and PlayStation's virtual stores.
Do all your gift shopping from your living room. Once you get approved online, you can start shopping and earning rewards points that same day!
You don't need to go to a store anymore to buy video games. True gamer geeks can rejoice—you no longer need to leave your house to buy the latest and greatest PlayStation games!
Just download it and pay with the card to earn 5x reward points.
The Mastercard Gold offers comforting digital security features
If you plan to shop online using your Mastercard Gold (which, of course, you do), you can enroll in a program called SecureCode.
Just give them the code. Once you've registered, you can use the code to make secure online purchases at more than one million merchants in 122 countries.
None of the merchants will know your credit card information when it has been cloaked by SecureCode.
- How do I get started with these two credit cards?
For the PlayStation card, you need to visit the PlayStation card portal at sonyrewards.com where you will be directed to an online application.
According to customer reviews, you can get approved the same day with the online application and start shopping and earning rewards points right away.
The online application for the Mastercard Gold card lets you add a balance transfer as part of the application process.
- Are there foreign transaction fees charged with either of these cards?
As a travel credit card, it makes sense the Mastercard Gold doesn't charge foreign transaction fees.
But the PlayStation card also has no foreign transaction fees.
- Do either of these cards offer special access to events or services?
The Mastercard Gold offers cardholders access to exclusive events.
It also offers access to a network of private golf courses known as Tournament Players Clubs.
The PlayStation card offers members the chance to attend gaming industry events.
- What are the interest rates and fees for cash advances with these two cards?
The PlayStation card charges a 3% cash advance fee (minimum $10) and collects interest on cash advances at a rate of 24.24% (variable).
The Mastercard Gold charges a 5% cash advance fee (minimum $10) and interest charged on cash advances is at 26.49%.
- Do I need a high credit score to get approved for either of these cards?
Yes, you'll be needing pretty decent credit scores for both.
The Mastercard Gold is a credit card for people with "Excellent" credit scores with the credit bureaus (750 or higher).
While a person with a credit score of 700 ("Good") or higher can get approved for the PlayStation card.
- Is either of these cards a good pick for balance transfers?
The Mastercard Gold has an intro offer with 0% APR charged on balance transfers for 15 billing cycles.
With a reasonable 16.24% APR kicking in after the intro period, it makes it a good option for shifting debt.
Just be ready for a 3% balance transfer fee.
If you transferred $5,000, it would cost $150 in fees.
The PlayStation card doesn't charge a balance transfer fee, but it doesn't offer a balance transfer intro period with 0% APR, either.
So, only if your credit card charges higher interest than your PlayStation card's APR, would it make sense to transfer the balance.
- What bank is the Mastercard Gold associated with?
The Mastercard Gold is a Mastercard credit card administered by the card issuer Barclays Bank Delaware (aka Barclaycard).
It's an elite Mastercard along with the Mastercard Platinum card, Black card, and Titanium card.
- What kind of credit card is the PlayStation card from Capital One?
The PlayStation card from Capital One is a Visa credit card.
It's one of the co-branded cards offered by Visa in partnership with the card issuer Capital One, which offers a variety of other credit cards.
- How do I cancel these cards?
The best way to cancel the Mastercard Gold credit card is to call the customer service line at 1-844-LUX-CARD.
The card's Terms and Conditions don't indicate the possibility of refunding the annual fee or if it's charged monthly or annually.
If the annual fee is already paid and non-refundable you might as well enjoy some airport perks until the year is up.
For the PlayStation card from Capital One, you should call 1-800-CAPITAL and speak to a rep.
They will process your request for cancellation, and advise you to stop any automatic monthly payments set up through the card.
The PlayStation card is the most useful to the most people
When it comes down to it, these are two very different rewards credit cards for two very different niches.
Gamers tend to stay at home—they spend their money on games and technology.
With the PlayStation card from Capital One, people who love games and gadgets get to earn reward points for their purchases.
The Mastercard Gold is a rewards credit card for people who travel all the time.
If you're more likely to be found traveling than staying at home, this could be the rewards card for you.
Ultimately, even when compared to other luxury travel rewards credit cards, the $995 annual fee is prohibitive and difficult to justify.
Considering the PlayStation card has a $0 annual fee, we'd say it is a better choice for the average credit card consumer.
Do you have any experience with rewards credit cards like the PlayStation card from Capital One or the Mastercard Gold?
Any personal anecdote or feedback (good or bad) you'd like to share with us?
Let us know in the comments below.