In my previous post, I talked about the benefits of the Visa Signature program. Visa's counterpart, MasterCard has an elite program, too, but unlike Visa Signature, it has two tiers: Master World and Master World Elite. If you have a very good to excellent credit score, the chances are you might already have a few Master World or World Elite cards in your pocket.
Master World benefits are a lot like Visa Signature program that offers perks such as extended warranty, purchase and price protection (card dependent), so I won't dwell on these. But World Elite MasterCard has some unique, excellent, and underrated benefits (on top of the Master World benefits you receive anyway); the benefits very few people actually use. You, however, are an intelligent consumer, and you will not miss out on these amazing benefits if you have at least one World Elite MasterCard in your wallet and if you read this, of course.
Most of the World Elite benefits are travel-related. We'll talk about them a little later, but let us begin with the benefits that have nothing to do with travel first.
"If someone steals your identity, Identity Theft Resolution Services provides resolution services to help you restore your identity. Full service restoration can help you reduce the personal time required to resolve the situation and can help eliminate out-of-pocket expenses."
No one likes to think about becoming a victim of identity theft, but if you do get hit, it's nice to know there is someone you can call.
SAVE ON FUEL WITH THE FUEL REWARDS NETWORK™ AND MASTERCARD®
Strictly speaking, it's not a World Elite benefit, but rather a MasterCard benefit, but it's pretty good. The FRN is free and it gives you a chance to save money on gas doing things you do anyway, like shopping. Besides, if you join before August 3, you'll get 50 cents off per gallon when you link your first MasterCard to your account.
So what are those World Elite travel benefits? There are quite a few, actually. Some are pretty lame, while others don’t really cater to regular folks (private jets, anyone?), but here are the benefits that really stand out.
2014 WORLD ELITE LUXURY HOTELS & RESORTS PORTFOLIO
Simply speaking, you are getting an access to the special travel agency Carlson Wagonlit Travel (similar to AMEX Virtuoso) that give you additional perks for the same money. What kind of perks? All kinds. Early check-in and late checkout, free upgrades and free breakfasts, special amenities and special treatment (whatever that might be). In other words, if you are about to book a hotel or resort see if Carlson Wagonlit can do better.
You get access to some very special food, shopping and sporting events. There are only four cities in the US that participate in the program, but there are many more around the world.
FREE UPGRADE TO BUSINESS CLASS WITH A PURCHASE OF QUALIFIED ECONOMY TICKET
This benefit is available for more airlines, such as Austrian, Cathay Pacific, Latam and more. Surely, a qualifying fare means you are paying more for a ticket, but it is still worth paying more in many cases. For example, if you are traveling in high season when the gap between the full fare and the cheapest ticket is not that huge anyway.
There are many more interesting World Elite benefits that you can find on their WEBSITE, and I encourage you to explore them fully. Remember, however, that many of the benefits are card-dependant, so call your credit card to find out what you are specifically entitled to.
This is a post by Andy Shuman, a credit and travel expert who blogs at www.Lazytravelers.net. He writes and blogs during and between trips that he enjoys free of charge mostly due to creative use of credit card offers. He believes that credit cards are much more than just a convenient way to pay for a purchase, and that the benefits of responsible credit habits can go far beyond getting the best rates for loans and mortgages.
Andy is the author of bestselling books from Lazy Traveler Handbook Series available on Amazon. When he's not traveling, he lives with his beautiful wife and daughter in Brooklyn, NY.
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