Many people love Mastercards thanks to their wide acceptance and diverse portfolio of cards to choose from, all with different earn rates that can suit anyone, depending on your spending.

Mastercards also pamper with 3 different tiers:

  • Standard,
  • World, and
  • World Elite.

But have you ever wondered what the real difference is between a World Mastercard and a World Elite Mastercard? Are you getting the most of your Mastercard?

Here’s an overview of the biggest differences between these two tiers:

Benefit World World Elite
Priceless Cities: Unique offers on unforgettable experiences in select cities around the world.
Concierge services
Travel services
Lowest hotel rate guarantee
Experiences and offers
Luxury hotel and resorts portfolio
More options available
Car, air, cruise, and vacation packages
More options available, plus private jet option
World Elite Concierge
Lyft credit: Take 5 rides in a month and get a $10 Lyft credit once per month
5% cash reward on Boxed Orders for use on future purchases

Keep in mind that the World Elite program offers every benefit of the World program, with extended opportunities in each category, and a few added perks.

Based on our research, the differences between the programs themselves are quite subtle.

World Mastercard benefits

The benefits that come with a World Mastercard are great, especially considering it’s technically the “lower-tier” option of the two.. The bigger benefits listed below are particularly appealing for travelers.

It should be noted that TEN Group is Mastercard’s designated travel agency for their services.

Lowest hotel stay guarantee

Mastercard is pretty unique in the fact that they offer you a guarantee on hotel stays booked through their complementary professional travel services. If you find the same exact prepaid hotel stay for less, they’ll refund the difference.

This is a pretty strong feature if you’re like us and find yourself searching through hotel booking websites for hours trying to find that perfect room.

Luxury hotel and resorts portfolio

World Mastercard holders have the opportunity for some great perks:

  • complimentary room upgrades,
  • early check-in and late check-out (upon availability),
  • a daily breakfast for you and a guest, and
  • preferred amenities at more than 2,000 properties around the world.

These offers are changing all the time, so it’s best to take a look every once and a while to see what you can take advantage of.

There’s no better surprise than checking in to a hotel and having them bump you up. With a World Mastercard, it can be an expectation.

For a full list of hotels and resorts, visit this page.

Car, air, cruise, and vacation packages

World members can receive select special savings and upgrades on all aspects of travel, whether you’re on the road, in the air, or at sea.

For example, you can receive a $50 USD savings per person on any Monograms Vacation, or a $100 USD hotel credit and welcome amenity package that includes a bottle of wine, fresh fruit basket, and box of Swiss chocolate when you book a Swiss luxury apartment.

For a full list of savings opportunities, visit this page.

Related: Best Mastercard Credit Cards

World Elite Mastercard benefits

World Elite members can enjoy all the above benefits, with the addition of quite a few more in each category. It’s definitely worth searching around the catalogue and seeing if you should take advantage of a higher tier.

Extended opportunities

After looking at Mastercard’s catalogue for travel savings above, there are a lot more opportunities to save when booking your vacation as a World Elite cardholder.

Since you’re able to specify which card you have when searching, we compared the two and saw there’s about a hundred more offers made available to World Elite Members than World.

Plus, if First Class just isn’t your cup of tea, you can enjoy a Vitesse Worldwide private jet at an up to $1,000 USD savings on a roundtrip private air charter booking, and a $500 USD credit towards ground transportation.

World Elite Concierge

Cardholders have access to a complimentary 24/7 concierge service that can be your ultimate personal assistant, even when you’re not travelling.

A lot of people don’t always take advantage of services like these, so having someone on hand (and for free) to take care of scoring tickets to a sold out concert, planning your vacation, or securing a date night at the hottest restaurants, can really come in handy.

$10 Lyft credit every month

If you take 5 qualifying rides in a calendar month, you’ll receive a $10 credit in your account, valid with these ride types:

  • Standard,
  • Shared/Shared Saver,
  • Lux/Lux Black,
  • Lyft XL, and
  • Lyft Black XL.

If you’re a frequent Lyft user, this up to $120 yearly savings can really be a nice addition to your wallet.

5% cash rewards on

Chances are if you have a big family, you’re a big essentials shopper. Toilet paper, snacks, cleaning supplies…and probably more toilet paper, can really rack up a bill at the end of the month.

With, you can receive 5% cash rewards to use on future Boxed purchases, making sure that you’re saving money while buying the items you need. Boxed also has reduced prices of up to 60%, so this benefit may be exactly what your family needs.

World vs. World Elite – which is better?

Well, it depends.

The World program travel discount options are already great on their own, but the additions when you move towards World Elite can be pretty attractive for the right traveller – and hey, who doesn’t want to travel via private jet?

It’s nice to be able to see what savings are available for both members and make your decisions that way.

Let’s take a look at what cards are available and if their earning rates work for you, so your decision can be made a little bit easier.

Best World and World Elite Mastercards

There are plenty of card options and card issuers to choose from if you decide to go with the World or World Elite program. We’ve chosen the best of both programs for each issuer.

Make sure to see which earn rates will maximize your rewards when it comes to your unique spending.


If you like getting cash back as your credit card rewards, Citi has some of the best cash back cards available.

Citi Premier Card

If you’re in the mood for a road trip, the has you covered. With this card, you’ll receive:

  • 1 ThankYou point per dollar spent,
  • 2x the ThankYou points per dollar spent on dining and entertainment, and
  • 3x the ThankYou points per dollar spent on travel and gas stations.

On top of nice earn rates, you’ll also get a 50,000 ThankYou point welcome bonus when you spend $4,000 in your first 3 months. The $95 annual fee is also waived for the first year, making it a good card to take out for a test drive.

You’re protected with 11 different kinds of insurance, have no FX fees, and can transfer your points to 14 different airline programs.

Citi/AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard

Also boasting no FX fees, a waived $99 annual fee for the first year, and 50,000 AAdvantage miles after spending $2,500 in the first three months, the is a strong card, as well.

It’ll earn you:

  • 1 AAdvantage mile per dollar spent and
  • 2 AAdvantage miles per dollar spent on American Airlines, restaurants, and gas.

Partnered with American Airlines, it’ll also earn you a $125 in American Airlines flight discounts when you spend $20,000 annually and renew your card.

When you add the World Elite benefits we’ve talked about, plus the nice insurance package, this card can definitely be attractive if you like to fly with American Airlines.


If you’re looking for a new travel credit card, Barclays could be the way to go.

JetBlue Mastercard

If you like to fly with JetBlue, a low cost carrier, this might be your card. No FX fees, no annual fee, and a 10,000 point welcome bonus when you spend $1,000 in your first 90 days – the is a great card.

In addition to World member benefits, this card earns you:

  • 3 points per dollar spent on JetBlue purchase,
  • 2 points per dollar spent on restaurants and grocery purchases, and
  • 1 point per dollar spent on all your everyday purchases.

On top of that, it offers a good insurance package and a promotional 0.0% purchase and balance transfer rates.

Related: Airline Credit Card Face Off – JetBlue Vs Southwest

JetBlue Plus Mastercard

The is a World Elite card, so you’ll receive all the benefits of an Elite member, a nice 40,000 bonus point sign up offer when you spend $1,000 in your first 3 months, and:

  • 1 point per dollar spent,
  • 2x the points on restaurant and grocery purchases, and
  • 6x the points per dollar spent on JetBlue purchases.

At a $99 annual fee, the card also offers no FX fees, and 5,000 annual bonus points on your card’s anniversary.

Bank of America

Bank of America offers a great selection of travel cards. Coupled with the World and World Elite benefits, not to mention strong bonus offers, these cards might just be for you.

Amtrak Guest Rewards World Mastercard

Taking the train can often be a nice change from flying, and the will certainly save you nicely if that’s the way you choose to travel.

No FX fees, a lower $79 annual fee, and a nice 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 on your card in the first 3 months – this card is great for helping you take the train for free.

It also offers you earn rates of:

  • 1 Amtrak Guest Rewards point for each dollar spent,
  • 2 Amtrak Guest Rewards points for each dollar spent on travel, and
  • 3 Amtrak Guest Rewards points per dollar spent on Amtrak purchases.

It doesn’t offer a great insurance package, so that’s something to keep in mind.

Virgin Atlantic World Elite Mastercard

At a $90 annual fee, the will earn you:

  • 1.5 Flying Club miles per dollar spent,
  • 3 miles per dollar spent on Virgin Atlantic purchases, and
  • even more additional miles when you add authorized users to your account.

Plus, you’ll earn up to 20,000 bonus miles after your first qualifying purchase and 15,000 additional bonus miles every anniversary after qualifying purchases.

If those bonuses weren’t enough, you’ll also get a second reward ticket for half the miles when you spend $25,000 annually on Virgin flights only.

And don’t worry if you don’t plan on flying Virgin Atlantic. You can use your miles on Delta, Hawaiian Airlines, plus an additional 9 airlines from around the world.

We want to hear from you

What’s your take on World vs.World Elite Mastercards?

Are the differences really worth it?

Let us know in the comments below.