Much like Spinal Tap, there was very little fanfare when the Gold Luxury Card came out here in the USA, but lots of buzz was generated overseas. Looks like Americans didn’t find value in paying $1,000 for a flashy gold plated card. Luckily, there is a population that loves expensive shiny shit that yells out status and Gold Luxury Card has found this market in Japan!
Looks like there is quite a response around the first World Elite MasterCard to roll out in Japan. The press release can be found here, and the blog here and here. Of course they are charging $2,000 a year for the damn thing, but they added a lot of new benefits not found in the USA version:
- Hawaiian Airlines Pualani Platinum Membership
- 3x Points per 100 yen spent
- Points transfer to ANA and JAL
- Airport limousine reimbursement service
- Local car pick up and drop off service in Tokyo
- Hawaiian Airport Lounge Access
- Luxury Lounge in NYC that opened in November
I hope I can get in on that lounge action, whatever it may be. I sent a message to Barclays asking for a match to the Japanese version. Or at least to get some details of the lounge in NYC. Acording to this blog, the lounge is out in the city and unrelated to the airport. I kind of like this idea of a private Uber service thst can only be used by LuxuryCard holders.
The status and the points transfer to ANA and JAL would also be awesome, might even justify the insane cost of the card.
Hopefully more to come on the USA version, other than dropping support for military members. The card is invite only at the gold level, so those that have in in Japan, you should feel somewhat special!
The same goes for AmEx Platnium in Japan, invite only. Something so common in USA could be such a restricted status symbol somehwere else. What a strage world we live in, I have always been tempted to use the AmEx global card transfer, but didn’t want to get stuck with the $2,500 annual fee for the Japanese AmEx Pt.