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This article was last updated Jan 27, 2014, but some terms and conditions may have changed or are no longer available. For the most accurate and up to date information please consult the terms and conditions found on the issuer website.
If you hold a rewards credit card that is part of the MasterCard network, then perhaps you might have noticed the words "WORLD" or "WORLD ELITE" just above the MasterCard logo. If you have one of these cards, it means you are entitled to special benefits that you might not be aware of. Just make sure you carefully read the terms and conditions of your card agreement so you understand if you are or are not qualified for certain benefits and features.
Let's take a look at some of those benefits:
World MasterCard Features
Holders of cards labeled World MasterCard are able to access a range of exclusive benefits. These include:
- A concierge service. This service offers personal assistance for just about any travel or shopping need. For example, they can make diner reservations, find event tickets, and even arrange for the purchase and delivery of gifts. This service is available over the telephone 24 hours a day, every day of the year.
- Price protection. When cardholders find a lower price on an eligible purchase, they will be reimbursed -just be sure to check your cardholder agreement to learn the limitations of this policy.
- MasterCard Global Service. Cardholders can receive emergency service anywhere in the world. Using their Global Service Hotline, cardholders can report a card lost or stolen, get emergency card replacement, or receive a cash advance.
- Savings on MasterCard Airport Concierge services. Have you or someone you know ever been overwhelmed when trying to navigate a large, international airport? This interesting service offers to meet travelers as they step off of the plane, expedite their journey through customs and immigration, assist with baggage, and help them connect to their next flight or ground transportation. This is a paid service, but World MasterCard holders receive a 15% discount.
- World Travel Experiences & Offers. Cardholders who book their travel through a MasterCard travel advisor will receive a range of benefits when they stay at a featured hotel or resort. These amenities can include early check-in, late checkouts, room upgrades, and free breakfasts. In addition, cardholders receive special offers for discounts on lodging, cruises, and tours.
- MasterCard Priceless Cities. This program offers a range of discounts and access to exclusive opportunities at select cities around the world. Featured offers include dining, sports, travel, arts, and shopping. In the United States, cities include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Miami.
World Elite MasterCard benefits
In addition to the perks offered to World MasterCard holders, those who have a World Elite MasterCard are offered some additional benefits including:
- Extended warranty coverage. Cardholders have their original manufacturer's warranty extended for an additional year on qualifying purchases.
- World Elite Air Program. Cardholders receive benefits with several different travel providers. For example, Aer Lingus, Austrian, Etihad, LAN, Swiss, and Lufthansa will upgrade travelers to business class when they purchase a full fare economy ticket, or offer discounts of 20% – 30% off of the purchase of business class flights.
- World Elite Cruise Program. When booking a cruise, cardholders can receive hundreds of dollars worth of shipboard credits.
- World Elite Tours & Vacations Program. Cardholders can receive significant savings and credits when booking tours and vacations around the world.
- World Elite Car Rental Program. This program offers discounts of 15% – 25% when renting a car with Avis, National, or Sixt rent a car. Card members can also receive elite status with the programs, upon request.
- World Elite Chauffeured Car Service. This feature offers cardholders savings on limousine services around the world.
- World Elite Private Jet Program. Looking to go beyond first class airline service? World Elite MasterCard card members receive discounts from select private jet charter operators.
What are these services worth?
Having a World or World Elite MasterCard can be very valuable or nearly worthless, depending on how you use your card. Booking a hotel through the travel agency can be a great way to enjoy a better room, free breakfast and other perks. The price protection and extended warranty coverage can also be quite useful for those who take advantage of it. At the same time, benefits like the discounts on the chauffeured car service or private jet program are kind of paradoxical, as those services tend to appeal to those who aren't terribly price sensitive, if you know what I mean.
Bottom line, if you have a MasterCard that is part of the World or World Elite programs, it pays to know what benefits you are entitled to. For those who prefer Visa, check out the line of features that come with the Visa Signature program.
*Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.
*The content in this article is accurate at the publishing date, and may be subject to changes per the card issuer.