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Do me a favor: Grab a Visa card from your wallet, and check the little logo in the corner. What does it say?
If your card is emblazoned with “Visa Signature” or “Visa Infinite,” you might be eligible for a host of benefits that don’t come with regular Visa cards (which are sometimes referred to as “Platinum”).
In this article, we’ll focus on the benefits included with Visa’s middle tier — Signature cards — which fall between traditional Visa cards and premium Visa Infinite cards. (Since business cards have their own tiers, we’ll save them for another time!)
Here’s a look at the benefits Visa extends to its Signature cardholders, which your card issuer may or may not extend to you. To determine exactly what you’re eligible for, it’s always a good idea to check your card’s Guide to Benefits.
Visa Credit Cards
Auto rental collision damage waiver: When you book a car rental with your Visa Signature card, you’ll receive secondary car insurance, as long as you decline the rental agency’s coverage. Eligible rentals include standard cars (not pickups, large vans, luxury vehicles, etc.) for up to 15 days in your home country or up to 31 days abroad. Rentals in some countries, such as Ireland and Israel, are not covered.
If you rent cars frequently, you should look for a credit card that offers primary car rental insurance, which kicks in without you ever having to contact your auto insurer. This benefit is available on some Signature cards, including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, United℠ Explorer Card, and Ink Business Preferred® Credit Card.
Roadside Dispatch: Got a flat tire? Need a jump start? With this 24/7 roadside assistance program, you can call 1-800-847-2869 and pay a set fee per service. Towing, winching, lockout service, and fuel delivery are also available.
Concierge service: Whether you need concert tickets, restaurant reservations, or floral arrangements, you can call the Visa Signature concierge at 1-800-953-7392 for help. While not as legendary as Amex’s concierge, it might come in handy in a pinch.
Extended warranty protection: If you purchase a product using your card, Visa will extend the warranty by up to one year (as long as the original warranty was three years or less). Typically, the maximum coverage is $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per cardholder; most new items, aside from vehicles and software, are covered.
Perks at Hudson Yards: When visiting Hudson Yards in Manhattan, you’ll get a VIP tour, preferred all-day access to the Vessel, and the ability to order off a secret menu at Fuku.
Discounts at Sonoma County Vintners: At more than 50 Sonoma County wineries, you’ll receive buy-one-get-one tastings and other discounts.
Complimentary silver status at Troon: When you sign up for Troon Golf Rewards, you’ll enjoy 10% off at nearly 100 golf courses around the United States and world.
As a Visa Signature cardholder, you’re eligible for special offers from a range of online retailers and hotels. Some are available to standard Visa cardholders, too; check here to see what’s currently available.
Travel and emergency assistance services: In a tight spot? Call Visa’s emergency line to receive help with translations, immunizations, medical referrals, legal referrals, or travel bookings. While the call will be free, you’ll need to pay the lawyer, translator, etc. for the services rendered.
Emergency card replacement & emergency cash disbursement: If your card is lost or stolen, Visa will send you a replacement within one to three business days. And if you need money immediately, it will wire money to your location within hours.
Luxury Hotel Collection: When you book online and pay with your Visa Signature card, you’ll get free breakfast for two, complimentary WiFi, a $25 food and beverage credit, and, when available, room upgrades and late checkout at more than 900 properties around the world.
Here are some additional Visa Signature benefits that might apply — as long as you paid for the purchase or trip with your card. (Remember, it’s up to your card issuer to determine your exact benefits, so check your terms and conditions!)
If you apply for the Chase Freedom® (Review), for instance, and get a credit limit of $5,000 or more, you’ll receive a Visa Signature card in the mail. If you’re approved for a credit limit of less than $5,000, you’ll receive a traditional Visa card. Down the road, if your credit limit increases, Chase may automatically bump you to a Visa Signature (or you may have to ask).
On the other hand, cards like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card (Review) are only available as a Visa Signature, because their minimum credit limit is $5,000. Thus, if you apply and can’t get a credit limit of $5,000, you won’t be approved.
Ultimately, however, the benefits you receive will depend on the specific card and card issuer. So, when applying for a card, don’t worry too much about whether it’s a Visa Signature or not.
Instead, base your decision upon the card’s credit requirements, fees, and perks.
Knowledge is power, and it’s good to see what types of benefits are out there.
But, as mentioned above, we wouldn’t recommend choosing a credit card because you think it’ll be a Visa Signature. A smarter strategy would be A) determining which cards you’re likely to be approved for, then B) picking a card that offers your preferred combination of fees and rewards.
Visa credit cards come in three basic tiers — traditional, Signature, and Infinite — each with more benefits than the last. However, because it’s up to your card issuer (e.g. Chase or Bank of America) to determine which benefits you’ll actually receive, you should always check your card’s terms and conditions first.
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