You’re probably familiar with the different payment networks credit cards use, like Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover. But did you know that there are different subcategories within Visa itself? You can get a traditional Visa, Visa Signature or premium Visa Infinite card.
Visa Signature credit cards are a step up from standard Visa cards, and they offer more benefits. They come directly from Visa, not the card issuer. They’re essentially free perks that are in addition to whatever else the card might offer, like cash back, travel rewards, interest-free financing, etc.
In this post, I’ll focus on the valuable Visa Signature benefits you can get by simply holding one of these credit cards. Many people don’t know about these perks, so don’t miss out!
Some of My Favorite Visa Signature Cards
Some of my favorite cards boasting a Visa Signature logo are the the Venture Miles Rewards card from Capital One, the Costco Anywhere Visa card by Citi and the Alaska Airlines Visa Signature credit card from Bank of America.
Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card
- Enjoy a one-time bonus of 50,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within 3 months from account opening, equal to $500 in travel
- Earn 2X miles on every purchase, every day. Plus earn 10X miles on thousands of hotels through January 2020; learn more at hotels.com/venture
- Named ‘The Best Travel Card' by CNBC, 2018
- Receive up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
- Fly any airline, stay at any hotel, anytime; no blackout dates. Plus transfer your miles to over 12 leading travel loyalty programs
- Miles won't expire for the life of the account and there's no limit to how many you can earn
- No foreign transaction fees
- $0 intro annual fee for the first year; $95 after that
Costco Anywhere Visa® Card by Citi
- + 4% cash back on eligible gas for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% thereafter
- + 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases
- + 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com
- + 1% cash back on all other purchases
- Discover one of Citi’s best cash back rewards cards designed exclusively for Costco members
- No annual fee with your paid Costco membership
- No Foreign Transaction Fee
Alaska Airlines Visa Signature® Credit Card
- + Special Introductory Offer: Buy 1 ticket, get 1 for just the taxes and fees with Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ Offer.
- + Earn 3 miles for every $1 spent directly on Alaska Airlines purchases and 1 mile for every $1 spent on all other purchases.
- Get 30,000 bonus miles after you make $1,000 or more within the first 90 days of your account opening.
- Get Alaska's Famous Companion Fare™ every year! Each Year on your account anniversary get a companion fare from $121 ($99 plus taxes and fees from $22). Valid on all Alaska flights booked on alaskaair.com.
- Save with a free checked bag on Alaska flights for you and up to six other guests on the same reservation.
- New - Get exclusive access to discounted redemption levels when you redeem miles for hotel stays at over 400,000 properties using Mileage Plan™ Hotels.
- Earn unlimited miles and travel with no blackout dates and no foreign transaction fees.
The Venture Miles card is great because it’s simple and easy to use. Every dollar you spend earns 2 miles, and miles can be redeemed toward any travel. With this Capital One Visa Signature card, there are no blackout dates or travel partners to worry about. I can buy the travel I want, when I want it.
I use my Citi Costco card for gas, travel, dining out and, of course, Costco shopping because of it’s fantastic cashback rates. It earns an impressive 4% back at gas stations and 3% back for dining out and travel purchases. You’ll get 2% at Costco.
I use the Venture Miles card for all purchases that don’t fall into those categories so I’ll earn a bonus on all of my spending.
The Alaska card is worth holding onto because I like the carrier and I get free checked bags and an annual Companion Fare. With the fare, I can take someone with me on a domestic Alaska flight for just $99 plus taxes and fees. That benefit alone justifies getting this Bank of America Visa Signature card.
Many other cards come with Visa Signature benefits too, including several popular Chase cards, like the Freedom and Sapphire Preferred. To find out whether you have an eligible card, look for the Visa Signature logo on the front side of your card.
Visa Signature Card Benefits and Perks
Keep in mind that just because a card is branded as a Visa Signature you won’t necessarily get all of the benefits. It’s ultimately up to the issuer to determine which benefits come with a card. Some offer more, and some offer fewer benefits.
Most travel rewards credit cards are a step-up from a traditional Visa brand and include Visa Signature benefits. But make sure to consult the guide to benefits that came with your credit card to see which ones you’re eligible for.
Now let’s have a look at the full list of Visa Signature benefits.
Drive Safe: Rental Car Insurance
While this benefit comes with most Visa cards (not just Visa Signature), it’s worth mentioning here because it can save you a ton of cash. If you pay with a Visa, there’s no need to get insurance from the rental car agency. You’ll be covered.
There are a couple of important caveats, though. First, not all Visa cards offer rental car insurance. It’s one of the features that some issuers remove from some of their cards. Read the fine print or call your issuer to confirm that you have this coverage.
Second, this is secondary insurance. That means it will kick in after your personal car insurance is exhausted. Very few cards offer primary insurance. Again, check with your issuer if you have any doubts.
Don’t Sweat the Details: Visa Signature Concierge
If you are having trouble finding the perfect room or can’t carve out enough time from your busy schedule to even look for a hotel, concert tickets or a dinner reservation, you can contact Visa Signature Concierge services 24 hours a day, seven days a week. They’re ready to help.
Your request can be as simple as arranging an airport pickup service or as complex as designing a trip itinerary based on the most beautiful Game of Thrones filming spots.
Keep in mind that the service is designed to save you time, not money, and a concierge typically doesn’t have access to discounted rooms or tickets. Still, if you’re pressed for time, let the Visa Signature Concierge do the search for you.
Stay in Style: Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection
As a Visa Signature cardholder, you can book a hotel room from the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. If you’re familiar with the Fine Resorts & Hotels program from American Express, this is a similar benefit.
By booking one of the Visa Signature hotels through the designated travel portal, you qualify for this premium benefit. Not only does the perk offer the best available rate, but you also receive a room upgrade when available, complimentary in-room Wi-Fi, free breakfast for two, a $25 hotel credit and late checkout.
What’s not to love? You’ll be able to take advantage of elite perks without actually holding elite status at these luxurious properties. Sort by beach hotels, honeymoon hotels or limited-time offers.
All you need is a U.S.-issued Visa Signature credit card to qualify.
Get There On Time With GroundLink
If you’re unfamiliar with the company, GroundLink is an airport car/limo service provider. It offers guaranteed on-time pickup and provides reliability to travelers.
As a Visa Signature credit card member, you will receive a $20 discount on your first booking and then an ongoing 10% discount on the service when you use an eligible Visa Signature card to book a car.
The service is available in more than 110 countries. So you’ll never be late for your flight again, no matter where you are.
Foodies Rejoice: Fine Wine + Food Offers
If you’re a foodie, you’ll love this Visa Signature perk. The Fine Wine and Food benefit offers you an opportunity to reserve tables at hard-to-get-into restaurants, enjoy celebrity-chef experiences or simply receive discounts on food.
One of my favorite Wine and Food offers is good at a wide variety of Sonoma wineries. You can get buy-one-get-one wine tastings, as well as savings on eligible wine and non-wine purchases.
There are a lot of different food and drink offers from Visa. They vary quite a bit and include everything from Krispy Kreme donuts to Omaha Steaks. Just go to this page to find something that tickles your fancy.
Golfer’s Delight: Troon Rewards
As a golf enthusiast, you will earn Silver status by signing up for the Troon Rewards Program. It comes with a 10% discount on golf fees and merchandise at about 100 golf courses worldwide.
If you already hold status in the program, you’ll get upgraded to either Gold or Platinum and receive a 15% or 20% discount on golf fees.
Help Is on the Way: Roadside Dispatch
Things happen. No matter how prepared you are, you could end up on the side of a highway with a flat tire, an empty gas tank or a broken down car.
As a Visa Signature cardholder, you don’t have to worry. You qualify for roadside assistance.
Simply call 1-800-VISA-TOW (8472-869) to request towing for up to 5 miles, jump-starts, tire changes, lockout service, winching or fuel delivery.
Unfortunately, the service isn’t free. It’ll cost you $69.95 for a standard service call. I’ve used AAA in the past since I’m a member and it covers towing and other basic services. But if you don’t have that option, it’s great to know that help is there if you need it.
More Protection for Big Purchases: Warranty Manager Service
Using a Visa Signature card to buy electronics or home appliances can come in handy. As a cardholder, you qualify for extended warranty protection.
You can double the terms on warranties that are less than a year or get one extra year on eligible warranties of 1 to 3 years. To qualify for the perk, make sure to use your eligible card at checkout.
You’ll Always Be Prepared: Travel and Emergency Assistance Services
If things go wrong when you’re traveling, this Visa Signature card benefit covers you, your spouse and children younger than 22 who travel with you.
The service can arrange a medical or legal referral, emergency transportation assistance, a messaging service, valuable document delivery, prescription assistance, emergency ticket replacement, a translator and a lost luggage collector service.
Let’s hope you don’t ever need to use any of these services. But if you do, the help is there when you need it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Worst-Case Scenario: Travel Accident Insurance
Again, let’s hope you don’t ever need to use this benefit. If you or an eligible family member traveling with you dies or loses a limb while traveling with a common carrier, Visa will reimburse you.
You’ll get up to $500,000 for accidental loss of one hand/foot or sight in one eye and up to $1,000,000 for accidental loss of life or two limbs. The trip must be paid with an eligible card to qualify for coverage.
What’s the Difference Between Visa and Visa Signature Cards?
Although similar in branding, Visa Traditional and Visa Signature cards do not have the same perks. I’ve outlined many of the Visa Signature perks above. You won’t necessarily get those perks with a standard Visa card.
On top of all those benefits, Visa Signature cards also have a flexible spending limit, which means it’s possible to go over your credit limit to some extent without being penalized by the card issuer.
I do not recommend doing this frequently, but it is an option if there’s an emergency. I do recommend always paying off your balance in full before the due date.
You will also notice that the minimum credit limit on Visa Signature cards is higher than on the traditional Visa cards. Once you qualify for the card, the minimum credit line you will receive on the Visa Signature card is $5,000.
Depending on your credit score and the issuing bank, you may qualify for either a classic Visa or a Visa Signature version of the same card. In some cases, cards aren’t offered at different levels, though.
If you’re applying for a mid-tier travel or rewards card that’s part of the Visa network, it will likely be a Visa Signature card. That’s a good thing because they come with valuable benefits, including a variety of travel and purchase protections, as well as discounts and perks related to food, drinks, hotel stays, car services and more.