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Visa Signature: Definition and benefits explained

Visa Signature is a benefit tier that offers travel and lifestyle benefits to its cardholders


Visa Signature is the middle tier of Visa benefits and offers perks in addition to those from the basic tier, including zero fraud liability, travel perks, purchase protections and more. Your specific benefits will depend on your card issuer.

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Even though Visa, one of the two biggest credit card networks in the world, doesn’t directly issue credit cards to cardholders like credit card issuers do, the network still offers its own set of benefits for cardholders to enjoy. All Visa credit cards, which use Visa as their network, are split into three benefits categories: Visa Traditional, Visa Signature and Visa Infinite.

Visa Signature is the middle tier of benefits between the basic Visa Traditional and the high-end Visa Infinite. In addition to the standard perks of a Visa Traditional, the Visa Signature tier provides a number of travel and lifestyle benefits and protections. Learn more about which benefits the Visa Signature tier offers and how they compare to those of other benefit tiers.

What does Visa Signature mean?

The term Visa Signature refers to the package of benefits that Visa provides to its cardholders. As the middle tier, Visa Signature offers all the benefits of a Visa Traditional but less than those of a Visa Infinite. More specifically, many Visa Traditional perks are core benefits related to identity protection and fraud liability. At the Visa Signature level, the perks expand to include different types of travel insurances and purchase protections.

Visa Signature perks are offered on top of any benefits and rewards that the card issuer provides. They’re also effective automatically — cardholders do not need to enroll to take advantage of the network’s perks.

Visa Signature core benefits

Visa Signature’s basic perks mirror those provided by Visa Traditional, with the added benefit of travel and emergency assistance services. These basic benefits are listed below:

  • Zero liability: This protects you against fraudulent charges and ensures you only have to pay for charges you have authorized.
  • Lost or stolen card reporting: If your Visa Signature card is lost or stolen, you can call a representative at any time for a replacement.
  • Emergency card replacement: After you’ve reported your card stolen or damaged, Visa can work with your card issuer to ship a replacement card in 24-72 hours.
  • Emergency cash disbursement: While waiting for a replacement card to arrive, Visa can also wire cash to a location near you.
  • Roadside dispatch: In case of car troubles, you can call the roadside dispatch through your Visa Signature for services such as towing, unlocking your car or jump starting. It’s worth noting, however, that you have to pay for each service you require.
  • Travel and emergency assistance services: You get access to a multilingual hotline for travel assistance 24/7, 365 days a year, which can be used to get help with medical referrals, emergency transportation, legal referrals, lost luggage and more.

Visa Signature additional protections and travel benefits

Visa Signature also offers a host of additional protections to cardholders, though they vary by card issuer.

The available protections and services may include:

  • Auto rental collision damage waiver: If you refuse the collision damage waiver coverage provided by the car rental company, you’ll receive coverage for damage, theft, towing and loss-of-use charges.
  • Baggage delay reimbursement: You may get reimbursed for up to $300 if your baggage is delayed or misdirected for more than four hours.
  • Lost luggage reimbursement: You can get reimbursed for lost or damaged baggage, whether they’re checked bags or carry-ons.
  • Global Entry statement credit: You can receive a $100 credit on your card account for the Global Entry program application fee.
  • Trip delay reimbursement: When you’re delayed for over 12 hours by a covered incident, you may get up to a $300 reimbursement.
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption reimbursement: If your trip is canceled or interrupted, you can receive funds for the non-refundable portion of your transportation fare.
  • Hotel theft protection: If personal items are stolen from your hotel room in the U.S. or Canada, you may be reimbursed for their value.
  • Travel accident insurance: Coverage is provided for up to $250,000 in case an accident occurs while traveling that results in a loss of limb, sight, speech, life or other appendages.
  • Emergency medical/dental: This protection will cover up to $2,500 per person in emergency medical and dental expenses when you’re abroad.
  • Emergency evacuation: If you are sick or injured and use your Visa Signature to purchase travel to the closest medical facility for treatment, you could receive reimbursement for the transportation fare for up to $10,000.
  • Extended warranty protection: Your Visa Signature can extend the manufacturer’s warranty by up to one additional year on eligible purchases (not just travel purchases), such as a television or smartphone.
  • Cell phone protection: Your mobile phone can be covered for damage or theft (with a $50 deductible) as long as you pay your phone bill every month with the Visa Signature.
  • Purchase security: New items are covered against damage or theft within the first 90 days of purchase.
  • Price protection: If you manage to find a lower price (in print) for an eligible item, such as a smartwatch, video game or a dress, you can receive a refund for the difference.
  • Return protection: If a merchant won’t accept a return, you can get reimbursed for the item for up to $250 within the first 90 days of the purchase date.

In addition, some Visa Signature cards come with partner discounts. For example, Skillshare grants free access to its online platform for three months and then 20 percent off its annual membership after the three-month trial.

Depending on your card, you may also enjoy access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and Concierge Service. The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection is a collection of more than 900 hotels, and Visa Signature cardholders can take advantage of several exclusive hotel benefits, including complimentary room upgrades upon arrival (when available), breakfast for two, Wi-Fi and more when making reservations through the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection portal.

Visa Signature cardholders also have access to the notable Visa Signature Concierge service. Available 24/7, the service works much like a personal assistant, providing personalized advice and recommendations on travel, dining and entertainment.

How Visa Signature compares to other benefit tiers

As previously mentioned, Visa Signature is the middle level between Visa Traditional and Visa Infinite. Cards at the Visa Traditional tier offer many of the core benefits mentioned above, such as lost or stolen card reporting and roadside dispatch. Cards at the Visa Infinite offer even more travel perks that the Visa Signature does not, such as missed connection insurance.

We compared the Visa benefits packages below.

BenefitVisa TraditionalVisa SignatureVisa Infinite
Cardholder inquiry servicesXXX
Visa zero liabilityXXX
Lost or stolen card reportingXXX
Emergency card replacementXXX
Emergency cash disbursementXXX
Roadside dispatchXXX
Travel and emergency assistance servicesXX
Auto rental collision damage waiverXX
Lost luggage reimbursementXX
Baggage delay reimbursementXX
Global Entry statement creditXX
Trip delay reimbursementX (up to $300)X (up to $500)
Missed connection insuranceX
Trip cancellation/interruption reimbursementXX
Travel accident insuranceXX
Hotel theft protectionXX
Emergency medical/dentalXX
Emergency evacuationXX
Extended warranty protectionXX
Cell phone protectionXX
Purchase protectionXX
Price protectionXX
Return protectionX (up to $250)X (up to $300)
Airline incidentals feesXX
Lounge Access (Priority Pass)XX
Visa Airport CompanionXX
Visa Online MedicXX
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel CollectionX
Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel CollectionX
Visa Signature ConciergeX
Visa Infinite ConciergeX
Visa Signature rental car privilegesX
Visa Infinite rental car PrivilegesX

As you can see from the table, the Visa Signature and Visa Infinite tiers offer many of the same benefits. A few Visa Infinite perks, such as return protection, provide coverage up to a larger dollar amount. Certain benefits, such as Visa Infinite Concierge services, are meant exclusively for Visa Infinite cardholders — their customer service phone number is different from the Visa Signature one.

How to qualify for a Visa Signature card

Unfortunately, it’s mostly unknown exactly how to qualify for a Visa Signature versus a Visa Traditional or Visa Infinite. We do know that cardholders of a Visa Signature must have an initial credit limit of at least $5,000. And Visa Signature cards tend to be travel credit cards charging low or no annual fees. Visa Infinite cards, in contrast, are typically luxury cards with premium annual fees.

In general, you need at least a good credit score to qualify for mid-tier travel cards. However, since Visa is a credit card network and not an issuer, it cannot approve or deny you for a specific benefit tier based on your credit score. Which tier you end up with seems to be mostly left up to the card issuer.

How to know if you already have a Visa Signature card

Before you apply for a new Visa Signature card, check your wallet. You could hold one without even knowing it. If you suspect you have one but the card face doesn’t specify, you can always contact your card issuer using the number on the back of the card.

Once you’ve determined you have a Visa Signature, you can check the benefits your card provides by reading the mailer that arrived alongside your cardholder agreement.

Bottom line

Visa Signature is the middle tier of benefits, between Visa Traditional and Visa Infinite, that features exclusive benefits, such as travel and purchase protections, trip cancellation insurance, concierge services and more. Many popular credit cards are Visa Signatures, so you could have access to even more card perks than you realize. If you already have a Visa Signature, see which perks you receive by reading the fine print of your benefits guide.

Editorial Disclaimer

The editorial content on this page is based solely on the objective assessment of our writers and is not driven by advertising dollars. It has not been provided or commissioned by the credit card issuers. However, we may receive compensation when you click on links to products from our partners.

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