Visa Signature and Visa Infinite offer exclusive travel and shopping benefits, from rental car discounts and room upgrades to trip cancellation coverage and access to unique experiences. This is how both programs compare.
You might qualify for a host of perks from your Visa card if it has the words “Signature” or “Infinite” printed on its face.
The Signature and Infinite programs run by Visa include a variety of benefits for cardholders, everything from trip cancellation and lost luggage insurance to discounts at private golf courses, wineries and chauffeur services.What’s the difference between the two programs? While both programs include plenty of valuable perks, the Infinite program offers deeper discounts and higher credits, making it more valuable.
Both programs “are extremely beneficial to people who travel frequently,” said Jordan Tarver, credit analyst with New York City-based FitSmallBusiness.com.
That’s because the cards in either program may provide such perks as airfare discounts, Global Entry credits, car rental insurance, lost luggage reimbursement and travel accident insurance.
However, Jared Weitz, chief executive officer and founder of United Capital Source noted that not all Visa Infinite, or Signature, cards always offer the same benefits.
The reason? The banks issuing these cards can determine which perks to offer and which to not.
If you have a Visa Signature or Visa Infinite card, don’t assume that it offers all of the benefits listed below. Visa suggests to check with your card issuer first to learn more about your specific card benefits.
Here’s a look at some of the most valuable benefits offered by both Visa programs, and how they compare to each other.
See related: Best rewards credit cards
How Visa Signature and Visa Infinite compare
Visa Signature benefits
Airfare discount: $100 discount on domestic coach round-trip airfare for two to five people. The discount comes per itinerary, not ticket.
Global Entry: $100 statement credit to cover the application fee for Global Entry – which gives you fast entry into the United States at airports.
Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection: If you use your Visa Signature card to book a room at one of more than 900 hotels at visasignaturehotels.com, you’ll be eligible for several perks:
- The best available rate. If you book a room through Visa’s site and you later find similar rooms at that hotel for a lower price, your room rate will drop to this lower price. (Restrictions apply.)
- Automatic upgrade to the next best room class when you check in.
- Free continental breakfast for two.
- $25 food or beverage card.
Rental car discounts: Up to 15 percent off the price through the Silvercar program offered by Audi – but make sure to register your card here first to be eligible for the discount.
Sonoma County Vintners: If you buy one standard tasting using your Visa Signature card – or Infinite card – you’ll receive one free tasting at more than 50 Sonoma County wineries. You’ll also qualify for discounts on wine purchases from the company.
Troon Rewards: You can earn discounts on golf fees and merchandise at Troon private golf courses across the country. Your discount depends on the type of card you have: 10 percent discount for Visa Silver cards, 15 percent for Gold cards and 20 percent for Platinum.
Concierge services: By calling 1-800-953-7392, you can ask Visa to book a hotel, make restaurant reservations or reserve a rental car. Concierge services are free.
GroundLink discounts: 10 percent discount on GroundLink services. GroundLink is an on-call chauffeured car service that operates in major cities across the United States. You’ll also receive a $20 credit the first time you reserve a ride with your Signature card.
Return protection: Visa will reimburse you up to $250 for an item you want to return if the retailer from which you bought it won’t take it back. You can make $1,000 worth of claims under this service each year.
Trip cancellation and interruption coverage: If you must cancel a trip or end one early because you are sick or injured, you’ll receive up to $2,000 to cover nonrefundable transportation costs. Hotel stays and event tickets are not covered.
Trip delay insurance: You’ll receive up to $500 in coverage for expenses when your flight is delayed for at least six hours or the delay requires you to stay overnight in a hotel. Visa will reimburse you for hotel stays, meals and transportation costs related to the delay.
Travel accident insurance: Up to $500,000 of accidental death and dismemberment insurance if you are injured or killed while traveling.
Lost luggage reimbursement: Visa will reimburse you up to $3,000 for every trip if your luggage is lost. This is secondary coverage, however. You must first get reimbursed by your airline and your homeowners’ insurance policy. Your card’s insurance will cover whatever losses these other policies don’t cover. (Other restrictions apply.)
Visa Infinite benefits
If the card in your wallet is labeled “Infinite,” you’ll get the same perks offered in the Signature benefits package and a bit more.
Weitz of United Capital Source said the Visa Infinite package is reserved for the company’s top credit cards. Until recently, this package was only available for cards in international markets, he said.
These are some of the benefits offered by Visa Infinite cards. Remember to check with your card issuer to learn more about your specific card benefits.
Visa Luxury Hotel Collection Premium benefits: In addition to the benefits offered by the Signature program – room upgrade, free continental breakfast for two, $25 food or beverage credit – you’ll also receive late checkout. Plus one additional perk you can choose from a list that includes a $75 food and beverage credit, $100 spa credit, $100 golf credit or $100 room rate credit.
Car rental discounts: Up to 30 percent discount on car rentals through Silvercar. To get the discount, you’ll have to register your Visa Infinite card here.
Lounge access through Priority Pass: You can gain access to more than 1,200 airport lounges with your Visa Infinite card.
Purchase protection: Visa will reimburse you when an item you’ve bought with your Infinite card is stolen or damaged within 90 days of your purchase. You can claim up to $10,000 per occurrence and $50,000 a year. You’ll need to file a police report within 48 hours if you claim your item as stolen.
GroundLink discount: The discount is a bit higher at GroundLink with the Visa Infinite card – $30 credit plus 15 percent off the cost of the service.
Troon private golf clubs: Infinite cardholders qualify for tee times at the reduced cost of $99 at any Troon private golf club. This fee is per player and you can bring up to three guests at this rate two times a year. Gold cardholders qualify for a 15 percent discount on golf fees; Platinum cardholders, 20 percent discounts.
Return protection: Visa will reimburse you up to $300 for an item you want to return if the retailer won’t take it back. You can make $1,000 worth of claims each year. You must try to return your purchase to the retailer first and file a claim within 90 days of buying the item.
Visa Infinite, Signature perks often overlooked
Regardless of whether you use a Visa Signature or Infinite card, make sure you take advantage of the perks available to you. Too many cardholders don’t do this.
Isaiah Goodman, founder of Minneapolis-based financial planning firm Becoming Financial, said it isn’t surprising that some cardholders never use these perks.
Consider price protection. To use this benefit, cardholders must first do the research to find different prices and then go through the work of submitting a claim before waiting for reimbursement. Consumers might even need a copy of their original receipt, which they might have tossed in the trash long ago.
Travel protection perks have their own hurdles, Goodman said. You might be required to work with your primary insurer before your credit card company will reimburse you.
Then there are those discounts. Maybe a card offers a discount on show tickets purchased through the card’s website. This might save some money, but it also disrupts how consumers usually shop for tickets.
The extra step of going through the Visa website might not seem worth the relatively meager savings, Goodman said.
“The shear difficulty of using an advertised perk means that many will forgo it completely,” Goodman said.