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You may have noticed that many credit cards carry the name "Visa Signature" in the title, but have you ever wondered what exactly that means? Sure, Visa is one of the major payment networks, the others being MasterCard, American Express, and Discover, but what does the "Signature" part do for you?
It turns out that Visa Signature is a package of benefits offered by the Visa payment network to the holders of premium rewards credit cards. These features are above and beyond the set standards of benefits offered to all other Visa cardholders.
The standard Visa benefits
All Visa credit card users receive a standard package of benefits that include lost and stolen credit card reporting, emergency card replacement and cash disbursement, and most importantly, the auto rental collision damage waiver. Some standard Visa cards may even feature a roadside dispatch service, travel and emergency assistance services, and a rewards program.
Benefits Exclusive to the Visa Program
Although the benefits offered to Visa cardholders are pretty good, the premium reward cards that are part of the Visa Signature program offer another range of services on top of the standard benefits. Let's take a look at the most beneficial features:
- Visa Signature concierge. This is a service that will do pretty much anything you ask. Cardholders can call the concierge line and request restaurant recommendations, make reservations, plan travel, get directions, or order gifts. Representatives are available 24 hours a day to assist card holders.
- Visa Signature entertainment. This program offers discounts to a variety of popular attractions around the world including theme parks and aquariums. In addition, discounts are available for city tours, scenic cruises, and helicopter tours through Cloud9 Living.
- Visa Signature fine wine & food. Cardholders receive discounts to restaurants and other gourmet food purchases. For example, Visa Signature cardholders are offered complimentary wine tastings throughout wineries within the Sonoma Valley of California. Other benefits include free drinks or appetizers at select fine restaurants.
- Visa Signature shopping. The Visa Signature shopping program features benefits and discounts at a wide variety of merchants including 10% off at JC Penny, as well as free shipping from both Macy's and The Home Depot.
- Visa Signature sports. Sports fans and participants can receive discounts on different activities from Cloud9 Living including a stock car ride, a balloon ride, or a tandem skydiving experience. In addition, discounts apply to purchases from retailers such as Footlocker.com and Golfballs.com.
- Visa Signature travel. Travel benefits include access to the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. When booking through this service, cardholders are eligible to receive discounted room rates, room upgrades, free breakfast, early check-in and late check-out, dining and spa credits and other perks. Other benefits include discounts on rental cars, airport shuttles, and limousine services.
- Warranty manager service. Do you ever wonder what warranties you have for your various purchases? By registering your purchases with this warranty manager service, cardholders, can keep track of all this information and be eligible to receive an additional year of warranty coverage.
- Travel accident insurance. Visa Signature cardholders automatically receive a minimum of $250,000 of coverage when they charge their travel to their card. Coverage applies to any common carrier transport which includes taxis, busses, and trains, but not aircrafts.
- Lost luggage reimbursement. This policy covers cardholders due to loss or damage by the carrier of up to $3,000. This insurance only applies after you have received whatever reimbursement you can from the airlines, which may be insufficient to replace your belongings.
Are these services worth it?
These are perks that all Visa Signature cardholders receive automatically, so it is not like you will have to pay any extra to receive them. That being said, the cards that are part of the Visa Signature program tend to be premium reward cards, most of which require an annual fee.
Perhaps my favorite perk is the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. Booking a hotel through this program offers the best price, but it also allows you to travel like a VIP with elite status. The late checkouts, free breakfast, and dining credits in particular can offer cardholders tremendous value. Other perks such as the concierge service and lost luggage reimbursement policies can be nice to have when you really need them.
If you are a reward credit card user, there is a good chance you already have a Visa Signature card in your wallet. By taking a few moments to understand what the Visa Signature benefits are, and how you can use them, you may find that your credit card is more valuable than you had imagined. For those who prefer MasterCard, check out the line of features that come with World MasterCard program.
Our Favorite Visa Signature Credit Cards
BankAmericard Travel Rewards® Credit Card: This is an awesome card if you want great travel rewards with no annual fee. There is no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and cardholders will earn an unlimited 1.5 points per dollar spent. You can also get 20,000 online bonus points after making $1,000 in purchases in the first 90 days. If you have an active Bank of America® checking or savings account, you'll also receive a 10% customer points bonus on every purchase.
Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card: With this card, you'll earn a steady 2 points per dollar spent on travel and dining, and then 1 point per dollar on all other purchases. A total of 55,000 bonus points can be earned with new card enrollment; 50,000 can be earned after spending $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months of account opening; and another 5,000 bonus points can be earned after an authorized user is added to the account and makes a purchase in the first 3 months. The annual fee of $95 is waived the first year.
Capital One® Quicksilver® Cash Rewards Credit Card: For those who are more interested in earning cash back than travel rewards, check out the Capital One Quicksilver. This card comes with an unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, and new cardholders can get a $100 cash bonus after spending $500 on purchases within the first 3 months. There is also no annual fee, no foreign transaction fees, and cardholders will enjoy 0% APR on purchases and balance transfers for the first 9 months. The ongoing APR is 13.24% - 23.24% Variable based on your creditworthiness.
*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.