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Crystal Visa Infinite Credit Card Review

Crystal Visa Infinite Credit Card Review

*Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It may not have been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This site may be compensated through a credit card issuer partnership.

This article was last updated Feb 21, 2019. Terms and conditions may have changed. For the most accurate information, please consult the issuer website.

Odds are you haven’t heard of the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card — but, it is a valuable rewards card that can benefit frequent travelers. Similar to other travel rewards cards, the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card offers robust travel benefits, such as an annual airline fee credit and Global Entry application fee credit, high rewards on travel purchases, and more that can make this card a great choice.

However, you may have trouble applying for this card if you don’t live near one of City National Bank’s branches located in California, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Washington D.C., since there is no online application.

We’ll review the benefits and potential drawbacks of the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card, and compare it to popular travel cards.

What we like about the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card

No foreign transaction fee. Using a card with no foreign transaction fee is essential for purchases made abroad. Some other cards may charge a 3% fee per transaction made outside the U.S., but not the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card.

Numerous travel benefits and statement credit opportunities. This card has a fantastic range of travel perks that can add up to immense savings when you pay with the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card. From an annual airline lounge club membership fee airline incidental fee credit to discount air benefits, this card can save you money on flights. There are so many great perks, we dedicated a whole section to them.

Travel-centric rewards program. Cardholders can benefit from earning high rewards on dining, grocery shopping, airline, hotel and car services purchases. Earn 3 points per $1 spent on gasoline, grocery, airline, hotel, taxi (including Uber and Lyft), limousine, rental car, train, bus, restaurant, fast food, and takeout food dining purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Low APR. This card has a surprisingly low 13.00% fixed APR. Most travel cards have APR ranges with maximum interest rates that can be in the mid-20s. This is a welcome change of pace for a travel card.

What we don’t like about the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card

$400 annual fee. This card has a high $400 annual fee that can put a dent in your wallet if you don’t take advantage of all the benefits. However, if you use all the statement credit benefits, the annual fee will be offset and you’ll come out ahead. Statement credit perks alone total up to $1,000.

Hard to apply. Unfortunately, you can’t simply apply for the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card online. City National Bank’s website states that you should “contact your local City National banker, or call us at (800) 773-7100” to apply. A CNB representative confirmed that there are no online applications and speaking to a representative or visiting a branch are the application methods. If you don’t live in a state with a branch, you may still be able to qualify, but will need to speak with a City National banker. Branches are located in California, Delaware, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Nevada, New York, Tennessee and Washington D.C.

Rewards breakdown

Rewards: Earn 3 points per $1 spent on gasoline, grocery, airline, hotel, taxi (including Uber and Lyft), limousine, rental car, train, bus, restaurant, fast food, and takeout food dining purchases, and 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. This is a competitive rate compared to alternative travel cards and offers a wider range of categories that earn 3 points per dollar spent.

New cardmember offer: Earn 50,000 City National Rewards Bonus Points when you spend $5,000 or more within the first 90 days after account opening.

Points can be redeemed in several ways:

  • Travel (with no blackout dates)
  • Merchandise
  • Statement credit
  • Charity donations
  • Gift certificates and gift cards

Travel credits and discounts

  • $250 airline incidental fees statement credit: Qualifying transactions made at eligible domestic airline carriers include: ticket change/cancellation fees, checked baggage fees, in-flight entertainment, onboard food and beverage charges, airport lounge membership fees and day passes, onboard wireless charges (excluding Gogo in-flight Wi-Fi), and TSA Pre✓® membership application fee.
  • Up to $550 airline lounge club membership fee statement credit: When you purchase membership for any airline club worldwide, you can receive a statement credit up to $550.
  • $100 Visa Infinite discount air benefit: Use your Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card to book a qualifying U.S. domestic round-trip coach airline itinerary for two to five travelers, and you can save up to $100.
  • $100 Global Entry application fee statement credit: Pay the application fee for Global Entry and receive a $100 statement credit once every four years.
  • Complimentary Priority Pass™ Select airport lounge access: Up to two cardholders and their accompanying guests can enjoy a global network of more than 1,000 Priority Pass™ Select airport lounges.
  • 12 complimentary Gogo® in-flight Wi-Fi passes per year: When you fly on a Gogo-equipped aircraft, you can benefit from complimentary Wi-Fi access, for up to 12 flights a year.
  • Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection: Benefit from exclusive perks at premium hotels when you book with your Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card. Perks include best available rate guarantee, complimentary continental breakfast daily, complimentary in-room Wi-Fi and VIP amenities when available, and more.
  • Visa Infinite hotel privileges: At over 500 luxury properties worldwide, receive special benefits, such as a VIP welcome and complimentary breakfast at select properties with Relais & Châteaux.
  • Visa Infinite car rental privileges: When you book a car rental with Avis, National and Silvercar with your Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card, you can benefit from special discounts and upgrades.
  • Groundlink® chauffeured black car service: Receive 15% savings and a one-time $30 promotional credit for future use when you book Groundlink® chauffeured black car service and pay with your Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card.

Additional benefits

  • Crystal Card® 24/7 concierge
  • Crystal Card® experiences: Invitation-only access to signature events, such as luxury concert suites and premium sports packages.
  • The Broadway League®: Cardholders receive the opportunity to purchase premium seating for Broadway shows in New York City and on tour across North America, as well as access to backstage tours and “meet and greets,” when available.
  • Troon Rewards® and Troon Privé: Receive golf-related perks, including discounts on golf tee times, merchandise, and golf instructions, plus access high-end, private golf clubs around the country.
  • Price protection
  • Purchase security
  • Return protection
  • Trip cancellation/trip interruption protection
  • Roadside dispatch
  • Lost luggage reimbursement
  • Hotel theft protection
  • Travel and emergency assistance services
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Extended warranty protection
  • Auto rental collision damage waiver
  • Emergency evacuation and transportation
  • Travel accident insurance

Alternatives

While the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card can be a great asset for frequent travelers, it’s a bit of a hassle to apply for. Plus, the $400 annual fee may discourage some people. Here are a few alternative travel cards you can consider:

Luxury travel card

  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.

  • Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.

Highlights
  • Earn 100,000 Membership Rewards® Points after you spend $6,000 on purchases on the Card in your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Plus, earn 10x points on eligible purchases on the Card at restaurants worldwide and when you Shop Small® in the U.S., on up to $25,000 in combined purchases, during your first 6 months of Card Membership.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points for flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year.
  • Earn 5X Membership Rewards® Points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel.
  • $200 Hotel Credit: Get $200 back in statement credits each year on prepaid Fine Hotels + Resorts® or The Hotel Collection bookings with American Express Travel when you pay with your Platinum Card®.
  • $240 Digital Entertainment Credit: Get up to $20 in statement credits each month when you pay for eligible purchases with the Platinum Card® at your choice of one or more of the following providers: Peacock, Audible, SiriusXM, and The New York Times. Enrollment required.
  • New! American Express has expanded The Centurion® Network to include 40+ Centurion Lounge and Studio locations worldwide. Now there are even more places your Platinum Card® can get you complimentary entry and exclusive perks.
  • $200 Airline Fee Credit: Get up to $200 in statement credits per calendar year in baggage fees and more at one qualifying airline.
  • $200 Uber Cash: Enjoy Uber VIP status and up to $200 in Uber savings on rides or eats orders in the US annually. Uber Cash and Uber VIP status available to Basic Card Member only.
  • $300 Equinox Credit: Get up to $25 back each month on select Equinox memberships. Enrollment required.
  • $179 CLEAR® Credit: Use your Card and get up to $179 back per year on your CLEAR® membership.
  • $695 annual fee.
  • Terms Apply.
  • See Rates & Fees

See additional details for The Platinum Card® from American Express

More Info

The Platinum Card® from American Express is a well-rounded card that offers a seemingly endless array of benefits from a travel rewards program benefiting hotel and airfare purchases to an annual $200 airline fee credit and up to $200 in annual Uber savings (enrollment required). Cardholders earn 5X Membership Rewards® points on flights booked directly with airlines or with American Express Travel on up to $500,000 on these purchases per calendar year and 5X Membership Rewards® points on prepaid hotels booked with American Express Travel. Terms apply. This card does have a higher $695 annual fee than the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card, but it can be worthwhile if you take advantage of all the perks.

To see rates & fees for The Platinum Card® from American Express please click here.

Travel card with redemption bonus

  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening.

  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases.

  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year

Highlights
  • Earn 60,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $900 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
  • $300 Annual Travel Credit as reimbursement for travel purchases charged to your card each account anniversary year. Through December 31, 2021, gas station & grocery store purchases will also count towards earning your Travel Credit
  • 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Get 50% more value when you redeem your points for travel through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 60,000 points are worth $900 toward travel
  • With Pay Yourself BackSM, your points are worth 50% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories
  • 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
  • Access to 1,300+ airport lounges worldwide after an easy, one-time enrollment in Priority Pass™ Select and up to $100 application fee credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®
  • Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more

See additional details for Chase Sapphire Reserve®

More Info

The Chase Sapphire Reserve® has a notable 50% redemption bonus when points are redeemed for travel via Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Cardholders earn 3X points on travel immediately after earning your $300 travel credit. 3X points on dining at restaurants including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out & 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases. The redemption bonus can increase your rewards rate to an effective 4.5 points per dollar spent on travel and dining and 1.5 points per dollar spend on everything else. This card has a slightly higher $550 annual fee, but factoring in the $300 annual travel credit, the fee is offset to $150.

Bottom line

If you live near a City National Bank branch, the Crystal® Visa Infinite® Credit Card can be a great option to benefit from annual travel credits, rewards, and a wide range of protections. Prospective applicants who don’t live near a branch may have to work a bit harder to apply, but contact a representative to see if you can qualify. If you prefer a card from a major bank or one with no annual fee, check out some of the alternatives we’ve mentioned above.


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