When you compare Visa vs. Visa Signature, the biggest difference is that Visa Signature cards have more benefits. All Visa credit cards come with benefits such as rental car insurance, roadside dispatch and emergency card replacement. On top of those “Visa Traditional” perks, Visa Signature credit cards give you extended warranties, a detailed year-end summary and travel assistance services.
Visa Signature have more benefits than regular Visa cards because they’re for customers with better credit and more income. A Visa Signature will have a minimum credit limit of $5,000. Visa Traditional cards give you less. There’s also a third level of Visa cards called Visa Infinite, which has even more perks than Signature.
Many Visa cards can be Traditional, Signature or Infinite. It depends on the credit line you’re approved for. The Chase Freedom Unlimited® is a popular example. But some cards are only one type. For instance, there’s the PenFed Platinum Rewards Visa Signature® Card and the U.S. Bank Altitude Reserve Visa Infinite® Card.
Visa vs. Visa Signature Benefits
|Benefit||Visa Traditional||Visa Signature|
|Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver||Yes||Yes|
|Emergency Card Replacement||Yes||Yes|
|Emergency Cash Disbursement||Yes||Yes|
|Zero Fraud Liability||Yes||Yes|
|Cardholder Inquiry Service||Yes||Yes|
|Lost or Stolen Card Reporting||Yes||Yes|
|Warranty Manager Service||No||Yes|
|Credit Limit of $5,000+||No||Yes|
|Medical Referral Assistance||No||Yes|
|Emergency Transportation Assistance||No||Yes|
|Emergency Message Service||No||Yes|
|Prescription Assistance & Valuable Document Delivery Arrangements||No||Yes|
|Legal Referral Assistance||No||Yes|
|Emergency Ticket Replacement||No||Yes|
|Lost Luggage Locator Service||No||Yes|
|Emergency Translation Service||No||Yes|
Visa Signature’s Extra Benefits
Visa Signature cards have all the benefits that standard Visa cards have. But they come with a few more of their own.
- Warranty Manager Service: Visa will double the warranty on items you buy. That’s if the original warranty is less than a year. They’ll add one extra year if the warranty is 1-3 years. This benefit does not apply to motorized vehicles, real estate, computer software, medical equipment and certain other purchases. This is what would normally be called “extended warranty”.
- $5,000+ Credit Limit: Only Visa Signature and Visa Infinite cards have a starting credit limit of $5,000 or more.
- Year-end Summary: Visa will give you a detailed yearly report of your spending. It’s separated into categories like travel and entertainment. They will also provide a list of all purchases if you ask.
The following benefits are under Visa’s “Travel and Emergency Assistance Services” category. You can use them any time by calling 1-800-992-6029 in the USA. Or call 804-673-1675 collect from abroad.
- Emergency Ticket Replacement: If you lose your ticket, Visa will make sure you get a new one. They’ll also help you file a claim for ticket reimbursement with your travel provider.
- Emergency Transportation Assistance: Visa can arrange for your transportation under medical supervision.
- Medical Referral Assistance: Visa can connect you with a doctor while you’re traveling.
- Legal Referral Assistance: This will connect you with a lawyer, embassy or consulate. It will also help arrange for bail bonds and cash advances.
- Emergency Message Service: If you have an emergency and need to contact someone, Visa will make sure your message gets to them.
- Prescription Assistance and Valuable Document Delivery: Visa will help transport medicine or important documents that you forgot or suddenly need.
- Lost Luggage Locator Service: This helps you file a claim with your travel provider if they lose your luggage. Visa can also have new luggage sent to you.
- Emergency Translation Service: You can get translation help over the phone in all major languages. Visa will also help you find local translators.
- Pre-Trip Assistance: You can get information about exchange rates, vaccinations, the weather in your destination and more.
Visa & Visa Signature Shared Benefits
There are seven different benefits that regular Visa and Visa Signature cards share.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver: Vehicles you rent with your card are protected against collision damage and theft. This benefit applies to 15-day or fewer rentals in the U.S. or 31-day or fewer rentals abroad. You’re covered up to the cash value of the rented vehicle. Some cars aren’t covered, including minivans and sport utility vehicles. And you won’t be reimbursed for reckless behavior or personal injury.
- Roadside Dispatch: This is a pay-per-use program which will send you help if your car breaks down. You can call for it any time. The service fee is $59.95 per call and includes towing up to 5 miles, tire changes, jump starting, lockout service, up to 5 gallons of fuel and winching. Visa’s rates usually save you money over the normal rates.
- Zero Fraud Liability: Just as it sounds, you don’t have to pay for fraudulent purchases made using your card. Legally, you can’t be held responsible for more than $50. But Visa brings that down to $0 as long as you report the fraud to them right away.
- Cardholder Inquiry Service: You can call Visa customer service at 1 (800) 847-2911 any time to get information about your card and its benefits.
- Lost or Stolen Card Reporting: If your card is lost or stolen, you can call Visa any time at 1-800-847-2911 to report it. Visa will work with your issuer to block any further use of the old card.
- Emergency Card Replacement: Visa will work with your issuer to rush the shipping of a new card to you anywhere in the world within 24-72 hours.
- Emergency Cash Disbursement: If you don’t have your card abroad and need cash quickly, you can call Visa. They will contact your issuer and arrange for cash to be available near you.
Benefits Not Found on Visa or Visa Signature Credit Cards
You may be wondering about whether Signature cards offer travel insurance. Unfortunately, other than the rental car collision damage waiver, they don’t typically. Individual cards may have it based on the issuer, but it’s not a standard benefit. Travel insurance does come normally on Visa Infinite cards, though. You get insurance for travel accidents, trip cancellation or interruption, trip delay and lost luggage. In fact, Visa Infinite cards come with several other exclusive benefits, too. They include:
- Purchase protection
- Return protection
- Global Entry statement credit
- Discount airfare
While Visa Signature cards do provide a lot of perks, Visa Infinite cards give you even more bang for your buck.