What is Visa Signature and what are the benefits?

visa-signature-benefitsImage: visa-signature-benefits

In a Nutshell

Credit cards branded as Visa Signature cards come with extra perks and benefits beyond those offered to cardholders with a standard Visa card. These benefits could range from extra protections on purchases to travel deals and concierge access. The value of these perks depends on your needs and preferences, but many of these services could come in handy when you’re in need of some help.
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Many credit cards include the Visa Signature name, but it’s not always clear what makes them different from a standard Visa card.

Visa Signature is a tier of credit card that includes perks above and beyond those normally offered to Visa cardholders.

The qualifications needed to obtain a Visa Signature card vary depending on the financial institution that issues the card. But per Visa, in some cases you may need good or excellent credit to obtain a Visa Signature card.

In this article, we’ll break down what you get from a Visa Signature card and assess how to consider these perks when applying.

Core benefits of a Visa Signature card

A standard Visa card can offer benefits like rental car insurance, roadside dispatch and a replacement card and cash in an emergency. With Visa Signature, you can get additional cardholder benefits in addition to these standard benefits.

BenefitVisaVisa Signature
Roadside assistancexx
Emergency card replacementxx
Emergency cashxx
Rental car insurancexx
Extended warrantyx
Travel and emergency assistancex
Luxury hotel perksx
Rental car dealsx
Various merchant dealsx

Roadside assistance

This pay-per-use service provides help when you need it for emergencies like a tire change, jumpstart or tow.

Emergency card replacement

This benefit, standard across all types of Visa cards, provides you with a replacement card within a couple of days if yours is lost or stolen.

Emergency cash

If your Visa Signature cards are lost or stolen, Visa can arrange to have cash made available to you in a nearby location in an emergency.

Rental car insurance

Visa Signature cards come with rental car insurance benefits that cover items like physical damage, theft or vandalism of your rental car. Certain restrictions and exclusions generally apply — for example, you have to decline the insurance offered by rental car agencies to get this benefit.

Extended warranty service

If you buy an item with your Visa Signature card that has a U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of three years or less, this service will extend your warranty by a full year. If the warranty is for less than a year, the term is doubled.

Travel and emergency assistance

If you’re in a bind, emergency assistance can be a big help. This 24-hour hotline can assist with legal referrals, medical referrals and translation services, and deliver items like lost luggage and replacement tickets, in the U.S. or abroad.

Perks at select luxury hotels

The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection is a group of participating luxury hotels worldwide that offers cardholders special benefits like food and drink credits, free Wi-Fi or room upgrades.

Deals on some rental cars

Visa Signature cardholders can get deals on rental cars from certain brands. These deals vary, so it’s best to ask about them when you rent a car.

Concierge service

The Visa Signature concierge service can help you plan the steps of a trip, which can include buying tickets to events, booking reservations at restaurants and arranging transportation. You still have to pay for these purchases, but the help is complimentary and many may find it convenient.

Assorted merchant deals

Visa Signature cardholders may get special discounts when they shop with certain merchants. These deals vary and can include deals on rounds of golf or bottles of wine.

Potential benefits of a Visa Signature card

Although Visa Signature cards come with a number of standard benefits, some of these cards may come with additional benefits. Reach out to individual card issuers to find out if they offer these perks.

Travel insurance

Some Visa Signature cards may offer special protection for unexpected problems like accidents, trip cancellations or delays, or lost luggage. 

Price protection

If available, this benefit may provide a reimbursement for eligible items you buy with your card that are advertised (in print) at a lower price.

Return protection

This Visa Signature perk includes reimbursement for eligible items that a merchant won’t let you return after a certain time frame. 

Global Entry statement credit

Global Entry can expedite the security and customs processes when you travel by air. Some Visa Signature cards may include a statement credit of $100 to cover the cost of your application fee for this program.

Is a Visa Signature card right for me?

The added perks of Visa Signature cards can be nice to have, but that doesn’t mean one of these cards is right for everyone. In general, we don’t recommend applying for a credit card you don’t need simply to get a few extra perks.

Before deciding which card to apply for, consider how you already plan to use the card rather than how you might use Visa Signature benefits. Think about things like whether you’re OK with a card that has an annual fee, need a balance transfer or want cash back rewards.

About the author: Paris Ward is a content strategist at Credit Karma, providing readers with the latest news that will aid their financial progress. She has more than a decade of experience as a writer and editor and holds a bachelor’s… Read more.