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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.
|Emergency card replacement||x||x|
|Rental car insurance||x||x|
|Travel and emergency assistance||x|
|Luxury hotel perks||x|
|Rental car deals||x|
|Various merchant deals||x|
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.
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.
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.Read more: The best Visa credit cards
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.
Some Visa Signature cards may offer special protection for unexpected problems like accidents, trip cancellations or delays, or lost luggage.
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.
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.