Visa Signature credit cards offer perks at luxury hotels and benefits that can save you money and hassle, but many cardholders aren't aware they have one

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  • Visa Signature credit cards, like the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card, come with valuable benefits.
  • These include perks at luxury hotels, secondary car rental insurance, and a 24/7 concierge service.
  • Some issuers offer optional perks on certain cards, which you can find in your guide to benefits.
  • Read Insider’s guide to the best rewards credit cards.

If you’re carrying a Visa card in your wallet, chances are you haven’t spent time scrutinizing Visa’s benefits. I hadn’t until I noticed the word “Signature” below Visa on my Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card. While I assumed that I could thank Chase for most of the perks, it turns out that Visa deserves some of my appreciation, too. 

Visa Signature is the middle tier of Visa cards. Cards with this branding offer more perks than standard Visa cards and most likely carry a higher credit limit, too. However, they aren’t as powerful as the top-of-the-line Visa Infinite, which is comparable to Mastercard’s World Elite program. 

Visa Signature card benefits

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

To take advantage of one of the most valuable pieces of the Visa Signature program, you’ll have to leave home. If you have a card with the Signature branding, you have access to great perks when you book a room in the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection.

There are more than 900 properties in the collection including stand-out hotels like The Peninsula in Chicago, the Faena on South Beach in Miami, and the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills. Here’s what you’ll get as a Luxury Hotel Collection guest:

  • Automatic room upgrade when available
  • Complimentary Wi-Fi
  • Complimentary breakfast for two
  • $25 food and beverage credit
  • VIP guest status

The complimentary breakfast for two is the sweet spot here, because a morning meal at luxury properties can wind up adding a hefty tab to your bill. And if you aren’t sure of where you want to go, the website’s directory of special offers can point you toward where you can stretch your dollars with a full rundown of current dining credits available, third-night-free promotions, and other discounts. 

Other Visa Signature travel perks and protections

Regardless of where you wind up staying on your getaway, a Visa spokesperson confirmed that all Visa Signature cards come with these standard features.

Secondary car rental insurance

You can skip the hassle of dealing with your own auto insurance or paying for coverage at the rental counter. Visa Signature cards will provide reimbursement for damage from collision or theft on most rental cars. Pay extra attention to the “most” disclaimer, though. A lot of Signature cards — including the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card — exclude exotic cars. If you want those protected, you will want a card with the Visa Infinite insignia, like the Chase Sapphire Reserve®, which offers coverage up to $75,000.

Concierge service

Whether you’re looking to score tickets to a Broadway performance (when those lights shine again), send a gift to someone, or make reservations at a restaurant, Visa Signature cards offer access to a 24/7 concierge service. The number is 800-953-7392.

Roadside dispatch

Signature cards come with access to emergency roadside assistance, towing, and locksmith services. It’s important to note, though, that you’ll likely need to pay for these services. Being a member of AAA may be a more convenient and cost-effective option in these worst-case scenarios.

Travel and emergency assistance services

If you’re traveling and need help, you can call the Visa Signature center at 800-992-6029 for emergency translation services, legal referral, prescription assistance, and a range of needs. Keep in mind any third-party costs incurred are still the cardholder’s responsibility.

Extended warranty protection

Even if you are just traveling to the mall, using your Visa Signature card can make a difference. If you use it for a product that comes with a manufacturer’s warranty, the card will extend the duration of that warranty by up to an extra year. 

Optional Visa Signature benefits

There is a long list of other features that might be included in your card, but Visa doesn’t guarantee any of these. Instead, they’re up to your bank. Here’s a general rule: If you’re paying an annual fee, you’re likely to receive more of these benefits:

  • Travel accident insurance
  • Trip delay reimbursement
  • Trip cancellation and interruption reimbursement
  • Reimbursement if your luggage is lost
  • Statement credit for the Global Entry program application fee
  • Baggage delay reimbursement
  • Priority Pass airport lounge access
  • Access to winery events in California’s Sonoma County
  • Insurance for items stolen from your hotel room
  • Cell phone insurance
  • Emergency medical and dental expenses up to $2,500
  • Emergency evacuation services up to $10,000

Keep a lookout for news from Visa in 2021 — the company has plans to add some extra benefits to Visa Signature cards this year.

The final sign-off on your card’s benefits comes from your bank

While Visa Signature can deliver meaningful value, the bank that issues the card has the final say in each card’s benefits and pricing. For example, here’s a comparison of the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card issued by Bank of America against the Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card.

 

Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card

Wells Fargo Visa Signature® Card

Welcome bonus

50,000 bonus miles after you make $2,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days of your account opening, plus Alaska’s famous companion fare from $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22).

N/A

Annual fee

$75

$0

Rewards earning

3x miles on Alaska Airlines purchases

1 mile per dollar on all other purchases

5x rewards points on the first $12,500 spent on gas, grocery, and drugstore purchases for the first six months (then 1x)

1 point per dollar on all other purchases

Visa Signature benefits

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Secondary rental car insurance

Extended warranty

Roadside dispatch

Travel and emergency assistance

24/7 concierge service

 

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Secondary rental car insurance

Extended warranty

Roadside dispatch

Travel and emergency assistance

24/7 concierge service

Travel accident insurance

Trip cancellation protection

Lost luggage reimbursement

Cell phone protection

Purchase protection

Price protection

Other benefits

 

Free first checked bag on Alaska flights for cardholder and up to six guests on the same reservation

Alaska companion fare from $121 ($99 fare, plus taxes and fees from $22) on your card anniversary

20% back on Alaska inflight purchases

50% off Alaska lounge day passes

0% APR on purchases and balance transfers in the first 15 months of account opening, then a 12.49% to 25.49% variable APR

Points have 50% more value when you redeem for airfare 

Access to Wells Fargo Go Far Rewards

Foreign transaction fee

No

Yes

If you’re a frequent Alaska Airlines flyer, the $75 annual fee on the Alaska Airlines Visa® Credit Card is well worth it for travel perks on the carrier. Meanwhile, Wells Fargo’s introductory rewards offer is limited, but this no-annual-fee card comes with more Visa Signature benefits than the Alaska card.

3 great Visa Signature cards to consider

Here are some of the other popular Visa Signature credit cards available right now. To find out all the benefits offered by the Visa Signature card you have, check your guide to benefits or call the number on the back of your card.

 

Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card

United℠ Explorer Card

Fidelity® Rewards Visa Signature® Card

Annual fee

$95

$95, waived first year

$0

Welcome bonus

60,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months from account opening

40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open

 

N/A

Rewards rate

2x points on travel and dining

5x points on Lyft rides through March 2022

1x on everything else

2x miles on eligible United purchases

2x miles on restaurant/delivery service purchases, and hotel stays booked directly with the hotel

1 mile per dollar on everything else

2 points per dollar on all purchases (worth 2% cash back when you deposit to an eligible Fidelity account)

Card benefits

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Primary rental car insurance

Extended warranty

Roadside dispatch

Travel and emergency assistance

24/7 concierge service

Lost luggage reimbursement

Travel accident insurance

Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance

Baggage delay insurance

Trip delay reimbursement

Purchase protection

 

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Primary rental car insurance

Extended warranty

Roadside dispatch

Travel and emergency assistance

24/7 concierge service

Lost luggage reimbursement

Travel accident insurance

Trip cancellation and trip interruption insurance

Baggage delay insurance

Trip delay reimbursement

Purchase protection

Free first checked bag

Priority boarding

25% back on inflight purchases

2 one-time United Club airport lounge passes

Global Entry or TSA PreCheck application fee credit

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection

Secondary rental car insurance

Extended warranty

Roadside dispatch

Travel and emergency assistance

24/7 concierge service

Lost luggage reimbursement

Travel accident insurance

 

 

 

Foreign transaction fee

No

No

Yes

  Read our Chase Sapphire Preferred card review Read our United Explorer card review Read our Fidelity Rewards Visa Signature card review

David McMillin has written about credit cards, mortgages, banking, taxes, and travel for the past 10 years. His goal is simple: help readers figure out how to minimize fees and maximize rewards.

Citi Citi® / AAdvantage® Platinum Select® World Elite Mastercard®Chase Marriott Bonvoy Boundless™ Credit CardChase Chase Freedom Unlimited®

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

Please note: While the offers mentioned above are accurate at the time of publication, they’re subject to change at any time and may have changed, or may no longer be available.

Disclosure: This post is brought to you by the Personal Finance Insider team. We occasionally highlight financial products and services that can help you make smarter decisions with your money. We do not give investment advice or encourage you to adopt a certain investment strategy. What you decide to do with your money is up to you. If you take action based on one of our recommendations, we get a small share of the revenue from our commerce partners. This does not influence whether we feature a financial product or service. We operate independently from our advertising sales team.

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