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Visa is one of largest payment processing networks in the world, which makes its best-known slogan “It’s everywhere you want to be” apt. Anyone who carries a Visa card is likely to find it’s accepted anywhere in the world that takes credit cards.
Although the main characteristics of your credit card, including any fees, rewards, welcome bonuses or 0% APR offers are determined by the issuing bank, every Visa offers some benefits depending on the level. Often these perks can save you money and provide peace-of-mind extras when traveling, shopping or are otherwise out and about.
There are three tiers, or levels of Visa:
The difference between these types is that the higher the tier, the greater the benefits and extras included on the card. The exact benefits that come with your particular Visa card, however, are determined by your issuing bank. This means a Visa Signature card from one bank may have slightly different benefits than a Visa Signature card from another bank.
Traditional Visa Benefits
If your card is a traditional Visa card, these are some of the included benefits that could come with your card:
- Cardholder Inquiry Service. Get 24-hour access to a Visa representative with any questions about your account.
- Lost or Stolen Card Assistance. You can report your lost or stolen card 24 hours a day seven days a week. Visa will work with you and your issuing bank as needed to put a hold on your missing account, issue a replacement card and/or arrange for an emergency cash disbursement.
- Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver. Receive auto coverage for damage due to collision or theft. To activate the coverage, complete the entire rental transaction with your eligible Visa card and decline the rental company’s collision damage waiver (CDW) coverage.
- Zero Liability. Your liability for unauthorized transactions is $0.
- Roadside Dispatch. Eligible Visa cardholders have access to Roadside Dispatch, a pay-per-use service that provides the following services for a set fee: standard towing up to 5 miles included, tire changing (must have a good, inflated spare tire) jump starting, lockout service (no key replacement), fuel delivery up to 5 gallons (plus the cost of fuel) and standard winching.
Visa Signature Benefits
Visa Signature is the next level up and typically comes with all of the benefits included above plus a these additional perks:
- Extended Warranty Protection. Visa will extend the life of your existing U.S. manufacturer’s warranty of 3 years or less. For warranties of less than one year, the term is doubled; for warranties of 1 year up to 3 years, the warranty is extended for an extra year.
- Year-end Summary. Get a detailed yearly report of your spending, organized into spending categories.
- Travel and Emergency Assistance Services. Get access to a multilingual call center 24 hours a day 365 days of the year. Services include pre-trip assistance, medical referral assistance, emergency transportation assistance, emergency message service, prescription assistance and valuable document delivery arrangements, legal referral assistance, emergency ticket replacement, lost luggage locator service and emergency translation service.
Visa Infinite Benefits
- Return Protection. Use your Visa Infinite card for your purchase and get extra return protection anytime you make an eligible purchase of an item up to $300 if within 90 days you become dissatisfied with your purchase and the merchant will not accept your return.
- Travel Accident Insurance. When you use your covered Visa card to purchase your ticket for travel including airfare, ferry, train or bus, receive $500,000 of accidental death and dismemberment coverage.
- Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption. If you have to cancel or interrupt your trip, this benefit can help reimburse you for the nonrefundable cost of your passenger fare. This feature may also be available on some Visa Signature cards.
- Trip Delay Reimbursement. If your flight purchased with your Visa Infinite card is delayed by more than six hours or requires an overnight stay, you can be reimbursed for the reasonable expenses that you incur as a result of that delay, up to a $500 maximum
When you have a credit card that runs on the Visa network, it most likely comes with a number of protections and insurances that could save you money. Be sure to read your card’s guide to benefits to see what exact attributes your Visa card has so you can take advantage of any perks available.
If you’re trying to choose a specific card based on the Visa benefits, shift gears and choose a credit card based on the overall benefits of the card itself, and not just any extras offered by Visa.