Move Over Visa Signature, Visa Infinite Is Here
The Signature card has been Visa’s top offering in the United States for several years now. But a new product, Visa Infinite, has arrived, and it offers the company’s highest level of benefits. While some perks overlap with the Signature tier, Infinite offers many luxuries that Signature doesn’t provide. Although Visa’s Infinite marque has achieved most of its success outside the U.S., it is beginning to make inroads here, and several Infinite cards are now available.
Visa Infinite comes with some very attractive advantages. For instance, Infinite membership provides a $100 discount for every domestic round-trip itinerary that is purchased with the card. Because there is no limit to the number of times card holders can qualify for this rebate, it is a very generous offer, and Visa’s Signature program doesn’t provide it. The gift is per itinerary, not per ticket. In order to qualify, there must be at least two people on the itinerary and no more than five.
Visa Infinite offers another $100 rebate for travelers. This one is for the U.S. government’s Global Entry immigration system, which makes entry and exit easier for people with a U.S. passport. It’s available at large American airports. Membership in Global Entry also provides reduced wait times in the United States and expedited entry in other countries. The U.S. Customs and Border Protection agency, which administers the program, charges a $100 non-refundable application fee. This fee is not refunded even if an application is denied. Paying with a Visa Infinite card takes care of the fee, a really nice travel perk.
Visa also gives Infinite card holders twelve free Gogo inflight wi-fi passes each calendar year that can be used on any Internet-equipped airplane. Some Infinite cards will also provide access to exclusive airport lounges.
And there’s more from Visa Infinite. Card members are eligible for a VIP welcome at any one of the hotels in the Relais & Châteaux portfolio of luxury properties. There are several hundred hotels and restaurants in the collection. One example is a castle in Mirambeau, France. To qualify for this remarkable benefit, a reservation must be made a minimum of 3 days in advance through Infinite Concierge.
Below Relais & Château, Visa Infinite also offers a second portfolio of luxury hotels. This selection has nearly a thousand locations. Booking with an Infinite card will earn some nice benefits, such as free continental breakfast and room upgrades at no cost when there’s availability. Visa Signature also provides perks from some of these hotels, and a variety of card benefits could overlap between the two cards.
Visa provides theft protection anytime personal property is stolen from a room that was booked with an Infinite card. The insurance covers up to $1,000 of belongings. Infinite membership also comes with baggage delay insurance, roadside dispatch, travel accident insurance, emergency evacuation, and lost luggage reimbursement. While many of these advantages also are available on some Signature cards, the maximums may be higher with the Infinite level. Particular cards can modify or eliminate specific Infinite benefits; so keep in mind that all of these perks listed here may not be available on all Infinite cards.
Visa Infinite has its own concierge service. Agents are available to help card members with a host of services, including dining arrangements, event tickets, shopping excursions, and travel assistance. Because Infinite is Visa’s premier lineup, you can be sure that these services will be the best the company has to offer.
Although the list of Infinite cards in the U.S. is still rather small, it is growing. Available Infinite cards include the US Bank Altitude Reserve Card and the Chase Ritz-Carlton Rewards Card. US Bank’s version costs $400 per year, while the Chase card carries a $450 annual charge. While these fees may seem very steep, the cards do come with many discounts and benefits that could far exceed the yearly charges.