Visa Infinite has finally arrived in the you U.S. Read about the benefits (and which cards carry the Infinite label) here.
I’ve received quite a few questions about the Visa Infinite credit card so I thought it was time to explain what’s fact and what’s fiction.
What is it?
So what is Visa Infinite? Well as you know, Visa issues cards in different tiers. While most of us know the Classic, Gold, and Platinum levels. On Visa’s website they categorize these into 3 different types:
- Traditional Cards
- Traditional Cards With Rewards
- Premium Rewards Cards
In the US, that last category is a synonym for the Visa Signature cards. However not every country uses the “Signature” branding. In some countries, the top credit cards are Visa Infinite instead.
Either way, both the Signature and Infinite have comparable benefits.
Where can you get it?
Here is a list of all the countries that use the Infinite name for their top-tier of Visa cards.
- Costa Rica
- Hong Kong
- Saudi Arabia
- South Africa
- South Korea
- United Arab Emirates
As you will notice, absent from the list is the United States and United Kingdom, yet interestingly enough you can still find the branding used in neighboring countries.
For example, even though the US doesn’t have them, there is Visa Infinite in Canada (from CIBC, TD Bank, RBC, and Scotiabank).
How exclusive is it?
Most of the emails I receive about this card are people asking if it’s uber-exclusive, like an American Express black card.
The truth is just because a card is Infinite, it doesn’t mean it’s exclusive. Now there are some that are exclusive, like the one from Canada’s RBC for private banking clients, but there are plenty which are relatively easy to qualify for.
For example, the CIBC Dividend Visa Infinite Card (Canada) has minimum income requirements of $60k per year and the annual fee is modest at $79.
So will you at least have to be middle-class to get approved? Yes. But to make a blanket statement and say all of the Infinite cards are prestigious or exclusive would be incorrect.
Just like the Visa Signature cards here in the US, some are exclusive while others are extremely common. In short, the tier of the Visa doesn’t determine its exclusivity. Rather, it’s the issuing bank who determines what a card’s requirements are.
What are the benefits?
Like I said if you’re familiar with the Signature, that’s more or less what you can expect on the Infinite. The benefits do vary a bit by country but on average here’s what you will probably find:
- Phone concierge service
- No pre-set spending limit –or– a preset limit of $20k or higher
- Privileges and perks through the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection
- Various insurance benefits for rental cars, common carrier travel, lost/stolen luggage, etc.
- Emergency replacement for lost/stolen cards
- Invites to food/wine events
- Emergency cash (it’s not free money, the amount gets charged to your account)
- Hotline to assist you in finding emergency medical or legal help
As you see, most of the benefits aren’t too exacting, with the exception of the Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection. It gives you some extra bells and whistles at participating hotels. As an example, here’s what Canadian cardmembers get:
- Best available rate
- Automatic room upgrade when available
- Free valet – or – internet
- 3 pm check-out if available
- Continental breakfast for free
- $25 certificate for food/beverage
Good benefits, but keep in mind you aren’t going to get them staying at the Holiday Inn. The participating hotels are places like Montreal’s St. Paul Hotel, Vancouver’s Sangri-La, and other high-end places. There are hotels all over the world that are part of this program.
In the US, Visa Infinite credit cards would basically be on par with our Signature tier. You definitely get some nice advantages, but those who think that all Infinite cards are super exclusive is sorely mistaken.
If you live in the U.S. and want something comparable, my recommendation would be a Visa Signature.