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The Visa Infinite program isn’t very well known in the US, but it offers a generous selection of benefits that can improve your travel experiences and keep you covered when things go wrong. Below, TPG Points & Miles Editor Sarah Silbert walks you through all the details you need to know.
Chase recently announced several updates to the Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card, but one that’s remained relatively under the radar is its new status as a Visa Infinite card, a step up from Visa Signature. Since there are only two Visa Infinite cards available in the US — the updated version of the Ritz card and the Crystal Visa Infinite Credit Card offered through City National Bank — you may be wondering just what this designation entails.
There isn’t currently a US version of the Visa Infinite website, so use the following rundown of the program’s benefits as a guide. However, it’s important to note that the perks outlined below are all the possible benefits available through the Visa Infinite program, but specific issuers can choose to tweak or leave out certain ones. If you have a Visa Infinite card, be sure to share your experience in the comments!
TRAVEL AND LIFESTYLE BENEFITS
Save $100 on Round-Trip Domestic Coach Airfare
This is probably the standout benefit available through the program: When you pay for domestic coach round-trip airfare for two to five people with your Visa Infinite card, you’ll get a $100 discount. Note that the discount is per itinerary (not per ticket), and your name must be on each booking, so you can’t get more savings by purchasing tickets separately. The Ritz-Carlton card happens to offer 2x points on airfare purchased directly from the airline — not as good a return as offered through cards like the Premier Rewards Gold Card from American Express, but pretty solid considering you could be saving $100 as well.
Global Entry Application Fee Credit
This Visa Infinite program will reimburse you for the $100 fee to apply for Global Entry. While this program is definitely worth signing up for to breeze through immigration, several other premium travel rewards cards also offer a Global Entry fee reimbursement, so this shouldn’t factor too heavily in your decision to get a Visa Infinite card.
Car Rental Discounts
Cardholders get special discounts at car rental providers such as Avis, National and Silvercar, and they’re also eligible for upgrades, preferred service and “VIP amenities.” Paired with the fact that the Visa Infinite program offers primary car rental insurance (more on that later in the post), using an eligible card could be a great choice for renting a set of wheels.
Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection
When you book a hotel stay with a Visa Infinite card, you’ll enjoy perks such as an automatic room upgrade on arrival (when available) and complimentary continental breakfast. It’s unclear how much this differs from the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection, especially since for both programs Visa says these benefits are available at 900-plus properties.
Visa Infinite Preferred Hotel Benefits
Relais & Châteaux is a group of about 500 luxury properties around the world, and as a Visa Infinite cardholder you can enjoy a “VIP welcome” at ~120 hotels in the portfolio. To enjoy this perk, you’ll need to book through the Visa Infinite Concierge service at least 72 hours in advance. The Relais & Châteaux collection includes some pretty amazing properties, so this benefit could potentially elevate an already-great stay.
Visa Infinite Concierge
Like most other premium card programs, the Visa Infinite program includes a dedicated concierge service that can assist with travel and dining arrangements, shopping, access to exclusive events and more. It’s unclear if this service can score you super-sweet finds like cheap tickets to Hamilton courtesy of Amex concierge, but you can expect great service and assistance with pretty much whatever outing you’re planning.
Primary Rental Car Insurance
Through Visa Infinite, you can get primary coverage for up to $75,000 due to damage or collision of a rental car. It isn’t the only card to offer this coverage — the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and a few others do as well — but this is definitely a great perk to have, since you won’t need to file a claim with your own insurance company in the event of an accident or theft.
Trip Accident Insurance
Hopefully it’s something you’ll never have to use, but the program does offer coverage in the event of accidental death or dismemberment — up to a maximum of $500,000 when you pay for an entire common carrier ticket with your Visa Infinite card.
Trip Cancellation, Interruption and Delay Insurance
Other coverage includes reimbursement of up to $2,000 per insured trip for non-refundable expenses when you cancel a trip for a covered reason or when your trip is interrupted or delayed for a covered reason. We don’t have a full list of “covered reasons,” but if you’re suffering from a serious illness or injury you can expect this benefit to be offered. You also get coverage for expenses (up to $500 per day) when a purchased trip is delayed more than six hours or requires an overnight stay. This is actually more generous than the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card’s policy, which reimburses you up to $500 a day when a trip is delayed for more than 12 hours (or requires an overnight stay).
Lost Luggage Reimbursement
If your checked or carry-on baggage is lost or stolen on a common carrier, the program will reimburse you up to $3,000. This is similar to the coverage you’ll get with the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card, and superior to Amex’s coverage on non-premium cards (though you can get up to $3,000 reimbursed for combined checked and carry-on bag loss with a card like the Platinum Card from American Express).
When you purchase a product with a warranty of three years or less, you’ll get an extra year of coverage for up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per cardholder. This isn’t the only coverage option out there, and there are some more generous ones: Citi offers one year of extended coverage for items with a warranty of five years or less (and up to two extra years in some cases), while Amex provides up to one additional year for warranties of five years or less.
If an item is stolen or damaged within 90 days from the purchase date — and you purchased it with a Visa Infinite Card — you’ll be covered for up to $10,000 per claim (up to $50,000 per year). Under the coverage, you can either be reimbursed; have the item repaired; or get a replacement. Make sure to check out this post for info on more cards that offer great purchased protection, including some options that cover you for up to 120 days from the purchase date.
In addition to purchase protection that covers you in the event of theft or damage, the Visa Infinite program offers coverage of up to $300 per item and $1,000 per year when you’re unhappy with a product and the retailer won’t accept a return. To be eligible, you need to pay for the purchase with your Visa Infinite Card and file a claim within 90 days of the purchase date.
Like other premium credit card programs, Visa Infinite offers a nice array of benefits. The opportunity to save $100 on domestic round-trip coach flights can certainly come in handy, as can the primary car rental insurance. Other perks like car rental discounts and special treatment at hotels aren’t unique to the program, but they can absolutely add to the value you get from your card — not a bad thing if you’re paying $450 a year for the updated Ritz-Carlton Rewards Credit Card.
Featured image courtesy of Château Saint-Martin, a Relais & Châteaux property.
Do you have a Visa Infinite card? Share your thoughts on the benefits in the comments below!
Even after the introduction of the Chase Sapphire Reserve, the Chase Sapphire Preferred is still a fantastic choice if you want to avoid the Reserve’s $450 annual fee, earn 2x on all travel & dining and earn a 50,000 point sign up bonus.
- Earn 50,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $625 toward travel when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®
- Named Best Credit Card for Flexible Travel Redemption - Kiplinger's Personal Finance, July 2016
- 2X points on travel and dining at restaurants worldwide & 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Earn 5,000 bonus points after you add the first authorized user and make a purchase in the first 3 months from account opening
- No foreign transaction fees
- 1:1 point transfer to leading airline and hotel loyalty programs
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards. For example, 50,000 points are worth $625 toward travel
- No blackout dates or travel restrictions - as long as there's a seat on the flight, you can book it through Chase Ultimate Rewards