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Quick Points: Book through Visa Signature Hotels for elite-like perks

Nov. 26, 2021
5 min read
Fairmont Century Plaza
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Although we cover loyalty programs and credit cards in-depth on TPG every day, sometimes you just want a snippet of useful information that you can put into action on the fly. That’s why we launched the series Quick Points. Every week, we’ll highlight a new or easily forgotten tip that can help you travel more for less.

Hotel elite status can come with excellent benefits, like room upgrades, free breakfast, late checkout and more. But sometimes it’s not possible to enjoy those perks on a trip.

Perhaps you don’t stay enough with a specific chain to earn status in the first place, or you don’t carry a hotel credit card that confers it automatically. Maybe you have status with one chain but need to stay at another for a particular trip. Or you could be more interested in checking out boutique hotels wherever you travel rather than those that are part of a larger company.

There are plenty of reasons hotel status might not come in handy for each and every trip you take. But fear not, you might still be able to enjoy elite-like benefits by booking your stay through Visa Signature Hotels.

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What is Visa Signature Hotels?

(Screenshot courtesy of Visa Signature Hotels)

Visa Signature Hotels is a travel booking portal specifically for those who carry a Visa Signature credit card. It’s kind of like American Express’ The Hotel Collection, or Mastercard’s Luxury Hotels & Resorts.

Related: The best ways to book hotels through online travel agencies and bank portals

Visa Signature Hotels benefits

If you have a Visa Signature card, you’re eligible to book stays through the portal at over 900 luxury hotels worldwide and enjoy benefits that include:

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  • A best available rate guarantee (this is temporarily unavailable, but the rates are typically similar to what you’ll find through other booking channels).
  • Automatic room upgrade upon arrival, based on availability.
  • Complimentary daily breakfast for two.
  • $25 food and beverage credit.
  • Complimentary in-room Wi-Fi.
  • Late checkout upon request.

These benefits are basically equivalent to mid- or top-tier status with most hotel programs. The breakfast benefit alone can be worth $100 per day, depending on where you stay, and the $25 food and beverage credit should at least cover a drink or two, while room upgrades can be worth hundreds of dollars per stay.

Just note that if you have a Visa Infinite card, such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card, you might be entitled to even richer benefits by booking through the Visa Infinite Hotels portal, though fewer (and usually higher-end) hotels are part of that program.

(Photo by Benji Stawski/The Points Guy)

Pros and cons of booking through Visa Signature Hotels

Sounds like a fantastic deal, right? It mostly is. You just need to keep a couple of things in mind.

First, when you book through Visa Signature Hotels, you sometimes won’t be eligible to earn points or stay credits toward elite status if you are booking with a major hotel chain such as Marriott or Hilton.

If you’re not terribly interested in status, that might not mean much since you’re enjoying the perks of it anyway.

Even if you do have elite perks with one hotel loyalty program, you can leverage Visa Signature Hotels to enjoy similar benefits with another major hotel group and see how you like them. Maybe it’ll have you rethinking your loyalty strategy.

Also, note that despite the usual best rate guarantee, booking through Visa Signature Hotels won't always be the cheapest option. This is because special packages and member rates, which are sometimes lower than the standard rate, aren't available through the portal. However, the perks you’ll receive will likely make up for any price difference.

Related: Is hotel elite status worth it anymore?

Visa Signature credit cards

So now the only question that remains is whether you actually have a Visa Signature credit card.

If you’re not sure, look at your physical card and see if it has the Visa Signature logo somewhere on it. If it does, you’re in luck.

Otherwise, here are a few of the most popular Visa Signature credit cards currently available.

  • Chase Sapphire Preferred Card.
  • Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card.
  • Bank of America® Premium Rewards® credit card.
  • Alaska Airlines Visa® credit card.
  • Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Credit Card.
  • United Explorer Card.
  • United Quest Card.
  • World of Hyatt Credit Card.

Bottom line

Although hotel elite status is nice, it’s not always possible to capitalize upon it with each and every stay. If you have a Visa Signature credit card, though, you might be able to enjoy elite-like benefits while staying at hotels that aren’t part of your usual loyalty rounds, such as boutique properties or those that are part of chains you don’t normally patronize.

Check your cadre of cards to see if you are carrying any Visa Signature-branded ones. If you are, consider booking through the Visa Signature Hotels portal to enjoy perks like on-property credits and free breakfast that will help you enjoy your stay that much more, without having to jump through any elite status hoops.

Featured photo of the Fairmont Century Plaza by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy.
Updated 1/18/23

Featured image by (Photo by Eric Rosen/The Points Guy)
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.