If you’ve been working on your credit, you may be looking into different types of credit cards. Choosing the right card can be difficult. There are so many different kinds of credit cards out there. What about one of the most popular credit card companies in the United States, Visa? What are the differences? And, what are the differences between Visa Signature or Visa Platinum? Here is what you need to know to help you figure it out.
Visa Signature Cards
First, visa signature is not a separate credit card, it is a level of card tier that gives better benefits than you get with a typical card.
The first card with the Visa Signature Card tier of benefits was introduced over a decade ago. At first, it was launched as a premium credit card for people who were well off. Since only those with a credit score above 670 can quality, these cards are extremely exclusive. Currently, one of the most popular Visa Signature cards is the Chase Sapphire Card, oftentimes considered to be a higher class credit card.
Today, however, visa signature perks are being offered to more mid-level credit card members. Additionally, more and more banks are transferring their cardmembers to Visa Signature cards. Linda Chavez, Founder & CEO of Seniors Life Insurance Finder says “One thing that worries many Visa Signature customers is that there is no clear credit limit for its users. For many customers the limit shown is the most money they’ve charged to the card in one month
Your bank may extend or offer additional, more exclusive benefits. However, here are a list of the best benefits of the Visa Signature cards:
- Discounts on some shipping companies, concert tickets and online learning platforms
- Luxury hotel perks and rental car perks
- Discounts on California wine
- Golf rewards
- Concierge services for travel, dining and floral services
- Enhanced airline miles, bonus points or cash back rewards
- Access to airline/airport lounges
- Rebates on airline incidental fees
These perks vary depending on the card or the company issuing the card. However, the Visa Signature generally provides travel and emergency assistance, roadside dispatch, concierge services and emergency cash disbursement.
Visa Platinum Cards
Visa Platinum is a Visa card tier issued internationally but not in the United States. If you see a US card with the word “platinum” on it, it doesn’t have anything to do with the Visa card network.
Visa Platinum cards, however, have a definite credit limit for users to reference. Platinum cards were introduced more recently, but they have many of the same perks the Signature cards do. So, what’s the difference?
With a Visa platinum card, you get:
- $500 minimum credit limit
- Secondary rental car collision and damage waiver
- Emergency and travel assistance services
- 1 year extended warranty protection
- Travel and shopping discounts
When comparing the benefits side by side, the differences become clearer. While Visa Platinum was once the highest tier, the Visa Signature now offers more extensive perks and benefits.
Visa Signature or Visa Platinum
The largest difference when it comes to Visa Signature or Visa Platinum is that Signature card accounts do not report your card’s credit limit. This can be both good and bad. If you need extra money (beyond your credit limit) for an emergency, a Signature card may come in handy.
On the opposite side of the same coin, having no credit card limit could potentially hurt you if you cannot control your spending. This could lead to debt that you’re unable to control. However, if you tend to go over your credit limit, the Visa Signature card doesn’t have any over-limit charges while the Platinum card does.
Not reporting your limit could hurt your credit in the long run though. By not reporting the credit limit on your card Visa Signature cards, you can create the impression that the use of your card is greater than it is (which is bad news if you’re looking for a new loan).
Which Visa Card is Better?
So, you may be asking yourself, “Visa Signature or Visa Platinum: Which is the better card?” Well, it really depends on what you’re looking to gain from your credit card and where you are located.
Many customers have favored the Visa Platinum card in recent years because of the scenario mentioned above (no credit limit reporting). However, the Visa Signature’s downfall may also be its biggest strength.
After doing some research about the two cards, one thing seems to be the same. If you are looking to build credit (instead of simply maintain), go with Visa Platinum. People who are looking to build credit need a card with a limit to show that you don’t go over and can pay back the amount owed. If you are simply looking to maintain your credit as-is, you can go with either card and be unaffected.
Do you have a Visa card? We’d love to hear about what you think about the Visa Signature or Visa Platinum debate in the comments below.
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Jenny Smedra is an avid world traveler, ESL teacher, former archaeologist, and freelance writer. Choosing a life abroad had strengthened her commitment to finding ways to bring people together across language and cultural barriers. While most of her time is dedicated to either working with children, she also enjoys good friends, good food, and new adventures.