Visa Infinite Credit Cards

With VISA being a public company now, they are looking for ways to spread their reach and make more money. One way is to compete with one of their arch rivals, American Express. AMEX cards are notorious for offering better rewards than the traditional VISA/Mastercard, but times are changing.

Introducing the new Visa Infinite credit cards. These prestigious cards are jam packed with travel features/insurances but with similar fees as the regular Visa travel cards (~$120/year). As these cards include travel insurances such as travel medical, trip cancellation/interruption, lost baggage, and car rental collision, the annual fee will pay for itself in a single vacation. Qualification for these cards is a little more challenging however as they require at least $60k/year income or $100k/year family income.

It seems that some of the big banks have jumped onboard offering specialized versions of the Infinite VISA, but which bank offers the best Visa?

Note that MDJ is not affiliated with the cards mentioned below.

CIBC TD Bank Royal Bank
Annual Fee: $120 $120 $120
Rewards: 1 mile for $1 spent, 1.5 mile for $1 spent @ gas, grocery, drug stores 3 pts for $1 spent, 20k pts = $100 towards travel 1 RBC pt for $1 spent
Return: 1%-8% but high returns limited to business class Aeroplan tickets. 1.5% towards any travel. ?
Theft /Extended Warranty: No Yes Yes
Trip Cancel Ins: No Yes No
Trip Interrupt Ins: Yes Yes Yes
Travel Med Ins: Yes (15 days) Yes (8 days) Yes (15 days)
Travel Concierge: Yes Yes Yes
Lost /Delay Baggage Ins: Yes Yes Yes
Car Rental Ins: Yes Yes Yes
Common Carrier Accident Ins: Yes Yes Yes
Free Travelers Cheques: No Yes ?

As you can see from the table above, RBC has a lot of question marks next to it. Their Infinite “black” Visa is offered to private clients, aka: high net worth clients, for a lower fee than non private clients. The exact details haven’t officially been released to the general public just yet. I have read that the high annual fee is justified by offering a free Priority Pass membership along with a TabletPlus membership. RBC must be attempting to replicate the prestigious American Express Centurion Black credit card, but exclusively for Canadians.

The TD and CIBC Visa Infinite credit cards are very similar. Although the CIBC Aeroplan rewards may potentially have a higher return than the TD travel rewards, the TD card has the advantage of reward flexibility, trip cancellation insurance, purchase insurance, extended warranty and free travelers cheques.

I can see these cards being huge for existing Aerogold and TD card holders as they can convert and receive an abundance of new perks for the same annual fee. For me, unless I start traveling extensively, I’m sticking with the no fee credit cards.

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FT

FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Franko
11 years ago

I’m organizing a trip to France, and the TD Infinite card has given me a total of $1100 back for my trip. It’s important to note 3 things:

(1) I had emptied the card 2 years ago on my last flight to europe

(2) we are not big travelers, so these points are earned simply by doing groceries and the like.

(3) we are traveling with another couple who do not have a points card and they allowed me to buy their plane tickets with my card which really helped (9 points for every $1 spent).

The card has REALLY paid for its self many times over and I am VERY happy with it.

Jay Jay
12 years ago

I work in a retail business, there is absolutely no prestige in Infinite cards, Gold card members or even regular card members have been given Visa Infinite cards.
I have talked to quite a few of our clients ( how did you get the card ? ) and they say ” Oh i dont know , it just came in the mail ” Minimum $60,000 requirement is only on the paper / application … I guess!
On the other hand American Express Platinum CHARGE card ( not credit card ) and Centurion card , the criteria is very firm and standards of aquiring the cards are strictly based on financial status/portfolio ….No Money….No Platinum charge card or Centurion card …..simple as that, this is why you dont see them very often .
Visa should have been selective with Infinite series.
Since there is no campaign on RBC Infinite card , so many are not aware it if it exists . Plus RBC should have given a different name so that it has its own distinction in the market. I can assure you that vast majority of merchants/customers will not know the difference between RBC Infinte or Regular Infinite card .( Suggestion RBC guys ) …. …..Unless RBC wants to keep it to Private Private RBC clients only ….then its a different storey

Ric Sandy
12 years ago

Visa has completely diluted the prestige and cachet of the Infinite card rollout by upgrading EVERYONE who was a Aerogold, Aventura, or Avion cardholder. I know many Aerogold and Avion Infinite cardholders who absolutely do not meet the minimum criteria for acceptance and received Infinite cards in the mail to replace their current cards. Visa Infinite is a poor substitution for Centurion and only a means to justify higher merchant fees.

Elman
12 years ago

credit cards will soon require pin # instead of signature. This will shift the onus of liability to the consumer. Maybe MDJ can do an article.
http://www.cbc.ca/money/moneytalks/2008/11/ellen_roseman_the_promise_and.html

NotSoInfinite
12 years ago

Mike:

Not sure where you get “Infinity” from – the cards I’ve seen all say “Infinite”, which is why I think the branding’s weird.

Mike
12 years ago

I just switched from the Platinum to the Infinite cards only becasue I still argued with them to give me the 15k points and they did. The cards are essentially the same except the .25 more points for travel related purchases, and a few more rather small perks. They do have a 60k individual or 100k family income requirement however.

The Infinity card is completely different. I was joking with the guy on the phone, there is a $499 fee for the card which seems nuts, but this card is for millionairs only. You have to have millions in investments/bank to even apply for the card.

I think it is smart branding really because how many non millionairs are going to want that card just casue it does suggest a little more pretiege. The cards have different names, although close. Infinite, and Infinity.

NotSoInfinite
12 years ago

I think some people here are confusing the RBC Infinite Avion and the RBC Infinite cards – they are not at all the same. The Infinite Avion is relatively easy to obtain, the Infinite is NOT, and can be had only through a relationship with a private banker.

The Infinite Avion seems like a dilution of the brand, to me. Odd marketing.

Peter
12 years ago

Information in this article is either outdated or just wrong. I am an RBC Visa Platinum Avion card holder. My boyfriend has the RBC Visa Infinite Avion card. They are pretty much the same when it comes to annual fees or grace period or point redemption except for some extra perks for Visa Infinite. Both are $120 per year / 15000 points are given upon enrolment and 2500 each year upon renewal. (With 15000 one can travel short-haul within Canada). 1 point per each dollar spent for both cards, except the Infinite gives you 1.25 points per dollar spent on travel related purchases (airlines, hotels, car rentals etc.). Both have insurance and zero cardholder liability.
The only real “visible” difference is the fact that it is harder to apply for the Infinite card (apparently you need 65K – 100K per year income). The spending limit is not “infinite.” It, as with all cards, depends on your income and spending habits. (I mean the Infinite card does have all that 24-hour Concierge bs, but who cares about that).
Another perk with Avion cards is that you can exchange Avion points for British Airways points (most of the time 1 to 1; however, a couple times per year they have promotional periods when the points can be exchanged 1 to 1.5. How great is that?!) Otherwise travel is on any airline, any time, no blackouts or seat restrictions. Unlike the “Air Canada card” (I believe).

outoftheloop
12 years ago

Are there any U.S. banks that offer this card at a reasonable rate? I’m unable to even locate any american banks that have the Visa Infinite.