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|
|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)|
|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.