With so many different credit card options available, it’s important to weigh all the possibilities. Check out the Visa perks on these different cards and what may work for you.
50 years ago, credit cards were something that only the extremely wealthy used. There were often a ton of extra charges, and you never would have found yourself searching the internet for the best Visa perks at that moment.
Even 20 years ago, credit cards weren’t extremely popular. A lot of people did use them, but in general, I think it is safe to say that people were still scared of them. Fraud was a real concern and tracking all your charges wasn’t nearly as easy as it is now.
In the last five years, the use of credit has jumped substantially. And if you aren’t using a credit card, you are certainly using a debit card and have at least gotten away from cash. There are still a few dinosaurs out there who carry tons of cash, but for the most part, the world has gone credit.
I’ll be honest, one of the newer items I’ve recently grown fond of is Apple or Google Pay. Depending on the operating device of your cell phone, you can store your credit cards in a wallet, and all you have to do is tap your phone on the credit card scanner.
I’ll admit, I was the guy that would always leave the house for something and forget my wallet, but now, as long as I have my phone, I can buy almost anything at all major retail outlets. As you have heard me preach before, credit cards can be a blessing and a curse. If you know how to use one properly, they can provide a ton of perks. If you get carried away with spending and don’t pay them off each month, it can be a huge burden.
Today I want to take a look at different Visa perks on different types of cards that they offer. The type of person you are and what’s important to you will be huge factors in what type of credit card (if any) works for you.
No Interest Visa Perks Credit Card:
Full disclosure: a zero percent interest credit card is one that a newer person in the world of credit must be careful with. Zero percent interest is a fantastic perk on the Wells Fargo Active Cash Visa, but you must know how to utilize it.
The Wells Fargo card is great for a few reasons. One, you get two percent cash rewards on all your purchases. That means if you spend $1,000 a month you will get $240 back throughout the year in cash. That’s huge as long as you are not spending extra money just for the reward.
Second, this card has zero fees and a sign-on perk. So not only can you earn two percent cash back on all purchases, but you can also earn a $200 cash reward after spending $1,000 in the first three months of having the card. The ability to get this much value from a card with zero fees is a huge Visa perk on this Wells Fargo card.
And third, this card offers zero percent interest for the first 15 months of the card. Keep in mind that after that, it jumps to a huge rate and any balance remaining will retro activate back to the higher rate. However, if you have some debt on a card with huge interest rates, or if you have a big purchase in mind that you can pay off over 15 months, this card could be huge.
I know several people who racked up debt on a card with high-interest rates and then they got a zero percent card to transfer the debt to and pay it off. If any of the Visa perks above sound good to you, a Wells Fargo Active Cash card could be a great fit.
Cash Back Visa Perks Credit Card:
Although not many people are carrying around cash anymore, the term “cash is king” is still relevant. And while some folks are looking for a travel partner when getting a credit card, some just want to get cash back. The Chase Freedom Unlimited Visa credit card can do just that.
The first Visa perk that stands out to me on this card is zero fees. That means you can get this card and really have zero obligation to use it. Sometimes you’ll see fees of up to $500 a year, which is fine as long as the reward is good, but it also puts pressure on you to utilize the card when paying that much just to have it.
And while the Wells Fargo card above offered two percent cash back, the Chase Freedom card can offer up to 6.5 percent cash back in the first year on all travel booked through Chase Ultimate Rewards. On top of that, you can earn 4.5 percent cash back on all drugstore purchases, dining, and takeout delivery services. This card also offers 3 percent on all other purchases in year one (up to $20,000 on spend).
This care does drop down to 5 percent cash back on Chase vacations, 3 percent cash back on drugstore and dining, and 1.5 percent cash back on all other purchases in years two onward. But, if you do utilize the Chase Ultimate Rewards for vacations, this can be a really nice perk. I have never booked, but I have looked at the site and it seems to be user-friendly with a ton of options.
The first two cards both have similar Visa perks, and the Chase Freedom card is no different by offering zero percent interest for the first 15 months of the card as well. That does include any balances you want to transfer.
Again, be careful with the zero percent and make sure you understand the balance transferring policies, but this is another Visa card that has a lot to offer for someone interested in a credit card.
All Travel Visa Perks Credit Card:
Now, before I get started on the Visa perks of the Chase Sapphire card, I must specify that I am biased on this card. I have recently added this credit card to my portfolio, and it has lived up to the high expectations that I had for it.
I refer to this card as the utility card. You can do a little bit of everything with it, and no matter your travel or shopping habits, it has something to offer for everyone.
The card does have a $95 per year fee but comes equipped with anniversary points and a $50 hotel credit if you book your hotel through Ultimate Rewards. There is also an 80,000-point bonus if you spend $4,000 in the first three months of having the card.
The Chase Sapphire earns double points on travel, triple points for online grocery purchases, and five times points when you book any travel through Ultimate Rewards. The card also earns three times points on dining and online streaming services and five times points for Peloton purchases.
For me, I buy online grocery orders and pick them up, everyone eats out, I use YouTube TV for cable, which is a streaming service, and I was getting ready to buy a Peloton treadmill. The utilization of this card just fit me perfectly.
What I like best is the flexibility in how you use your points. There are several elite travel partners that include IHG Hotels, Marriott Hotels, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and many more. The points transfer one to one, so the card is always earning for every program you are a part of.
The only Visa perks you really miss out on with the Sapphire compared to a direct card (like a Southwest Airlines credit card), is the high multiplier when you spend money at that place. So, for a Southwest Airline ticket that is purchased on the credit card, you would only earn double points with the Sapphire as it falls under “travel”, but if you had the Southwest credit card, you would get more like seven- or ten-times points for that ticket purchase.
The Chase Ultimate Rewards website is also great. They have a ton of gift cards you can purchase, and they also have specials on products constantly. I got a pair of AirPods for $50 off when they were still extremely popular.
I used the card specifically because they have great travel partners and I like the flexibility of moving the points where I want, but I know people who utilize the gift card and store purchasing options on the Ultimate Rewards side of the program. If you are a frequent traveler and a collector of points, the perks of a Sapphire card could work well for you.
Specified Partner Visa Perks Credit Card:
I have gone through a few Visa cards with all different sorts of perks, but now I want to change directions a bit. We have covered a low-interest card, a high percentage cash back card, and a credit card with travel perks with several different companies.
Now I want to focus on the Visa perks with a card that is specialized on one travel partner. The latest one I have studied that I would like to talk about is the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless Chase Visa card. The quick synopsis: if you travel a lot and stay at Marriott hotels, you can really rack up some points with this particular hotel chain.
The card does have a $95 annual fee, but right off the bat when you spend $3,000 in the first three months, you receive three free nights of hotel stays. These rooms are capped at 50,000 points per night, but in my experience, that means you can stay at nearly every hotel the chain offers. The bottom line: it’s a great perk for signing up for the card.
On top of the three hotel nights at the initial signup, you will also receive one free night on your anniversary of the card, but that room is capped at 35,000 points for the night. Either way you look at it, the $95 fee is more than covered if you utilize the free room (which expires after 12 months).
The Marriott Visa also offers triple points on the first $6,000 spent on gas, grocery, and dining, and a night towards “elite” status for every $5,000 spent (on anything). The greatest Visa perk on this card though is the double points on every single purchase you make. The standard has moved to a limited “double point” earning, so this card offering double on everything is huge.
A small item that is also included is free premium wi-fi when staying at a Marriott hotel. I wasn’t aware how much faster these internet services were compared to the standard, but I will say I enjoy the premium internet when traveling, especially if you like to stream.
Although this card is limited to really only benefit one partner, the Marriott Bonvoy Boundless card has a ton to offer if you are in the market for a new credit card partner.
With all the Visa perks available, if you can, it’s time to move to the world of credit. I know it can be scary and you must be careful, but if you are spending the money already, you might as well get something back for it.
As with any financial decision you make, be sure to weigh your options and that you fully understand the card. I personally like to utilize two different credit cards to take advantage of two loyalty programs, but that is also one more thing to keep track of.
All of the cards mentioned above have a ton of pros and very limited negative effects (in my opinion). Between my work travel and personal spending per month on a card, I have been able to fund two to three vacations with no expenses for travel (flight or hotel).
I’m continuing to learn how to best utilize all the perks offered, but I can tell you it is certainly worth your time. Just make sure you don’t spend to earn, that can get you in trouble quickly.