A Visa card is a payment card that uses the Visa network and is branded with the Visa logo. The Visa logo is on the front of all Visa cards, but Visa itself doesn’t issue the card.
Visa is one of the four biggest processing networks in the world. The others are sure to be familiar to you: MasterCard, American Express, and the Discover card.
Not only is Visa one of the four biggest processing networks, but it’s also the “king of the mountain” in the card network industry. The company “posted $2.35 trillion in total payment volume (TPV) during its fiscal Q4 2020, including a 6% year-over-year (YoY) increase in U.S. consumer spending for the month of November, mostly driven by online holiday transactions.”
In this article, we’ll provide answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about the Visa credit card rewards catalog to help you make the most of your rewards program.
Understanding Visa Cards
Financial institutions choose to partner with a single transaction processing network provider, like Visa, for its “payment card products.” The individual issuer sets the terms and conditions for the Visa credit card it offers, and it also decides what perks and rewards it will offer to its cardholders.
This reciprocal relationship is qualified in a specific agreement that you’re sure to recognize if you have, or have ever had, a credit card.
You agree to terms and conditions, like:
- Annual percentage rate (APR)
- Annual fees (not all Visa cards have these)
- Bank transaction fees
- Network charges
Visa agrees or may agree to give you:
- Cashback rewards
- Special benefits with specific retailers
- Convenience and security
- Access to automated teller machines (ATMs)
- Access to use your card in more than 200 countries and territories
- Access to use your card at more than 100 million business locations
- A 0% introductory APR
- Zero fraud liability
- Card inquiry services
- Roadside dispatch
- Emergency card replacement
- Lost or stolen card reporting
- Emergency cash disbursement
- Travel and emergency assistant services
- Extended warranty protection
- Auto rental collision damage waiver
- Lost luggage reimbursement
- Global Entry statement credit
- Trip delay reimbursement
- Trip cancellation or trip interruption reimbursement
- Airline incidental fees
- Travel accident insurance
- Lounge access with a priority pass
- Baggage delay reimbursement
- Hotel theft protection
- Cell phone protection
- Emergency medical or dental care
- Price protection
- Emergency evacuation
- Return protection
- Purchase security
- Visa Infinite Luxury Hotel Collection
- Concierge services
- Car rental privileges
In general, traditional Visa cards offer fewer advantages with more basic services to their card members. Signature Visa cards offer more benefits and rewards, while Visa Infinite cards are the top of the line and offer premium benefits and services.
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The Visa Infinite card offers all the perks mentioned above, while the Signature Visa card offers all but the last three. A traditional Visa card offers up to the “emergency cash distributional” perk.
Visa itself isn’t the card issuer — they’re the network that presents transactions to whichever bank or credit card issuer qualifies and approves individual cardholders. The bank or credit card issuer then collects the payments and sets their pricing structures based on Visa’s product and service rules.
You can read a full and exhaustive review of the Visa Core Rules and Visa Product and Service Rules. At 915 pages, any question you might have is sure to be answered here.
Who Offers Visa Rewards Points?
Hundreds of Visa credit cards award rewards in the form of cashback, points, or miles. The Visa network doesn’t offer rewards points as they are the responsibility of the credit unions and banks issuing the cards.
On average, you can count on each point (or mile) you earn, having a value of one penny per point. The exact value is unique to each card and typically depends on what you redeem the points for.
So, what banks and credit unions offer a Visa credit card, and what rewards do they offer? It may be helpful to know that issuer-network relationships aren’t “set in stone.”
Credit card companies can switch the networks on which they issue their cards or switch their card product from one network to another. For example, a credit card company can first use the Mastercard network and then, for whatever reason, switch its network to Visa.
We found this updated and edited list of bank issuers that used the Visa card as their network. The list includes, but isn’t limited to:
- Bank of America**
- Capital One**
- Retail Store Credit Cards****
- U.S. Bank***
- Wells Fargo***
**Visa and Mastercard
***Visa, Mastercard, and Discover or American Express
****Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express
Other Visa credit card issuers include local credit unions, while popular retail stores use the Visa network but are branded through a financial institution, like the ones listed above.
How Rewards Systems Work
As Visa is the credit card network, not the issuer, any reward points are offered by the specific Visa card you have.
Almost every Visa card lets you redeem points with your:
- Online account
- Mobile app
- Dedicated rewards website
- Mobile phone
Visa rewards can be broken down into three main types of rewards:
The simplest to use and the most flexible, a percentage of every purchase you make with the credit card is given back to you through a check, direct deposit into your bank account, or as a statement credit.
Unlike cashback rewards, point rewards that are earned for your purchases can be redeemed via gift cards, merchandise, or against travel expenses incurred on your card.
Occasionally, accumulated points can also be translated into cash.
Accumulated miles can generally be redeemed for travel expenses at hotels or airlines. If your Visa card is co-branded with a specific airline, your miles will only offer good value if applied to that specific airline.
Other types of rewards that a Visa card may offer include merchandise through the issuer’s online shopping portal, gift cards, unique experiences, or even donations to the charity of your choice.
Visa Credit Card Rewards Programs From Major Issuing Banks
Banks and credit unions that issue Visa credit cards invariably issue more than one card. This allows the bank to cater to a wide variety of individual needs.
There are plenty of rewards cards that are worth looking at in viewing their catalog of rewards. Below are options from some of the major issuing banks.
Here’s what you can earn with the Bank of America Unlimited Cash Rewards Credit Card:
- Earn unlimited 1.5% cash back on all purchases.
- No limit to the amount of cash back you can earn.
Here’s what you can earn and receive with the Barclays Wyndham Earner+ Visa Rewards Credit Card:
- When you spend $1,000 on purchases in the first 90 days, you’ll earn 45,000 bonus points — enough to spend up to six free nights at participating properties.
- Earn 6 points for every dollar you spend on “eligible purchases” made at Hotels by Wyndham as well as on “qualifying” gas purchases.
- Earn 4 points per dollar spent on eligible dining and grocery store purchases (just not at Target or Walmart).
- Earn 1 point per dollar spent on anything you use your card to pay for.
- Each anniversary you have this card, you’ll earn 7,500 bonus points — enough for up to one free night at participating properties.
Here’s what you can earn and receive with the Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card:
- Earn 75,000 bonus miles if you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months of opening your account to spend on future travel.
- Get 10,000 bonus miles every year on the anniversary of getting the card to spend on future travel.
- Receive up to $300 back as statement credits when you book through Capital One Travel.
- Receive up to a $100 credit on Global Entry or TSA PreCheck.
Here’s what you can earn with the USAA Rate Advantage Visa Platinum Credit Card:
- This card offers generous rewards of 2% cash back on all purchases. — 1% when purchases are made and another 1% when they’re paid off.
Here’s what you can earn and receive with the Wells Fargo Autograph Card:
- Earn 20,000 bonus points when you spend $1,000 in purchases in the first three months — a $200 cash redemption value.
- You can earn unlimited three times the points when you use your card at restaurants and for transit to buy gas, popular streaming services, phone plans, airfare, hotels, car rentals, and cruises.
- You can redeem your rewards points on travel or for gift cards or purchases made on your credit card.
Visa Credit Card Rewards Programs From Retail Stores
The best retail store credit cards, according to U.S. News, “typically give you the most value at the affiliated retailer.” Along with rewards and discounts, many of these co-branded cards feature a bonus of 10% off just for signing up.
Of course, the limitation of any co-branded credit card, Visa or other, is that the reward options are limited. But if you’re a die-hard fan of the merchandise one particular store offers, you may find yourself quite happy with the rewards offered.
Here’s what you can earn and receive with the Costco Anywhere Visa Card by City:
- Earn 4% cash back on eligible gas and EV-charging worldwide, including gas and EV-charging at Costco, for the first $7,000 per year and then 1% after.
- Earn 3% cash back on restaurants and eligible travel purchases worldwide.
- Earn 2% cash back on all other purchases from Costco and Costco.com.
- Earn 1% cash back on all other purchases.
- You’ll get an annual credit card reward certificate to redeem for cash or merchandise.
Here’s what you can earn, receive, and spend your rewards points on with the Amazon Rewards Visa Signature Card:
- Reward points are earned at the rate of 5% for every penny you spend at Amazon.com and at Whole Foods markets if you are a Prime member.
- You’ll earn points at 3% if you’re a non-Prime member when shopping at Amazon.com and at Whole Foods markets.
- Earn 2% when shopping at gas stations, restaurants, and drugstores.
- Earn 1% on purchases made anywhere else.
- Every 100 points are worth $1, and you can spend them as soon as they’re processed at checkout.
- Spend your accumulated points on anything available at Amazon.com.
Here’s what you can earn, receive, and redeem your points on with the Starbucks Rewards Visa Card:
- The only way to redeem your Starbucks Rewards Visa Card is by spending your accumulated reward “Stars” on a future purchase at Starbucks.
- Twenty-five stars will get you a beverage modifier to add to your coffee order. This only works if you first order a drink — you can’t redeem the modifier on its own.
- Fifty stars will get you a hot brewed coffee, iced brewed coffee, steeped tea, or a bakery item (cake pop or cookie).
- Earn 150 stars, and you can get a “free” handcrafted beverage like a medium latte or Frappuccino. Or trade your stars for any hot breakfast item or any packaged snack item.
- At 200 stars, you are entitled to a packaged salad, lunch sandwich, or protein box.
- Four hundred stars can be redeemed for one packaged coffee item or a “select merchandise item with a value up to $20.00 pre-tax.”
Here’s what you can earn and receive with the My Best Buy Visa Card:
- Earn 5% back in rewards when shopping at Best Buy. Spend $500 to earn 1,250 points for a $25 reward certificate.
- Earn 3% back in rewards on gas purchases. Spend $500 to earn 750 points for a $15 reward certificate.
- Earn 2% back in rewards when making dining, takeout, and grocery purchases. Spend $250 to earn 250 points worth a $5 reward certificate.
- Earn 1% back when using your Best Buy Visa card anywhere else. Spend $500 to earn 250 points worth a $5 reward certificate.
- Reward certificates are coupons for discounts off future purchases at Best Buy stores and BestBuy.com.
Here’s what you can earn, receive, and save on with the Disney Premier Visa Card:
- Earn 5% in Disney Rewards Dollars on card purchases made at DisneyPlus.com, Hulu.com, or ESPNPlus.com.
- Earn 2% on select card purchases and 1% on all other card purchases.
- Redeem toward almost anything Disney at most Disney U.S. locations, including Disney shopping, movies, Theme Park tickets, Resort stays, and dining.
- Save 10% savings when you shop with the Disney Premier Visa card.
- Redeem for a statement credit toward airline travel.
- Enjoy special vacation financing and shopping savings.
FAQS Relating To The Visa Credit Card Rewards Catalog
Q: Can my rewards points expire?
A: Most Visa points don’t expire as long as your account stays active. You will lose your points if you decide to close the credit card account, so be sure to spend all your points before doing so. A few cards’ points do expire after a set time, so be sure to read the fine print of your card’s agreement.
Q: How can I redeem my Visa credit card points?
A: Usually, cardholders can redeem points through their online account, mobile app, or through a dedicated rewards website run by the issuer. Redeeming points over the phone is also often possible.
We do incentives right. That’s what drives us every day. To provide proven performance solutions for any budget.
If you’re curious about the costs of the rewards we offer, check out our pricing calculator. You can check any number of rewards, and our calculator will let you compare costs and programs to see which ones are best for you and your company:
- Prepaid branded debit cards (one-time)
- Reloadable branded debit cards
- Virtual debit cards (online only)
- Merchandise and travel
Our team of incentive experts will collaborate directly with you to design and develop the ideal incentive program. Every facet is customizable, from payment methods to technology to customer service levels.
Check out our own Ben Wieder’s book, “Sweeten the Pot: How to Leverage Incentives and Rebates to Drive Loyalty and Increase Profits”! You can request a complimentary copy or order it from Amazon.com or at Barnes & Noble bookstores.
Claudine is the Chief Relationship Officer at Level 6. She holds a master’s degree in industrial/organizational psychology. Her experience includes working as a certified conflict mediator for the United States Postal Service, a human performance analyst for Accenture, an Academic Dean, and a College Director. She is currently an adjunct Professor of Psychology at Southern New Hampshire University. With over 20 years of experience, she joined Level 6 to guide clients seeking effective ways to change behavior and, ultimately, their bottom line.