Instead of issuing its own credit cards or lines of credit, Visa is a third-party payment processor. Many Canadian credit cards come equipped with Visa functionality. Which means that when you get a card with the Visa logo on it, you can use it to make payments in stores, online and by phone in more than 200 countries.
Depending on the Visa credit card you choose, you can also look forward to perks, exclusive offers and the security of Verified by Visa. Use our guide to compare Visa credit cards, discover the perks of using Visa and the factors you should consider before applying for one.
Compare Visa credit cards
What are the benefits of using a Visa credit card?
Banks and other credit card companies typically decide on the features that are available with individual Visa options. Some of the standard Visa benefits you can expect are:
If you have a Visa card, you can make use of Visa’s round-the-clock Visa Global Customer Care Services to report lost and stolen cards from anywhere in the world. Contact the Visa team at 1-800-847-2911 in Canada or the US or at 1-303-967-1096 internationally.
If you sign up to Visa Checkout, this service will securely save your payment and shipping information so you can spend less time at the checkout when spending with partnered merchants.
Visa Signature credit cards come with a 24/7 global concierge service. You can contact your concierge at 1-800-953-7392 for anything from booking restaurant reservations, scoring tickets to a concert or sending flowers to a loved one.
Certain Visa credit cards offer complimentary insurance. Some of the common complimentary insurance you can find with such cards include lost or stolen card reporting, auto rental collision damage waiver, zero liability, roadside dispatch, emergency card replacement and emergency cash disbursement.
As a Visa cardholder, you can look forward to exclusive discounts and deals with partnered merchants including some restaurants, hotel chains, shops, car rental chains and much more. You can see a full list of the available offers on the Visa website.
How can I compare Visa credit cards?
Since many credit card issuers offer Visa cards, there are a few other factors you should consider when comparing your options. These include:
- Fees. Visa cards can vary from no frills offers to premium products, so expect fees to vary.
- Interest rates. If you don’t always pay your balance in full, compare Visa cards by the standard purchase rate. Some cards also come with 0% promotional interest rates, which can help you save on interest costs. If you plan to use the card for ATM withdrawals or to purchase online gaming chips, compare cards by cash advance rates instead.
- Rewards. Some Visa cards come linked to rewards and frequent flyer programs, allowing you to earn points as you spend. If you’re a regular spender who often pays your balance in full, a rewards credit card can be a useful way to get more value from your Visa.
- Credit limit. While your approved credit limit will depend on factors such as income and credit history, you should apply for a credit limit that can support your financial needs without tempting you to overspend.
- Eligibility requirements. Different Visa cards will come with specific eligibility requirements including minimum annual income, credit history, age and residential status.
What is Visa?
Visa’s history dates back to 1958, when Bank of America launched the BankAmericard. This was the first mass-marketed credit card program and it quickly grew in popularity with US consumers. Almost two decades later, BankAmericard was no longer affiliated with Bank of America and went on to be a part of the Visa brand.
Visa now operates in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide, including Canada. A Visa credit card makes the access of money simple, no matter where you are. With so many credit card options available, be sure to research and apply for cards that will benefit you the most.
American Express vs. Visa credit cards
Visa's company history
Origins of Visa date back to the late 1950s, when Bank of America introduced BankAmericard, and mailed out 60,000 unsolicited credit cards. This was the first consumer credit card program that middle class consumers had at their fingers in the US, and by 1974 the company expanded overseas. The introduction of debits cards same about soon after, in 1975.
During the 1970s, BankAmericard went on to become an independent entity, after uniting under the common Visa brand later. During the same period, Visa introduced VisaNet, which was the first completely electronic authorization, clearing, and settlement system, enabling transactions in a matter of seconds.
Until 2007, Visa operated as a bunch of entities owned by regional banks around the world. It was only in 2007 that the US, Canada, Caribbean, Latin America, Central Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific regions came together to form Visa Inc. In March 2008, this company went public, and it remains amongst the most successful IPOs of all time. In 2013, the company introduced Visa Checkout, an online payment system that eliminates the need of sharing of payment details with merchants.
As of now, Visa has operations in more than 200 countries and territories, and it provides services across multiple platforms like debit and credit cards, desktop and laptop computers, as well as smartphones. Getting a Visa credit card can simplify how you access money, no matter where you are. Since there are numerous options, make sure you look for one in accordance to features that’ll serve you best, and watch out for unnecessarily high fees.
Looking for a prepaid card instead? Compare Prepaid Visa cards