Visa Signature vs. Mastercard World Elite Credit Cards

March 13, 2017, Written By Jason Steele

When you have a premium rewards credit card, you expect it to do more than just offer rewards. You also want to receive benefits, just from being a cardholder. Your credit card issuer might offer cardholder benefits such as the airline cards that feature a free checked bag, or hotel cards that offer elite status in a rewards program.

But in addition, many reward cards offer benefits through their payment networks. The Visa Signature and World Elite Mastercard programs both offer a range of different cardholder benefits that can be quite valuable.

Let’s take a look at what these programs offer, and see how they stack up against each other:

Visa Signature

The Visa signature program offers numerous travel, dining and shopping benefits:

Visa Signature Offers. These are special offers for hotels, travel, food and wine, shopping, sports, and entertainment events. For example, cardholders receive a complimentary wine tasting at over 60 Sonoma County wineries when they purchase a standard tasting. You also receive savings on wine purchases.

Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection. The Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection offers over 900 luxury hotels where cardholders can receive additional discounts and benefits when booking through this program. Hotel benefits often include discounts, a free night stay, free breakfast, resort credits and other perks when booking a room in a hotel  through the collection .

Visa Signature Concierge. This service is available by phone 24/7 around the world. It can help with travel planning and booking tickets to sports and entertainment events. The Visa Signature Concierge can also help with restaurant recommendations and reservations. It will even help you find a gift or send flowers. When it comes to travel, this service can help with domestic or international travel including air travel, lodging, recreation, and ground transportation, including reservations and arrangements.

World Elite Mastercard

Luxury travel benefits. The World Elite Mastercard program offers several luxury travel benefits. The Luxury Hotels and Resorts portfolio offers many properties where you can enjoy perks such as breakfast for two, a $100 welcome amenity, room upgrades, complimentary Internet access, early check-ins, and late checkouts.

This program also offers savings on flights from many airlines including Cathay Pacific, Lufthansa, Air New Zealand, and Swiss International. Savings vary from 10% to 25% off qualifying First, Business, Premium Economy and Economy Class fares.

This program also offers discounts on cruises such as shipboard credits of $75 to $500 on Royal Caribbean, Costa, and Regent Seven Seas lines. You can also save money on vacation packages from many providers including Classic Vacations, Goway Travel, and Funjet Vacations.

When renting a car, you can receive up to a 25% savings on rentals and complimentary enrollment in the Budget Fastbreak loyalty program, and up to a 25% savings on each rental and complimentary Avis Preferred Plus® status. Sixt offers up to a 15% savings on rentals worldwide, complimentary Platinum status in Sixt’s loyalty program and National features up to a 25% savings and complimentary 1-year access to the Emerald Club Executive membership program.

If you’d rather have someone else drive, your card offers 15% to 20% savings on limousine services from Vitesse, GroundLink and Sixt Limousine Service. You can even receive discounts on private jet services from Skyjet and Vitesse Worldwide.

Priceless Cities. Mastercard offers its Priceless Cities program that offers discounts on events in designated cities including New York, Boston, Miami, Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, and Hawaii. International cities include London, Toronto, and Mexico City.  For example, cardholder get access to New York Yankees tickets five days before the general public.

24/7 concierge. World Elite Mastercard holders can use their complimentary 24/7 concierge service that acts like a personal assistant. This service can arrange restaurant reservations, help with travel planning, or assist with purchasing flowers and gifts.

Identity theft assistance. Identity theft is a huge issue these days, and the Mastercard World Elite program can help you if you become a victim. Mastercard has partnered with CSID, an industry leader in identity protection and fraud detection, to help keep your information safe. Mastercard ID Theft Protection is a free service offered only by Mastercard to its cardholders in the United States. If your personal information is being bought or sold online, you will be alerted by ID Theft Alerts™. Expert Resolution Services provides access to 24/7 specialists if you think your identity has been stolen and Emergency Wallet Replacement can help with replacing items in your physical wallet. It also has experts to guide you through what can be an overwhelming process, from filing an affidavit and cancelling accounts to notifying the major credit reporting agencies.

Comparing the two programs

Both of these programs offer excellent cardholder benefits and a concierge service. However, the Mastercard World Elite Program has a few additional luxury travel and discount programs. There are so many cards that are part of either the Visa Signature or Mastercard World Elite programs that you can easily have one of each.



The information contained within this article was accurate as of March 13, 2017. For up-to-date
information on any of the terms, cards or offers mentioned above, visit the issuer's website.


About Jason Steele

Jason Steele is freelance journalist and an expert on the credit card industry. He contributes to several of the top personal finance sites, and his work is syndicated to mainstream outlets such as MSN Money, Yahoo! Finance, and Business Insider.
View all posts by Jason Steele