Visa Signature vs. World Elite Mastercard: Which Gives Better Benefits?In terms of payment card acceptance rates, Visa and Mastercard are remarkably similar. They’re both accepted by roughly 8 million merchants in the U.S., and 40 million merchants spanning over 200 countries worldwide. One place where Visa and Mastercard diverge, though, is in the rewards they offer. Though credit card issuers normally handle card rewards, Visa and Mastercard both provide a number of benefits and services under the Visa Signature program and the World Elite Mastercard program, respectively, and they’re different enough to possibly sway your decision. For example, the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card comes with the Visa Signature, while the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard comes with the World Elite Mastercard benefits. If you’ve been debating whether you should go Visa or Mastercard, read on to see a comparison of what kinds of features they both offer.

Before we dig into these benefits, it should be noted that not all Visa and Mastercard credit cards come with the Visa Signature or World Elite Mastercard perks. If these are benefits you value, be sure to ask your credit card issuer about them or confirm the card you’re considering offers such perks before you apply. Remember that just because there’s a Visa or Mastercard logo on a card, doesn’t mean the card comes with Visa Signature or World Elite Mastercard benefits. It’s also worth mentioning that the Visa and Mastercard benefits you receive may depend on your creditworthiness.

Also, keep in mind that cards can switch providers, meaning you may apply for a Visa card that later gets switched to a Mastercard. This isn’t common at all, but it’s worth being aware of, as this could result in a provider benefits switch.

Visa Signature benefits

The perks that Visa Signature offers mostly center on travel, mixed in with some beefed-up consumer protection features. Some examples of Visa Signature cards are the Chase Sapphire Preferred Card and the Capital One Venture Rewards Credit Card, as noted above.

To start, you’ll get access to the Visa Signature Luxury Collection, which provides special guest status at over 900 luxury hotel properties around the world. At these properties, you’re guaranteed to get the best rate possible on rooms, and you’ll get additional benefits like food and beverage credits and automatic room upgrades when they’re available. You’ll also be able to call a 24/7 concierge line for help planning trips and making restaurant, travel and business reservations. While you’re traveling, your card will insure your trip in a variety of ways, granting travel accident insurance, lost luggage reimbursement up to $3,000 if your checked bags or carry-on luggage is lost or stolen and an auto rental collision damage waiver that covers your rental cars against accidents and theft. If you find yourself in an emergency that requires cash, such as losing your funds to a travel scam while you’re on vacation, you can call Visa and it will wire you money within two hours no matter where you are.

Apart from travel, Visa Signature also provides a number of benefits for shopping. It grants discounts with a diverse array of companies, such as theater chain AMC, clothing brand Levi’s and furniture store Pier 1 Imports. Qualified purchases will receive 30 days of price protection (a feature that’s been getting harder to find recently), which means if you spot an item you recently bought being sold at a lower price, you can file a claim with Visa and it will refund you the difference in cost. For purchases with warranties, Visa Signature will double the terms of warranties that last under one year and extend warranties that last up to three years for one additional year (note that both only apply to U.S. manufacturer’s warranties). Additionally, you can register your warranties with Visa and it will keep them on file for you for easy reference. For all purchases, your card will have $0 fraud liability, and if you need your card replaced in a hurry, Visa can send you a new one within one to three business days.

World Elite Mastercard benefits

Like Visa Signature, World Elite Mastercard provides a blend of travel and consumer protection benefits, though the focus is definitely more on luxury. Some examples of cards with World Elite Mastercard are the Barclaycard Arrival Plus World Elite Mastercard, as previously noted, and the Citi / AAdvantage Platinum Select World Elite Mastercard (a NextAdvisor advertiser).

The World Elite Mastercard program also has a collection of luxury hotels it partners with, and its portfolio is more than double the size of Visa Signature’s with over 2,000 properties included. Booking through Mastercard will guarantee you the lowest rate, may give you access to special deals for your stay and, if the hotel is a 3-star property or above, you can call Mastercard if anything goes wrong and one of their Lifestyle Managers will work to rectify the problem. On top of that, World Elite Mastercard has another collection called Priceless Cities, which lets you schedule exclusive experiences in cities around the world, such as wine tasting at a private vineyard or seeing a musical before it officially opens. Similar to Visa Signature, you’ll be able to call a concierge for travel assistance, but you’re also able to hire personal airport concierges who will escort you through airports on departure, arrival or connecting flights, help you through security, and even provide you with chauffeured luxury transportation. World Elite’s travel protection features are comparable to Visa Signature’s, with travel accident insurance, lost luggage replacement, emergency cash disbursement and trip cancellation insurance.

For shopping, World Elite Mastercard doesn’t carry many discounts, but it does give you a free membership to ShopRunner, which provides unlimited two-day shipping with select online stores, such as Brooks Brothers and Staples. You’ll also get price protection for an impressive 120 days, which is four times longer than Visa Signature’s price protection period, and an extended warranty that doubles original manufacturer and optional warranties that last for 24 months or less (though there is no warranty management service). In addition to $0 fraud liability, World Elite Mastercard provides complimentary identity theft protection, which monitors whether your personal information is being trafficked online and gives you access to experts you can talk to if you’re a victim of identity theft. Just like Visa Signature, you can have a replacement card rush delivered to you if necessary.

Verdict

While in many ways Visa Signature and World Elite Mastercard are similar, the World Elite Mastercard program definitely offers more features. Because some of those features are quite niche, they likely aren’t ones that most people will use (e.g., the airport concierge), unless they’re world travelers. For a lot of consumers, the discounts provided by Visa Signature will be more useful than all of the World Elite Mastercard’s more upscale perks combined. If you’re more interested in using your card for shopping, a Visa Signature card will probably provide you with greater value. On the other hand, if you want to be able to have the VIP experience, or you really value identity theft protection and price protection features, World Elite Mastercard certainly has more for you.

For most people choosing between Visa and Mastercard isn’t a big decision, but if you want to get the most out of your credit card, picking a card that offers Visa Signature or World Elite Mastercard will provide you with a set of added rewards and perks. For more on how to find the best card for you, follow our credit cards blog. Also, check out our reviews of the best credit cards to see which cards offer Visa Signature or World Elite Mastercard benefits.

Disclaimer: This content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer. Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of the credit card issuer, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer. This content was accurate at the time of this post, but card terms and conditions may change at any time. This site may be compensated through the credit card issuer Affiliate Program.