Many credit card benefits and perks described in the reviews on Effectify are provided not by the banks that issue the cards, but by the payment systems that operate these cards. As of today, there are two major payment systems — Mastercard and Visa, which provide a few of different payment programs.

The basics

Visa provides six programs:

  • Traditional
  • Gold
  • Platinum
  • Premium
  • Signature
  • Infinite

Mastercard provides:

  • Mastercard® Standard
  • World Mastercard®
  • World Elite Mastercard®

Here we will focus on comparing two high-end programs offered by Visa and Mastercard® — World Elite Mastercard® and Visa Infinite®. Both of these programs are provided with premium credit cards and offer a large list of juicy perks and benefits. To learn more about each program in particular, read our guides on World Elite Mastercard® and Visa Infinite®.

If you are not sure which program your card (or card you are going to apply for) participates in, look on its right bottom corner. The program’s logo will be indicated there.

There are several categories of services which are common (categories, not features!) to both programs:

  • Concierge Service
  • Hotel Benefits
  • Fraud Protection
  • Travel Benefits
  • Insurance Benefits
  • Purchase Protection

Some perks and benefits of the Visa Infinite® and World Elite Mastercard® programs are unique and don’t have alternatives. We will describe these features separately.

Price protection

Both programs have offers that protect purchased items. However, as you can see from the table below, these offers are quite different by nature. Visa Infinite® protects your items from theft, loss or dissatisfaction, while the World Elite Mastercard® is an insurance against “untimely” sales. The Visa Infinite® offer looks more valuable since it offers quite a high amount of reimbursement, and loss or theft is much serious than just missed sale.

 

Visa Infinite®

World Elite Mastercard®

Essentials

Protects lost or stolen items. Allows you to return items you are unsatisfied with

Offers reimbursement for purchases that appear on sale after purchase is made

Eligible period

90 days after purchase is made

120 days from the date of purchase

Eligible amount

Up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year if item is lost or stolen. Up to $300 per item and up to $1,000 if you are unsatisfied with your purchase.

Price difference between standard price and price of the item of sale

Hotel benefits

The list of hotel benefits provided by both payment programs include complimentary and special services at certain hotels. The amount of hotels where these services are available, as well as a list of hotels, vary among the two programs.

 

Visa Infinite®

World Elite Mastercard®

Hotel Program

Visa Luxury Hotel Collection

World Elite Mastercard® Luxury Hotels & Resorts Portfolio

Amount of participating hotels

Over 900 worldwide

Over 1,000 worldwide

Participating hotels (examples)

Savoy, Fairmont, Hyatt, Viceroy, W.

SPG properties: St.Regis, Four Points, Meridien, Hyatt, etc.

Room Upgrades

When available

When available

Breakfast

Free for 2 persons

Free for 2 persons

Internet

Free in-room Wi-Fi (if available)

At certain hotels only

Late check-out

Up to 3 pm (if available)

If available

Other perks

$25 voucher towards food or beverages

Special amenity depending on location (spa, food and beverages credit, etc.)

Overall, in the field of hotels benefits, both programs are almost indistinguishable from each other. Some features differ (for example, amount of participating hotels), but in general, considering the lucrativity of both programs, these differences seem insignificant.

Extended warranty coverage

Both payment programs offer services that extend duration of warranty for purchases you made on your credit card (if the card is connected to corresponding program). Details of these services are indicated in the table below.

 

Visa Infinite®

World Elite Mastercard®

Purchase with warranty less than a year

Warranty period doubles

Warranty period doubles on up to 12 months

Purchase with warranty 1 year or longer

1 year will be added to the standard warranty period

Thus, in fact, both programs are very similar when it comes to the extended warranty. Although the statements and definitions on how the extended warranty works differ between the Visa Infinite® and the World Elite Mastercard®, both programs add a maximum one year to the standard warranty period.

Auto rental collision damage waiver

There is one more service that is provided by both programs. The Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver covers damage to a rental car if you paid from your Visa Infinite® or World Elite Mastercard® credit card. Coverage applies to damage, theft, or vandalism.

 

Visa Infinite®

World Elite Mastercard®

Initial Requirements

You declined the standard waiver offered by the rental agency. Only the cardholder or authorized driver can drive a car — otherwise any damage made to the car won’t be covered.

You declined the standard waiver offered by the rental agency. Also, the waiver is applied if you or an authorized driver was driving the car when the accident occurred.

What is covered

Most vehicles, except exotic or luxury cars, trucks, pickups, motorbikes, cars older than 20 years, etc.

Vehicles except motorcycles and motorbikes, trucks, pickups, full-sized vans, limousines, antique cars, and some other types of vehicles.

Rental period

31 consecutive days or less

31 consecutive days or less

Covered amount

Up to $75,000

$50,000 maximum as Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price

What is not covered

GPS systems, key replacement, damage made to the personal health of a driver or passengers, damage made to other cars, etc.

Keys, vehicles rented not by the cardholder or authorized driver, theft of unlocked or unsecured vehicles. In some other cases, waiver also does not apply.

Again, both programs look very similar. However, the Visa Infinite® has serious advantages — it is a primary insurance, while the waiver offered by the World Elite Mastercard® is secondary. The waiver offered by the Visa Infinite® might fall into the category of secondary insurance in case you are not able to decline the waiver offered by the rental agency. In this case you will be responsible for any gap between the auto rental agency coverage and the damages for which you are responsible.

Other services

The World Elite Mastercard® and the Visa Infinite® offer a list of other services that do not fall into the large categories. Most of these services are very similar for both programs or differ slightly.

 

Visa Infinite®

World Elite Mastercard®

Events Benefits

Advanced access to entertainment events (VIP tickets to concerts and sport events), special one-in-lifetime events mostly connected to food degustation (so-called “Dining Series”).

“Priceless Cities” — exclusive access to unique events around the world, from lectures in Moscow to VIP-shopping in Paris.

“Priceless Golf” — VIP access to the golf tournaments and clubs.

Travel Protection

Legal Assistance abroad, Medical Emergency Assistance, Emergency Language Translation Services, Emergency Card Replacement and Cash Advances, Reimbursement of Lost or Stolen Luggage, Trip Delays and Cancellation.

Medical Insurance for Trip Accidents, Trip Delays and Cancellations, Reimbursement of Lost Luggage.

Car Rental

Discounts at Avis, Silvercar and National. Free upgrades and VIP services.

Discounts on car rentals at Avis, complimentary membership at Avis Preferred® loyalty program, access to other promotions.

Zero Liability

No responsibility for unauthorized transactions on your card (fraud, theft, etc.)

Concierge Service

24/7 personal assistance in arrangement of any deal

The bottom line

Overall, the Visa Infinite® and World Elite Mastercard® are high-end payment programs that provide exclusive services and perks. They are very similar in their main features, and the actual difference that will force you to prefer one program over another might appear only if you are a very picky customer with very specific needs.

In general, we advise you to pay more attention to the features of the particular credit card rather than on the features of the payment program (in case of Visa Infinite® or Mastercard World Elite). Both these programs are great and lucrative.

Ready to find a premium credit card connected to high-end payment program? Read our guides on the best Visa Infinite and World Elite Mastercard® credit cards.a