Most Popular Visa Credit Cards in Canada

To help you navigate the vast number of Visa Canada credit cards, we’ve gathered the most important information.  Read below to learn more about Visa and to discover our list of the most popular Visa cards in Canada.

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About Visa

Visa accounts for over 60% of the credit and debit card market, worldwide. Today, Visa has more than 336 million cardholders.

Visa provides financial solutions for both consumers and merchants. 

History of Visa

Visa was founded in 1958 in California by the Bank of America. Visa was originally known as Bankamericard. 

As a pioneer in the credit card sector, Visa had many struggles while introducing Bankamericard. It wasn’t until 1961 that Bankamericard started gaining traction with consumers. 

By the late 1960s, Bankamericard starting gaining popularity in other states. Eventually, other countries around the world caught on.

In 1968, Bankamericard was introduced in Canada as Chargex. At the time, it was offered by just a few Canadian banks. Then, in 1976, Chargex was rebranded and became known as Visa. 

Issuer or Network?

Issuers and networks have different responsibilities. 

Issuers deal with the consumer side of a credit card. This includes the following:

  • Card applications
  • Interest
  • Fees
  • Rewards
  • Statements

Networks, on the other hand, deal with transactions. That is, the transfer of money between a consumer and a merchant. This includes providing the technology for digital payments to be completed online or in-person. 

Visa is a credit card network. 

Financial institutions or credit unions are responsible for issuing Visa cards. This means that, on any given Visa card, you will see the Visa logo along with the logo of a bank or credit union. 

Types of Cards Offered by Visa

Visa offers a variety of different charge cards. These include:

  • Credit Cards
  • Debit Cards
  • Prepaid Cards
  • Gift Cards

Visa Credit Cards

Visa credit cards are well-known around the world. Visa credit cards are accepted in over 200 countries. 

The various types of credit cards offered by Visa include:

  • Visa Classic
  • Visa Gold
  • Visa Platinum
  • Visa Infinite
  • Visa Infinite Privilege 

Visa Classic

This is the simplest type of Visa credit card. This entry-level credit card is common among people who:

  • Have never had a credit card
  • Want to start building their credit rating

All Visa cards, including the Visa Classic, include the following benefits:

  • Zero liability
  • Vast acceptance worldwide
  • Lost/stolen card assistance
  • Emergency card replacement 
  • Emergency cash 
  • Hotel reservation services

Visa Gold

Visa Gold is similar to Visa Classic in many ways. However, Visa Gold is held to a slightly higher standard and may earn you better service. 

Visa Gold cards offer the same features as all other Visa credit cards. 

Visa Platinum

Visa Platinum is a step up from Visa Gold. This card offers higher credit limits and preferred service. 

Visa Platinum also includes the key benefits provided with the Visa Classic and Visa Gold.

Visa Infinite

The Visa Infinite credit card offers a range of extra benefits. Therefore, it’s considered a higher-class card than the Classic, Gold and Platinum.

These additional benefits include:

  • Hotel upgrades and perks
  • Dining experiences delivered to your home
  • Complimentary wine tours (Ontario, BC, and Sonoma Valley)
  • Discounts at various golf courses around the world
  • Access to movie events and VIP experiences at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF)
  • 24/7 concierge that you can contact by phone

Visa Infinite Privilege 

With the Visa Infinite Privilege, you’ll receive all the benefits of the Visa Infinite card along with added perks. 

Some of the additional benefits received by Visa Infinite Privilege cardholders include: 

  • Airport lounge access at various airports worldwide
  • The following services at Vancouver International Airport, Montreal-Trudeau International Airport, and Ottawa International Airport
  • Priority security lane
  • The following services at Vancouver International Airport and Ottawa International Airport
  • Free parking 
  • Valet discounts 

Visa Credit Card Issuers in Canada

Many banks and credit unions in Canada issue Visa credit cards. These include:

  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC)
  • Chase Canada
  • Home Trust Company
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (Canada)
  • Laurentian Bank
  • Desjardins
  • Royal Bank of Canada (RBC)
  • The Bank of Nova Scotia (Scotiabank)
  • Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD)
  • Vancouver City Savings Credit Union
  • Vancity Community Investment Bank

Debit Cards

Visa Canada also offers debit cards. 

Visa debit cards allow cardholders to use money from their personal bank account wherever Visa is accepted. 

Visa Debit Card Issuers

  • CIBC
  • RBC
  • TD
  • Scotiabank
  • Tangerine
  • ATB Financial
  • ICICI Bank Canada

Visa Prepaid Cards

An excellent alternative to cash is the Visa prepaid card. Prepaid cards are reloadable and can be used wherever Visa is accepted, including online. 

Visa prepaid cards are also a good alternative to giving someone cash. This is especially true if the individual is not old enough to have their own credit card.

Prepaid Visa cards are issued by the following financial institutions in Canada:

  • CIBC
  • Desjardins
  • DirectCash Bank
  • Peoples Trust Company
  • Vancouver City Savings and Credit Union
  • Vancity Community Investment Bank

Gift Cards

Looking for the perfect gift? A Visa gift card gives someone the freedom to choose their own gift. 

The difference between a Visa gift card and a Visa prepaid card is that a prepaid card can be reloaded. Once the prepaid amount on a Visa gift card is spent, the card cannot be reloaded.

Visa gift cards are available in the following denominations:

  • $25
  • $50
  • $75
  • $150
  • $250

Visa gift cards can be purchased at grocery stores, drug stores, gas stations, department stores, and more. You can find Visa gift cards at:

  • Walmart
  • Safeway
  • London Drugs
  • Shoppers Drug Mart
  • 7-11
  • Best Buy
  • Canada Post

Ways to Pay

Today, many people use wearable technology, such as smartwatches, and mobile phones to complete their everyday transactions. Therefore, Visa has adapted to ensure that they are compatible with the following payment methods:

  • Apple Pay
  • Samsung Pay
  • Google Pay

With these payment options, making purchases is quick and easy. 

Cardholder Security

Visa Canada is dedicated to cardholder safety and security. To help keep their customers’ personal and financial information safe and to prevent fraudulent activity, Visa offers:

  • Zero liability 
  • Secure online payments
  • Neural networks
  • Chip technology
  • CVV numbers

Zero Liability 

Cardholders are never held accountable for fraudulent purchases made on their Visa card.

Always check your monthly statement to ensure all purchases are accurate. If you notice any unauthorized transactions, contact your financial institution as soon as possible. 

Once fraudulent activity is flagged, an investigation will be completed. All fraudulent charges will be reversed. 

Secure Online Payments

Visa Canada works with merchants to provide safe checkouts on online websites. This means that purchases made online are secure and that your credit card number and personal information is protected. 

Neural Networks

Neural networks are software used by Visa to monitor transactions. These neural networks are used to look for inconsistencies in credit card purchases. 

For example, if a credit card was used to make a purchase in Vancouver and then in Vienna on the same day, Visa’s neural networks would flag this. Visa would notify the cardholder to alert them. If the cardholder did not make the purchase it would be deemed fraudulent activity.

Chip Technology

Chip technology uses data encryption to safeguard sensitive information. 

Visa credit cards that have chip technology require cardholders to enter a pin number when making a purchase. 

Chip technology provides another layer of safety and prevents fraud.

CVV Number

CVV stands for Card Verification Value. This number is like a fingerprint on your credit card.

The CVV number is required to make online purchases. It must be entered at the time of checkout to complete the transaction. 

CVV numbers are used to ensure that the person making the purchase has the Visa credit card in front of them.

Corporate Responsibility

Visa understands the importance of operating a socially responsible business. Therefore, they focus on the following aspects of corporate social responsibility:

  • Conservation 
  • Diversity
  • Ethical business practices

Conservation 

Visa focuses on reducing their energy, waste, and water use. 

For instance, Visa has made many changes and upgrades to their corporate buildings to address their conservation goals. This includes maintaining new and efficient HVAC systems to reduce energy consumption.

Diversity

Visa highlights the importance of being an inclusive company and hiring without prejudice. 

They see the advantage in bringing together employees with alternative experiences and points of view. Therefore, Visa ensures that race, gender, sexual orientation, etc. are not factors when deciding who will represent their company.

Ethical Business Practices

Transparency is key for Visa. 

To ensure transparency, ethical policies and guidelines are clearly outlined by the company. These policies and guidelines are then strictly followed to maintain an ethical agenda. 

FAQs

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Emma Tremblay
emma@creditcards360.ca

Emma is responsible for all content on Creditcards360.ca. She has a college degree in economics and a keen interest in personal finance. Get in touch with her by email.

Last updated Feb 8, 2021