Visa continues to keep up with the latest in the realm of electronic payments and, with a new Visa credit card, you can make online and over-the-phone transactions, as well as contactless in-store transactions.
Visa is not an issuer of credit cards and it does not provide credit, it actually functions as a third party payment processor. This payment technology company has its presence felt in over 200 countries and territories, so if you have a Visa credit card you can look forward to using it in different corners of the world.
Most prominent credit card issuers in Australia offer credit cards with Visa affiliations, and given the vast variety on offer, knowing what works well for you is always a good idea.
VISA Credit Card Offer
Apply HSBC Platinum Credit Card and enjoy a long term balance transfer offer with an annual fee refund each year when you meet the minimum spend.
- $149 p.a. annual fee
- 19.99% p.a. on purchases
- 0% p.a. for 15 months on balance transfers
- Cash Advance Rate of 21.99% p.a.
- Up to 55 days interest free
- Minimum Income Requirement of $40,000 p.a.
Visa Credit Card Comparison
What are the benefits of using a Visa credit card?
Using a Visa credit card comes with numerous benefits, although these can vary from card to card.
24/7 Customer service
Visa cardholders can make use of Visa’s round-the-clock Global Customer Assistance Services to report lost and stolen cards, no matter where they are located. Within Australia, you can call a toll free number, and from outside Australia Visa gives you the ability to make a collect call to an Australian number.
Visa’s payWave technology enables you to spend less time at the cash register by making contactless payments of less than $100. For transactions of $100 or more, you use your card like a conventional card.
If you get a platinum Visa credit card you get 24/7 access to a global concierge service that can help in realms like entertainment, dining, travel, and business.
Complimentary insurance covers
Certain Visa credit cards offer complimentary insurance covers, and some of the common complimentary insurances you can find with such cards include purchase cover insurance, extended warranty insurance, interstate fight insurance, international travel insurance, and transit accident insurance.
As a Visa Platinum, Visa Signature or Visa Infinite cardholder you can look forward to attending a number for special events, ranging from concerts, to exhibitions, to gallery openings, to theatre, to sporting events, and more.
What are the features of a Visa credit card?
Not all Visa cards come with the same features, but there are a number of features that are common across all Visa cards. If you intend applying for one, here’s what you can expect:
- Ease of use. You can use your Visa card when travelling overseas, and you can use it at EFTPOS terminals and ATMs alike. You can also use your card to make transactions over the internet and over the phone.
- Cash advances. With a Visa credit card, you can turn to any ATM that carries the Visa logo and get a cash advance. You can also walk into an affiliated financial institution to get a cash advance in person.
- Interest-free days. Visa credit cards normally give you the ability to avail of interest-free days on purchases. You can make use of these interest-free days if you pay your account’s closing balance in full each month, and the exact number of interest-free days on offer can vary from one credit card to the next.
- Balance transfer offers. Certain Visa credit cards give you the ability to transfer balances from existing cards and pay a special balance transfer rate for a limited period. While some cards offer 0% p.a. balance transfer rates, others offer very competitive low rates for balance transfers, and the balance transfer rate time period typically varies from 6 to 12 months.
How can I compare Visa credit cards?
Since many credit card issuers in Australia give you the option to go the Visa way, you get various cards from which to choose, and when comparing them, pay attention to the following aspects:
- Fees. Issuers of Visa credit cards don’t charge the same fees, so this aspect definitely requires your attention. Know that while a basic no-frills card might require you to pay little to no ongoing annual fees, with a premium card the annual fees would be noticeably higher.
- Interest rate offers. Certain cards give you the ability to make use of special interest rate offers for limited durations. While these interest rate offers normally apply on balance transfers, you can also find cards that come with interest rate offers on purchases. The duration of these offers tends to vary in between six and 12 months.
- Rewards. When comparing Visa credit cards ask yourself if you want a card that gives you the ability to earn rewards. Some Visa cards come linked to rewards and frequent flyer programs, enabling you to earn rewards in accordance to your spending. Know, though, that these cards tend to charge higher account keeping fees and interest.
How can I keep my Visa card secure?
- Make sure you sign the back of your card as soon as your receive it.
- Tear the paper on which you receive your PIN and memorise it; never write it down anywhere.
- Choose a PIN that does not relate to your date of birth, phone number, and name; and never disclose your PIN to anyone.
- If you think you’ve misplaced or lost your card, report the same immediately.
- Go through your credit card statement carefully to ensure you’ve made all the transactions in question, and if you find a transaction you’ve not made, report it immediately.
- Never give out your credit card details on a website you feel might not be secure.
- Be careful of who you give your card to, because you would eventually be responsible for all approved purchases made using your card.
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 could avail of 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, followed by uniting under the common Visa brand later. During the same period, Visa introduced VisaNet, which was the first completely electronic authorisation, 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. Visa introduced payWave, a technology that enables contactless payments, in 2007. 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.
Frequently asked questions
Can I get a Visa credit card if I don’t live in Australia?
Australian credit card issuers would require you to be an Australian citizen or a permanent Australian resident with an Australian address. If you’re looking at applying for a Visa credit card and don’t live here, get in touch with a bank in the country you live.
How can I apply for a Visa credit card?
Most credit card issuers in Australia give you the ability to submit online applications. You can also initiate the process over the phone or apply by visiting a physical location.
How quickly can I receive my Visa credit card once I submit my application?
In normal circumstances, you can expect to get your new Visa credit card in five to 10 business days from the date you apply, as long as the issuer approves your application.
Do I have to pay additional fees if I use my card overseas?
You would, in all likelihood, have to pay foreign currency conversion fees, which can be in between two to three percent of the transaction value. You could also have to pay ATM fees if you end up using an ATM.
Can I get Visa credit cards for my employees?
Yes. A number of financial institutions provide business credit cards that come with Visa affiliations, and these work quite like conventional credit cards.