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Wednesday, September 18, 2019

Vancity introduces new Visa Infinite and Visa Infinite Privilege Cards with decent earn rates, lounge access and more

Vancity, the British Columbia based credit union has added two new cards to their portfolio of card products. Previously offering a base Visa card and Gold Visa they have now moved into the premium and ultra premium market with the Vancity enviro Visa Infinite Card and Vancity enviro Visa Infinite Privilege Card.

A quick look at the cards shows they are some strong offerings and we'll be sure to provide more in-depth coverage here on Rewards Canada in the near future. But for now here is a quick overview of what each card looks like and what you can expect from them:


Vancity enviro Visa Infinite Card
  • $120 Annual Fee - $0 for first additional card, $50 for each card after
  • No welcome bonus points
  • 2.5 points for every $1 spent on groceries
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on public transit and ferries
  • 10 points for every $1 spent at select local businesses
  • 1.25 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Earn double the points when you use your enviro Visa card to book travel through the Vancity Rewards program
  • Priority Pass membership (a US$99 value)
  • Decent Insurance package including price protection and mobile device insurance but no out of province medial insurance, trip cancellation or interruption insurance
  • 100 points = $1 towards travel and other redemption options

Vancity enviro Visa Infinite Privilege Card
  • $245 for Vancity members ($395 for non‑members) $0 for first additional card, $50 for each card after
  • No welcome bonus points
  • 3 points for every $1 spent on groceries
  • 5 points for every $1 spent on public transit and ferries
  • 10 points for every $1 spent at select local businesses
  • 1.5 points for every $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Priority Pass membership (a US$99 value) with six complimentary airport lounge visits (US$192 value)
  • Extensive Insurance package including 22 day out of province travel medical coverage, price protection and mobile device insurance
  • 100 points = $1 towards travel and other redemption options
Seeing that the cards offer a nice and easy 100 points to $1 redemption ratio it quickly tells us that the Visa Infinite card earns a base rate of return of 1.25% (1.25 points per dollar) up to 10% for the 10 points per dollar at local businesses. It also appears the multipliers of 3, 5, and 10 points are not capped at a set dollar value like we see on many other cards. TheVisa Infinite Privilege card is similar however the base earn rate is 1.5 points (a 1.5% return) and also has 3 points on groceries for a 3% return in that category.

The 10 points per dollar on both cards is currently limited to these three local businesses in B.C.: Modo Co‑operative carshare, JJ Bean Coffee Roasters and Fresh Prep meal kit delivery



The Vancity Rewards site looks easy to use and I did a quick flight booking search between Vancouver and Calgary to see how the results come up:

As you can see it works to the 100 points to $1 redemption ratio as mentioned above and it allows you to easily redeem points for the flights. As with many other proprietary credit card programs you can also do partial redemptions. Say you only have 30,000 points, you could redeem them for $300 towards one of the flights above and pay the rest with your credit card (and earn double points while you're at it since it is a Vancity Rewards booking)

You can also use points towards cash back (Pay with points or a statement credit) or convert points to be cash deposited in savings accounts, TFSA accounts and more. Finally you can also redeem points for gift cards and the great news is the redemption rates for gift cards aren't devalued like lots of other programs - it still works out to 100 points to $1.

The insurance package on the Visa Infinite card is weaker than many other Visa Infinite cards in the market place, to get a really good insurance and benefits package you have to go to the Infinite Privilege card which also costs more. The latter though, if you are a Vancity member has a lower annual fee than other Privilege cards in the market and this one includes Priority Pass with 6 lounge visits, worth nearly US$300. 

Some things you need to be aware of to get a Vancity card - you must be 19 years and you must also be a B.C. resident which is too bad as it really limits the possibility of these cards making in roads in the Canadian market. That being said, if you are 19 and live in B.C. then these new offerings from Vancity are something you may really want to take into consideration when picking a new credit card.


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