If you have a Visa Signature credit card, their Luxury Hotel Program is definitely worth checking out. It’s a network of 900 luxury (“luxury” is interpreted pretty broadly — the roster includes a good number of family and business travel staples, such as Westins) hotels across the world. Visa Signature advertises that if you book with them, they guarantee you will get the best available rate, and they will also provide a slew of perks, including complimentary wi-fi, complimentary one category room upgrades, complimentary continental breakfasts, late check-out and resort credits, when available. (If you don’t know if your Visa credit card is a Signature, check the back right of the card for a silver “Signature” logo.)
I was tipped off to Visa Signature’s hotel program before our recent Miami trip. I checked the website and the hotel we had planned to stay at, 1 Hotel South Beach (pictured above), was one of the hotels in their network — and the Visa rate was about 10% cheaper for our dates than the AAA rate I’d gotten directly from the hotel, which was already about a 10% discount off the regular internet rate. So right off the bat, Visa’s program was well worth it for the savings on the hotel rate alone. Booking was easily accomplished online through Visa Signature’s website, just the way you would book directly on a hotel’s website, and the same cancellation policies applied. The only requirement is that you book and pay with a Visa Signature card, which of course means you’ll need to bring your Visa Signature with you when you travel if you haven’t pre-paid for the hotel.
So how did they do on the perks? The Visa Signature website promised the following:
- A complimentary one category room upgrade. We booked the cheapest category of room, a city view room. When we checked in, we were upgraded several room categories all the way to an ocean view, 1000 square foot one bedroom suite. The suite was incredible (more details and photos are in my prior post), and the view was fantastic. I’m a huge fan of balconies and was a tad disappointed that our upgraded room didn’t have one and some of the intermediate room categories did, but I didn’t want to make a fuss, since the suite was so incredible and it was so generous of them to offer it to us. We really did enjoy the great views and the spacious living area in the suite. They certainly exceeded our expectations on this one.
- Complimentary in-room wi-fi. “Free” wi-fi was already included in the hotel’s resort fee, and so they gave us a daily resort credit in the amount of the resort fee ($25 a day). We could have used this for buying anything on the property but since we didn’t use it, $75 total came off the bill for our three night stay, effectively waiving the resort fee (which covers more than just the wi-fi, it should be noted).
- Complimentary continental breakfast. Yet another perk where they really over-delivered. We were given $75 per day to spend on breakfast at the hotel’s on-site restaurant, Beachcraft. Beachcraft is fairly overpriced but $75 easily covered a wonderful hot breakfast and coffee for two, and we could have ordered mimosas as well had we wanted them.
- A 3 pm checkout. This was given to us with no problems (and was hugely appreciated, since we had an evening flight home!), although they did have me call the front desk on the day we were leaving before they formally confirmed it.
- $25 Food and Beverage Credit. We didn’t have any food or beverage spending beyond our daily breakfasts at Beachcraft, which we had separate credits for, so they just took $25 off the final bill, effectively making it a resort credit. If you’re keeping track, that was $100 total removed from our bill, which was already at a pretty incredible, not publicly available rate.
- VIP Guest status. This one is kind of vague and we weren’t explicitly given anything else, but I certainly think we were treated as VIPs based on all the above perks. We did call one night to ask if there was a refrigerator in the room (we didn’t think so, but wanted to make sure before we threw out some restaurant leftovers) and they said there wasn’t but they would send one right up, and sure enough, fifteen minutes later a (full-size!) refrigerator was delivered to the room. I’m not sure if this was just good service, VIP treatment or suite guest treatment, but it was very much appreciated.
Overall, our first experience with Visa Signature’s hotel program was absolutely stellar and really made our Miami trip much nicer. I can’t say I’ll stay exclusively at hotels in this program (I certainly don’t stay in luxury hotels every time I travel) but I’ll definitely check the Visa Signature Hotels website whenever I’m planning travel to see what hotels in the program are available to me.
If you’ve stayed at a Visa Signature hotel, let me know about your experience in the comments below! I’m sure the experience varies quite widely from hotel to hotel so I’d love to hear others’ thoughts.