Visa is one of the oldest credit card operators. It started in 1958 under the name Bank of America. That same year, the bank launched BankAmericard. It was the first-ever card with revolving credit. The bank responded to competitor Master Charge (Mastercard now) and began to license the BankAmericard program to other financial institutions and changed its name to “Visa” in 1976 to make it approachable for global use.

At first, the company issued only credit cards, but as it grew larger, it expanded its services to debit, credit, gift, and prepaid cards. It debuted with the first debit card in 1975. Since Visa is a payment network company, their cards carry their symbols but are issued by their partners. These cards are accepted by 40 million merchants worldwide in over 200 countries. At the moment, there are 336 million Visa cards in circulation worldwide. It is also the largest credit card network taking 48.4% of the global market share.

Visa Financial Services

VISA payment network offers a wide range of financial services, including Debit cards, Credit cards, Prepaid cards, Gift cards, Secured and unsecured loans, eBanking, Financing plans, ATM withdrawals, Cash advance programs, Various financial bonuses, and benefits.

There are thousands of different cards and not all of them are the same. Their offers and benefits depend on the card issuer (the partner). Not all of them might be suitable for your needs, and you need to make sure to check the offer before you decide on getting one.

Types of Cards Offered by Visa Payment Network

Visa is a large card payment network that has many cards under its logo. The benefits, rewards, perks, and interests of these cards depend on the credit card issuers. It’s important not to confuse payment networks with card issuers. It creates cards for credit card issuers who set the terms for their cardholders. Before that, companies agree to the terms and conditions set by the network and then offer their cards to customers. Even though Visa is primarily a payment network, they also offer their cards as issuers. Here are the card levels offered directly: Classic Visa, Gold Visa, Platinum Visa, Infinite Visa, and Infinite Privilege Visa.

You can get these Visa cards with these financial institutions in Canada:

  • TD Canada Trust
  • Scotiabank
  • Royal Bank of Canada
  • Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce
  • Home Trust Company
  • Desjardins
  • Laurentian Bank
  • Chase Canada

Apart from these cards, you can find a wide range of different types of cards offered by partner issuers:

  • Business owner cards
  • Student cards
  • Bad credit cards
  • Limited credit cards
  • Fair credit cards
  • Balance transfer cards
  • Initial bonus cards
  • Cashback cards
  • Travel cards

These cards come with many perks and conveniences. That’s the reason why they have the largest number of active cards around the world. The larger the card network, the greater the benefits are, simple as that. Still, this doesn’t mean you should just pick a card recklessly without looking into details.

No matter if you are getting a card directly from Visa Corporation or a partner company, make sure to check all of its benefits. Offers change really often, and you need to talk to the representatives directly to know what you will be getting.

Visa Card Advantages

The pros of these cards remain the same for users everywhere. However, if you are getting a Visa card from a partner issuer in Canada, make sure to check their offer.

  • Best Global Acceptance. Cardholders can use cards to pay for purchases in over 200 countries around the world. These cards can also be used for cash withdrawal. The Visa network has ATMs in many countries which can be used for withdrawing cash. The company also offers an ATM locator to find the nearest ATM you can use.
  • Emergency Cash Advance. The cardholders can call Visa representatives and ask for an emergency cash advance when in need. These lines are available 24/7, and your cash will be delivered to the nearest location.
  • Card Replacement. It offers emergency card replacements in case a card is stolen or broken. This card can be used until the holders receive a new card.
  • Guaranteed Reservations. Visa card users have guaranteed hotel reservations even if they arrive late.
  • Lost/ Stolen Card Service. All cardholders can call the Lost/ Stolen Card phone line to report a missing or stolen card. The customer service will contact the issuer and ensure that your card is canceled and replaced.

RELATED: Report a Lost or Stolen Visa card

Visa Card Disadvantages

Even though the Visa payment network is one of the most popular in the world, it has its cons. Here is what you should know:

  • Variable Foreign Transaction Fees. Foreign transaction fees with these network cards are really in the gray area. It all depends on the country and the credit card issuer. For example, in Canada, all Visa-issued cards have no transaction fees. However, you need to check with third-party issuers on their specific transaction fees.
  • Unclear Approval Conditions. When it comes to partner issuers, all of them set their own approval conditions. Simply put, they set the terms by which you can get their card. However, if you want to get one of the direct Visa cards, the company has a proprietary approval process. Simply put, there is no guarantee that you will get approved for their card. Luckily, they offer a nice variety of cards, and there’s something for everyone, depending on their credit score and current financial capabilities.

Customer Support in Canada

It has a well-established customer support system in Canada. Since Canada is one of the first countries that Visa expanded to out of the US, they have built an exceptional support network. Here’s what you can expect:

  • Users who know their number can ask for their cards to be blocked and then get them connected with their banks.
  • Cardholders can ask for a replacement card to be shipped globally and get it in up to 72 hours.
  • 24/7 toll-free number support. Customers can get support in over 30 different languages.
  • Global Customer Care Services number: 1-800-847-2911
  • Customer email for Canada:
  • General inquiries number for Canada (including sponsorships and advertising): 416-367-8472
  • Customer support for hearing impaired people in Canada 1-800-TDD-1213

Bottom Line

Visa is a functional, versatile, and reliable payment network with a variety of financial services. There are countless cards you can choose from within this network. It’s one of the largest global networks for a reason. Of course, each card or service has its upsides and downsides. It’s up to you to find the one that works for you. As far as the network is concerned and the ATMs, you can use Visa cards anywhere in the world without worrying about issues.

Frequently Asked Questions