For benefits that go above and beyond rewards, both Mastercard and Visa offer their own respective programs to up the value you can get from your credit card.

Mastercard offers the World and World Elite programs, while Visa offers the Visa Infinite and Infinite Privilege programs.

Today, we’re going to compare them side by side, check out what they offer, and see who has the better program.

Overview – World Elite and Visa Infinite

Both Mastercard and Visa offer two levels within their programs.

For Mastercard, they have:

  • World and
  • World Elite Mastercards.

And for Visa, it’s:

  • Infinite and
  • Infinite Privilege cards.

Each of them offer different levels of perks. For our exercise, we’ll be comparing World Elite and Visa Infinite cards, as they’re the closest to each other in terms of benefits.

Comparison of World Elite and Visa Infinite Privilege benefits

Here’s an overview of the basic benefits offered by World Elite Mastercards and Visa Infinite Privilege cards.

Feature Mastercard World Elite Visa Infinite
Lounge access All cards give membership to Mastercard experiences by Loungekey, a select few offer free passes Some cards offer a Priority pass membership, a select few offer free passes
Concierge service World Elite concierge Visa Infinite concierge
Insurance coverage Up to 14 types of coverages Up to 12 types of coverage
Income requirements 80K personal, 150K household 60K personal, 100K household
Experiences * Mastercard Priceless cities
* Cirque du Soleil
* Visa Infinite dining series
* Visa Infinite Wine Country program
Other perks * Mastercard World Experiences * Visa Infinite Luxury hotel collection
Number of credit cards available 16 16
Standout credit card

Lounge access

Both programs have cards that offer membership to their lounge programs, but few of them offer actual passes.

Because you normally have to pay an annual fee on top of your individual lounge access passes, you’re still saving quite a bit, even if the cards don’t come with passes (though it’s definitely better if they do).

World Elite Mastercard lounge access

All World Elite Mastercards offer membership to their own program – Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by Loungekey.

This will give you membership to over 1,000 airport lounges worldwide, but only a select few cards offer complimentary passes. If your card doesn’t provide any free passes, you’ll have to pay $27 USD each time you want to use your lounge access.

The for instance, comes with 4 free passes every year.

Visa Infinite lounge access

Only some Visa Infinite cards offer Priority Pass Memberships to their over 1,2000 lounges, and even fewer offer free passes.

The is a strong contender in this regard. It comes with a Priority Pass membership and 6 free passes per year.

Concierge service

For concierge service, both programs offer a full-service concierge to help with travel plans, dinner reservations, and event tickets.

Mastercard World Elite concierge and Visa Infinite concierge are ready to help you with your travel plans, or even anything that comes up while you’re in the middle of your journey.

Related: The Ins and Outs of Credit Card Concierge

Insurance coverage

When it comes to travel insurance, World Elite Mastercards have a slight edge.

The differences between the 2 lie in the various rental car protections. World Elite Mastercards issued by BMO & MBNA have car rental personal effects and accident insurances, something no Visa Infinite card currently offers.

Otherwise, they generally have the same protections and coverage amounts.

World Elite Mastercards insurance coverage

The best World Elite Mastercards come with 14 (out of 16) types of travel insurance.

Check out an example of the kind of limits they offer:

Visa Infinite insurance coverage

Conversely, the best Visa Infinite cards have 12 types of insurance.

Here’s what their insurance details look like:

Income requirements

To be able to acquire these cards, you need to meet set income requirements.

In this regard, Visa Infinite cards definitely have a leg up on their competition. You need a personal income of $60,000 or a household income of $100,000 to qualify for a Visa Infinite card.

While this may seem high on its own, they sound better than the income requirements for World Elite Mastercards, which increase those numbers to $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.

Experiences

Both programs offer access to events that can’t be found anywhere else.

Visa Infinite experiences

For Visa Infinite, you get the Visa Infinite Dining Series and Wine Country programs.

The Dining Series gives you exclusive access to dining events that will make you want to get your camera out and show off to everyone.

For the wine guru, the Wine Country program will let you participate in wine tastings and tours at a reduced cost compared to what anyone else has to pay.

Mastercard World Elite experiences

Mastercard World Elite offers Priceless Cities. You’ll be able to pick from a wide variety of experiences and once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to events from all over the world.

If you want to see more than just a show with Cirque du Soleil, Mastercard holders get access to exclusive perks like backstage access, 15% discount on Canadian shows, discounts at Las Vegas shows, and preferred seating.

Other perks

Above everything else we discussed, each program also has one special extra perk.

Visa Infinite extra perks

For Visa Infinite, it’s the Luxury Hotel Collection.

You’ll get great benefits at over 900 properties worldwide, such as a free room upgrade, $25 USD food or beverage voucher, VIP guest status, and more.

World Elite Mastercard extra perks

On the World Elite Mastercard side, they offer Mastercard World Experiences.

With this perk, you can get preferred access and complimentary upgrades on all kinds of offers, like upscale retailers and resorts .

Rate Your Wallet and find your perfect match.

Best World Elite and Visa Infinite credit card

So what are the top credit cards for each program?

Using the genius rating as determined by our best networks pages for both Mastercard and Visa, here are the top options currently available.

Feature BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite
Earn rates 1 mile per $10 spent * 1.5 miles per $1 on gas, groceries, drugstores, and aircanada.com
* 1 mile per $1 on all other purchases
Annual fee $120, first year free $120, first year free
Insurance coverage 14 types 10 types
Income requirements 80K personal or 150K household 60K personal or 100K household
Airport lounge access Loungekey membership and 2 annual free passes * 1 Maple Leaf lounge passes when travelling on Aeroplan flight rewards
Other perks 15% discount on the number of AIR MILES required for rewards flights in North America Benefits on all Air Canada flights when travelling on rewards tickets.
Welcome bonus Up to 3,000 AIR MILES (terms) Up to 25,000 Aeroplan miles (terms)
Best for… AIR MILES collectors, travellers Aeroplan collectors, travellers
Apply now Apply Now Apply now

BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

The best World Elite Mastercard is the . It offers the most amount of AIR MILES over any other AIR MILES card.

First, it comes with a welcome bonus of up to 3,000 AIR MILES – 1,000 after your first purchase and another 2,000 after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. That’s enough for a medium-haul flight.

And you earn 1 mile for every $10 spent on the card, plus double miles on National and Alamo car rentals.

It also allows you to increase the value of every mile you earn. Redeem for flights within Canada or to the U.S., and you’ll need 15% fewer miles to get your flights.

Throw in 14 types of insurance, and you’ve got a card that’s great for all your travels.

To top it all off, the first year is currently free as well.

TD Aeroplan Visa Infinite

Our #1 choice for a Visa Infinite card is the . You’ll earn Aeroplan miles on every purchase, and get great benefits when you redeem them.

It comes with a welcome bonus of up to 25,000 miles – 15,000 after your first purchase, and another 10,000 after spending $2,000 in the first 3 months.

You also earn bonus miles on a variety of categories:

  • 1.5 miles per $1 on groceries, gas, drugstores, and aircanada.com, and
  • 1 mile per $1 on everything else.

But it gets better. Redeem your miles for flights on Air Canada and you’ll get some great benefits as well:

  • free first checked bag,
  • priority check-in,
  • priority boarding, and
  • Maple Leaf lounge access (once per year).

These perks make a free flight even sweeter.

And with 10 types of insurance, it still has plenty of coverage while you’re out and about.

It’s also offering the first year free, so you can take the card for a test drive.

To summarize

Regardless of the program, you’ll get great benefits that go beyond just rewards. They can make trips more memorable and enjoyable.

What about you?

Have you used the benefits of either program?

Let us know how your experience went in the comments below.