The premium credit card market is exploding right now. Over the past few years we’ve seen Citi, Chase, and US Bank all launch credit cards in the premium space historically dominated by the American Express Platinum Card. Today marked the launch of another entrant into the field with the UBS Visa Infinite Card. I just spoke with a UBS representative and have gathered several details of the new UBS premium card to help you decide whether it has a place in your wallet.
UBS Visa Infinite – Key Features
Sign-up Bonus: 50,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months. This is not publicized on the UBS website, but was confirmed to me by a representative.
Annual Fee: $495
- No foreign transaction fees
- Priority Pass membership
- $500 credit to any airport lounge ($50,000 minimum spend)
- $250 Annual airfare credit (domestic airlines only)
- $100 credit towards TSA Pre-check or Global Entry
- Primary rental car collision coverage
- Travel accident insurance
- $700 service credit at Villas of Distinction properties
- 30% Off Silvercar rentals of 2 days or more
- Visa Infinite premium hotel benefits
- 3X Points commercial air travel
- 2X Points gas & groceries
- 1 Point all other purchases
This is where things get a little tricky. The primary rewards function is redeeming points for flights. UBS has setup a structure where members can redeem 25,000/50,000 rewards points for one ticket up to $350/$900 on any commercial airline. Here’s where things get a little tricky. Air travel redemption rates are fixed and any additional costs over $350 or $900 must be paid for by the cardholder in increments of 5,000 points per additional $50. Here’s a few examples:
A flight costing $450: The cardholder will spend 25,000 points for the $350 flight tier, plus an additional 10,000 points to cover the $100 remaining balance.
A flight costing $1,000: The cardholder will spend 50,000 points for the $900 flight tier, plus an additional 10,000 points to cover the $100 remaining balance.
Since UBS is rather new to this space, they don’t have any transfer partners. This could be a non-starter for many travel hackers. While flight redemption appears to be the major benefit, cardholders can redeem points for statement credits at a 100 point : $1 ratio.
How To Get The UBS Visa Infinite Card
The representative I spoke with indicated that there is no online or phone applications at this time. Prospective cardholders will need to have an application mailed to them.
While the card isn’t for everybody, I think the new UBS premium card has a place in the high end market. While the uber popular Chase Sapphire Reserve focuses on millennials with a travel and dining earning structure, the UBS Visa Infinite appears to be going after an older crowd with grocery and gas focused earning structure. I fall somewhere in between these demographics, and will probably just stick with the Sapphire Reserve for now. However, anyone in the market for a premium card that spends heavily on gas, groceries, and air travel may want to take a look.
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