Posted by Chuck on June 7, 2017
Credit Card Review

Published on June 7th, 2017 | by Chuck

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UBS Visa Infinite Card Review: 25,000 Signup Bonus + $495 Annual Fee

UBS Bank has the UBS Visa Infinite. UBS Bank, is an international bank with footprint in USA, Switzerland, and elsewhere.

The card comes with a signup bonus of up to 25,000 points and an annual fee of $495 (50,000 bonus for premium customers). As expected, it comes with lots of benefits including a $250 airline incidental credit and potentially a $500 lounge credit. Keep reading for our in depth review of this card.

Applications Information

It’s currently possible to apply for this card. It’s not available for online application currently but you can go into a branch or call them on 888-762-1232. Once you’ve called they will send a paper application out to your address. If you want to use online banking you’ll also need to open a checking account.

Rewards Program

Signup Bonus

There are two versions of the signup bonus mentioned:

  • Get 50,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months
  • Get 25,000 points after spending $3,000 within the first three months

Signup bonus is valid through December 31, 2017. Points post instantly after meeting spend.

It’s not clear why someone will get 50k or 25k. Some people have been told that the 50k is for everyone while many others have been told that only UBS clients will get 50k (1, 2, 3) See also this comment.

Standard Earning

This card earns at the following rates per $1 spent:

  • 3x points on air travel
  • 2x points on gas and groceries
  • 1x points on all other purchases

There is no cap on how many points you can earn and points do not expire so long as the card is open.

Redeeming Rewards

At a minimum, points can be cashed out at one cent per point as a statement credit (minimum $100).

To maximize the value, you’ll want to redeem for travel on any commercial airline. These flights must be booked through UBS and paid for with the card. You’ll get the following redemption values:

  • 50,000 points gets you a flight worth up to $900 (works out to 1.8 CPP)
  • 25,000 points gets you a flight worth up to $350 (works out to 1.4 CPP)

If you book a flight that costs $250, you’ll still pay 25,000 points and you’ll get just 1 CPP. If you book a flight that costs MORE than $35o/$900, you’ll pay 5,000 points per $50. You must cover the full cost of ticket with rewards points.

Sample scenarios:

  • $1,101 flight will cost 75,000 points (50k + 25k)
  • $1,100 flight will cost 70,000 points (50k + 20k)
  • $950 flight will cost 55,000 points (50k + 5k)
  • $900 flight will cost 50,000 points
  • $800 flight will cost 50,000 points
  • $500 flight will cost 40,000 points (25k + 15k)
  • $351 flight will cost 30,000 points (25k + 5k)
  • $350 flight will cost 25,000 points
  • $200 flight will cost 25,000 points

You can also redeem 35,000 points to pay for the annual fee which give you roughly 1.4 CPP.

Card Benefits

Being a premium travel credit card, this card comes with a lot of different benefits:

$250 airline fee credit

You’ll get a $250 airline incidental benefit with one selected airline. You need to select one airline for the entire calendar year.

Since the year is based on calendar year, it’ll be possible to double-dip the first year and get two $250 credits. We’ll have to see what works and what doesn’t to get reimbursed. Sounds like reimbursements will be automatic without having to call in.

You can put the $250 spend on the primary card or AU card, but it all counts toward the same $250 limit.

“Qualifying” transactions are defined as ancillary airline fee transactions made at eligible U.S.-Domestic Airline Carriers, and include: preferred seating upgrades, ticket change/cancelation fees, checked baggage fees, in-flight entertainment, onboard food and beverage charges, airport lounge fees (excluding those credited by the UBS Any Airport Club program), and other airline travel fees.

Airline ticket purchases, mileage point purchases, mileage points transfer fees, gift cards, duty-free purchases, award tickets and fees incurred with airline alliance partners are not deemed to be Qualifying transactions. Airport lounge fees not affiliated with airlines and transactions made with travel agencies are not deemed to be Qualifying transactions. Ancillary airline travel fees must be separate charges from airline ticket charges.

In other words: this will work similar to Amex airline incidental credits, NOT like Sapphire Reserve or Prestige.

$500 Credit toward Lounge Access

Up to $500 reimbursement with Any Airport Club Program, which provides reimbursement for day passes or annual membership fees for airport lounges worldwide. To be eligible for this benefit, cardholders must spend at least $50,000 annually.

One good thing is that you get the $500 allowance for $50,000 spend whether it’s during the current calendar year-to-date or the prior calendar year. So if you spend $50k before the end of 2017, for example, you’ll be able to get two $500 credits based for that spend alone – one in 2017 and one in 2018.

Airport club day pass or annual airport club membership must be purchased using your UBS Visa Infinite credit card. You are eligible for a statement credit of up to $500 if your total spending on your card was $50,000 or greater during either the current calendar year-to-date or the prior calendar year. You may claim the credit only once for each year in which you qualify for a credit. If you do not claim the credit in a year, it will not carry over into subsequent years. You must claim the credit during the same calendar year in which the fee posted to your card account.

12 Gogo In-flight Sessions

  • Enrollment is required at visa.gogoair.com/UBS prior to flying; registration is not available in flight.
  • Passes are valid for 12 months from the date you register your card for this benefit. Any unused Passes at the end of the 12 month period will expire.

$100 Global Entry/ TSA Precheck

UBS Visa Infinite credit cardholders are entitled to one $100 statement credit per card every four years in connection with the Global Entry program application fee. The $100 statement credit will be processed after the application fee is charged to a valid UBS Visa Infinite credit card. (Sounds like AU cards get their own credit.)

Access to 1000+ lounges worldwide

The Priority Pass Select offers access to over 1,000 participating airport lounges worldwide. Membership is required to access participating lounges. To request your complimentary membership card, visit ubs.com/prioritypassselect.

Visa Infinite $100 Discount Air Benefit

The card DOES get the Infinite benefit of $100 discount when you purchase 2 or more tickets. Book your tickets here.

You can read our full review on this benefit here.

Primary Car Rental Insurance

The card comes with primary coverage reimbursement for collision or damage up to the value of most rental cars.

You’ll also get rental car discounts at Avis, National, Audi Silvercar, Enterprise, Alamo, and more.

No foreign transaction fees

This card doesn’t charge you any fees if you make a purchase in a foreign transaction. You’ll receive the rate that Visa uses, you can read more about how this rate is determined by going here.

Variety Of Insurance Products

  • Trip delay reimbursement up to $500 per ticket to reimburse cost of meals and lodging if trip is delayed more than 6 hours
  • Purchase security up to $10k per claim and $50k per year
  • Price protection up to $500 per claim and $1,500 per year
  • Return protection up to $300 per claim and $1,000 per year
  • Event ticket protection up to $500 per event ticket, $2,000 per event, and $4,000 per year
  • Extended warranty up to 12 additional months; max $10,000 per claim and $50,000 per year
  • Up to $15,000 in ID theft insurance
  • Trip cancellation and interruption insurance up to $5,000
  • Medical evacuation up to $100,000
  • Travel accident insurance up to $1M
  • Baggage delay up to $100 per day for 3 days and a total of $300 spend per 12 month period
  • Lost luggage reimbursement up to $5,000
  • Roadside assistance up to $50 per event, max 4 events per year

Miscellaneous Details and Benefits

  • Annual fee of $495, NOT waived the first year
  • Get up to 24 authorized users for free
  • Card is made out of metal
  • 24/7 concierge service
  • Private aviation (NetJets) benefit
  • Jet charter services
  • Baggage delivery services
  • ATM rebates, up to $10 each
  • No cash advance fees if you have sufficient funds to repay that night; otherwise, there’ll be cash advance fees and interest charges.
  • Access to Visa Luxury Hotel Collection, with benefits including room upgrades (when available), complimentary breakfast, and early/late check-in/-out (when available) at participating hotels14. Access to additional luxury hotels and amenities, such as Relais and Chateaux, Mandarin Oriental, Starwood Luxury, Villas of Distinction.
  • If you voluntarily close your card, you will be allowed 60 days following the effective date of termination of the UBS Account or Cards to redeem outstanding points for gift cards or merchandise. In the event UBS Bank USA closes your Card for any reason other than inactivity, your points will be immediately forfeited.

Final Thoughts

With the 50,000 sign up bonus at the minimum you can do the following:

  • Redeem 35,000 points to cover the annual fee
  • Redeem 10,000 points for $100 (remember you can only redeem in increments of $100. If you spent a total of $5,000 on this card you could redeem for $200. Minimum spend requirement is only $3,000)
  • Use the $250 travel credit twice (once this year and once next year)

That’s $500 in travel credits and $100/$200. Obviously, if you can get the top redemption of 1.8¢ then this bonus gets a lot more interesting. One big question mark is how strict the application criteria will be? The other question is how easy will the travel credit be to use? There could be some good value to be had in the first year but at this stage we don’t have a lot of data points.

 



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Tom
Tom

“50,000 points gets you a flight worth up to $900 (works out to 1.9 CPP)”

Although I prefer your calculation, I think you made a typo there.

math wiz
math wiz

1.8 CPP 😛

Tom
Tom

Username checks out.

Tom
Tom

So aside from the sign-up bonus, which will likely make the card worthwhile for the first year, if we consider the ongoing costs of keeping the card indefinitely…

Assuming you value the $250 airline credit at face value (which is an overly generous assumption), then the effective annual fee becomes $245.

I would value the 12 GoGo passes at about $50, since you could alternatively get/keep the U.S. Bank Flexperks card instead… any valuation in excess of $50 for these 12 passes is not legitimate, in my opinion.

I wouldn’t necessarily value the $500 lounge credit as much of anything… for some people it might be somewhat valuable, but the opportunity cost of spending $50,000 on this card and only earning (at most) 1.8 cpp can be very high:
– Opportunity cost of $50,000 on USAA Card (2.5%) = $350
– Opportunity cost of $50,000 on BOATR with highest relationship bonus (2.63%) = $415
– Opportunity cost of $50,000 on Discover (year 1) = $600

Keep in mind, those values are only realistic if you achieve the maximum redemption of exactly a $900 ticket… for most people this is probably not realistic or practical, so the opportunity costs listed above will likely be higher than the values mentioned. Since you can essentially buy most club memberships for about $450 with the corresponding credit card, I think this “benefit” does not have widespread value when you consider the opportunity cost.

The Priority Pass membership is worth about $0, in my opinion. I highly doubt there is a single person that is reading this article and considering applying for this card that doesn’t already have PP.

So essentially, if you agree with my valuations above, then what this essentially boils down to is whether or not you value the VISA Infinite $100 airline credit at $200/year or not. This also seems hard to justify since you could make the same case for the VISA Infinite $100 airline credit on the Ritz Carlton card for a cost of $150 once the travel credit is taken into account. So unless you plan on using the other benefits of the card much, I don’t personally think it offers a compelling value story beyond the first year.

Max
Max

Hey, those are “carefully curated” travel benefits.

stvr
stvr

GREAT analysis!

VM
VM

In your opportunity cost analysis, you forgot that this card has 2X MS friendly categories(Gas/Groceries)

Tom
Tom

That’s true, but there are also many cards (capped and uncapped) and offer better than 3.6 cpp on gas and/or groceries, so there is an opportunity cost for that as well. Too many possibilities to list, but you get the idea… I’m not saying that it’s not possible to make the numbers work, but it seems like most people that are serious about this hobby already have other cards that earn far more in most/all of these categories, so there would be an opportunity cost of MS’ing the $50,000. It could still be a good value for some extremely high spenders, but I think for the vast majority of people it does not offer compelling long term value.

MSer
MSer

All your alternate choices have fees themselves. Picking a single card and comparing is kosher, but cherry picking bennies from individual cards is ridiculous.

Bob
Bob

Called rep. Indicated that you do need an existing client relationship, but even one in Switzerland works.

Paul
Paul

CSR blew this out of the water. No comparison.

Ed
Ed

So true. This annual fee is too high compared to the initial bonus, plus too high for a long term keeper. Will pass on this. Other opportunities out there. Unless you’ve exhausted all the other opportunities and still need airfare tickets through this, the fee is the killer.

W
W

Eh. If you get 1.8c out of it it beats the CSR.

CSR is $450 with a net of $163.50 or $138.50 after GE. Points can be much more abused from a CSR, but the perks from this card make it better.

UBS has $495 that comes out to $245 or $220 after GE. They both have PP so thats a wash but the Boingo and $100 Visa discount should bring the UBS ahead with a single round trip with the Boingo being about $10 a use for a total net of $100.

After that the 1.8c and $500 credit can make this card earn effectively 2.8c overall, 4.6c at gas and grocery, and 6.4c at air. I value the $500 after $50,000 as a 1cpp bonus because it can be used on a lounge membership to United or American and then get their credit card to reimburse it. So its worth almost the full value in cash straight up, as well as being usable for their lounges too.

CSR would have the dining and expansive travel category but with a high average of 6cpp it probably isnt overcoming the UBS which actually functions for non-bonus spend and grocery and gas, which are highly abusable.

Ryan
Ryan

Anyone know how UBS deals with annual fee refunds?

Asking for a friend.

Dan
Dan

Im thinking exactly what you are thinking. Planning on doing that for US Bank altitude as well.

Ariel
Ariel

What are you thinking?

Moose Cow
Moose Cow

He’s thinking about getting banned from US Bank

Rob
Rob

I would also point out that to get the airline ticket up to $900 for 50,000 points, you must call UBS on the phone to elect this option and there is a mandatory $25 or 2,500 point fee for this. So really, the best possible redemption value achievable is on a ticket that is exactly $900 and you will be charged 52,500 points for this, so your maximum redemption value is $900 / 52,500 = 1.71 cents per point,

Jay
Jay

“This option is available by calling the UBS Rewards Service Center at 888-762-1232 and selecting the reward redemption option, or online at ubs.com/onlineservices. The reservation must be made by a UBS Rewards Service Center Agent or online at ubs.com/onlineservices, and the ticket will be charged to your Card.”

Doesn’t it clearly allow online portal bookings, or am I missing something…?

Rob
Rob

“Air travel award redemption options. You can also use a
fixed number of Points to purchase any airline ticket up to a set
dollar amount. This option is available by calling the UBS Rewards
Service Center at 800-762-1000 and selecting the reward
redemption option, or online at ubs.com/onlineservices. The
reservation must be made by a UBS Rewards Service Center
Agent or online at ubs.com/onlineservices, and the ticket will
be charged to your Card. After the purchase is completed, the
applicable Points will be deducted from your rewards account.
Once that deduction is complete, a credit will post to your Card
for the ticket purchase price. A $25 (or 2,500 Points) booking fee
applies per ticket. ”

Yes, but it looks like the $25 booking fee is charged regardless of method.

Rob
Rob

Just realized that text is from their visa signature card terms, not this card the visa infinite. Disregard, there must have been a broken link that downloaded the benefit guide for their Visa signature card.

no way hozay
no way hozay

LOL WHAT A JOKE, NO THANKS!

Mark O
Mark O

Will be a pass for me. Not enticing at all imo. Not sure who would keep this long term either.

Joe C.
Joe C.

I appreciate the details this article lays out about this card. Personally, I don’t see the value in this card that I would find in other premium cards. Chase Sapphire Reserve and Citi Prestige give much better values and have much better benefits overall. The main selling I could see as being good is the $500 lounge credit. This can give people the option to select which airline they would like to pay for lounge access. It could be beneficial for US travelers who don’t have much access to priority pass lounges. The problem is they need to spend $50,000 first. With that, I question the value of that benefit. So basically I don’t see any new, innovative perks that would make me choose this over a Chase Sapphire Reserve or Citi Prestige.

TechBBBFan
TechBBBFan

U.S. Bank, now UBS with a mediocre “premium” card. I think it goes to show that Chase did something brilliant with the CSR. It offered benefits too expensive to provide unless you have enormous commercial/investment banking operations to subsidize the the credit card portfolio with. I think it’s trying to get all of the others to spend more than they can really afford to and make them give up, at which point Chase can reduce benefits without losing too many customers. Kind of like the Amazon philosophy.

Jags
Jags

Redeeming 35,000 points for the AF makes this enticing with a 50k bonus offer.

First year fee free, $500 in airline credits (hopefully MPX or something along those lines), $150 in cash back (15,000 redeemed), and VISA airline $100 rebate is nice if you can use it. A hard pull for $650 minimum and no cash outlay sounds good to me.

Andrey
Andrey

$500 in airline credits?

Scott
Scott

$250 x2…airline credit is by calendar year so you can pay 1 annual fee and get the $250 credit twice.

Andrey
Andrey

Thanks, forgot about double dip.

DDG

http://www.visadiscountair.com/ubs

Link for Visa Infinite $100 Discount Air Benefit

JL
JL

$50,000 is a lot to spend…plus points are not transferable. while TY points is getting a devaluation soon, you can usually get 2c+ with it, and certainly with UR.

Maybe for someone that flies US-Asia in economy a lot, since those tickets usually are in the $750-$1200 range. maybe if you hit enough of the $900 you can really maximize the points. or other routes that frequently have fares in the $900 area.

Too many hoops to jump through.

Dave
Dave

What evaluation is TYP getting?

JL
JL

after july 23rd, TY points are worth 1.25cents when booking through TY travel portal, vs. currently Citi Prestige redeems for 1.33cents for most travels, except on AA 1.6cents.

this and among other card benefit devals – no more golf and AA lounge.

no change if you primarily transfer points.

Tri N
Tri N

@DoC “In other words: this will work similar to Amex airline incidental credits” — similar as in WN GCs? Guess hard to know since you dont have an data points… yet.

Ese
Ese

Too many hoops for the $500 airport club benefit. Here’s one more:

“Any airport club transactions covered by the $250 Airline Fee Credit benefit are not eligible for the Any Airport Club benefit. Please see “$250 Airline Fee Credit” for complete terms and
conditions.”

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