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One of the most attractive upper-tier cashback credit cards on the market, the Meridian Visa Infinite* Cash Back Card offers an array of valuable perks and a cash back model that ensures swift savings. Though its $99 annual fee might seem steep, we appreciate that new cardholders are exempt from it in their first year, and believe that in the years beyond it will be more than justified for most consumers. This is because the Meridian Visa Infinite card collects cash in three tiers, with an industry-best rate on gas and groceries, a competitive rate on recurring bills and pharmacy purchases, and a standard base earn rate on everything else as well.
The Meridian Visa Infinite* Cash Back Card also offers price protection, purchase assurance, and great travel insurance benefits in one single package. These perks distinguish the card from others in the cashback category and explain its annual income requirement of $60,000.
Meridian Visa Infinite* Cash Back Card cashback structure
The Meridian Visa Infinite* Cash Back Card earns cash back on multiple levels, collecting 4.00% on all grocery and gas purchases; 2.00% on pharmacy purchases and on recurring bills; and then 1.00% elsewhere. Note that there’s a $25,000 annual spending ceiling on the 2 and 4% cashback categories—after a cardholder passes this spending milestone their earn rate in that category drops to 1% until the next year starts and it resets to the respective accelerated rate.
This means that if you spend $25,000 across the two 4% categories (gas and groceries) by August in any given year, the remaining 4 months will see you earning just 1% on these categories. The same goes for the 1% you earn on pharmacy and recurring bills. Cash back can be redeemed against your statement, of course, but also on gift cards, events and tickets, and merchandise as well.
- $99 annual fee (first year waived)
- 4% cash back on gas and groceries ($25K annual spending limit)
- 1% cash back on pharmacy and recurring bills ($25K annual spending limit)
- 1% cash back everywhere else
- Travel insurance including travel medical, trip interruption and cancellation, baggage and rental car coverage
- Intergenerational insurance extends coverage to grandchildren travelling with their grandparents
- Rare combination of extended warranties, purchase and price protection, and mobile device insurance
Though it’s nice to get exempted from your first year annual fee and to earn at a rate that matches the best cash back cards, the main advantages of the Meridian Visa Infinite* Cash Back Card are its other perks, particularly its inclusion of both 60-day price protection and $1,000 mobile device insurance. Price protection means that new items you buy with the card and then see retailed for a cheaper price later are no longer merely sources of buyer’s remorse—now, you can simply ask for an appropriate reimbursement of the pricing difference from Meridian. We’re also starting to invest more and more in our mobile phones, so having the ability to give them extra protection is amazing.
As far as their travel insurance goes, the card is also impressive, providing $5 million of traveller’s emergency medical coverage, plus trip interruption and cancellation insurance, rental car damage and collision coverage and more.
Who’s the card for?
A primary question mark for anyone considering the Meridian Visa Infinite* Cash Back Card is how it stacks up against the very similar Meridian Visa Platinum card, which has a lower annual fee of just $49 instead of $99. For the extra $50, the Infinite version has the $5 million traveller’s emergency medical coverage, trip cancellation and interruption insurance, and intergenerational coverage for grandchildren. It also has a higher cash back rate on gas and groceries by 2.00% over the Platinum card.
Applicants should determine how relevant the travel insurance upgrades are to their lifestyle before deciding on either card. It’s also helpful to know how much more you’ll need to spend on gas and groceries (at 4%) to justify the higher annual fee. The extra 1% isn’t worth it unless you spend at least $2,500 on groceries per year, which is an easy goal to meet.
Aside from considering how the card fits into your spending habits and lifestyle, prior to applying you should be aware of the fact that the card is not available to residents of Quebec.
Related article: Best Meridian credit cards