Nowadays, the use of credit cards is a form of payment that is becoming more and more accessible to the general public. But this is not surprising when we note that there are an increasing number of companies offering consumer credit cards. If before the offer was more restricted to traditional banks and large financial institutions, currently there are options from fintechs, brokers, supermarket and retail chains, fashion and clothing companies, among others. In fact, the credit business has become a very lucrative way of invoicing these companies. According to the Central Bank, credit card payments in the first quarter of 2022 averaged 3.1 million transactions per minute. Thus, it was one of the modalities with the highest number of transactions in the period. Considering this, the credit card market is currently experiencing a brutal competition for new customers from the most diverse audiences. In this sense, benefit packages are increasingly competitive and full of details, and it is a real job to find the best option. With that in mind, the Investor's Guide made a comparison between the best and most recent credit cards based on a series of posts analyzing the information of each card. Follow the criteria and results obtained below.
What to evaluate on a credit card?
Although the number of credit cards offered is large, it is still possible to trace some common denominators to establish criteria on which option is more advantageous. Among the cards observed, the following were taken into account: The annual fee; Fees, fees and other charges; The cashback program; The benefits and features package.
Cards involved: XP, Modalmais and Nubank
For this comparison, three cards were chosen, all launched in 2022: the XP Visa Infinite card, the Modalmais Visa Infinite and the Nubank Ultravioleta. In common, all these cards are part of the premium line of their companies — that is, focused on the high-income public —, in addition to having the most modern technology, security and practicality. Let's check out what's best in each option below.
The annual fee is a fee charged to allow the use of the card. Although it was common in the past, changes in the market in recent years allowed the existence of options even with zero annuity, as we will see below: CardAnnuityModalmais CardR$ 100.00¹Nubank CardR$49.00¹XPZero Card¹Possibility of exemption from annuity. According to the table, the XP card comes out ahead presenting zero annuity to its customers. In the case of Modalmais and Nubank cards, on the other hand, there are certain conditions for not receiving an annuity charge. But by default, it is worth mentioning that the official annuity is still the one shown in the table. In summary, with Modalmais, there are special offers involving the first months of zero annual fee and even discounts based on credit card expenses. Thus, spending at least R$ 6 thousand on the card, the discount is 50%; while the minimum expense of R$ 10 thousand or having R$ 150 thousand invested in the platform results in a 100% discount. With respect to Nubank, the annuity can be zero if the average monthly expense in the last three months is R$5,000 or if R$150,000 is invested in the platform of Nubank or Easynvest, fintech's brokerage.
Fees, fees and other charges
While not all information regarding card fees and other charges is available online, it is possible to stay on top of some of their costs. In this sense, some of the amounts charged by financial institutions are as follows: ModalsNubankXPWithdrawalR$6.90¹ZeroR$6.50¹Second copy issueR$15ZeroR$15International purchase4% + IOF4% + PTAX Sale + IOF4% + IOFParcelamentoNot informedBetween 0.99% and 13.75% am3.9% amInterest RevolvingNot informedBetween 2.75 % and 14% am5.9% am¹The charge occurs after the 4 free withdrawals in the month. Due to the fact that Modalmais does not present further details of interest charges, there is no way to compare it with the others. But on the other hand, we can see that the Nubank card stands out for not charging withdrawals, nor for issuing a duplicate. On the other hand, speaking of interest charges, XP comes out ahead for presenting lower percentages, being a weight factor in its favor.
Cashback — or cash back, in direct translation — is one of the benefits that is becoming standard as a form of customer loyalty. In short, it is about the return of a percentage of the expenses made, which can be on a platform, promotion or by credit card, in this case. According to the cards pages, their cashback programs are as follows: CardCashbackInvestbackIs it Valid?Modalmais CardUp to 2% of the value of purchasesUp to 36% in 12 monthsNoNubank1%card on all purchases200% of CDI NoXP CardUpto 10% on all purchases99.5% of CDINoAt first, all programs have an "investback" system, or that is, the accumulated points can yield more in a period of time. Because of this, they do not expire and can still be redeemed for cash, which is a plus point for all. On the other hand, the XP card stands out for the possibility of greater cashback gain, depending on your consumption behavior. So, for immediate rescue, it seems to be the most advantageous option. Meanwhile, Modalmais card presents greater income potential in its program called “cash forward”. In this case, among the investback programs, it is the best result.
Benefits and Features
Talking about benefits, Modalmais and XP cards have the automatic package of their Visa brand, Visa Infinite. Nubank, on the other hand, has the Mastercard brand and offers the benefits of the Mastercard Black program. In practice, both programs are composed of similar advantages in terms of insurance, protections, mileage, benefits, among others. The biggest difference between the two is that Mastercard Black gives access to a VIP area at Guarulhos airport, while Visa Infinite has nothing like it. Regarding the other characteristics, the analyzed cards present the following data: Benefits and FeaturesModalsNubankXPVisa InfiniteXXMastercard BlackXInternational CoverageXXXCashback and InvestbackXXXContactlessXXXTechnology Motion CodeXLimit DynamicXPayment WalletsGoogle PayApple PayWhatsApp PayGoogle PayApple Pay Samsung PayAmong the differentials, we can highlight the Motion Code technology of the Modalmais card. In short, it allows the CVV code displayed on the card to change every hour, being a state-of-the-art technology in terms of security. On the other hand, the XP card is able to stand out for its dynamic limit system, which adjusts to the value of investments in the platform, reaching 85% of the total amount invested, in addition to the traditional criterion for historical expenditure. In addition, the XP and Nubank card already have integration with Google and Apple payment portfolios, in addition to the isolated presence on Samsung Pay (for XP) and WhatsApp Pay (for Nubank).
After all, what is the best option?
Of course, all cards have good benefits and interesting differentials, so the best option will depend on which criteria are priority. For example, the innovative Motion Code technology of the Modalmais Visa Infinite card is sure to please those who care most about security, despite its more expensive annual fee. If the integration with the WhatsApp Pay payment service is a relevant topic, on the other hand, the Nubank Ultravioleta card becomes more advantageous, as its other factors are in a middle ground between compared cards. Meanwhile, the XP Visa Infinite card stands out, above all, for its zero annual fee, but also for its cashback program, which can be quite advantageous depending on your consumption profile and also for its lower interest rates than the market average. Still, if doubts persist, the ideal is, if possible, to talk to someone who has one of the cards to give all the missing details before making the final decision.
Text written by Victor Rodrigues – Editor of Guia do Investidor and graduated in Economics from PUC-SP.