If you’re looking for a credit card that offers security and that is widely accepted in countries all over the world, Mastercard credit card might be the right choice for you.
Mastercard is a reputable credit card network that can broaden your purchasing power and allow you to make transactions wherever you are. Many different banks, credit unions, and even retailers offer Mastercard cards, and you can easily and safely apply for your card online.
Before you do, however, it’s good to stay informed and learn as much as possible about Mastercard. So, let’s take a closer look at Mastercard offers, and see what their benefits and advantages are.
Mastercard® in Numbers
On a daily basis, there are over 15 million Mastercard transactions in over 180 currencies. As opposed to Visa cards which are accepted in around 170 countries, Mastercard is accepted in 210 countries around the globe and counting.
235 million Mastercard credit cards are in circulation in the US alone, and over 668 million are used in other countries around the world. Mastercard® is a network that enjoys the trust of millions of people, and you wouldn’t be wrong in joining them.
Almost every merchant or store that accepts Visa will accept Mastercard credit cards as well. You can use these cards while traveling abroad or shopping online, and various different issuers who offer Mastercard will include many benefits and rewards to the cardholders.
Is Mastercard a Card Issuer or a Card Network?
There is a big difference between card issuers and card networks, as these two organizations perform very different tasks.
A card issuer is typically a bank or credit union that is in charge of distributing credit cards to clients. If you need a new card, you will go to a card issuer to get one. That bank or credit union will be responsible for the customer support aspect of credit cards, it will set the terms and conditions of using a card, decide whether an application will be accepted or denied. The issuer also sets the fees and rates, controls the credit card benefits and rewards, and sets your credit card limit.
A credit card network, on the other hand, is a credit card payment processor. It controls which stores and merchants can accept a card within the network, and it handles the transaction between the buyer and the merchant. Credit card networks are not responsible for lending the money, setting the terms and conditions of credit cards, nor anything of the sort.
Mastercard is, therefore, a credit card network. If you want to apply for a Mastercard, you will have to send your credit card application to an issuer that offers Mastercard.
Mastercard Service Levels
As is the case with Visa credit cards, Mastercard cards can come in one of 3 versions with different service levels, each of them coming with some nice advantages. You can get one of the following Mastercard:
- Standard Mastercard
- World Mastercard
- World Elite Mastercard
If you’re unsure of which type of Mastercard credit card you have, you can check by looking at your card. If you have a World or World Elite Mastercard, this will be written right next to the logo on the card. If all you see is a Mastercard logo and nothing else, you probably have the Standard Mastercard. You can always check with your issuer to make sure.
Benefits and Rewards
As mentioned, the three different types of Mastercard cards come with some unique benefits. Whether the credit card you get has these benefits depends mostly on your credit card issuer, as issuers can decide whether they want to offer these features or not. Most issuers will offer the benefits that come directly from Mastercard or will offer some other similar benefits instead or on top of those.
- Zero fraud liability
- Mastercard global services
- ID theft protection
- All of the Standard Mastercard benefits
- Cellphone insurance
- Concierge services
- Travel services
- Discounts and memberships
World Elite Mastercard
- All of the World Mastercard benefits
- Higher claim limit on cellphone insurance
- Fandango membership
- Lyft membership
- Boxed membership
You can learn more about Mastercard benefits online, and through your credit card issuer. Note that your issuer can exclude some of the benefits or add some of their own, too.
Mastercard vs Visa Credit Cards
The most popular types of cards that you will encounter almost everywhere in the world are Mastercard and Visa. All of the other card networks are falling far behind, regardless of the unique advantages or benefits that they may have to offer.
Choosing either an MC credit card or a Visa card will increase your purchasing power since both of these cards are available in many countries.
Most of the differences between these two card networks come down to the card issuer. Your benefits, rewards, rates, fees, and application status all depend on the issuer, not the network.
Visa and MC only differ in a few circumstances:
- Mastercard typically has better currency conversion rates.
- Most MC have return protection for your purchases, while Visa only offers this with their Visa Signature cards.
- Standard Mastercards offer price protection, while only some of Visa’s cards have this.
- Visa doesn’t have a limit on the loss-of-use coverage with its Auto rental collision damage waiver, while Mastercard typically has a limit to $500.
As you can see, the differences are few, and not of great significance to the average cardholder. At the end of the day, choosing between a Mastercard and a Visa credit card comes down to your lifestyle and preferences.
Mastercard Offers Recap
Mastercard FAQs. What People Ask about Mastercard Offers
The rates and fees that your credit card comes with aren’t controlled by Mastercard itself. Since it is a card network, it’s only responsible for handling the transactions between you and the merchant, and for determining where these cards can be used. Everything else is determined by your card issuer.
Your card issuer (bank, credit union, or a retailer) will determine all of your rates and fees, and different issuers will determine them very differently. While the cost of your card mostly depends on your credit score, you will find that the rates and fees from different issuers vary dramatically. It’s always best to compare the prices of a few issuers before you apply for a card.
Both Visa and Master cards are strong competitors for the world’s most popular payment network. The differences are in the numbers. On the one hand, we have the MC that is available in over 210 countries around the world. On the other, we have a Visa that is available in around 170 countries.
Mastercard has 903 million cardholders, 235 million of whom are in the United States. Visa has over 1,1 billion cardholders around the globe, 336 million of whom are in the US. Looking at the number of cardholders alone, it’s obvious that Visa is the more popular choice.
Mastercard, as a card network, doesn’t determine who will be eligible for their credit cards. Only card issuers get to set the requirements for their applicants. Luckily, if you have poor or no credit, many card issuers offer different types of cards including Master card.
Depending on the issuer, you can find student cards for poor credit (e.g. Deserve edu Student card), secured and unsecured offers for poor credit (e.g. Reflex Mastercard), guaranteed approval, and more. If you have bad credit, you will encounter higher interest rates and fees, and fewer rewards, and this is determined by the card issuer, not by the card network. Make sure to do your research and find the card issuer that offers the most valuable rewards and the lowest fees with their offers.
While card issuers offer a variety of different cards to their clients, and you can find anything from no annual fee to guaranteed approval, Mastercard itself has a few different types as well, and they all come with different benefits.
The 3 types of Mastercards that you can encounter include:
- Standard Mastercard
- World Mastercard
- World Elite Mastercard
The Standard has the fewest benefits, although they are all very appealing, and the World Elite has the most. Keep in mind that all the benefits depend mostly on your card issuer, and all issuers have the right to exclude some of the benefits from their offer.
Mastercard offers many benefits to its cardholders, and if you have it, you might enjoy some nice privileges, special deals, discounts, and memberships. However, it’s up to the credit card issuer to decide whether these benefits and rewards will be available to you. While most issuers offer cards with all the benefits that Master card comes with, not all of them do.
When it comes to your points, travel rewards, and cashback rewards, you will have to check this information with your credit card issuer. Typically, if you have an excellent credit score, you can enjoy many rewards, and if your credit score is poor, the rewards won’t be as valuable. Again, different issuers have different rewards, so do your research before you apply for your dream card.
Mastercard can be used in over 210 countries, and you can use them for in-person shopping, as well as for online shopping and paying bills. It is among the most well-known and the most widely accepted card networks, and you can use your card in most stores at home and abroad.
Essentially, any store or merchant that accepts credit card payments will accept your Mastercard, too. You’ll rarely come across a merchant who accepts cards but doesn’t accept Master Card.
So, whether you plan on using your card at home or abroad, you will, in most cases, be able to make transactions and purchases with your MC safely and easily.
Both Visa and Mastercard are considered to be the best cards currently available on the market. The differences between the two are minute and of no significance to the majority of cardholders. When it comes to deciding which credit card is the best, the choice won’t be dependant on the network in this case, and it won’t be so dependant on the issuer either.
The best card overall depends on your lifestyle, preferences, and your financial situation. A card that is suitable for one person might not be suitable for you. This is why doing research and considering all of the available options are so important. There are many reliable issuers who offer Visa and MC cards with competitive fees, rates, and rewards, so it’s up to you to prioritize features and find the best one for you.
If you’re planning to use your card when you travel abroad, you will benefit the most from using either Mastercard or Visa. Both of these networks are available all over the world, and you’ll typically find that if a merchant accepts one of them, they will accept the other as well.
Master cards do have a slightly better currency conversion rate, so if you’re traveling to a country that doesn’t use USD, perhaps it is a better option for you.
To truly enjoy your travels without any worries, it’s more important to find the right type of card rather than worry about the card network differences. The best card for traveling abroad should of course has no foreign currency transaction fee.