Of course, Visa and Mastercard are by far the two most popular card networks in the world, but this doesn’t mean they’re the only ones. Other network credit cards can be just as useful and convenient, and they can bring many nice rewards and benefits to the responsible cardholder.
As you know, when choosing the right credit card for you, card networks shouldn’t be your primary concern. What you should focus on are card issuers, since they’re the ones who get to determine whether your credit card application will be approved or not, and the ones who set the credit card terms and conditions. Card networks aren’t as important to the average cardholder.
Still, other network cards can bring many advantages and disadvantages, and whether they’re the right choice for you depends on your lifestyle. So, let’s take a closer look at these other networks and see what they have to offer.
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An Overview of Other Credit Card Networks
Seeing how the majority of cardholders use Visa or Mastercard credit cards, it seems that these two card networks hold the monopoly over credit cards. While choosing either one of them can bring you many benefits, there are other card networks that you can rely on in case you cannot get or simply don’t want to get a Visa or Mastercard.
The two biggest competitors to Visa and Mastercard are American Express and Discover. American Express is a well-regarded company that’s been in the business for a while and is known for offering some of the most affordable credit cards. Discover offers excellent no annual fee credit cards and is becoming more and more popular among US consumers.
It’s important to note here that American Express and Discover act both as card networks and card issuers. This means that they’re responsible for facilitating the transaction between you and the merchant, deciding where their cards can be used, and for setting the terms, conditions, rates, and fees for your credit card.
Some of the best other network credit cards also include Fingerhut Credit Account which offers instant decision, Unique Platinum which can be a good choice for those with poor credit, Horizon Gold – another one for poor credit, Group One Freedom Platinum Card – great as a shopping credit, and many others.
What Are Benefits of Using Other Network Cards
There are many reasons why you might want to choose a card from other networks besides Visa or MasterCard. One of them might just be convenience. If you already have an account at a bank that offers other networks credit cards, it could be easier applying for a credit card there. If you’ve been a client of the said bank for a while, you might even get loyalty offers which can include higher rewards and bonuses, and lower APR rates and fees.
Besides, it’s better for your credit score that you avoid opening and closing credit accounts frequently. When you close a credit account, your account age will go down, and your credit utilization will go up, resulting in a lower credit score. When you open a new account, the issuer will do a full credit check which leaves a trace on your credit report, again damaging your score.
The best reason for choosing other networks credit cards, however, is that you might get better credit card features. Shopping cards, for example, can offer you excellent discounts. Other networks credit cards can sometimes be more suitable for those with poor credit, as they tend to have fewer requirements, and you’ll even be able to get an instant decision offers with poor credit.
What Are Drawbacks of Using Other Network Card Offers
Of course, every credit card comes with certain pros and cons. When compared to American Express, Visa, Discover or Mastercard, other network credit cards have some distinct drawbacks.
The first is availability. Visa, for example, is the world’s most popular card network and is accepted in over 170 countries. MasterCard is accepted in 210 countries. Thus Discover and American Express cards are accepted in about 100 countries. Other networks credit cards do not have such a wide reach, and some might be accepted only in the US, while others can sometimes be accepted only at specific stores in the US.
Another drawback could be the rates and fees, especially if you’re applying for other network credit cards with poor credit. Other network credit cards often have good introductory rates and fees which end up being much higher once the introductory period is over.
Other Networks Card Offers Recap
Other Networks Cards Frequently Asked Questions
Just as with the rates and fees, the rewards and benefits of your credit card depend on your card issuer and not on the card network. Card networks can offer some secondary benefits such as travel rewards, rental car insurance, purchase protection, or the like. However, credit card issuers can exclude these benefits at their own discretion.
Luckily, most credit card issuers do offer all of the secondary benefits of the credit card networks, and often add some of their own rewards on top. If you want to learn more about the exact benefits that you can receive with your credit card, you will have to contact your credit card issuer and check with them.
Unfortunately, other network cards do have certain drawbacks that can dissuade people from using them. The number one drawback is availability. Visa or Mastercard are accepted in many countries and stores around the world. If a store or merchant accepts credit card payments, they’ll almost definitely accept Visa and Mastercard credit cards. This isn’t the case with other network cards.
Many other network cards are available only in the USA, and some are available only in certain stores in the USA. If you’re a frequent traveler, other network credit cards might not be the best choice for you.
These cards often come with higher rates and fees, and fewer rewards and benefits than Visa or Mastercard, which is a major drawback for many consumers.
You can find many cards for poor credit that come from a variety of different networks. Just like with Visa and Mastercard, there are many other network cards that are designed for poor credit, but this doesn’t depend on the card network. The card issuer gets to set the requirements for their card applicants.
If you’re searching for a card for poor credit, some of your best choices could be either guaranteed approval or secured cards, and both of these types can come with other network cards. Guaranteed approval cards have very low requirements, so almost anyone can get them regardless of their credit score. Secured are ideal for those with poor credit, but you’ll need to make a deposit before you get your card.
In the United States, there are 4 major credit card networks: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover. All 4 of these card networks offer some very nice benefits that can be useful to different cardholders. Regardless of your credit score, your lifestyle or credit card preferences, you can find a suitable credit card for your needs from any of these major card networks.
Globally, Visa and Mastercard are the strongest competitors for the number 1 spot. Mastercard is available in over 210 countries and has around 903 million users. Visa, on the other hand, is available in around 170 countries has over 1.1 billion users.
Besides Visa, Mastercard, American Express, and Discover, there are many other network credit cards that are available to you in the United States. Some of them include Fingerhut Credit Account, Unique Platinum, DeLuxe Shopping Card, Next Millennium Shopping Card, and Horizon Gold, among others.
Depending on your financial situation, credit score, and personal preferences, you can find a suitable card for your needs. However, keep in mind that the credit card features depend on the card issuer and not the network.
Credit card networks do charge certain fees, such as transaction fees, but ultimately, your credit card rates and fees will depend on your credit card issuer. Card networks are responsible for controlling the transaction process between you and the merchant – they’re not responsible for your rates and fees.
In the case of American Express or Discover, however, these credit card companies are responsible for everything about your credit card. They act both as card issuers and card networks, so they get to decide which rates and fees will be applied to your credit card. This decision mostly depends on your creditworthiness or credit score.
There are a few factors that you should consider before choosing a card. Before deciding on a credit card network, you’ll need to consider where you will use your credit card. Card networks are primarily responsible for facilitating the transaction between buyers and merchants, and they control where their cards will be used. If you want to use your card for many different things, you should get one that’s widely accepted.
All of the other factors that you should consider are mostly related to your card issuer. The rates and fees that come with a card can be high, so you’ll need to find a reliable card issuer who offers the most affordable cards. The benefits and rewards can be appealing but are sometimes not valuable because cardholders don’t use them. Find a card that offers benefits and rewards that you actually plan on using.
There are many benefits to using other network cards. If you’re already a client of a certain bank or credit union that offers them, you might be eligible for loyalty discounts or special deals. You will often have more favorable rates and fees, and you won’t have to go through a full credit check which can damage your credit score.
If you plan to use your credit card only at specific stores, you can benefit from using a shopping card from that store. You’ll increase your savings and be eligible for numerous discounts.
Another benefit is that you’ll have an easier time finding a credit card for poor credit from other networks. Other network cards often come with fewer requirements, and bad credit is more likely to be accepted.