When you are planning to get an international bank card, perhaps the first question that comes to your mind is the Visa vs MasterCard differences and which one is better to choose? Which one is better for you depends on your needs of an international bank card and there are some important and interesting points that I will try to point out all of them in this article.

The first thing is that none of the Visa or MasterCard companies issue credit cards. Credit cards are issued by banks and each bank has its own interest rate, fees, and facilities. Visa and MasterCard are in fact payment networks. These companies process payments between banks and receivers (for example, merchants) through bank cards.

visa vs mastercard

Both payment systems provide card holders with certain benefits such as car insurance, fraud protection and other guarantees.

In a Visa vs MasterCard comparison, both companies are very similar, and while Visa claims more than 2.4 billion users in more than 200 countries, MasterCard refuses to give similar statistics and only says it has more than 18 billion payments annually.

Visa vs MasterCard – Which one is more accepted worldwide?

Typically, merchants (shop owners, etc.) accept both Visa and MasterCard, and this rule applies not only to the US but also to all other countries around the world. However, in countries other than the United States, American Express and Discovery, which are two American payment systems, are less accepted.

The fact that a merchant accepts one or both of these methods depends on which company or companies they have a contract with.

For example, the Costco wholesaler only acceptsVisa Card (only American Express was accepted by mid-2016). Similarly, Sam’s Club used to accept only MasterCard, which now accepts both MasterCard and Visa card.

Card typeVisaMasterCard
Number of transaction worldwide (Billions)3724
Worldwide acceptanceBoth are accepted by over 35 million merchants all over the world
Countries acceptedMore than 210 countries
Market cap48.50 percent31.70 percent
Different user levelsStandard VISAVISA SignatureStandard MastercardWorld Mastercard

World Elite Mastercard

Market cap195 million dollars111 million dollars
Number of issued card2.1 billion1.2 billion
Value of transactions per year6.5 trillion dollars3.6 trillion dollars
Number of ATMsMore than 2 millionMore than 1 million

Both are accepted by more than 20 million merchants and in more than 150 countries, and you can hardly find a place in which one is accepted while the other one is not.

Visa vs MasterCard – What are the benefits of using them?

As stated above, Visa and MasterCard provide customers with benefits apart from the benefits of a card issuing bank. The Visa vs MasterCard comparison in terms of benefits provided to the client is summarized in the table below.

Type of CardVisaMasterCard
Benefits on a tripDiscounts and offers for staying in more than 900 accommodation centers
recreational offers
For World and World Elite customers discounts and benefits for staying in luxurious hotels
Discounts for events and luxury goodsOffers mobile phone applications

Discounts for travelling by ship or airplane only for World Elite customers

Discounts on some tours and recreational programs

Protection of the purchaseFor VISA Signature holders up to 10,000 with an application and $ 50,000 per cardholderProtection against price drops. Up to 60 days for World MasterCard customers and up to 120 days for World Elite customers.

Both Visa and MasterCard offer broad features and services that banks can use to offer choices for their customers.

Contactless payments – Credit cards with payWave feature in Visa and MasterCard PayPass feature in MasterCard allow their owners to make payments by bringing their card close to a compatible device. If the transaction is less than $ 100, you do not even need to enter your password, which can increase the speed of the purchase. For purchases above $ 100 you can still use this feature, but you must enter a password to confirm your transaction. You can also have it on your phone, so you can buy it without a card and only with your mobile phone.

Premium cards – Both Visa and MasterCard provide a number of premium and standard cards. Premium Cards offer more features than standard Cards. For example, Visa Platinum, Signature, Infinite, or World MasterCard Cards are among these cards.

Special offers – Visa Entertainment and MasterCard Priceless are the names of programs that Visa and MasterCard companies have for customers. You can use them to enjoy entertainment, lunch, travel and special offers. Even with some premium cards, you can get discounts on these programs.

Global Security Services – Visa and MasterCard support lines will help you if you have lost your card, your card have been stolen, or even if you have questions. This support is provided around the clock anywhere in the world.

Online shopping protection – Both Visa and MasterCard have programs that increase the security of the customers on Internet payments. Verified by Visa and MasterCard SecureCode are examples of this protection. By activating these services, you will have to enter the security code sent to you via SMS to complete a transaction.

Criteria in Visa vs MasterCard comparison

In a visa vs MasterCard comparison, you should consider the criteria so that you can easily differentiate between the two service providers. Here are some of the criteria you should consider in a Visa vs MasterCard comparison.

Annual fees – Most credit cards will cost you annual fees, which can be as low as $ 25 for regular cards and at most $ 700. The issuer determines the annual fees for available features. Visa Platinum, Signature and Infinite cards as well as World MasterCards usually have the most annual expense due to their features.

Rate of interest – The rate of profit varies depending on the type of card you choose, so you should note this when choosing a particular issuer.

Rewards – Some Visa and Master Card credit cards has a bonus program that gives you one point for every $1 you spend and ultimately you can get rewards for your points.

No-fee days – If you settle your debt at the time you set, most credit cards will be issued periodically without receiving paying, for example, it can be a 44-day period. This feature will allow you to make your purchases without paying any fees.

Special offers – Credit cards have their own benefits, which can include supplementary insurance, special offers, and access to flights. These benefits are valuable.

Offers for newcomers – Credit card providers usually offer short-term offerings to their newcomers, including transfer rates of 0%, or interest rate of 0%, which is an advantage.

Security Services – In addition to security services provided by Visa and MasterCard itself, card issuers provide 24-hour security services for scams, limit daily transactions, or even temporarily lock the card.

Visa vs MasterCard fees and charges comparison

If you use your credit card smartly enough, you will not need to pay for its services, but the service providers usually take a few steps to monetize their services, resulting in fees and expenses for you. Some of the most important ways that your credit card may make you pay for it are as follows:

  • Receiving interest in case of borrowing money
  • Monthly or annual fees with some cards
  • The cost of violating some of the rules, such as paying late than the due date or exceeding card limits
  • Expenses related to the use of more features such as withdrawal of money, transfer of funds, etc.

Monthly and annual fees

Many of the cards are free of charge, and some do not receive anything for the first year.

However, some credit cards will cost you something between $ 173 to $213 on a monthly or annual basis.

The costs of exceeding the limits

Credit card providers set limits on the card, which limits the maximum amount you can hold on your card.

For example, your credit card limit is 2,000 pounds and you have spent more than 1,000 pounds in the past month. If you spend more than 1,000 pounds this month, you will be subject to limit costs.

If you pass through this limit, you need to pay an extra $17 or more.

Withdrawal fees

Using a credit card in an ATM can be costly for you because of two reasons:

Withdrawal fees – This is calculated as a percentage of the amount you want to withdraw.

Instant interest – at the time of withdrawal, you will have to pay an instant interest for the withdrawal amount, while ordinary purchases with a credit card include no interest.

For example, if you withdraw 100 pounds from an ATM and return it 36 days later, you will have to pay $ 5.52 as the interest fee.

Costs of spending overseas

If you use your credit card abroad, 2.99% of your credit is deducted for each payment you make. This means you have to pay £ 2.99 for every £ 100 you buy.

Overseas withdrawals can even be more expensive because they are offset by the amount of interest earned, which is usually 27.9% or more. You must also pay a withdrawal fee of up to 3% for ATM withdrawals.

There are, of course, cards available for use overseas, which you do not need to pay for using them.

I hope I have examined all different aspects of Visa vs MasterCard comparison.


Author Leila

Leila is a technology enthusiast and an avid blogger who holds a Master's degree in English literature. If she is not writing blog posts, you can find her cozying up in bed with an e-book or watching a movie.

More posts by Leila

Leave a Reply