Both Visa And Mastercard Offer Convenient Global Access Contactless Payment And Other Perks Which Is Right For You
Visa and Mastercard are the two major card processors in Singapore and are the most widely used credit card types. While Visa and Mastercard both offer similar features and services, the two payment giants have a few key differences.
Use this guide to compare Visa and Mastercard and decide which payment network suits your needs. Plus, learn about other payment networks youll also want to be aware of.
Both Are Accepted Nearly Everywhere
Just about every merchant that accepts credit cards takes both Visa and Mastercard. That’s true not only in the U.S., but also internationally, where acceptance is lower for American Express and Discover, the two other big payment networks.
There are just a few exceptions to this near-universal acceptance of Visa and Mastercard. Usually, they occur when a merchant has an exclusive deal with one payment network. Probably the best-known arrangement is at Costco wholesale clubs, which accept only Visa cards. Similarly, Sam’s Club used to take Mastercard but not Visa, although it now accepts both. Even so, such exclusions are rare. You’re far more likely to run into a merchant that doesn’t take AmEx than one that doesn’t take both Visa and Mastercard.
Payment networks require merchants to follow a rule called “honor all cards.” What that means is that if a merchant takes Visa, it must take all Visa cards if it takes Mastercard, it must take all Mastercard cards.
How Did Visa And Mastercard Conquer The Credit Industry
In 1958, Bank of America launched BankAmericard® credit card, the first consumer credit card with a revolving credit feature, giving the cardholder the option to either pay off their balance in full at the end of each billing cycle or carry a balance from month to month. This is generally how unsecured credit cards work today.
Bank of America joined with other issuing banks to create National BankAmericard Incorporated. After expanding internationally, BankAmericard decided to change its name to Visa. Today, Visa operates in more than 200 countries and territories. At the end of 2016, there were more than 3 billion Visa cards around the world and about 44 million merchants who would accept them.
Mastercard was the brainchild of a group of banks that came together to form the Interbank Card Association in 1966. It didnt acquire the name Mastercard until 1979, but it has since expanded to make up a significant share of the U.S. market. Today Mastercard offers many different types of credit cards, and these cards are accepted in more than 210 countries and territories around the world.
Just how big are these two credit card networks? Together, Visa and Mastercard accounted for a whopping 75% of U.S. credit card purchase volume in 2017, according to a February 2018 study by the Nilson Report. Factor in debit purchases, and their combined market share jumps up to 85%.
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What Are The Benefits Of Visa Cards
On the whole, Visa offers significantly more benefits overall than Mastercard, though the overarching categories are the same. Visa also operates with a three-tier structure, ranging from standard Visa Traditional to Visa Signature to Visa Infinite. While the Visa Traditional provides a few more benefits than the standard Mastercard, the base level Visa network doesn’t offer anything extravagant.
Visa Signature and Infinite cards are where most of the networks benefits come into play. The best among these include:
Types Of Visa And Mastercard Credit Cards
Both Mastercard and Visa offer different tiers of service. Visa offers Classic, Infinite, and Infinite Privilege levels while Mastercard offers Classic, World, and World Elite. All levels within both networks provide zero liability protection against fraud.
The Classic service level for both Visa and Mastercard usually dont have a minimum income requirement for you to qualify for the card. If youre applying for a Visa Infinite or World Mastercard, youll typically need a minimum annual income of at least $60,000 . World Elite Mastercards typically require an individual annual income of at least $80,000 .
Visa Infinite and World Elite Mastercard include all the perks from lower tiers but also include a suite of premium benefits designed to appeal to high-income consumers.
Despite these different card classifications, in the end, the credit card issuers decide how theyre going to label their credit cards. The only thing that Visa and Mastercard insist on is the minimum income requirement. E.g. if a credit card issuer is going to brand a card World Elite, then applicants must have an individual annual income of at least $80,000.
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Bmo World Elite Mastercard*
If youre an avid traveller but prefer not to participate in the Air Miles program, the BMO World Elite card may be right for you. Instead of collecting Air Miles, cardholders earn BMO Rewards pointsat a very competitive rate of three points for every $1 spent on dining, entertainment and meal purchases. BMO Rewards are redeemable for travel and merchandise rewards, and youll reach your goals faster with the current sign-up offer of 40,000 points. Since the card is geared towards travellers, it also includes a robust insurance package and complimentary access to airport lounge access.
- Annual fee: $150
- Welcome bonus: Earn up to 30,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, plus another 10,000 points on your first anniversary
- Earn rate: 3 points per $1 spent on dining, meals and entertainment, and 2 points per $1 on everything else
- Additional benefits: Mastercard Airport Experiences membership, plus 4 annual complimentary lounge passes BMO World Elite Total Travel and Medical Protection insurance extended warranty purchase protection
- Income requirement: $80,000
American Express Vs Visa And Mastercard:
- In addition to being a card network, American Express issues credit cards as well. Visa and Mastercard do not. So, Amex actually has a lot more control over the cards on its network, at least in terms of interest rates, fees and rewards.
- Visa and Mastercard are accepted at7 million U.S. merchant locations. American Express reaches a total of 10.6 million merchants.
- Amex cards work in more than 160 countries and territories. Visa and Mastercard are both accepted in over 200.
- Some credit card issuers have American Express, and Visa or Mastercard offers. Those issuers include U.S. Bank and USAA.
- Citi, Chase, Bank of America, Barclays, Wells Fargo and Capital One issue Visa and Mastercard credit cards but not Amex cards.
- PNC and TD Bank only offer Visa cards, and you may find banks that are exclusive to Mastercard, too.
- American Express’s fraud liability policy is excellent, while Mastercard and Visa provide good coverage, according to WalletHub’s research.
So, American Express doesn’t have the acceptance and reach of Mastercard or Visa. But it’s the go-to network for charge cards. And there are credit card offers on each network that could serve you well.
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Issuer Benefits Are More Important
To understand the difference between credit card payment networks and issuers, take a look at a card like the Chase Freedom Unlimited®:
Chase is the issuer of this card. It sets the interest rate and the fees. Chase pays the merchant when you use the card to buy something. When you pay your bill, you pay Chase. The cash-back rewards on the card are paid by Chase. Put simply, the bulk of what people take into consideration when choosing a card is determined by the issuer.
Visa is the payment network on this card. You can use it anywhere that accepts Visa. When you buy something, Visa makes sure that the merchant gets its money and the transaction is reported to your issuer so that it shows up on your statement.
Now compare the Chase Freedom Unlimited® with the Citi® Double Cash Card 18 month BT offer. Citi is the issuer of the latter card, and Mastercard is the payment network.
This card has a higher ongoing rewards rate than the Chase Freedom Unlimited® and a different 0% introductory interest period. But that’s not because it’s a Mastercard rather than a Visa. It’s because it’s issued by Citi rather than Chase.
There are hundreds of credit card issuers in the U.S., but there are only four major payment networks: Visa, Mastercard, Discover and American Express.
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Where Visa And Mastercard Differ
Although there isn’t a lot of difference between Visa and Mastercard, they aren’t completely identical. Each payment network makes a suite of benefits available to cardholders. But a couple of caveats apply:
It’s often up to the issuer whether a particular card will carry a network benefit. In other words, Visa might offer a rental car coverage benefit, but that doesn’t mean every Visa card will have it.
Issuers may offer benefits that the network does not. For example, Mastercard doesn’t provide rental car coverage itself, but some Mastercard cards have such coverage because it’s provided by the issuer.
VISA: Traditional, Signature, Infinite
Visa offers three levels of benefits: Traditional, Signature and Infinite:
Traditional benefits include auto rental collision damage coverage zero fraud liability emergency card replacement emergency roadside assistance Shipt delivery services and Sofar Sounds exclusive presale tickets.
Signature benefits include all the Traditional benefits, as well as extended warranty protection, worldwide travel and emergency assistance services and a Skillshare membership.
Infinite status provides all Signature benefits plus return protection purchase protection travel accident insurance trip cancellation and interruption insurance and lost luggage reimbursement.
MASTERCARD: Standard, World, World Elite
Mastercard’s three levels of benefits are Standard, World and World Elite:
The Differences Between Visa Mastercard American Express And Discover Cards
From processing to issuing, we break it all down.
Plenty of factors go into choosing a credit card — finding a low interest rate, calculating your cash-back potential and browsing through rewards. A card’s particular processing network isn’t likely to be a key part of most people’s criteria. But whether your card is backed by Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover has implications for where and how you can use it.
The four major credit card processors oversee every part of the purchase process — including approving or declining a transaction, protecting shoppers and merchants from fraud and making sure that money flows to and from the appropriate accounts. Here’s everything you need to know about credit card processors and the differences among them.
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Visa Vs Mastercard: Bonuses And Benefits
Generally speaking, Visa and Mastercard have similar benefits when comparing the Infinite and World Elite lines. Both come with extended warranty & purchase protection, concierge service, offers from hotels & retailers, dining experiences, and travel insurance.
But some Mastercards have one noticeable benefit over Visa: Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey. These Mastercards allow access to over 600 airport lounges, with some cards providing free individual lounge access passes and others allowing access for a per-visit fee.
Any additional benefits such as the sign up bonus, earnings rate, suite of travel insurance, etc. are determined by the credit card issuer and vary by card.
Setting Terms And Conditions
The issuing financial institution sets the payment cards terms and conditions, including fees, rewards, and other features. For credit cards, the issuing bank is responsible for underwriting, interest rate structuring, and the full development of rewards programs.
Card issuers can also offer other perks, such as identity theft and fraud protection, car rental insurance, and business purchase discounts. While differences in interest rates, credit limits, rewards programs, and perks are controlled by the issuing financial institution, Visa and Mastercard compete for the co-branded relationship and take part in the drafting of card terms.
Overall, the card payment industry is complex, involving merchants, merchant acquiring banks, issuer banking, network processing, and cardholders. Network processors, and specifically Mastercard and Visa, have the freedom to structure their fees any way that they like. This structuring and reporting is one of the biggest differences between the two largest network processors.
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Infinite Vs World Elite
Finally, there is a difference between the premium tier Visa and Mastercards. Youâll be able to spot these premium tier credit cards because theyâll have a specific moniker. For Visa, the premium tier cards are âInfiniteâ cards . For Mastercard, the premium tier cards are âWorld Eliteâ cards .
Hereâs a summary of the benefits youâll receive from each premium tier:
- Up to 12 types of insurance coverage
- Visa Infinite Dining Series
- Complimentary Boingo wi-fi membership
Are The Charges Different Between Visa And Mastercard
All fees and charges which you incur from using a Visa or Mastercard® whether thats a debit card or a credit card are set by your bank or card issuer. Therefore, whether you will save money by using a Visa over Mastercard®, or vice versa is dependant upon the bank.
Banks will set the fees, whether its for use of your debit card or credit card abroad, foreign exchange or the monthly fee for having the card. You could, therefore, find that charges and fees for one Visa card may vary greatly from those on another one, from another bank.
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Different Benefits From Different Card Issuers
While Mastercard benefits and Visa benefits are pretty similar, these additional perks are often offered at the discretion of individual card issuers. This means that, even if your card belongs to a particular Visa or Mastercard tier, it may have the same benefits as another card at the same tier.
On the flip side, most cards also come with plenty of different perks and benefits that are unique to the card issuer, in addition to the benefits offered by the credit card network. If youre curious about the benefits that come with a particular card, you should be sure to read the fine print to determine exactly what perks and add-ons are included.
Visa Vs Mastercard: What Are The Differences
By Keph Senett on June 18, 2020
You might be surprised to learn that, despite being household names, neither Visa nor Mastercard issue credit cards. We break down what each actually offers, and how to choose the card that fits your needs best.
A frequent question we hear at MoneySense is: Which is betterVisa or Mastercard? When looking for a credit card, there are all sorts of things to consider. What is the interest rate? Can you collect rewards points or get cash back for making purchases? Is there a bonus for signing up, and what are the perks and benefits included? Believe it or not, the answer to these questions is likely not going to depend on whether you go with a Visa or Mastercard. In this article, well lay out the facts and show you why the badge on your plastic probably doesnt matter.
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Destiny Mastercard Vs Milestone Gold Mastercard
Like the Destiny Mastercard®, the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® is for people with imperfect credit scoresor even bankruptcies in their credit histories. Both cards are unsecured, meaning that they require no security deposit.
The two cards have a lot of features in common:
- The same cash advance APR and cash advance transaction fees
- Monthly reporting to all three credit bureaus
- No credit limit increases
- Mastercard® ID theft protection
The major differences between them are:
- The Milestone® Gold Mastercard® has a slightly lower regular APR of 23.9% .
- You may be able to get lower annual fees with the Milestone® Gold Mastercard®
Theres not much difference between these two cards, but the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® may give you a slightly better deal overall. If you dont have many options, you might as well do the preapproval process for both, as it wont affect your credit score. If you qualify for both, consider applying for the Milestone® Gold Mastercard® first.
Visa And Mastercard Dont Issue Their Own Credit Cards
It might seem counterintuitive, but neither Visa nor Mastercard directly distribute credit cards. Both of these companies are processing networks that partner with card issuers like banks, credit unions, or other financial institutions to get their cards to the public. And its the actual card issuer, not the processing network, that sets most of the terms like interest rates, rewards and annual fees.
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Destiny Mastercard Vs Credit One Bank Platinum Visa For Rebuilding Credit
Like the Destiny Mastercard®, the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit is an unsecured credit card and is, as the name suggests, for credit rebuilding.
The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit has a few disadvantages compared with the Destiny Mastercard® credit card:
- The foreign transaction fees are higher at 3% .
- Cash advance fees are higher at 8% .
- It may have higher annual fees .
The Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit also has several advantages:
- It has no foreign transaction fees.
- It gives you cashback rewards.
- It gives you free monthly credit scores.
- It has a marginally lower APR at 24.24% .
Which of these cards you choose likely will depend on which offer the Destiny Mastercard® card issuer gives you. Their $59 annual fee offer is definitely better than Credit Ones, but theres no way to know in advance whether youll be approved for the cheaper offer or the more expensive one.
If you plan to use your card regularly for cash advances and foreign transactions, we recommend the Credit One Bank® Platinum Visa® for Rebuilding Credit. We also recommend it to people who are hoping for a credit limit increase further down the line, as the Destiny Mastercard® leaves you stuck with the same credit limit indefinitely.