The only real difference between Visa and Mastercard is that your card works in a payment network operated by the company. Visa cards do not work in the MasterCard network, and vice versa.
Ultimately, all other card differences are due to the specific card you have. Not all MasterCard cards are the same, and not all Visa cards are the same.
However, most credit cards look just like a rectangular piece of plastic with a number. And these cards usually have the branded Visa or MasterCard logo on them.
What is the difference? What do Visa and Mastercard do?
Statista.According to com, about 83% of all payments made in June 2019 were cards with the logo. However, these companies have minimal impact on the actual products and credit card benefits users can sign up for. Reasons include:
- They are merely digital payment platforms that do not directly distribute cards, but only systems that allow payment transactions.
- Because they don’t issue credit cards, they don’t determine, for example, how much interest you can be charged on unpaid balances and what points you can get if your card is connected to a rewards program. The issuing banks handle these issues.
- Credit cards on both platforms are accepted the same way almost everywhere in the world.
- Some banks and merchants have “exclusive” agreements between one payment platform and the other. For example, in 2015, National Bank of Australia signed a 10-year contract with visa customers through 2025. This means that only visa credit cards are offered to bank customers.
- Benefits Program – The benefits built into a Visa or MasterCard are slightly different before the issuing bank applies the terms. For more information, see “Premium Credit Cards” below. Mastercard offers a higher level of benefits, such as Platinum, World and World Elite, along with the standard Mastercard service, while Visa offers additional benefits in Gold, Platinum, Signature and Infinite packages. However, banks may modify these terms or offer their own benefits programs, so it may be wise to read the terms of each individual credit card benefits package offered by the bank before making a decision.
Visa vs. Master Card: which is better?
If you want to choose between Visa and MasterCard credit cards, one of the credit card networks is likely to be a good choice. Both credit card networks are widely accepted in the U.S. and around the world and offer useful additional benefits. Wherever you shop, you can get your card from the credit card network.
Which credit card network to choose is ultimately much less important than which specific credit card issuer and individual credit card to choose. This is because the benefits offered by MasterCard and Visa are very similar. There are good additional benefits, but Visa and MasterCard benefits tend to be less important than more important details, such as the fee structure or the interest rate of a particular credit card.