Nowadays it can be very difficult to keep track of all the companies whose logos appear on our credit cards. Firstly, there is the issuing credit union or bank, such as Capital One. Then there is the company who may be co-branding the reward cards, such as Hilton Hotels or the United Airlines. Finally, you have MasterCard Visa or American Express logo on it, which is the payment network of the credit card. The most popular networks these days are Visa and MasterCard. All American merchants accept both or either one of the options, there are however vital differences that cardholders should know;[irp]
1-Visa consists of a network of around 28 million merchants and above 2 million ATM machines in over 200 countries and regions. MasterCard, on the other hand, has a network of 30 million merchants; however, there might be no such place that does not accept either card. Only a handful of Canadian companies do not accept MasterCard but gladly take your Visa card.
2-Both MasterCard and Visa have specific benefits; however, it depends on the card you are in possession of. Different cards on the same payment network can often offer different benefits.
3-Visa, for example, has 2 types of cards which are the standard card and the signature card. The signature card obviously has better benefits than the standard card; however, the signature card also allows increased protection on purchases and some travel insurance policies too. For instance, the cardholder can use the Visa Signature Luxury Hotel Collection and can easily get upgrades, breakfast and late checkout services for free.
4-MasterCard, on the other hand, offers additional benefits to those cardholders with the World or World Elite MasterCard. The hotels and resorts portfolio of the World Elite card can offer guests the same facilities described above (free upgrades etc.)
5-If you regularly use a business credit card, you are entitled to save money on certain purchases that Visa might offer through its Savings Edge program. This allows users to get around 15 percent off or more on merchants that qualify for the program and the amount is instantly refunded into the statement. Gas stations, car rental agencies, and hotels are participating in the program.
6-On the other hand, Master Card offer the Easy Savings Program which can get you the same discounts mentioned above (complimentary internet, breakfast etc.) at their own authorized merchants. In both cases, however, your card has to be enrolled in the program for it to work.
7-In the end, most cardholders may think that the differences between the benefits the two cards offer are extremely minimal. However, before applying for a card, one should carefully go through both the options. There might be some benefits that suit some users more than the other card’s benefits and a card should not be applied for before at least doing your homework. Which would you choose? Choose wisely, Live well.