Ever wondered what the differences, if any, are between MasterCard and Visa? Even as both Visa and MasterCard work to set themselves apart and raise the bar in their credit card offerings as a whole, there are those differences that exist – but they’re not necessarily defined by Visa or MasterCard, but by the banks who issue the cards.
The basics aren’t limited to one company, no more than one consumer is the same as the next. Here are a few of those guidelines that serve as the basis for every credit card, regardless of the logo at the bottom of it.
The similarities are many, which makes many question whether one is preferred over the other. Here’s a look at how it all breaks down in the financial world.
Visa and MasterCard are by far the two leading credit card companies in the world today. They are both quite similar in the way they operate and while it’s difficult to get a true gauge and who issues more credit cards each year, Visa claims to have almost a billion cards issued while MasterCard claims more than twenty five thousand banks that issue its credit cards. Not only that, but generally, if one location accepts Visa, odds are, it accepts MasterCard too – and vice versa. It’s believed there are more than twenty million businesses, services and locations throughout the world that accept these credit cards.
Most consumers agree that there exists no real difference between the two – both here at home and on an international level as they’re both very widely accepted in more than one hundred and fifty countries.
Methods of Payment
Many consumers wrongly believe that Visa and MasterCard are the issuers of their cards. They are merely the methods of payments and rely on the various banks that do the actual issuing. This is why the fees, rewards, APR and other nuances will vary from one credit card offer to another. They’re based solely on the decisions of the banks that issue the credit cards. The card companies earn their profits by allowing the banks to use their cards and logos.
As you can see, it’s difficult to ascertain any considerable differences. In fact, they are more alike than they are different. Here are a few more instances of those similarities.
Focus on Fraud
Simply put, there are no winners when it comes to credit card fraud. Visa and MasterCard both spend millions every year in their efforts of fighting the fraudsters who steal. They employ those who can reduce it, investigate it, fight it and eliminate crucial safety weaknesses. Then there are the zero fraud guarantees: they must honor their promises to their consumers.
It stands to reason, then, that your credit card is working as hard as you are to reduce the possibilities of theft. Visa’s Security and Protection page as well as MasterCard’s Global Services page both offer ways for consumers to protect their finances. While many of the methods are the same, it’s important for card holders to stay current on those changes, especially once the new chip technology makes its transition in the United States (which is currently happening). The goal is to eliminate fraud so that no one’s shouldering the expense.
The same holds true for identity theft. The credit card companies want nothing more than to be sure they’re approving credit card accounts for those who are applying in their own names and not someone who’s stolen another’s identity. When a third party’s involved, such as the issuing bank, it can become a bit convoluted. That’s another reason why all the big names in credit cards encourage consumers to routinely check their credit reports – it protects everyone.
If you’re wondering just how closely each credit card company’s approach to its consumers truly is, take a look at the websites. You’ll discover the goal is always to keep their customers aware of various changes while also looking for new ways to make your life easier. You just might be surprised at what you can learn about your own credit card carrier when you visit the competition’s sites, too.
As you can see, the similarities are far more common than the differences and then, those differences really come down to the issuer and not so much as the logo on the card itself. Focusing on the perks offered by your bank is what ultimately should help you decide Visa or MasterCard.
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