The world of finance can be tricky and complicated. It can be confusing to work out what products you actually need and which suit your requirements. One of these areas involves credit and debit cards, and the different options available. Mastercard and Visa are the two main card providers, so we’re taking a further look into them to offer an insight into what they are, what they do, and which one will suit you best.
What is Mastercard?
Mastercard is a company that provides payment processing technologies for banks and other financial providers. They sit in between you and your card provider and make sure your payments, deposits and other transactions are processed smoothly. They will normally charge the bank or financial institution a small percentage of the transaction for their services.
Mastercard doesn’t provide its own cards or make decisions on matters involving your interest rate, overdraft or credit limit, for example.
Mastercard pros and cons
There aren’t many disadvantages to choosing a Mastercard – you may just be limited to certain banks that use Mastercard over other payment processing networks.
Mastercard offers a range of benefits for those who use their cards, including:
- Extended warranties on items purchased with Mastercard
- Purchase protection
- Theft and fraud protection
- Special offers with partner companies
- Extra perks when travelling or renting cars
This is by no means an exhaustive list of the benefits available, but it gives you an overview of the wide variety of perks available.
What is a Visa card?
Similarly to Mastercard, Visa processes payments on behalf of your bank or financial provider. Like Mastercard, it too does not provide its own cards or make decisions about your financial status.
Visa pros and cons
Again with Visa, there are no major disadvantages, but there are a wealth of perks which include:
- Protection from fraud and identity theft
- Emergency card replacement if you lose your existing card
- Extra coverage protection when you rent a car
- Extended warranties
- Emergency assistance whilst travelling
How do I know which provider is right for me?
As you can see from the overview above, there’s not a whole lot of difference between Mastercard and Visa cards. The individual differences, such as interest rates and credit limits, are determined by the banks themselves, rather than by Mastercard and Visa, the payment providers.
There are, however, different perks that apply to Visa cards and Mastercards, so it’s worth doing some research to see which set of benefits are most suitable for you, to help you with choosing one type of card over another.