What is MasterCard?

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MasterCard is a financial services organisation which processes the transactions carried out on credit cards operated by a range of banks and other lenders. When you see the MasterCard symbol in the bottom corner of a credit card it means the company’s technology will be used to process and authorise any transactions you make with it.

MasterCard does not itself issue credit cards. Rather, it works with other financial institutions to set up payment facilities for the cards they provide.

What’s the difference between MasterCard and Visa credit cards?

The other main provider of processing services to the credit card industry is Visa. Like MasterCard, it works with lenders such as banks, which then issue credit cards carrying the Visa symbol. Visa itself does not provide credit cards.

If you’re undecided as to which type of credit card is suited to your needs, our helpful credit card decision tree will help guide you towards the right choice.

Both MasterCard and Visa offer additional security for online shoppers through the MasterCard SecureCode and Verified by Visa schemes, both apply foreign currency exchange fees when you use your card abroad (although these work in slightly different ways) and both are globally accepted.

When it comes to choosing a credit card, it’s more important to consider whether the card itself is right for you in terms of its 0% purchases offer, the balance transfer deal you might get or the credit card rewards it provides.

If you’re undecided as to which type of credit card is suited to your needs, our helpful credit card decision tree will help guide you towards the right choice.

Whether it is operated by MasterCard or Visa shouldn’t be the deciding factor in whether you pick a particular card.

Where can I compare MasterCards?

You can compare credit cards that rely on the MasterCards and Visa processing facilities through MoneySuperMarket’s credit card comparison channel. Here, you’ll be able to look for a credit card that will work for your specific needs - whether you’re after a card for spending, borrowing or building up cashback.

Our Smart Search tool will also allow you to see which cards you are eligible for, without leaving a footprint on your credit file.

Where to next?

What are the costs of a credit card?

Pros and cons of credit cards

Credit card decision tree: how to pick the right card

Compare credit cards with Smart Search

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