A whole raft of credit cards come with the MasterCard logo. But which one is the best for you? You’ll need to compare card issuers from across the board to be sure to get the best deal.
What is MasterCard?
MasterCard is a payment network. It’s essentially the link between the card issuer (whether that is credit, debit or prepaid), you, your bank – and the merchant you are buying goods or services from.
Is MasterCard a credit card?
No. MasterCard does not actually issue cards – it just checks and processes the payment.
What does MasterCard do?
The role of a payment network such as MasterCard (or its competitor, Visa) is three-fold:
- It checks with your card issuer whether you have enough funds (or access to credit) for the transaction to be accepted
- It lets the retailer know the payment can be made
- It facilitates the payment between the card provider and the merchant.
Where can you use MasterCard?
MasterCard is accepted almost everywhere in the world, whether that’s online, in shops or at ATM machines. Mastercard – as well as Visa – tends to be accepted at more outlets than, say, American Express.
Should I get a MasterCard?
When choosing a credit card, it’s the issuer – or bank – you should look at before the payment network behind it. That’s what will determine the competitiveness of any interest rates, fees, perks or rewards.
You can compare MasterCard cards at the top of this page. However, as a consumer, it really makes no difference whether your plastic carries the MasterCard or Visa logo – even more reason to ensure you compare credit cards from across the whole market.
Will I be accepted for a MasterCard?
Whether the payment network is MasterCard or Visa should not affect your chance of being accepted for a credit card.
But you can use MoneySuperMarket’s Eligibility Checker to see how likely it is you’ll be shown the green light – without having to make an application.
What consumer protection does MasterCard offer?
So long as your MasterCard is a credit card, and not a debit or prepaid card, you will be protected under Section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act.
This means the card provider is jointly liable with the retailer if something goes wrong with the goods or services you buy.
For example, if you ordered a bed costing £500 and the shop you bought it from goes bust before it is delivered, the credit card provider should provide you with a full refund.
If your MasterCard is a debit card you may be able to use the chargeback scheme to get your money back instead.
Unlike section 75, chargeback is a voluntary scheme which MasterCard actually set up alongside Visa and Amex – which banks sign up to as a good practice measure.
MasterCard also operates a SecureCode scheme which protects your card details from fraud when making a purchase online.