What is the difference between Visa and Mastercard? - Mastercard Offers FAQ


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What is the difference between Visa and Mastercard?

Answered on | Updated on January 15th, 2017
The content is accurate at the time of publication and is subject to change.

Mastercard Inc., is an international American organization whose principal business is processing payments between banks and the users of Mastercard. The “Inter bank card” formed by a group of California banks got renamed as “Mastercard” in 1979. This source of cashless transaction of money has since then gained popularity worldwide.

The Visa cards  were founded in 1970 and have its headquarters in California. The card company originated from “Bank of America”. The cards are accepted by more than 33 million merchants in more than 210 countries worldwide. Both cards come in several tiers: Mastercard breaks into the standard Mastercard, World and World Elite and Visa offers standard Visa and Visa Signature.

Difference between Mastercard and Visa cards

Both Mastercard credit cards and Visa cards offer a means of cashless transaction of money. The main thing to understand is that Visa and Mastercard do not directly issue the cards, they just provide the method of payment, and banks pay to these companies to use it. Most perks come from card issuers, who allow you to choose various rewards programs with miles or points or other features. However, Master card and Visa are also ready to provide some benefits. Mostly those start from elite versions, such as Visa Signature and Mastercard World.

  1. Visa Signature provides different travel perks, such as lost luggage reimbursement and concierge service lower rate at partner luxury hotels. Mastercard World and World Elite have other things to allure: trip cancellation insurance, discounts at selected airports and elite status at some rental car services.
  2. Visa usually has better ‘Loss of use’ coverage on car rental insurance.
  3. Visa offers ‘Return protection’ while Mastercard rarely has it.


Mastercard and Visa Similarities

Use of the Mastercard and Visa cards has revolutionized the business of money transaction. Handling money hasn’t only become less painful but also quick and secured. The other similarities between the two cards are as follows:

  1. Both cards have worldwide acceptance. This has gained the cards undying popularity among travelers. The usual rule is that if one is accepted, so is the other: you aren’t likely to find yourself rummaging through your pockets to find that other card.
  2. Both have a firm market reading. The NSE readings for both the cards are almost same.
  3. Both cards facilitate cashless transactions.
  4. Transactions are secured. Mastercard uses SecureCode scheme and Visa uses Verified by Visa.
  5. Easy to carry. They are lightweight plastic money.
  6. They are protected from theft and tamper. Both type of cards deal with identity theft and fraud.
  7. Service centers for both the companies are accessible all day and help is always available.
  8. Most banks accept the cards for money withdrawal.
  9. Sustainability of both the cards remains the same.
  10. Neither cards are issued directly to the customers .
  11. Both cards provide a means of contactless payments: Visa has PayWave and Mastercard has PayPass.
  12. By now both cards offer mobile payments, Apple Pay and Android Pay.


The easiest way to determine an appropriate credit card for you is to get one. You can choose credit cards that suit your credit score best:

Disclaimer: This editorial content is not provided or commissioned by the credit card issuer(s). Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, not those of the credit card issuer(s), and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the credit card issuer(s). Reasonable efforts are made to present accurate information, however all information is presented without warranty. Consult a card's issuing bank for the terms & conditions.
All rates and fees, and other terms and conditions of the products mentioned in this article/post are actual as of the last update date but are subject to change. See the current products' Terms & Conditions on the issuing banks' websites.
  • Minerva Call

    I currently have 5 credit cards, 2 by Visa, 2 by Mastercard and 1 by Amex. No problems with any of them, but I had all the trouble with the banks. While I was in Mexico, I couldn’t use my main credit card cause it got blocked for fraud protection multiple times. This drives me mad!

  • Kevin

    In my opinion it’s just a matter of brand preference as I have been using both types of cards and don’t see any crucial differences for me.Nice article!

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