Visa vs. Mastercard: What's the Difference? Which is Better?
What’s the difference between Visa and Mastercard? Not much, except that different retailers, restaurants, and other businesses might only accept one form of payment. They often compete with two of the other major credit card payment companies, Discover and American Express, to form the industry’s four largest electronic payment groups.
What’s different about Visa and Mastercard, however, is that they don’t issue credit cards directly; they simply work with other brands (such as banks and retailers) to offer co-branded cards. This is different from Discover and American Express, which offer their own credit cards and even prepaid debit cards.
Which one is better, Visa, or Mastercard? While they’re not that different, here’s what to know about the two cards’ differences and how to choose the best one for your financial needs.
What to Know About Visa
As mentioned above, Visa does not issue credit cards; instead, they are a payment network, which means that they process payments between banks and the merchants where their users use the cards.
Visa was founded in 1958 with the creation of the BankAmericard credit card program. This was eight years before Mastercard, making it one of the oldest payment networks in the United States. That same year, American Express had officially launched the first consumer credit card.
Currently, Visa earns about $23 billion in annual revenue, mostly from service and data processing fees. According to its company profile, Visa offers services that include data processing, service fees, international transactions, and other related transactions.
What to Know About Mastercard
Mastercard brings in slightly less revenue than Visa, at about $19 billion per year. However, they process over $6 trillion in payments annually. Their offerings differ slightly from Visa’s offerings; Mastercard offers similar data processing services and earns money from service fees, but they also offer consumer credit products and prepaid cards.
In terms of fees, Mastercard operates slightly differently than Visa in that regard as well. Mastercard charges fees that they calculate based on a percentage of global dollar volume, which can sometimes be more beneficial for the end-user.
As is the case with Visa, users with a Mastercard credit card or any other type of card will be charged separate fees and interest rates depending on the bank that issued the card. This means that if you have a Capital One or Citi card, you’ll have to check with them specifically regarding your rewards, points, and service fees.
The Benefits of a Visa or Mastercard
Both Visa and Mastercard offer three tiers of cards. Visa offers Traditional, Signature, and Infinite; Mastercard offers Standard, World, and World Elite. Each tier comes with its own perks, and those are the defining differences between Visa and Mastercard offerings.
The bottom tier Visa card, the Traditional tier, for example, includes roadside emergency assistance and auto rental collision damage coverage. The bottom tier Mastercard card, the Standard tier, doesn’t offer similar auto damage coverage and assistance.
As you move up the tiers of Mastercard cards, you’ll note that the offerings are a bit more comprehensive. The World tier comes with cellphone insurance, travel insurance, access to a concierge, and more.
The Verdict: Is Mastercard or Visa Better?
So, what’s the answer to the question of whether Mastercard or Visa is better? Really, it depends on the issuer of the card. Due to the fact that most places accept both Visa and Mastercard these days, you won’t really find that you’ll have issues with that.
Therefore, it comes down to the company issuing the card and the types of fees and interest rates they’ll charge you for using the card. At Cheese, our debit card is a Mastercard, which means you can use it just about anywhere in the world. On top of that, we offer the following perks with your Mastercard:
❌ No Monthly Fee 🧀️ $5 cash bonus
❌ No ATM Fee 🧀️ Up to 10% cashback with every purchase/transaction
❌ No Overdraft Fee 🧀️ Potential Double Cheese Cashback
❌ No Insufficient Fund Fee 🧀️ Up to 3% Saving Bonus
❌ No Minimum Balance Requirement 🧀️ Early Paycheck
To sign up for your Cheese debit card, backed by Mastercard, click here to begin your financial journey with us.