If you are looking for a new credit card for your wallet, you probably have wondered at least once if VISA or MasterCard would be better for you. Does one come with a better set of benefits and privileges than the other? To help you answer the this question, we did a deep-dive analysis on the two payment giants to see how they compare. While most of the features are similar, MasterCard World and World Elite have slightly better perks for high spenders compared to Visa Signature and Infinite.
What Are Payment Networks?
First, it’s important to understand that neither VISA nor MasterCard issues credit cards that you use. They are merely the backend technology system that makes sure money is exchanged correctly and safely. VISA and MasterCard work with banks that gets customers and distributes the cards for them. This means that a lot of the rewards that you see on credit card advertisements are sometimes offered by the issuing bank, and sometimes are offered by these payment networks.
In regards to what VISA and MasterCard offer to consumers, there is actually not much difference between the two companies. They are equally good at protecting your information while processing your payments quickly and safely. So the difference really boils down to what rewards they offer to the cardholders, which we discuss below.
Comparison of Benefits: VISA vs MasterCard
For entry level credit cards, there is actually very little difference between VISA and MasterCard. They both provide a similar set of basic features. However, there are meaningful differences between VISA and MasterCard’s special offers on their loyalty programs. These programs come with some luxury benefits that are meant to reward big spenders. We’ve summarized the most important benefits of each card network in the table below. Then, we also discuss pros and cons of each issuer in the section below, where we do a deep-dive into their features.
Benefits of VISA by Tiers
VISA credit cards come in three flavors: standard (which includes classic, gold and platinum), Signature and Infinite. The standard tier comes with a set of basic features like security, concierge and ATM access. VISA adds more spice to its upper tiers like Signature, which comes with various discount deals and VIP perks at hotels, restaurants and shops. Infinite is VISA’s best tier, and comes with some amazing perks like Hilston HHonors Gold Status and discounts on private jets. Clearly, VISA Infinite cards are meant for high spenders who both care about and can afford luxuries. You can read more about Signature and Infinite on VISA’s website.
Benefits of MasterCard by Tiers
MasterCard also comes with 3 tiers: standard, World and World Elite. MasterCard's standard tier is more or less similar to VISA's, and provides basic features like security, concierge and ATM access. However, in terms of VIP perks for upper tiers, MasterCard definitely offers better deals. MasterCard World and World Elite's perks compare favorably to VISA's because they provide a SPG Gold access (which is better than Hilton's program in terms of number and quality of hotels), a wallet protection of upto $100 if you ever lose your wallet, and another online purchase insurance of up to $200 if your online purchase gets lost or damaged. Not only that, MasterCard World Elite also comes with free lounge access at over 600 airports in thew orld, as well as discounts for some superbly luxurious services like private jets.
For most people, it doesn’t really matter whether they get a VISA card or a MasterCard credit card. Both are equally secure and offer similar level of benefits. While VISA has a slightly higher market share and greater amount of transactions worldwide, both VISA and MasterCard are equally well-accepted by merchants. Although MasterCard's upper tiers provide a better set of benefits, there are so much more perks being offered by the issuing banks themselves that you really need to consider each card individually before applying for a new card. For example, banks often provide benefits like annual fee waivers, cashback promotions and sign up bonuses, cash rebate, air miles and even travel insurance. At the end of the day, any real choice between the two networks should always come down to how the actual terms, benefits and fees of a card fit with your budget. You can read our guide on the best credit cards in Singapore to find the perfect fit for you.
|Worldwide Transactions ($ Billions)||37||24|
|Global Acceptance||33 Million Merchants||33 Million Merchants|