Visa Credit Cards vs MasterCard - Does it Make a Difference? - NerdWallet
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Visa Credit Cards vs MasterCard – Does it Make a Difference?

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If you’re looking for a new credit card, you might wonder whether Visa or MasterCard would be better for you. To help you decide, the Nerds took a deep dive into the two competing payment networks to see how they compare.

The first thing to understand is that neither Visa nor MasterCard actually issues or distributes credit cards. The cards themselves are issued by banks. Visa and MasterCard are networks that process payments between banks and merchants for purchases made with the cards.

With that in mind, Visa and MasterCard probably have fewer differences than you think. Both payment networks offer cardholders added perks such as rental car insurance, fraud security and payment protection. When it comes to deciding on Visa vs. MasterCard, it’s usually more important to consider what the issuing bank is offering in a credit card — such as rewards, cash back or a 0% balance transfer deal — than what the payment processor includes.

Differences between Visa and MasterCard

As far as consumer appeal goes, Visa and MasterCard share a lot more similarities than differences. Both offer multiple tiers of benefits. The higher-level offerings generally include discounted travel and vacation bundles.

Visa’s two levels. Visa offers two levels of benefits: base level and Visa Signature. Most of the company’s base-level cards come with auto rental collision damage coverage, extended purchases warranties, unauthorized purchase coverage, emergency assistance and urgent card replacement. Visa Signature cards include all of the base-level offerings, as well as a 24/7 concierge service and an online portal that gives cardholders access to discounts and special access to entertainment, sporting events, dining and travel.

MasterCard’s three tiers. MasterCard offers three tiers of benefits: base, World and World Elite. The base package offers perks similar to Visa’s. These include auto rental collision coverage, fraud liability protection, emergency travel assistance, card replacement and extended warranties. MasterCard offers one notable service that Visa does not: price protection. If you buy an item with a MasterCard and the price is reduced within 60 days, MasterCard will cover the difference, though there are exclusions.

Nerd note: Although Visa itself doesn’t offer purchase protection, some card issuers that transact through Visa do offer security on price changes.

MasterCard’s World level includes additional perks such as a dedicated personal travel advisor (similar to Visa Signature’s concierge), longer price protection (120 days) and added amenities at certain hotels (such as complimentary breakfast, late checkout and room upgrades). World Elite, MasterCard’s top level, comes with all the benefits of the lower levels and tacks on discounted service at participating rental car companies, reduced prices on airfare and access to the World Elite Cruise and Vacations programs guide, which provides price cuts on cruises and other package trips.

Do the differences matter?

When you compare credit card benefits to reach your decision, it’s generally more important to compare perks from the issuer rather than those from the payment processor. Perks offered by credit card issuers (such as Chase, Citi, Capital One, Bank of America and Wells Fargo) typically including features like cash back, rewards points and, often, substantial sign-up bonuses.

A sampling of Visa cards and MasterCards

The Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card falls under the Visa Signature umbrella and offers an unlimited 2X miles per dollar on all purchases, which makes racking up miles as easy as swiping your card. Plus, there’s no need to track rotating reward categories. Miles never expire and can be redeemed for flights, hotels, rental cars and more through the card’s travel platform. You can also redeem rewards in any amount for travel purchases already made using Capital One’s Purchase Eraser tool. Just find the expenses on your statement and designate how many miles you’d like to use. (Points must be redeemed within 90 days of the purchase being posted to the account.)

For new cardholders, the Capital One® Venture® Rewards Credit Card comes with a generous signup bonus: Enjoy a one-time bonus of 40,000 miles once you spend $3,000 on purchases within the first 3 months, equal to $400 in travel. With an annual fee of $0 intro for first year; $59 after that, and the benefits of Visa Signature included, this card is a good choice for people seeking a no-hassle card that makes traveling more affordable.

Though not a Visa Signature card, the Chase Freedom® caters to spenders who want a higher rewards rate on rotating categories. This card earns up to 5% cash back per dollar (up to $1,500 in spending) on categories that change every quarter. These have historically included groceries, restaurants, gas and various retail outlets. All other purchases earn an unlimited 1% back.

Along with the card’s high cash-back return, new cardholders also get a sign-up bonus: Earn a $150 Bonus after you spend $500 on purchases in your first 3 months from account opening. And it comes with a $0 annual fee. If you’re a smart spender who remembers to opt in to the quarterly Chase Freedom® bonus categories, this card could have you earning big cash back.

If you’d prefer a card with the World Elite MasterCard stamp, the BuyPower Card from Capital One® -Get The Card That Helps You Get The Car is an option to consider. This card allows users to earn points redeemable toward the purchase of a new Chevrolet, Buick, GMC or Cadillac vehicle. Every swipe up to $5,000 in spending earns 5% back, with every additional purchase earning an unlimited 2% after that.

Along with the perks tied to the World Elite MasterCard program, the BuyPower Card from Capital One® -Get The Card That Helps You Get The Car’s annual fee of $0 makes this card a solid choice if buying a car is in your future.

The bottom line on Visa vs. MasterCard

For some people, choosing Visa or MasterCard may provide a minor feature or two that acts as an added convenience. But most people would be better off spending time comparing what issuers offer, such as cash back and rewards earnings. This is where you’ll find the most value per dollar.

(Updated Oct. 10, 2015)

Kevin Cash is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. Email: kcash@nerdwallet.com. Twitter: @kevin_cash.


Image via iStock. 

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  • Singampuli

    Good info, thanks.

  • Lei

    Very informative

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Thanks, Lei!

  • Lei

    Very informative

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      Thanks, Lei!

  • Good Hope

    Very well explained. Thanks…..

  • Good Hope

    Very well explained. Thanks…..

  • corihor

    I have a discover and amex and my discover offers the same perks and is cheaper to use a few of them. The customer service with the Discover is also superior to American Express

    • Dark_Illusion

      nah…………….

      • rehanny

        Wow

        • Jayaprasanna V

          What you understand from this my friend ? ♥

  • corihor

    I have a discover and amex and my discover offers the same perks and is cheaper to use a few of them. The customer service with the Discover is also superior to American Express

  • corihor

    I have a discover and amex and my discover offers the same perks and is cheaper to use a few of them. The customer service with the Discover is also superior to American Express

    • Dark_Illusion

      nah…………….

      • rehanny

        Wow

        • Jayaprasanna V

          What you understand from this my friend ? ♥

  • Jimr1818

    Discover is virtually useless if you travel anywhere outside of the United States..

    • mhunter86

      Not true… you obviously haven’t travelled lately.

    • Allie Kat

      Acceptance varies WIDELY by country. From better than Visa/MC in China to abysmal in Canada. And there are still countries with no acceptance at all.

  • Jimr1818

    Discover is virtually useless if you travel anywhere outside of the United States..

  • Jimr1818

    Discover is virtually useless if you travel anywhere outside of the United States..

    • $7080335

      Not true… you obviously haven’t travelled lately.

    • Allie Kat

      Acceptance varies WIDELY by country. From better than Visa/MC in China to abysmal in Canada. And there are still countries with no acceptance at all.

  • mhunter86

    Your information on Discover is wrong. Discover does include purchase protection. IMO the new IT card is a really compelling offering… and it has no foreign transaction fees. Yes the number of countries where it is accepted is limited, but it is growing everyday thanks to the purchase of the Diner’s network. I’ve been using Discover all over Brazil with absolutely no problems. One other point, if you’re looking for the best card to rent a car with, that is Diner’s Club… hands down. Diner’s Club insurance is primary… whereas Visa or Mastercard it is secondary… in other words, you file a claim with your own insurance first. You should really revise your article. It is wrong.

  • mhunter86

    Your information on Discover is wrong. Discover does include purchase protection. IMO the new IT card is a really compelling offering… and it has no foreign transaction fees. Yes the number of countries where it is accepted is limited, but it is growing everyday thanks to the purchase of the Diner’s network. I’ve been using Discover all over Brazil with absolutely no problems. One other point, if you’re looking for the best card to rent a car with, that is Diner’s Club… hands down. Diner’s Club insurance is primary… whereas Visa or Mastercard it is secondary… in other words, you file a claim with your own insurance first. You should really revise your article. It is wrong.

  • $7080335

    Your information on Discover is wrong. Discover does include purchase protection. IMO the new IT card is a really compelling offering… and it has no foreign transaction fees. Yes the number of countries where it is accepted is limited, but it is growing everyday thanks to the purchase of the Diner’s network. I’ve been using Discover all over Brazil with absolutely no problems. One other point, if you’re looking for the best card to rent a car with, that is Diner’s Club… hands down. Diner’s Club insurance is primary… whereas Visa or Mastercard it is secondary… in other words, you file a claim with your own insurance first. You should really revise your article. It is wrong.

  • SuperKirby

    Visa Signature states up to max $500 purchase protection

    http://usa.visa.com/personal/visa-signature/benefits/purchase-security.jsp

    World MC states up to $3000 max

    http://worldcard.mastercard.com/content/world/mea/en/peace-of-mind/purchase-protection.html

    If I have a Chase sapphire Preferred World MC, does this mean i’m covered up to $3000 purchase protection? Most websites/blogs say the CSP PP is only up to $500/claim, I guess most people have the Visa Siggy version? thanks!

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      I think you’re right – the commenters must have the Visa Signature version.

  • SuperKirby

    Visa Signature states up to max $500 purchase protection

    http://usa.visa.com/personal/visa-signature/benefits/purchase-security.jsp

    World MC states up to $3000 max

    http://worldcard.mastercard.com/content/world/mea/en/peace-of-mind/purchase-protection.html

    If I have a Chase sapphire Preferred World MC, does this mean i’m covered up to $3000 purchase protection? Most websites/blogs say the CSP PP is only up to $500/claim, I guess most people have the Visa Siggy version? thanks!

  • SuperKirby

    Visa Signature states up to max $500 purchase protection

    http://usa.visa.com/personal/visa-signature/benefits/purchase-security.jsp

    World MC states up to $3000 max

    http://worldcard.mastercard.com/content/world/mea/en/peace-of-mind/purchase-protection.html

    If I have a Chase sapphire Preferred World MC, does this mean i’m covered up to $3000 purchase protection? Most websites/blogs say the CSP PP is only up to $500/claim, I guess most people have the Visa Siggy version? thanks!

    • http://www.nerdwallet.com/ NerdWallet

      I think you’re right – the commenters must have the Visa Signature version.

  • Man

    i believe that being a member at SA5M is just “a dream come true”.

  • Man

    i believe that being a member at SA5M is just “a dream come true”.

  • Man

    i believe that being a member at SA5M is just “a dream come true”.

  • Kevin

    When I was in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany both Visa and Mastercard were accepted pretty everywhere. I have both of them but I used my Visa only because it was the card that had no foreign transaction fee.

  • Kevin

    When I was in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany both Visa and Mastercard were accepted pretty everywhere. I have both of them but I used my Visa only because it was the card that had no foreign transaction fee.

  • Kevin

    When I was in Switzerland, Austria, and Germany both Visa and Mastercard were accepted pretty everywhere. I have both of them but I used my Visa only because it was the card that had no foreign transaction fee.

  • West Brom

    I dont know how i got here but Visa RULES!

  • West Brom

    I dont know how i got here but Visa RULES!

  • Branko Sajla

    I dont know how i got here but Visa RULES!

  • Fanda Zeng

    What a joke, I have Discover, AMEX as well as Visa and Mastercard. The Discover network can be used quite widely as well as Visa and Mastercard. It can run on Union Pay, Dinners club and JCB network, and the FTF is 0 as well. I travel to Asia, especially in Japan and China, Hong Kong a lot, I can use my discover card nearly everywhere, and I do get better currency transfer rate in discover card than Visa! By the way, Discover card now offer protection/ return/ and other benefits, sometimes it is even better than my AMEX.

  • Fanda Zeng

    What a joke, I have Discover, AMEX as well as Visa and Mastercard. The Discover network can be used quite widely as well as Visa and Mastercard. It can run on Union Pay, Dinners club and JCB network, and the FTF is 0 as well. I travel to Asia, especially in Japan and China, Hong Kong a lot, I can use my discover card nearly everywhere, and I do get better currency transfer rate in discover card than Visa! By the way, Discover card now offer protection/ return/ and other benefits, sometimes it is even better than my AMEX.

  • Fanda Zeng

    What a joke, I have Discover, AMEX as well as Visa and Mastercard. The Discover network can be used quite widely as well as Visa and Mastercard. It can run on Union Pay, Dinners club and JCB network, and the FTF is 0 as well. I travel to Asia, especially in Japan and China, Hong Kong a lot, I can use my discover card nearly everywhere, and I do get better currency transfer rate in discover card than Visa! By the way, Discover card now offer protection/ return/ and other benefits, sometimes it is even better than my AMEX.

  • Alisa

    “Deemed Money magazine’s “Best Rewards Card if you aim to rack up airline miles,” it has an impressive flat 2% rewards rate on all purchases.” A lot of good that trash does if you never use the airlines, that’s totally stupid, replace it with something we can actually use. The majority of people will never get on a plane, let alone have the money to even take one. I’ve been on a plane twice in my entire life, and that was when I was 18 and last year (58) What a waste.

    • Mike Mitchell

      It literally says “IF you aim to rack up airline miles”, and most people like to travel for vacations, and having miles makes flights a lot cheaper. And if you are forced into racking up miles, take a vacation. If you have enough miles, you can get a ticket for free

    • Aaron Lip

      Most flights are $800-1000 where I live. Even on minimum wage, I can save that up easily in a year or so ($50 each month if I weren’t with room mates). In my current situation, $200 a month is easy.

      I can fly anywhere in the world for a week and I’ve been working only 8 months. That’s after spending money on martial arts lessons and a DSLR. I don’t know how you imagine the majority who apply for credit cannot afford flights. You’d be surprised what you can afford with patience and good decisions. I’ve learned that if you want something in life, you will find a way. If not today, then tomorrow.

      Most people want to travel, but never make it happen. I know quite a few immigrants who wanted a better life and found a way. What do you want? How will you make it happen?

      Besides, freedom of choice is not having your way. It is choosing out of options you cannot choose. If your credit card company decides Visa is better, you can choose a better company. That’s freedom of choice.

  • Alisa

    “Deemed Money magazine’s “Best Rewards Card if you aim to rack up airline miles,” it has an impressive flat 2% rewards rate on all purchases.” A lot of good that trash does if you never use the airlines, that’s totally stupid, replace it with something we can actually use. The majority of people will never get on a plane, let alone have the money to even take one. I’ve been on a plane twice in my entire life, and that was when I was 18 and last year (58) What a waste.

  • Alisa

    “Deemed Money magazine’s “Best Rewards Card if you aim to rack up airline miles,” it has an impressive flat 2% rewards rate on all purchases.” A lot of good that trash does if you never use the airlines, that’s totally stupid, replace it with something we can actually use. The majority of people will never get on a plane, let alone have the money to even take one. I’ve been on a plane twice in my entire life, and that was when I was 18 and last year (58) What a waste. They switched us from the MasterCard we’ve used for over 30+ years to a dang Visa card. Where’s our freedom of choice?? I have everything memorized for my MC and points added up after all that time, that will now go to waste. Thanks BCU

    • Mike Mitchell

      It literally says “IF you aim to rack up airline miles”, and most people like to travel for vacations, and having miles makes flights a lot cheaper. And if you are forced into racking up miles, take a vacation. If you have enough miles, you can get a ticket for free

    • Aaron

      Most flights are $800-1000 where I live. Even on minimum wage, I can save that up easily in a year or so ($50 each month if I weren’t with room mates). In my current situation, $200 a month is easy.

      I can fly anywhere in the world for a week and I’ve been working only 8 months. That’s after spending money on martial arts lessons and a DSLR. I don’t know how you imagine the majority who apply for credit cannot afford flights. You’d be surprised what you can afford with patience and good decisions. I’ve learned that if you want something in life, you will find a way. If not today, then tomorrow.

      Most people want to travel, but never make it happen. I know quite a few immigrants who wanted a better life and found a way. What do you want? How will you make it happen?

      Besides, freedom of choice is not having your way. It is choosing out of options you cannot choose. If your credit card company decides Visa is better, you can choose a better company. That’s freedom of choice.

  • Stevie Martin

    I paid a court fine ‘online’ today and received an e.mail as a receipt, immediately !
    Within seconds I received another e.mail from another Magistrates Court Accounts Department thanking me for a payment of £165 ? Checking the info on both mail receipts the £165 was paid by ‘Visa card’, I have a ‘Mastercard’..have I received somebody elses mail or can a mastercard be classed as a Visa card and would it appear on a receipt as paid for by Visa ??

  • Stevie Martin

    I paid a court fine ‘online’ today and received an e.mail as a receipt, immediately !
    Within seconds I received another e.mail from another Magistrates Court Accounts Department thanking me for a payment of £165 ? Checking the info on both mail receipts the £165 was paid by ‘Visa card’, I have a ‘Mastercard’..have I received somebody elses mail or can a mastercard be classed as a Visa card and would it appear on a receipt as paid for by Visa ??

  • kapil

    gud information..

  • kapil

    gud information..

  • kapil

    gud information..

  • Barry Nisman

    Has Chase notified you that their Mastercard was being d/c and all cardholders would be switched to a Visa Account with Chase ?

    • Art Upchold

      I also received a letter from Chase, and don’t appreciate the change after having Master Card for over 20 years with no problem. I hope I can keep it. If I wanted Visa I would have already applied for one.

      • HawkZon

        Unfortunately I have a United Mastercard from Chase and I believe when it needs to be renewed they’ll switch me to Visa.

      • Allie Kat

        Frankly, to you as a cardholder there is essentially no difference. Maybe slightly worse exchange rates (I feel the Mastercard rate is usually a tiny bit better than the Visa rate). Loss of use at Sam’s Club. That’s it, really.

  • Barry Nisman

    Has Chase notified you that their Mastercard was being d/c and all cardholders would be switched to a Visa Account with Chase ?

  • Art Upchold

    I also received a letter from Chase, and don’t appreciate the change after having Master Card for over 20 years with no problem. I hope I can keep it. If I wanted Visa I would have already applied for one.

    • HawkZon

      Unfortunately I have a United Mastercard from Chase and I believe when it needs to be renewed they’ll switch me to Visa.

  • Ivy L

    I have more than 5 credit cards, so I had to cancel some. My question is this article says Discover is bad, so should I switch Discover to Chase Freedom? I also have 3 credit cards from BOA (my bank), and amazon and Macy. I really don’t understand why do those places have their own cards, I want to cancel Macy’s American Express as well. Suggestion please? Thank you!

    • cygnusx3

      You made your first mistake. NEVER cancel a credit card.

  • Ivy L

    I have more than 5 credit cards, so I had to cancel some. My question is this article says Discover is bad, so should I switch Discover to Chase Freedom? I also have 3 credit cards from BOA (my bank), and amazon and Macy. I really don’t understand why do those places have their own cards, I want to cancel Macy’s American Express as well. Suggestion please? Thank you!

  • Ivy L

    I have more than 5 credit cards, so I had to cancel some. My question is this article says Discover is bad, so should I switch Discover to Chase Freedom? I also have 3 credit cards from BOA (my bank), and amazon and Macy. I really don’t understand why do those places have their own cards, I want to cancel Macy’s American Express as well. Suggestion please? Thank you!

    • cygnusx3

      You made your first mistake. NEVER cancel a credit card.

      • Rotary Rocket

        Holding 5 forms or more forms of revolving debt could have a negative impact on your credit rating even if they have no balance, not sure what you are on about.

        • typeav

          He open the 5 cards in the first place right ? Let them expire and do not renew. If you have 5 or more cards even 30 cards with 0 balance there is no negative impact at all so not sure what you are on about.

          • Rotary Rocket

            That isn’t correct because it’s not just the balance but the potential balance you could have. Say you loose your job you are very likely to max those cards out while you are working on restoring your income. Risk management know this and factors that in. Marketing will down play this fact to increase there penetration.

            I been present in many a meeting where I watched this play out between the groups first hand. It’s also apparent when you fill out a home loan, where they ask for to list all your credit line with their balance and limits.

          • typeav

            Like I mentioned before, there is no negative impact on his credit or Fico Score, what you are referring is credit decision and this depends on many factors. For example what is his income ? Does he have his own business or is he a contractor ? Not everybody is on 9-5 and what are his assets ? Not everybody is broke either. What are the credit line on each card $250 or $10k or $50k. In first place he is not applying as per his question he just want to get rid off his cards. He can cancel anytime no problem but he can also let them expired and will look much nice on his credit report.

        • Cherlyn Stone

          Not true. In fact, the more revolving accounts the better your credit as long as the debt to credit limit ratio is low. In fact, according to my credit monitoring system, they prefer you to have a whopping 12 accts. As I opened more cards (showing more lenders are willing to give credit) my score climbed dramatically. I never used credit bc I always bought everything with cash out right… Hurt my credit score by not having many accounts.

  • Kristen B

    I’m applying for my first credit card and I have only ever been an authorized cardholder on my dad’s account. I was wondering if the Chase Freedom card would be a good choice as a way to start building my credit. Another source said they are usually relatively easy to apply for.

    • Ruru

      Chase Freedom is a great card in terms of rewards. The only thing I would say is that if you get approved, because since it is your first card, you may end up with a lower credit limit than what you would have gotten if you applied after you had several years of credit history.

  • Kristen B

    I’m applying for my first credit card and I have only ever been an authorized cardholder on my dad’s account. I was wondering if the Chase Freedom card would be a good choice as a way to start building my credit. Another source said they are usually relatively easy to apply for.

  • Kristen B

    I’m applying for my first credit card and I have only ever been an authorized cardholder on my dad’s account. I was wondering if the Chase Freedom card would be a good choice as a way to start building my credit. Another source said they are usually relatively easy to apply for.

    • Ruru

      Chase Freedom is a great card in terms of rewards. The only thing I would say is that if you get approved, because since it is your first card, you may end up with a lower credit limit than what you would have gotten if you applied after you had several years of credit history.

  • robin a

    I’m applying for my first credit card, I’m wondering which to apply for..

  • robin a

    I’m applying for my first credit card, I’m wondering which to apply for..

  • robin a

    I’m applying for my first credit card, I’m wondering which to apply for..

    • Allie Kat

      American Express Everyday. Great rewards, great service, great perks.

      • Guido Sarducci

        And a royal pain in the a** 90% of the time. Had been a “member” since 1972 and went paws up last year. What a joke!

        • Allie Kat

          I’ve had AMAZING experiences with Amex… YMMV

    • jose

      Netspend

  • Cockie Sunburn

    I don’t really get credit cards. I know they’re standard in the US, but they make things so unnecessarily complicated. Rewards percentages, miles bonuses, annual fees, interest rates and dozens of ‘only-ifs’.

    The system we have in the Netherlands (to which I’m biased, of course), is this:
    – you have money on your bank
    – you can get cash with a bank-issued card, and pay with it online (nationally)
    – if you run out of money, you’re in the negative, and pay interest

    All said I’m still getting a credit card. Can’t live without one.

    • Colin

      Credit cards seem to offer several benefits over your system.

      FIrst, they are international.
      Second, they are ‘credit’ meaning if you run into an emergency and don’t have enough cash to handle your problem, the card extends credit automatically, and pays the vendor (which they like), and you can then pay it off all at once (from savings for example) or over time, when you pay interest.

      Most credit cards in the US don’t have a fee. The rewards points card tend to have fees, but then you can get a lot of benefits from them. For example, I primarily use one card, and I now have in excess of 600,000 airline miles ‘credit’ towards free (well, almost free) air travel.
      The basic ones don’t have any rewards, and are simple.

      Another great thing about a credit card is that they all offer some sort of buyer protection, in that you order something, the vendor does not send it or sends damaged/defective goods, you can refuse to pay that portion of your credit card bill, and the credit card will fight the vendor for you, because use are their customer, not the vendor.

      • Cockie Sunburn

        Buyer protection is indeed handy. Though, with the risk of making this seem like a Youtube fight:

        1. Thanks to their wide acceptance credit cards are indeed the most practical. In /theory/ though…

        2. Like I said, we have credit with the bank! Interest is maybe 1 % per month. You can fill up your account and get back to 0 at any time.

        4. European law ensures a 2-year guarantee on all goods, whoever you are or however you pay.

        My point being, the world needs a simpler, unified payment system!

      • Cockie Sunburn

        Buyer protection is indeed handy. Though, with the risk of making this seem like a Youtube fight:

        1. Thanks to their wide acceptance credit cards are indeed the most practical. In /theory/ though…

        2. Like I said, we have credit with the bank! Interest is maybe 1 % per month. You can fill up your account and get back to 0 at any time.

        4. European law ensures a 2-year guarantee on all goods, whoever you are or however you pay.

        My point being, the world needs a simpler, unified payment system!

  • Cockie Sunburn

    I don’t really get credit cards. I know they’re standard in the US, but they make things so unnecessarily complicated. Rewards percentages, miles bonuses, annual fees, interest rates and dozens of ‘only-ifs’.

    The system we have in the Netherlands (to which I’m biased, of course), is this:
    – you have money on your bank
    – you can get cash with a bank-issued card, and pay with it online (nationally)
    – if you run out of money, you’re in the negative, and pay interest

    All said I’m still getting a credit card. Can’t live without one.

  • Cockie Sunburn

    I don’t really get credit cards. I know they’re standard in the US, but they make things so unnecessarily complicated. Rewards percentages, miles bonuses, annual fees, interest rates and dozens of ‘only-ifs’.

    The system we have in the Netherlands (to which I’m biased, of course), is this:
    – you have money on your bank
    – you can get cash with a bank-issued card, and pay with it online (nationally)
    – if you run out of money, you’re in the negative, and pay interest

    All said I’m still getting a credit card. Can’t live without one.

    • Colin

      Credit cards seem to offer several benefits over your system.

      FIrst, they are international.
      Second, they are ‘credit’ meaning if you run into an emergency and don’t have enough cash to handle your problem, the card extends credit automatically, and pays the vendor (which they like), and you can then pay it off all at once (from savings for example) or over time, when you pay interest.

      Most credit cards in the US don’t have a fee. The rewards points card tend to have fees, but then you can get a lot of benefits from them. For example, I primarily use one card, and I now have in excess of 600,000 airline miles ‘credit’ towards free (well, almost free) air travel.
      The basic ones don’t have any rewards, and are simple.

      Another great thing about a credit card is that they all offer some sort of buyer protection, in that you order something, the vendor does not send it or sends damaged/defective goods, you can refuse to pay that portion of your credit card bill, and the credit card will fight the vendor for you, because use are their customer, not the vendor.

      • Cockie Sunburn

        Buyer protection is indeed handy. Though, with the risk of making this seem like a Youtube fight:

        1. Thanks to their wide acceptance credit cards are indeed the most practical. In /theory/ though…

        2. Like I said, we have credit with the bank! Interest is maybe 1 % per month. You can fill up your account and get back to 0 at any time.

        4. European law ensures a 2-year guarantee on all goods, whoever you are or however you pay.

        My point being, the world needs a simpler, unified payment system!

        • Aaron

          Your bank pays you 1% to borrow money… The credit card allows you to borrow money, but many cards pay you back in rewards for use. Credit cards can give you significant returns on expenditures, at the expense of putting you at risk of high rates. Used well, they can mitigate expenditure and improve your quality of life.

          To simplify payment systems, one reduces options. Without options, strategies bringing success become limited and overall diversity is reduced. You don’t use credit. That works for you. It’s simple. No need to infringe on the rights of others by suggesting they need to abandon complexity.

          It’s the same issue I have with religious people; they have their beliefs, but shouldn’t be implying mine are wrong by trying to change them.

          • Cockie Sunburn

            I might have been a bit one-sided in my previous posts, so I get where you’re coming from. I do share your hate of ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’-like discussions. Also: do whatever you want.

            Theoretically though. Seeing the financial trouble many people are in, the incredible complexity of financial solutions and the (still!) stubborn, profit-minded banking culture, I think many people would profit from a more simple system that doesn’t involve high risks.

            But maybe that’s just me.

          • Aaron

            True, most people think they’re the exception. Credit cards can be an asset, but generally aren’t worth the risk for most. People such as I use them for large expenses they can already pay for with debit. I don’t really need the card tbh, aside from universities refusing to accept visa debit.

            Banks are a business; they’ve got to be profit minded to survive. Credit unions, not so much.

            Probably the simplest system is bartering. It has some headaches of its own. There’s also stuffing bills in mattresses/burying it.

            Simple systems are great when they work efficiently and allow you control. By nature, banks cannot; you don’t technically own the money in your account. You own rights to a portion of the bank’s money. Should the bank collapse, you own nothing.

          • Ron Sheppard

            I make about $500 U.S. off of credit card rewards per year and have never paid interest on any card. If you pay the entire balance each billing period, they charge you no interest and instead make their money from the fee they charge the merchant for processing the transaction. You simply get a kick back for using their card and initiating transactions for them.

          • lolol

            Tupac – Lyric King

            Biggie – Flow King

            Eminem – Rhyme King

            Dr. Dre – Beat King
            Bustarhymes – Quick King
            Rick Ross – Burger king

  • arkarian

    most important thing – get one with no annual fee

    besides that, depends on what you want. points on purchases are nice, and so are bonus miles for signing up.

  • arkarian

    most important thing – get one with no annual fee

    besides that, depends on what you want. points on purchases are nice, and so are bonus miles for signing up.

  • Rotary Rocket

    Holding 5 forms or more forms of revolving debt could have a negative impact on your credit rating even if they have no balance, not sure what you are on about.

    • typeav

      He open the 5 cards in the first place right ? Let them expire and do not renew. If you have 5 or more cards even 30 cards with 0 balance there is no negative impact at all so not sure what you are on about.

    • Cherlyn Stone

      Not true. In fact, the more revolving accounts the better your credit as long as the debt to credit limit ratio is low. In fact, according to my credit monitoring system, they prefer you to have a whopping 12 accts. As I opened more cards (showing more lenders are willing to give credit) my score climbed dramatically. I never used credit bc I always bought everything with cash out right… Hurt my credit score by not having many accounts.

  • Rotary Rocket

    Holding 5 forms or more forms of revolving debt could have a negative impact on your credit rating even if they have no balance, not sure what you are on about.

  • Ramesh M

    Mine has been a very similar experience as yours. I found it hard to “discover” someone who accepted a Discover card even in parts of western Europe.

  • Ramesh M

    Mine has been a very similar experience as yours. I found it hard to “discover” someone who accepted a Discover card even in parts of western Europe.

  • Allie Kat

    Discover has purchase and return protections.

  • Allie Kat

    Discover has purchase and return protections.

  • Allie Kat

    American Express Everyday. Great rewards, great service, great perks.

    • Guido Sarducci

      And a royal pain in the a** 90% of the time. Had been a “member” since 1972 and went paws up last year. What a joke!

      • Allie Kat

        I’ve had AMAZING experiences with Amex… YMMV

      • Allie Kat

        I’ve had AMAZING experiences with Amex… YMMV

  • Allie Kat

    American Express Everyday. Great rewards, great service, great perks.

  • Aaron Lip

    Your bank pays you 1% to borrow money… The credit card allows you to borrow money, but many cards pay you back in rewards for use. Credit cards can give you significant returns on expenditures, at the expense of putting you at risk of high rates. Used well, they can mitigate expenditure and improve your quality of life.

    To simplify payment systems, one reduces options. Without options, strategies bringing success become limited and overall diversity is reduced. You don’t use credit. That works for you. It’s simple. No need to infringe on the rights of others by suggesting they need to abandon complexity.

    It’s the same issue I have with religious people; they have their beliefs, but shouldn’t be implying mine are wrong by trying to change them.

    • Cockie Sunburn

      I might have been a bit one-sided in my previous posts, so I get where you’re coming from. I do share your hate of ‘I’m right and you’re wrong’-like discussions. Also: do whatever you want.

      Theoretically though. Seeing the financial trouble many people are in, the incredible complexity of financial solutions and the (still!) stubborn, profit-minded banking culture, I think many people would profit from a more simple system that doesn’t involve high risks.

      But maybe that’s just me.

      • Aaron Lip

        True, most people think they’re the exception. Credit cards can be an asset, but generally aren’t worth the risk for most. People such as I use them for large expenses they can already pay for with debit. I don’t really need the card tbh, aside from universities refusing to accept visa debit.

        Banks are a business; they’ve got to be profit minded to survive. Credit unions, not so much.

        Probably the simplest system is bartering. It has some headaches of its own. There’s also stuffing bills in mattresses/burying it.

        Simple systems are great when they work efficiently and allow you control. By nature, banks cannot; you don’t technically own the money in your account. You own rights to a portion of the bank’s money. Should the bank collapse, you own nothing.

      • Aaron Lip

        True, most people think they’re the exception. Credit cards can be an asset, but generally aren’t worth the risk for most. People such as I use them for large expenses they can already pay for with debit. I don’t really need the card tbh, aside from universities refusing to accept visa debit.

        Banks are a business; they’ve got to be profit minded to survive. Credit unions, not so much.

        Probably the simplest system is bartering. It has some headaches of its own. There’s also stuffing bills in mattresses/burying it.

        Simple systems are great when they work efficiently and allow you control. By nature, banks cannot; you don’t technically own the money in your account. You own rights to a portion of the bank’s money. Should the bank collapse, you own nothing.

      • Ron Sheppard

        I make about $500 U.S. off of credit card rewards per year and have never paid interest on any card. If you pay the entire balance each billing period, they charge you no interest and instead make their money from the fee they charge the merchant for processing the transaction. You simply get a kick back for using their card and initiating transactions for them.

  • Aaron Lip

    Your bank pays you 1% to borrow money… The credit card allows you to borrow money, but many cards pay you back in rewards for use. Credit cards can give you significant returns on expenditures, at the expense of putting you at risk of high rates. Used well, they can mitigate expenditure and improve your quality of life.

    To simplify payment systems, one reduces options. Without options, strategies bringing success become limited and overall diversity is reduced. You don’t use credit. That works for you. It’s simple. No need to infringe on the rights of others by suggesting they need to abandon complexity.

    It’s the same issue I have with religious people; they have their beliefs, but shouldn’t be implying mine are wrong by trying to change them.

  • Rotary Rocket

    That isn’t correct because it’s not just the balance but the potential balance you could have. Say you loose your job you are very likely to max those cards out while you are working on restoring your income. Risk management know this and factors that in. Marketing will down play this fact to increase there penetration.

    I been present in many a meeting where I watched this play out between the groups first hand. It’s also apparent when you fill out a home loan, where they ask for to list all your credit line with their balance and limits.

    • typeav

      Like I mentioned before, there is no negative impact on his credit or Fico Score, what you are referring is credit decision and this depends on many factors. For example what is his income ? Does he have his own business or is he a contractor ? Not everybody is on 9-5 and what are his assets ? Not everybody is broke either. What are the credit line on each card $250 or $10k or $50k. In first place he is not applying as per his question he just want to get rid off his cards. He can cancel anytime no problem but he can also let them expired and will look much nice on his credit report.

  • Rotary Rocket

    That isn’t correct because it’s not just the balance but the potential balance you could have. Say you loose your job you are very likely to max those cards out while you are working on restoring your income. Risk management know this and factors that in. Marketing will down play this fact to increase there penetration.

    I been present in many a meeting where I watched this play out between the groups first hand. It’s also apparent when you fill out a home loan, where they ask for to list all your credit line with their balance and limits.

  • Shweta Chawla

    I have a VISA credit card issued in India, and I am travelling in US, the cards works fine here. I want to find out if the sign of VISA still covers the car rental insurance…SInce thats the catch the rental is cheap but the insurance kills you. Would be thankful if any answers this… Regards
    Shweta

  • Shweta Chawla

    I have a VISA credit card issued in India, and I am travelling in US, the cards works fine here. I want to find out if the sign of VISA still covers the car rental insurance…SInce thats the catch the rental is cheap but the insurance kills you. Would be thankful if any answers this… Regards
    Shweta

  • Shweta Chawla

    I have a VISA credit card issued in India, and I am travelling in US, the cards works fine here. I want to find out if the sign of VISA still covers the car rental insurance…SInce thats the catch the rental is cheap but the insurance kills you. Would be thankful if any answers this… Regards
    Shweta

  • jose

    Netspend

  • jose

    Netspend

  • Rob

    I know this is an older article, but Its important for those shopping to realize that certain stores in the US do not accept Visa. We Prefer Mastercard in our home, for one reason one of our MasterCard’s is actually a “debit card” which pulls out money 2 days later from our bank account (slower than a conventional debit card). And as such, my wife can use “Cash” at a vendor 2 days before we get paid. I have had 2 cards move to Visa from Mastercard and it’s very frustrating.

  • Rob

    I know this is an older article, but Its important for those shopping to realize that certain stores in the US do not accept Visa. We Prefer Mastercard in our home, for one reason one of our MasterCard’s is actually a “debit card” which pulls out money 2 days later from our bank account (slower than a conventional debit card). And as such, my wife can use “Cash” at a vendor 2 days before we get paid. I have had 2 cards move to Visa from Mastercard and it’s very frustrating.