But, they are payment systems rather than actual credit cards, so they rely on providers to use their scheme.
Both MasterCard and Visa are universally accepted, although some countries favour one over the other, so it's worth checking in your guidebook.
But, both MasterCard and Visa are generally accepted everywhere in the UK.
MasterCard is accepted in more than 24 million locations worldwide, making it the most widely received credit card.
It is affiliated with many issuers, and offers many different charity and store cards.
MasterCard recently introduced 'MasterCard SecureCode', a scheme to tackle fraud when giving your details on the internet.
This service protects your MasterCard details with a code, when you buy from participating online shops.
In an attempt to reduce fraudulent card use, MasterCard, Visa and Europay agreed to introduce a chip and PIN (Personal Identification Number) system.
This means that when you use your credit card, you will be asked to enter a PIN that matches the chip embedded in your card.
When France introduced a similar security system, domestic fraud fell by 78%.
From 2008 both MasterCard and Visa offered contactless payment cards in the UK. Many debit and credit cards have this feature, but not all, so if you want a contactless card specifically you should check before applying for a card.
Contactless payment cards were designed to speed up paying for small purchases at the checkout. You can pay for things under £30 by tapping your card on a payment terminal without entering your pin.
You will be asked to enter your PIN the first time you use your contactless card and every so often you will be asked to enter your PIN again for security purposes.
If your PIN is entered incorrectly three times in a row, your card will be blocked. All providers should offer a money-back guarantee if you become a victim of card fraud.
There are so many cards on the market, how do you know which one is the best for you? The easiest way is to let someone else do it for you.
Tell us what you want from a credit card and we will search all UK credit cards, giving you a list of the cards that would best suit your financial circumstances.