Mastercard is a payment system that is recognised across the globe by shops, ATMs and more.
Card providers, including banks, can choose to issue their credit cards and debit cards using Mastercard's payment system. This
If you look at the bottom right-hand corner of a credit or debit card in the UK you will see the logo Mastercard, Visa or American Express.
Mastercard and Visa are two of the biggest payment systems, so your credit or debit card is likely to be linked to one of them.
Mastercard has partnerships with a lot of big banks and financial service companies including Halifax, Sainsbury's Bank, Virgin Money and Capital One.
Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards are both more or less universally accepted at all electronic payment terminals, so access shouldn’t be a problem whoever provides your card.
Mastercard offers security online with ‘Mastercard SecureCode’. This protects your Mastercard details with a code, to shield you from fraud when you purchase online from participating online shops.
Like all providers Mastercard should offer a money-back guarantee if you fall victim to card fraud.
All Mastercard cards have Chip and PIN protection and are increasingly offering contactless payment for sums under £100 on their cards. Since 2014 Mastercard has provided payment through Apple’s iPhones and other products.
The best Mastercard credit card is the one that suits your lifestyle. You can use our comparison tables to find out the best deals for you.
Our comparison tool lists our best Mastercard credit card deals. You can choose to list the cards by:
Popularity – how popular they are
Lowest APR – that means the cards with the lowest interest rates
Longest balance transfer period – how long you can have money owing on your credit card that you have moved from another card, before you have to start paying interest on it
Longest purchase period – how long you have after you have made a purchase before you have to pay interest on it.
You can browse the best Mastercard credit card deals using our online tool, and then click through to the card you are interested in.
You will need to fill in a few details online, and then wait to see if you have been approved. Or you can apply by phone, post, or by visiting a branch of your preferred provider. Before you make a formal application you can use our credit card eligibility checker. This will reduce the chances of you being rejected for credit cards and potentially damaging your credit score.
Mastercard has been a debit and credit card provider since 1966. Cards provided by Mastercard are accepted in 36 million locations worldwide.
It was originally founded to compete with VISA cards in the US but has expanded to provide payment cards for banks and card issuers worldwide.
You can see if Mastercard provides your card by looking for its recognisable orange and red 'Venn diagram' logo on your credit or debit card.
Mastercard and Visa are rival payment systems - it's up to banks and other card providers to choose which one to use with their cards.
But both are accepted around the world at most retailers online and in store.
It's possible some shops will accept one and not the other, but it's incredibly rare in practice.
For owners of the cards, the only real difference is the exchange rate charged on foreign purchases.
Traditionally, these have been very similar, but Mastercard has offered a very slightly better rate a little more often than Visa has.
You pay with a Mastercard credit card in the normal way – you present your card to the shop or merchant, and then sign for the goods or service, or put in your personal PIN number to confirm payment.
In the UK you can also use contactless payments for purchases worth up to £100.
Mastercard credit cards are widely accepted around the world, meaning that you can use them both at home and when you travel.
This includes shops, stores, restaurants, online and many other outlets. You can use it instead of carrying cash to pay for goods and services.
When we use the term ‘most popular or ‘popularity’ on Uswitch in reference to credit cards, these cards are ranked by the number of clicks they have received on the site in the past 30 days.
The most clicked on cards are at the top, with the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to Uswitch.com. Consequently, this is a good table to look at if you’re interested in seeing which cards most people think are worth getting.
We compare over 100 credit cards from all of the major banks and credit card providers.
However, we do not compare all the credit cards that are available in the UK.
This is because some credit card providers have offers that are only available exclusively through their own website or branch, or through other comparison websites - in the same way some credit cards are exclusively available through Uswitch.
There are also many credit cards that are only available to people in member organisations and clubs.