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Mastercard credit cards

Compare Mastercard credit cards

Mastercard credit cards are accepted worldwide. Check below to compare Mastercard credit cards in the UK and see if there's one that's right for you.
Compare Mastercard credit cards
Answer a few question simple questions about your self to see our best Mastercard credit cards for you
Capital OneTesco BankSantanderVirgin MoneyM&S BankVirgin AtlanticSainsbury's BankCapital OneTesco BankSantanderVirgin MoneyM&S BankVirgin AtlanticSainsbury's Bank
Last updated
January 09, 2023
43 results found, sorted by popularity.
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Uswitch Limited is a credit broker, not a lender, for consumer credit.
Our services are provided at no cost to you. We may receive a commission from the companies we refer you to, but this does not affect what you will pay for the product you choose.

What is a Mastercard credit card?

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.

Number of Mastercards globally[1]
2,662million

How does Mastercard work

This is what goes on behind the scenes when you pay with a Mastercard
You pay with a Mastercard
You buy goods or services from a merchant.
The payment gets authenticated
The merchant's point-of-sale system records your account information and securely sends it to an 'acquirer' - a merchant bank, licensed by Mastercard, that helps a shop fulfill its obligation to accept Mastercard.
The transaction's submitted
The merchant acquirer asks Mastercard to get authorisation from the customer’s issuing bank.
Authorisation is requested
Mastercard submits the transaction to the organisation that issued your card for authorisation.
Response and merchant payment
Your issuing bank authorises the transaction and routes the response and payment to the merchant’s acquirer. The acquirer deposits the money into the merchant’s account.

What will a credit card cost me?

Why should I choose a Mastercard credit card?

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.

Mastercard credit cards pros and cons

Pros
Mastercard has its own security protection - SecureCode - to protect owners using their card online
Accepted at almost all ATMs and the vast majority of shops online and in store
There are perks like cashback and other rewards with some Mastercard credit cards
Cons
To get the best Mastercard credit cards you'll need an excellent credit score
Credit cards can be an expensive way to borrow money if you don't pay in full each month
Missing or being late with payments could damage your credit score

What is the best Mastercard credit card?

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 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.

If you make a lot of applications for credit it can affect your credit rating, which is a score that banks and financial companies use to decide whether they will give you a credit card."

Compare Mastercard credit card deals
See what's available and check your eligibility before applying with our card finder tool
1
Answer a few simple questions about yourself
2
We match you with the Mastercard credit cards you're most likely to get
3
Your credit score won't be affected by the search
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About Mastercard

Mastercard has been a debit and credit card provider since 1966. Cards provided by Mastercard are accepted in 24 million locations worldwide, making it the most widely received credit card.

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 credit card by looking for its recognisable orange and red 'Venn diagram' logo on your credit or debit card.

Mastercard transactions in 2021[2]
$7.7trillion

Mastercard credit card FAQs

What's the difference between Mastercard and Visa?

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.


How to pay with Mastercard?

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.

Where is Mastercard accepted?

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.

What does 'most popular and ‘popularity’ mean?

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 48 hours.

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.

Does Uswitch compare all the credit cards on the market?

We compare credit 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.

Credit card guides

Find out more about how credit cards work with our in-depth guides
How many credit cards can you have?
How many credit cards can you have?
How to use a credit card
How to use a credit card
What are the differences between credit and debit card?
What are the differences between credit and debit card?

About the author

James Andrews
James has spent the past 20 years writing about and editing personal finance articles and guides in the UK. His driving mission has been to help people make better decisions with their money.
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