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.
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 £45 on their cards. Since 2014 MasterCard has provided payment through Apple’s iPhones and other products.
What is a MasterCard?
A MasterCard credit card works in the same way as other credit cards. You make purchases on the card and then pay off the balance or roll it over until the next month.
The MasterCard business is one of the four largest payment networks in the world. Many MasterCard credit cards are branded with other companies to provide a card service, so your MasterCard credit card may be paired up with a bank, supermarket or other organisations.
If your card has a MasterCard sign on it, it means that it uses the MasterCard network to process payments. A MasterCard may be a credit, debit, or prepaid card.
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.
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 and many other outlets. You can use it instead of carrying cash to pay for goods and services.
Pros and Cons
Pros to using a MasterCard
There are many benefits to using a MasterCard credit card. Credit cards enable you to buy an expensive item and spread the cost over several months.
They are safer than carrying cash and necessary if you are wanting to shop online.
Depending on the type of MasterCard credit card you choose, you may benefit from rewards and perks. Many credit cards, including MasterCard credit cards, give cashback, free cinema tickets, travel and gadget insurance and benefits like AirMiles or frequent flyer miles.
They are useful if you need to make a purchase quickly, for example in an emergency, and you can use them instead of carrying holiday currency.
Another advantage of a MasterCard credit card is that you can build up a good credit history, which might mean you get a better deal on a mobile phone contract, mortgage, or other form of personal credit.
Are there any cons?
As with any credit card, you need to have a plan to pay off the balance of the card. Some cards give you a long interest free period, while others require you to pay off a minimum sum each month.
Apply for a MasterCard
Our comparison tool lists many of the MasterCard credit cards available on the market.
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.
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.
How do I get a MasterCard credit card?
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
Cards are ranked by the number of clicks they get on the site in the past 48 hours.
The most clicked on cards are at the top, the least at the bottom. This reflects how popular they are with visitors to Uswitch.com.
Does Uswitch compare all the credit cards on the market?
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.
What does it mean if a card is listed as an 'advertisement' or 'promotion'?
We sometimes receive payment from card providers to display their cards in prominent locations.
These are adverts and are designed to be distinct and separate from the other cards on our comparison tables. We hope this makes it clear which cards are top-of-table deals and which cards are paid for promotions.
What does 'most popular' mean?
When we use the term ‘most popular’ 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.