World leading banks offer cards under Visa and MasterCard payment systems.  They may envisage various bonus options: for travelers, fans of football, car owners.  Anyway, for many question of what international brand is better and why is a confusing one since the differences between them are not obvious.

However, why don’t you learn about this? Firstly, you need to understand a notion of a payment system. This is a service for transferring electronic money, carried out according to a set of rules and by the means of software and hardware.

Global & Powerful

Visa and Mastercard are global players: they are both very famous and widespread. Both of them allow you to withdraw cash at ATMs, as well as pay for purchases and services at regular retail outlets and on the Internet.

On the territory of many countries the use of both these cards is equal: you can pay either with Visa, or with MasterCard. But origins of these two systems are different. And when you go abroad, this factor should be taken into account:

  • Visa comes from the USA. To date, this American payment instrument, founded in 1970, operates in about 200 countries around the world. Without exaggeration, this system is proven market leader and “owns”  up to 30% of all bank cards in the world. The main currency for Visa is dollars. That is why it is better to use the Visa card in the US – in this case the conversion rate will be more profitable.

  • MasterCard headquarter is also located in the US. But this system has another base currency of operations – Euro. Therefore, when going to Europe, it is better to take a MasterCard card with you. This card brand is represented in nearly 210 countries, but it occupies still slightly less than 16% of all bank cards that carry its logo. However, in recent years, this gap has begun to decline.

Classic cards of both brands have  low service fee and wide functionality. Visa offers customers Visa Classic and Visa Business cards while its rival introduces MasterCard Standard. Such cards allow you to withdraw cash from ATMs, pay for goods and services through payment terminals in retail outlets, and also make purchases in online stores. But  the difference is that when paying for purchases on the Internet, the Visa uses CVV2 code, while its main competitor uses CVC2.











Service and Promo

Traditionally, Visa envisages more favorable service terms for its cardholders. And its clients can participate in various promo campaigns such as interest refunds, discounts and receive some other pleasant bonuses. But if MasterCard offers better options this time, why don’t to choose it?



Both payment systems are very reliable. The only thing that is really worth paying attention to is the conversion of currencies. If you are going to use a plastic card in Europe, the best option is MasterCard. If you go to the USA or Latin America, take a Visa one.

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