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Visa vs Mastercard: Which Credit Card Network is Better?

Moneymax Editorial Team

Moneymax Editorial Team

Last updated June 07, 2022

During the credit card comparison phase of your credit card journey, you've probably encountered cards that have either the Visa or Mastercard logo in them. Ever wondered what's the difference between Visa and Mastercard? Will it affect your choice if one card payment network is somehow better than the other?

But wait, what exactly is a card payment network? On a nutshell, credit and debit cards work because card payment networks like Mastercard and Visa provide the systems that process all the card transactions between merchants and banks. They instead partner with financial institutions like banks to distribute the cards to potential clients.

And because they're not the ones issuing the cards, they are not in charge of setting the interest rates, annual fees, and other credit card features. But Visa and Mastercard do offer perks and benefits that are exclusive to each of them. Here are the things you need to know about two of the largest card payment networks in the world.

Comparing the Similarities with Visa and Mastercard

Mastercard and Visa have a lot more similarities than differences. Here are the most notable features that both credit card networks offer:

Worldwide Acceptance

visa vs mastercard
Photo by Dan Keck via Flickr, Creative Commons

Millions of merchants in over 200 countries worldwide accept both credit card networks. Whether your card is a Visa or Mastercard, you can use it to pay in just about every establishment that accepts credit cards here and abroad. Most places that take Visa also take Mastercard, and vice versa.

This is a huge advantage of Visa and Mastercard over other credit card networks such as American Express and JCB, whose merchant acceptance is lower. However, there are a few exceptions. For example, taxi drivers in Singapore don't accept Visa credit cards, while Costco stores in the U.S. only accept Visa cards. But since you're in the Philippines, you're good to go.

Contactless Payments

When it comes to contactless payments, there's no difference between Visa and Mastercard. All of their cards are equipped with contactless payment technology that allows payment by tapping the card over a compatible point-of-sale terminal instead of swiping or inserting it. This feature lets customers pay conveniently and safely for their daily purchases.

Basic and Premium Cards

Visa and Mastercard have their respective card types that range from basic to premium. Basic cards come with the standard, no-frills features while premium cards offer additional benefits and exclusive offers.

Visa Card Types

difference between visa and mastercard
  • Classic - Visa's basic card type
  • Gold - Higher credit limit than Visa Classic
  • Platinum - More rewards and privileges than the Classic and Gold cards
  • Signature - Higher credit limit, higher level of rewards, priority services, and exclusive privileges for top-tier clients
  • Infinite - Highest credit limit and personalized privileges, services, and rewards for premium clients
Credit CardCard TypeAnnual FeeMonthly Income Requirement
RCBC Visa Infinite

RCBC Bankard Visa Infinite

Apply Now RCBC Visa Infinite
Eastwest Priority Visa Infinite

EastWest Priority Visa Infinite

BPI Visa Signature

Best Travel Credit Cards - BPI Signature Visa

Metrobank Travel Platinum Visa

RCBC Bankard Visa Platinum

HSBC Platinum Visa

HSBC Platinum Visa

Apply Now HSBC Platinum Visa
RCBC Bankard Flex Gold Visa

RCBC Flex Gold Visa

Learn More RCBC Flex Gold
UnionBank Gold Visa

UnionBank Cebu Pacific GetGo

Apply Now Unionbank Gold Visa
Maybank Visa Classic

Learn More Maybank Visa Classic
PNB Visa Classic

PNB Classic Visa


Mastercard Types

difference between visa and mastercard
  • Standard - Mastercard's basic card type that's ideal for everyday purchases
  • Gold - Similar to the Standard Mastercard but comes with exclusive offers
  • Titanium - Travel and lifestyle benefits for premium cardholders
  • Platinum - Same features with the Titanium card
  • World - Travel-specific features and benefits for frequent international travelers
  • World Elite - Personalized services for jet-setting cardholders
Credit CardCard TypeAnnual FeeMonthly Income Requirement
Metrobank World Mastercard

Metrobank World Mastercard

AUB Platinum Mastercard

AUB Platinum Mastercard

UnionBank Platinum Mastercard

UnionBank Platinum Mastercard

Apply Now UnionBank Platinum Mastercard
EastWest Dolce Vita Titanium Mastercard
EastWest Dolce Vita Titanium Mastercard
AUB Gold Mastercard

AUB Gold Mastercard

Learn More AUB Gold Mastercard
Security Bank Gold Mastercard

Security Bank Gold Rewards Mastercard

Maybank Standard Mastercard

Maybank Standard Mastercard


Online Shopping Protection

Visa and Mastercard protect cardholders from credit card fraud through their respective online shopping security feature.

Verified by Visa prevents unauthorized transactions using a Visa card. A password or code is sent via text message to the cardholder, which is then used to verify an online transaction.

Mastercard's SecureCode works the same way. It requires inputting a one-time PIN (sent via text message to the cardholder) to verify that the online transaction is legitimate. When comparing the difference between Visa and Mastercard, always consider the online protection that works for you.

Read more: 8 Best Credit Cards for Online Shopping in the Philippines

Global Customer Assistance Services

When your Mastercard or Visa card is lost or stolen while traveling abroad, you can avail of a 24/7 worldwide service (Mastercard Global Services[1] or Visa Global Customer Assistance Services[2] that allows replacing your card and making an emergency cash advance.

Comparing the Difference Between Visa and Mastercard

which is better visa or mastercard

For the average consumer, Visa and Mastercard don't differ much. Their differences matter only if you're looking for a particular benefit in a credit card or debit card.

Features and Benefits per Card Type

Visa Features and Benefits

Features and BenefitsVisa ClassicVisa GoldVisa PlatinumVisa SignatureVisa Infinite
Visa Global Customer Assistance Services
Exclusive offers and promos
24/7 Concierge

The Visa Global Customer Assistance Services is a standard feature on all Visa card types in the Philippines. Except for Visa Classic, all Visa cards also come with exclusive perks on travel, shopping, dining, lifestyle, and golf.

For premium cardholders, Visa offers 24/7 concierge services that save time by handling any of the following tasks:

  • Flight/Hotel/Restaurant/Car rental reservations
  • Trip planning
  • Event ticket purchases
  • Other general requests

Read more: 12 Best Air Miles Credit Cards for Cheaper Travel in the New Normal

Mastercard Features and Benefits

Features and BenefitsStandard MastercardGold MastercardTitanium MastercardPlatinum MastercardWorld MastercardWorld Mastercard
Zero Liability Protection
Mastercard Global Services
Exclusive offers and promos
Exclusive offers and promos

Like Visa, Mastercard provides global customer assistance services on all its card types. But it offers one great feature that's lacking in Visa cards: the Zero Liability Protection. Mastercard cardholders won't be charged for unauthorized purchases made in-store, online, via phone, or via an ATM as long as they meet certain conditions[3].

Premium cardholders enjoy travel and lifestyle perks, including flight and hotel discounts. Affluent clients with a World Elite Mastercard get more exclusive privileges such as free access to over 1,000 airport lounges and Wi-Fi at over one million hotspots worldwide.

Concierge services are available only to World and World Elite Mastercard cardholders.

Read more: Air Miles, Travel Insurance, and More: Best Travel Credit Cards in the Philippines

Issuing Banks

Most banks in the Philippines offer a mix of Visa and Mastercard credit cards in their lineup. However, some banks partner with either Visa or Mastercard only. If you want a credit card from a particular bank, your choices may be limited to what network it's partnering with.

For example, Citibank issues Visa credit cards only, while AUB and Security Bank offer only Mastercard-branded cards.

Read more: Take Your Pick: 22 Credit Cards in the Philippines with the Best Features and Benefits

Final Thoughts

Which is better: Visa or Mastercard? In the Philippines, there's simply no clear winner. None is superior over the other. The better credit card network depends on the kind of benefits or services you want to get.

In short, the difference between Visa and Mastercard doesn't matter. What matters more is the bank that issues the credit card, as it sets the credit card features that will affect your finances.

Rather than compare Visa vs. Mastercard, focus your search on the rewards, interest rates, annual fees, and other benefits you need most from a credit card.

Shopping? Travel? Groceries? Find the right credit card for you


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The Moneymax Editorial Team consists of talented and experienced writers, editors, investors, and subject matter experts on a mission to help Filipinos build healthier financial lives. Browse the Moneymax blog for information and advice on credit cards, loans, insurance, investments, and other personal finance topics. For more financial news and articles, follow Moneymax on LinkedIn.