Visa vs Mastercard: Which Credit Card Brand is Better?
Choosing between Visa and Mastercard? It’s tough to take a pick from these two leading credit card brands because of their many similarities and a few subtle differences.
But before we compare Visa vs Mastercard, let’s set the record straight. They don’t issue credit cards—banks do. These companies process credit card and debit card payments between merchants and banks. Visa and Mastercard may offer some perks and benefits, but they have nothing to do with the interest rates, annual fees, rewards, and other credit card features.
Now here’s what you need to know about the two most widely accepted credit card brands in the Philippines and abroad.
Table of Contents
- Visa vs Mastercard: What Do They Have in Common?
- Visa vs Mastercard: What’s the Difference?
- Visa vs Mastercard: Final Thoughts
Visa vs Mastercard: What Do They Have in Common?
Visa and Mastercard have a lot more similarities than differences. Here are the most notable features that both credit card networks offer:
Worldwide Merchant Acceptance
Millions of merchants in over 200 countries worldwide accept both credit card brands. Whether your card is a Visa or Mastercard, you can use it to pay in just about every establishment in the Philippines and abroad that accepts credit cards. 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. accept only Visa cards.
Mastercard and Visa cards are contactless-enabled, meaning they allow payments by tapping a 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
- 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
- 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
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 choosing Visa vs Mastercard always consider online protection–go for the one that best works for you.
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 or Visa Global Customer Assistance Services) that allows replacing your card and making an emergency cash advance.
Visa vs Mastercard: What’s the Difference?
For average consumers, 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 Benefits
|Visa Global Customer Assistance Services||✓||✓||✓||✓||✓|
|Exclusive offers and promos||✓||✓||✓||✓|
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
Mastercard Features and Benefits
Features and Benefits
|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.
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.
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.
Visa vs Mastercard: Final Thoughts
In the Philippines, there’s no clear winner when it comes to the Visa vs Mastercard debate. None is superior over the other. The better credit card brand depends on the kind of benefits or services you want to get.
In short, it doesn’t matter if you get a Visa or a Mastercard. What matters more is the bank that issues the credit card, as it sets the credit card features that affect the cardholder’s 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. To easily compare credit cards in the Philippines, use the free online credit card comparison tool here at Moneymax.
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