Visa vs Mastercard: Which Credit Card Network is Better?
Published: May 6, 2021 | Updated: October 13, 2021 | Posted by: Moneymax | Credit Card
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.
Table of Contents
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:
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.
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
- 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 Card||Card Type||Annual Fee||Monthly Income Requirement|
|RCBC Visa Infinite||Infinite||₱3,600||₱300,000|
|Eastwest Priority Visa Infinite||Infinite||Free||₱208,333|
|BPI Visa Signature||Signature||₱5,500||₱80,000|
|Metrobank Travel Platinum Visa||Platinum||₱5,000||₱66,667|
|HSBC Platinum Visa||Platinum||₱5,000||₱41,667|
|RCBC Bankard Flex Gold Visa||Gold||₱3,000||₱50,000|
|UnionBank Gold Visa||Gold||₱2,500||₱30,000|
|Maybank Visa Classic||Classic||₱1,500||₱21,667|
|PNB Visa Classic||Classic||₱300||₱10,000|
- 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 comparing the difference between Visa and Mastercard, always consider the online protection that 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.
Comparing the Difference Between Visa and 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 Benefits||Visa Classic||Visa Gold||Visa Platinum||Visa Signature||Visa Infinite|
|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||Standard Mastercard||Gold Mastercard||Titanium Mastercard||Platinum Mastercard||World Mastercard||World 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.
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.
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.
-  Mastercard Global Services
-  Visa Global Customer Assistance Services
-  Mastercard Zero Liability Protection
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