What are the main differences between Visa and Mastercard?

What are the main differences between Visa and Mastercard? image

Experienced travellers know that when travelling abroad it is much more convenient to use a credit card than to carry cash.

 The benefits of the card are obvious: there is no need to look for exchange points and carry a large amount of currency, you do not need to declare it at customs, you can use the credit card to pay for any goods and services. There is only one question: which payment system is preferable - Visa or MasterCard. So, what are the main differences between Visa and Mastercard?

These cards have long vied for the right to be in charge during a trip abroad. However, if you ask the bank employees which one is better, it is impossible to get a definite answer. Therefore, when choosing between Visa and MasterCard, first of all, you need to pay attention to the terms and bonuses that the issuing bank offers to card users.

Are there any problems with payment terminals abroad?

When comparing these 2 payment systems by such indicators as market share and the number of terminals, it turns out that Visa is in the lead. However, this does not mean that during the trip you will have any problems with MasterCard. As a rule, most payment terminals claim support for both systems.

What is the difference between Visa and MasterCard?

Many people believe that Visa is an American payment system, and MasterCard is European. This is not true. Visa headquarter is situated in the USA. However, MasterCard is also headquartered in America. But both payment systems have long spread throughout the world and gained international status.

It is important to know that the main currency for Visa is the US dollar. And this means that any conversion rate is also based on the dollar. Therefore, for example, in the USA it is better to use Visa since in most cases there will be fewer conversions.

For MasterCard in banking operations, both dollars and euros can be the base currency. Therefore, when travelling in Europe it is better to use a MasterCard. Conversion can be carried out both basing on euro or US dollar. This is the difference between the cards that you need to know about.

The concept of a correspondent account

Banks, as well as legal entities or individuals, need different accounts for various operations. For this, many banks sign correspondent agreements. They serve as a guarantee of the safety of their funds. Simultaneously with the signing of the contract and the issuance of cards under the brand of the payment system, banks open correspondent accounts. At its core, it is a bank account.   For operations in the MasterCard system, euro accounts are most often used. For Visa system - American dollars accounts. Therefore, it is believed that MasterCard more often works with the euro and Visa - with dollars.


Be careful about your expenses. When using a card for payment, do not forget about possible conversions and that the value of your purchases may be higher than you expected.
Before you get a card for travelling abroad, ask if there is an additional commission in the bank when making payments abroad.

With a large commission, each operation will cost more. You should also keep in mind the exchange rate of your bank. A commission amount of more than 1% is considered as high and you should consider another bank. When travelling in Europe, the card currency is preferable to be euro and it is better to use MasterCard. In the USA - Dollars and Visa cards. So you can reduce your conversion costs.


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