You might be surprised to know that neither Visa nor MasterCard issue credit cards themselves. They only work as payment processing platforms. It is the banks that issue these cards that are responsible for promotional offers and setting the interest rates. In other words, Visa and MasterCard have very little to do with the credit card rewards you qualify for.
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Still, is one better than the other?
While both Visa and MasterCard don’t deal with rewards, they do deliver in other perks. Keep in mind; credit card networks make money every time you swipe their cards. They will try to outbid each other by providing extra benefits. When it comes to rewards both networks have more similarities than differences. However, there are some aspects that differentiate one from the other. Here is how the two compare:
Visa offers two levels of benefits –
- Base Level
- Visa Signature
Most of Visa’s base level benefits include extended purchase warranties, damage covers for auto rental collisions and emergency assistance to name a few. Signature cards on the other hand offer all of this as well as additional benefits such as an online portal that allows holders to use travel protection and special discounts. In addition, Visa also covers accidental death and dismemberment as well.
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MasterCard offers holders three levels of benefits –
- World Elite
The benefits offered in the base package are similar to those offered by Visa such as auto rental collision insurance, emergency travel assistance and extended warranties. But that is where the similarities end. Unlike Visa, MasterCard also offers price protection and trip cancelation insurance. Here is how the former works. Let’s say that you buy an expensive item such as the latest Smartphone with your credit card. The price is reduced within 60 days. Your MasterCard provider will agree to cover the difference.
Other credit card networks such as American Express also come with their own set of benefits. However, they hardly offer the same coverage and are also likely to be declined for certain transactions. In the end, personal preferences and requirements ultimately determine the credit card network that you choose.
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Our final advice is to always check with the bank who issues you the card. If you are really concerned about price protection, double check that your card issuer honors it, and learn the terms. Never assume one MasterCard or Visa card is equal to another. When in doubt, ask more questions.
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