What to know about Mastercard credit cards | finder.com
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Mastercard credit cards

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Take advantage of swiping anywhere and exclusive perks with a Mastercard credit card.

Mastercard, a third party payment processor, is a common credit card option from a large number of credit card issuers. It is not very different from its main competitor, Visa, given that credit cards with either logo find acceptance in most countries around the world.

The kind of Mastercard that is right for you depends on your particular requirements. Keep in mind, you should always pay attention to the interest and fees as they could vary for each Mastercard product depending on the features the card has.

Compare Mastercards

Updated August 20th, 2018
Name Product APR for Purchases (Purchase Rate) Intro APR for Balance Transfer Annual Fee
14.24% variable
20.24% variable
10.24% variable
17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 billing cycles (then 17.74%, 21.74% or 24.74% variable)
Enjoy 60,000 bonus miles after you spend $5,000 on purchases in the first 90 days - that's enough to redeem for a $600 travel statement credit toward a qualifying travel purchase
14.74% to 24.74% variable
20,000 bonus points offer. That's enough points to redeem for a trip to many of our over 500 destinations.
24.99% variable
Take control and build your credit with responsible use.
17.74% to 24.74% variable
0% for the first 12 statement closing dates following the opening of your account (then 17.74% to 24.74% variable)
Earn 15,000 Bonus Points - equal to $150 off your next Allegiant trip, after you make $1,000 or more in purchases within the first 90 days
A great alternative to a checking account!
17.74% to 25.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($95 thereafter)
Earn 70,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
17.74% to 25.74% variable
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 50,000 AAdvantage® bonus miles after you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months.
From 22.49% variable
Earn 16,000 bonus points after your first purchase and 16,000 bonus points on your first stay.
17.49% to 25.49% variable
Earn 50,000 American Airlines AAdvantage® bonus miles after making $5,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening.
13.74% variable
0% for the first 12 billing cycles (then 13.74% variable)
A low, variable APR on purchases, balance transfers and cash advances.

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What are the benefits of using a Mastercard?

  • Global acceptance

Mastercard is accepted in hundreds of countries and millions of locations around the world. You can use your Mastercard wherever the Mastercard symbol is displayed, including at ATMs, credit card readers in local shops, restaurants and online.

  • Mastercard PayPass

Just about all newly issued Mastercard credit cards make use of this technology that enables cardholders to make contactless payments for purchases under $100.

  • Emergency Services

You can contact Mastercard’s customer service team at 1-800-627-8372 to help you with the reporting of lost or stolen cards and it can provide emergency replacement cards and cash advances. It can also help you find the nearest Mastercard ATM and it provide information related to your account.

  • World Mastercard

With World Mastercard, cardholders can take advantage of wine privileges at participating restaurants, complimentary meals at partnered hotels, plus exclusive dining and traveling experiences.

  • Mastercard Priceless Cities

Mastercard Priceless Cities offers cardholders access to a variety of unique and exclusive experiences ranging from dining, shopping, entertainment, traveling and golfing.

  • Currency conversion

When you use your Mastercard overseas, you don’t have to worry about making confusing currency conversion calculations because it pays the merchant in the local currency and bills you in USD.

What are the features of a Mastercard credit card?

  • Easy access to funds.
    While you can use your Mastercard to make in-store, online, and over the phone purchases, you can also use it for cash advances at ATMs and supporting financial institutions.
  • Mastercard SecureCode.
    This online program provides additional security when your credit card details make it to the online marketplace, minimizing the possibility of unauthorized usage.
  • Zero Liability.
    Mastercard’s Zero Liability policy protects cardholders from unauthorized and fraudulent charges made using their cards.

How can I compare Mastercard credit cards?

  • Fees.
    The fees you end up paying depend on the credit card issuer you choose to go with as well as the card you get. A basic no-frills Mastercard might require you to pay little or no annual fees compared to a gold or platinum Mastercard that may have a higher annual fee.
  • Interest rate offers.
    Compare Mastercard products based on any promotional interest rates that can help you cut costs with either 0% purchase or balance transfer offers.
  • Credit card issuer.
    As they determine many of the features and fees that come with the card, it’s important to consider which company will issue the card when comparing your options.
  • Rewards.
    You can find several Mastercard credit cards linked to various rewards and frequent flyer programs. This is something you should consider if you’re looking to earn points as you spend.
  • Complimentary insurance.
    Some Mastercard products offer complimentary insurance including extended warranties, price protection, Mastercard ID Theft Protection, global services, travel protection and more.

History of Mastercard

Mastercard began operations in the late 1940s, at a time when a number of American banks gave their customers specially issued paper that they could use in the form of cash at local establishments. Mastercard issued its first batch of credit cards in California, to serve as direct competition to the Bank of America card that later went on to become Visa.

With time, a number of franchises evolved in several cities and in 1966, one such group formed the Interbank Card Association (ICA). No single bank dominated the running of this organization and member committees came into effect for this very purpose. ICA went on to become Mastercard in 1979.

Frequently asked questions

Kyle Morgan

Kyle Morgan is a writer and editor for finder.com who has worked for the USA Today network and Relix magazine, among other publications. He can be found writing about everything from the latest car loan stats to tips on saving money when traveling overseas. He lives in Asbury Park, where he loves exploring new places and sipping on hoppy beer. Oh, and he doesn't discriminate against buffalo wings — grilled or fried are just fine.

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Important Information*
Deserve® Classic Card
Deserve® Classic Card



Annual fee

0 For the first year
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Luxury Card Mastercard® Gold Card™



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995 For the first year
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First Access Visa Card®



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75 For the first year
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Indigo® Platinum Mastercard® Credit Card



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