MasterCard has a very unique place in the banking and financial industry because the company is not the actual issuer of its services. Instead, MasterCard is more of a third party that helps banks or credit unions provide services to members. As a company, MasterCard is always innovating and working to improve the technologies offered. Over its fifty-year history, that spirit of improvement has led to some of today’s most commonly used services, like Master Pass. Many banks and other financial institutions have trusted MasterCard to provide quality credit cards and services to help the members to have the best experience possible.

Rank Chart
APR
Reward Options
Our Score
#1
0 - 23.24%
Yes
7.5
#2
0 - 26.24%
Yes
7.1
#3
6.99 - 10.5%
Yes
6.7
#91
mastercard-id-protection
8.25 - 25.0%
Yes
2.9

The Good

  • Large selection of cards
  • Rewards programs
  • Mobile payment options

Large Selection of Cards

MasterCard’s unique place in the financial industry as a provider and not an actual issuer allows it to offer a very wide selection of options. There are several credit cards available through MasterCard, which is a great benefit to potential MasterCard customers as most financial institutions only offer two to four credit card options. With all of these options, customers can find the card that will fit their needs best and then find a financial institution that offers that specific card.

Rewards Programs

The credit cards offered by MasterCard come in a very wide selection of options. One way that issuers and customers can customize the experience that they have with their credit cards is through the rewards programs. Since there are so many different card options, customers can choose what they want out of a rewards program. Available rewards include cash back, merchandise, travel miles, hotel vouchers, and more. There are also cards that have fixed reward earning categories and others that allow the customer to earn points through any purchase.

Mobile Payment Options

A popular new form of technology throughout the financial industry is digital wallet service, which is when the customer does not have to have their credit card physically present with them at the time of purchase. Instead, they can use their mobile device loaded with all of the credit card information and software necessary to make purchases. MasterCard has taken part in this innovation and offers several digital wallet solutions to its customers. Customers can use Apple Pay, Android Pay, Microsoft Pay, or Samsung Pay in conjunction with their MasterCard credit card. The company has also developed several security measures to make this new technology even more safe and convenient to use.

The Bad

  • Issuers
  • Consistency

Issuers

The main issue that customers will face when trying to obtain a credit card through MasterCard is that the company is not actually a credit card issuer. This means that customers cannot obtain a card through MasterCard but have to go through a separate third party financial institution, whether it be a major bank or a credit union. MasterCard only offers its credit cards to those institutions, who then offer them to customers. This can create problems if a customer is a member of a credit union that does not subscribe to MasterCard credit cards because they will either have to settle for a different card or become a member of a different institution, which can be a hassle.

Consistency

Since MasterCard credit cards are offered all across the globe by a wide variety of carriers, there is little consistency in the services offered. MasterCard has set services and products that are offered through the company itself that cannot be changed by the provider. However, the exact terms and policies used in conjunction with these credit cards are different depending on who the issuer is for the specific card. Each company does things a little differently, making it difficult for customers to keep up with how their MasterCard credit card is to be used.

The Bottom Line

Since MasterCard is not hindered by the typical limitations of a financial institution, the company can offer an even wider selection of card options. The company’s rewards programs, security features, rates, and other features span a wide range that will fit most customers’ needs in some way or another. However, the downside to MasterCard credit cards is that they are issued by a variety of other financial institutions, so customers will either be limited to the card that their bank or credit union offers or they will have to become a member of the institution that does offer the card they want.

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