Visa or MasterCard
Contrary to what some believe, Visa and MasterCard are both payment systems, not types of credit cards, which rely on banks to issue cards using their payment systems.
There aren't really any significant differences between the two - both are widely accepted and available in more than 150 countries. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to find somewhere where they're not both accepted.
According to the latest figures from Visa, there are currently 445 million Visa debit, credit and commercial cards in circulation. Over the past year, these cards were used to make purchases and cash withdrawals to the tune of €1.7 trillion*. MasterCard currently has 241 million branded credit, charge and debit cards in circulation**.
Visa and MasterCard - how they work
Interest rates, rewards, fees and charges are all issued and set by your lender. When you pay your credit card bill you’re paying your bank, not Visa or MasterCard.
Choosing a credit card
Whenever you're choosing a credit card it's best to take account of the rates offered by your lender. Visa and MasterCard don’t set fees, charges, rewards or the terms and conditions of your contract.
The right card will depend on what's right for you.
*Visa Press Release: Jan 17th 2012
**MasterCard Boiler Plate Feb 2012