MasterCard is the name of an American financial services company which provides branded payment products for credit card issuers like banks or other companies. MasterCard is one of the leading payment systems companies globally for credit and debit cards, the other notable companies being Visa and American Express. All these companies work in generally the same way.
What is a credit card?
But first, what exactly is a credit card? A credit card is a small piece of plastic that allows you to pay for goods and services by “borrowing” money for free from your credit card issuer. Your card contains details of your account. When you buy a product in a store using your card, the merchant (the shop) gets an electronic message authorizing the transaction if you are within your credit limit.
All credit cards carry the logo of one of these companies and it could be natural to assume that it is MasterCard or Visa that issues the card. However, this is not so. MasterCard (and the other mentioned companies) simply facilitates payments between the individual customer, the merchant (shop) and your credit card issuer. MasterCard provides the payment system that allows you to buy on credit and pay your bills later.
Advantages of a MasterCard credit card
The advantage of having a MasterCard card is that it is accepted the world over and in millions of retail shops and online stores. Even if you travel abroad, there is no problem with using your card to make purchases. You can also use your card to withdraw cash from an ATM. However, this could come with charges that can be especially heavy if you are abroad, so it is wise to be careful when using your credit card for this purpose.
There is no significant difference between the various companies like Visa, Master Card or American Express. It is important to choose which credit card provider offers you a card that suits your needs and requirements. Several banks offer detailed information online on the cards and their benefits and rewards. It is worthwhile to spend some time researching all the cards and their terms and conditions. The most important features to look at are the interest rate charged on the balance, the various fees charged and the rewards or benefits plans.
Getting a credit card will make paying for your purchases easier and more convenient. All you need is some discipline in terms of making your credit card payments in time.