The Amazon.com Credit Card is a Visa, not a Mastercard. You can use your Amazon.com Credit Card at nearly 11 million merchants that accept Visa nationwide, and you can use it abroad in more than 200 countries and territories.
There are a few differences between Visa and Mastercard credit cards, such as the network-level benefits they offer, but those differences are relatively small. The two card networks have a lot in common, including extensive worldwide acceptance. As a result, it’s more worthwhile to compare individual credit card offers than to focus on getting a card from a particular network.
You can use the Amazon.com Credit Card anywhere Visa is accepted, which is virtually everywhere domestically and in over 200 countries around the world.
The Amazon.com Store Card can only be used to make purchases on Amazon.com and through select “Pay with Amazon” merchants. You can learn more from WalletHub's in-depth Amazon.com Store Card … read full answerreview.
Major credit cards are any cards that belong to one of the big four credit card networks: Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover. That’s what stores mean by “we accept all major credit cards.” A major credit card will almost always show the logo of its network on the front. In some cases it’ll be on the back. If a card doesn’t have such a logo, it’s likely a … read full answerstore card that can only be used at a specific retailer.
Some major credit cards can also be considered more “major” than others, depending on the issuer. The 15 largest credit card companies account for more than 75% of all outstanding balances. So a Visa, Mastercard, American Express or Discover card from one of those companies, like Chase or Capital One, might fit the description of a major credit card best.
There are dozens of other banks and credit unions that issue credit cards, but their products are less popular. Major credit cards from the top issuers are the product of large-scale operations, after all. And they often provide perks to match, from better rates, rewards and fees to an easy-to-use website and free mobile app.
Here’s what you need to know about major credit cards:
Major credit cards are those on the Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover networks.
You can usually see the logo of your credit card network on the front of your card. Sometimes it is on the back. If there is no logo, you likely have a store card that only works at a specific retailer.
Most U.S. merchants accept all major credit cards. But American Express lags behind the others by about 1 million locations.
Visa and Mastercard are accepted virtually everywhere in the world. Discover cards work in 185 countries and territories. American Express cards work in 160+. Discover and Amex aren’t necessarily widely accepted in all the countries that take them, either.
American Express and Discover issue credit cards, in addition to serving as card networks. Visa and Mastercard do not.
Chase, Bank of America, Capital One, Citi, Wells Fargo and U.S. Bank are among the other major credit card issuers.
When picking a major credit card to use, it’s easy to narrow your search down. If you don’t plan to travel much, any network will do. But if you’re going to use your card abroad a lot, Visa and Mastercard are the safest bets.
By the way, it’s worth noting that Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover aren’t the world’s only major credit card networks. There’s also the likes of India’s RuPay and China’s UnionPay, for example.
American Express is often better than Visa and Mastercard for use in the U.S. by people with good or excellent credit who pay their bill in full monthly and redeem rewards for domestic travel or cash, depending on the Amex. But Visa and Mastercard are better than American Express when it comes to card acceptance and card variety.… read full answer
Credit cards on any of these card networks could deserve a spot in your wallet, though, depending on your creditworthiness and spending habits. As three of the four largest credit card networks in the United States, Visa, Mastercard and American Express are really quite similar.
One big difference, however, is that Amex is both a card issuer and a network, while Visa and Mastercard are strictly card networks. As a result, cardholders borrow money directly from American Express when they make purchases with an Amex-issued credit card, while people paying with Visa or Mastercard credit cards borrow money from a bank or a credit union. More than 300 different banks and credit unions issue credit cards on the Visa or Mastercard network. Cardholders also earn rewards directly from American Express, which is not the case with Visa or Mastercard.
Still, Visa and Mastercard are accepted by international merchants much more often than American Express. Amex credit card applicants also need good credit or better for approval, whereas applicants of any credit level can find a suitable Visa or Mastercard credit card.
Visa vs. Mastercard vs. American Express
10.6 million locations
10.7 million locations
10.7 million locations
160+ countries & territories
200+ countries & territories
210+ countries & territories
Credit Cards for Good/Excellent Credit?
Credit Cards for Below-Average Credit?
Despite these differences, American Express, Visa, and Mastercard all offer similar basic benefits, like $0 fraud liability and emergency card replacement. More advanced perks are often available, too, but those usually depend on the network tier of your credit card rather than the network itself. Visa and Mastercard both have three levels of credit card benefits, while Amex doesn’t officially have tiers but generally offers better benefits for cards with higher annual fees.
American Express can be better than Visa and Mastercard for cardholders who spend heavily, have good credit or better, plan to pay their monthly bills in full, and are able to justify paying any annual fees by earning more than enough in rewards. But an Amex probably shouldn’t be the only card in your wallet, especially if you like to travel internationally.
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