Mastercard is not accepted at retail chains that have an exclusive agreement with another card network. For example, Costco accepts Mastercard only for online purchases. Mastercard credit cards also can’t be used to pay a credit card bill, but no credit cards can be used for that. Most of the cases in which you won’t be able to use a Mastercard will happen when you buy from someone who doesn’t take credit cards at all.
Outside of those exceptions, you can use Mastercards globally, in over 210 countries and territories. And millions of merchants within those countries take them.
Here’s where Mastercard is not accepted:
Merchants who don’t take credit cards. Small businesses may not always want to bother with the fees they get charged for accepting credit cards, so you’ll probably run into some cash-only merchants at some point. In addition, you might not be able to use your credit card at certain events, like a food stall at your local fair, for instance.
Merchants with exclusive deals. Sometimes, a merchant will give its business to only one credit card network. Costco is a good example. They used to only accept American Express cards, and now they only accept Visa cards. But you won’t find a lot of places that accept credit cards and exclude Mastercard.
Certain virtual purchases. Some purchases can only be completed using virtual currency (e.g. bitcoin).
Monthly credit card bills. You can’t use any credit card, whether from Mastercard or another network, to pay another credit card’s bill on a monthly basis. But you can transfer a balance from one card to another, just not regularly. And that usually makes sense only if you’re opening a new account with a 0% introductory balance transfer APR.
So, if you’re able to use credit cards at a merchant, it’s almost guaranteed they’ll take your Mastercard. But in case they don’t, it helps to have some cash on you or a backup credit card from another network.
Only in smaller shops, that don't take cards, or ones with specific partnerships. Visa and Mastercard are the biggest networks on the planet, so you'll have to look hard to find a place that doesn't take them.
Mastercard is accepted almost everywhere you can use a credit card or debit card. Millions of merchants in more than 210 countries and territories take Mastercard. And that includes more than 10.5 million retailers in the U.S. alone. For context, fewer than 8 million people live in the nine smallest U.S. states combined. Furthermore, Visa is accepted in just over 200 countries and territories, while American Express and Discover lag well behind.… read full answer
Here’s where Mastercard isn’t accepted:
But Mastercard isn’t accepted everywhere that you may find yourself spending money. Some stores and other merchants (like vendors at a local fair, for example) might only take cash. Transactions at some websites, or between you and other individuals, may require using electronic currency though outlets like PayPal, Venmo, or Bitcoin.
It’s impossible to give an exhaustive list of every place that does or does not accept Mastercard. But those that accept only non-Mastercard plastic are extremely rare. For example, Costco only accepts Mastercards for online purchases. On the other hand, Sam’s Club used to only take Discover, but now they accept cards from all four major networks.
Finally, it’s also important to note that more than 25,000 different financial institutions issue Mastercard credit cards and debit cards. That’s because Mastercard is a card network, not a card issuer. In other words, it dictates where your card will be accepted and what secondary benefits – rental car insurance, for example – you may receive.
Yes, Mastercard is widely accepted in Europe. You’ll be able to use your card in all European countries, at virtually every merchant that takes credit cards. Mastercard enjoys acceptance just about everywhere in the world, as does the Visa network.
Aside from merchants who don’t take credit cards, you may run into a few isolated businesses that don’t take your card. Some merchants may have exclusive deals with a certain issuer. Costco is one example, as they only take Visa. But don’t worry, this type of exclusivity is extremely rare. … read full answer
Here’s where Mastercard is accepted in Europe:
Mastercard is accepted in all European countries, at just about all merchants who take credit cards within those countries.
Some retailers have exclusive deals with card networks, both in Europe and the U.S. For example, Costco only takes Visa credit cards, and they have a few European locations – in the UK, Spain and Iceland.
Many European payment terminals are equipped for “chip” cards. So if your Mastercard has a magnetic stripe but no chip, you may have trouble paying at an unmanned terminal. And you may find it harder to persuade a merchant to accept a card without a chip.
Mastercard is as widely accepted in Europe as it is in the United States. So if you have a Mastercard, you can travel in Europe with little worry. Your card should be accepted almost everywhere. Just make sure you get a card with no foreign transaction fees in order to save yourself a lot of money when making purchases abroad.
Mastercard is accepted in more than 210 countries, according to their website. I don't think you'll find a list anywhere of the places where you can't use it, but what's certain is that you can't pay with a Mastercard at Costco.
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