Banks with cards on the Mastercard network include Bank of America, Capital One, and Citibank. These three banks, along with several other major banks, offer credit cards and debit cards on the Mastercard payment network.
Major Banks with Credit Cards on the Mastercard Network
When it comes to Mastercard credit cards in particular, there are many more banks and credit unions that offer them. You can check out WalletHub’s editors’ picks for the best Mastercard credit cards available right now.
The biggest difference when you pit Discover vs. Mastercard is that while both are credit card networks, Discover also is a credit card issuer. Credit card networks decide where cards can and can’t be used, as well as process transactions. Credit card issuers set rates, approve applicants and send out cards, among other things. Discover handles both functions. So, … read full answerDiscover credit cards are issued by Discover and belong to the Discover network. Mastercard credit cards, on the other hand, are issued by dozens of banks and credit unions.
Mastercard and Discover differ in plenty of other ways, too. For example, Mastercard has far more global acceptance, while Discover doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees on any of its cards.
Discover vs. Mastercard
U.S. Market Share by Credit Card Purchase Volume
10.6 million merchants
10.7 million merchants
200+ countries and territories
210+ countries and territories
Sources: The Nilson Report, Discover and Mastercard.
Overall, it’s probably best to have a Mastercard in your pocket, especially if you’re going to be traveling abroad frequently. But if you only plan to use your card within the U.S., a Discover card will work just fine, as it benefits from 99% nationwide acceptance. And you can check for international acceptance on Discover’s dedicated web page.
You shouldn’t forget about the two other major card networks, either. Visa is similar to Mastercard in that it boasts worldwide acceptance and doesn’t actually issue credit cards. American Express is like Discover because it plays both roles.
No, Mastercard is not a credit card. Mastercard is a card payment network that credit card companies use to allow consumers to make purchases.
Mastercard does not issue any credit cards. Instead, Mastercard partners with financial institutions to issue cards on its network. Some of the biggest financial institutions that issue Mastercard credit cards include U.S. Bank, Synchrony Bank, Citi, Chase, Capital One, Barclays, Bank of America and Avant, though there are many others.… read full answer
Despite Mastercard’s popularity, the benefits it offers to card issuers are pretty similar to what Visa and American Express offer (Discover lags a bit behind). And the exact benefits that are included on any Mastercard credit card are left up to the issuer. So, when choosing a credit card, it’s best to pick based on the individual card’s features, rather than what network it’s on, unless you’re worried about having the best acceptance abroad.
Mastercard is not accepted at stores and merchants (like vendors at a local fair, for instance) that only take cash or at retail chains that have an exclusive agreement with another card network. For example, Costco accepts Mastercard only for online purchases. There are also some websites that only take electronic currency though outlets like PayPal, Venmo, or Bitcoin. Mastercard credit cards also can’t be used to pay a credit card bill, but no credit cards can be used for that.… read full answer
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.
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