The places where Mastercard is not accepted are few and far between. You can use Mastercards globally, in over 210 countries and territories. And millions of merchants within those countries take them. 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. But there are a few other circumstances to note.
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.