Editor's Picks: Best Mastercard Credit Cards
But the best Mastercard is tough to pick. There are lots of Mastercard credit cards to choose from, for all types of people. To help you find the right Mastercard for your needs, WalletHub’s editors compared more than 300 Mastercard credit card offers based on their rewards, rates, fees and approval requirements. We then selected the best Mastercard in a range of popular categories.
|Credit Card||Category||Annual Fee|
|Business Advantage Cash Rewards Credit Card||Business Rewards||$0|
|Citi® Double Cash Card – 18 month BT offer||Cash Back||$0|
|Secured Mastercard® from Capital One||Bad Credit||$0|
|Capital One® Savor® Cash Rewards Credit Card||Bonus Cash||$95|
|Citi Premier® Card||Travel||$95|
|Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card||No Annual Fee||$0|
Having a credit card on the Mastercard (or Visa) network is especially important if you plan to travel abroad. Mastercard and Visa are the most widely accepted card networks globally, and their currency-exchange rates are much lower than what local banks and airport kiosks tend to charge. In fact, you can save up to 11% on currency conversion with a no-foreign-transaction-fee Mastercard or Visa.
Furthermore, we recommend checking your credit score for free before applying for a new card. This will help you find the best deal and determine whether you’re likely to get approved.
More About Mastercard Credit Cards:
Mastercard is one of the two major worldwide card networks, along with Visa. There are more than 230 million Mastercard credit cards in circulation in the U.S. alone. Roughly 1 of every 4 general-purpose credit card offers available to new applicants right now are on the Mastercard network. And Mastercard credit cards are accepted in more than 210 countries and territories worldwide – more than Visa, Discover and American Express.
Although Mastercard is one of the world’s most recognizable brands, there is still a lot that people don’t know about the company and its role in the credit card landscape. We’ll tackle a handful of topics people often wonder about below.
First four digits
All Mastercard credit card numbers begin with “5.” The next few numbers depend on which bank or credit union issues the Mastercard credit card in question. For example, a Mastercard credit card issued by Bank of America might have a card number with these digits first: 517572. But a Mastercard issued by Capital One might start with 549139.
It’s possible to decipher this because credit card numbers follow a general pattern. The first digit of a credit card number is called the Major Industry Identifier. It will tell you which network a card is on. Mastercard uses 5, while 4 is for Visa, 3 is for American Express and 6 is for Discover. The first six digits are called the Issuer/Bank Identification Number. They will tell you both the card network and card issuer. To learn more, check out our detailed guide about credit card numbers.
Mastercard credit card annual fees can be as low as $0 or as high as $450+, depending on the card and market conditions. But Mastercard does not assess any fees to credit card users directly. Annual fees are charged by the banks and credit unions that issue credit cards on the Mastercard network. As a result, Mastercard credit cards are no more likely to charge annual fees than Visa cards, for example.
Most Mastercard credit cards have a grace period of 21-25 days, from when the account’s monthly statement becomes available until the due date for payment. The exact number of days varies by issuer, but the overall significance of a credit card’s grace period does not. Interest will not accrue during the grace period, if you always pay your full balance by the due date.
Carrying a balance beyond the due date results in the loss of the grace period. Payments then begin accruing interest right away. But cardholders can restore their grace period by paying their full balance due two months in a row.
Unlike with rewards, rates and fees, credit card networks like Mastercard are directly responsible for many of the secondary benefits available to cardholders. But not all Mastercard credit cards have the same perks. Mastercard actually has three benefits tiers: standard, World and World Elite. Credit card issuers can decide which benefits to include on each of their Mastercard offers.
Standard Mastercard credit card benefits include $0 liability for unauthorized charges as well as perks such as rental car insurance, price protection, and an extended warranty benefit.
World Mastercard benefits include multiple types of travel insurance, purchase protection, and some shopping perks – on top of what a basic Mastercard would provide.
World Elite Mastercard benefits include everything you’d get on other Mastercard offers, plus access to unique experiences and special savings opportunities.
Taking full advantage of credit card perks can save you a lot of money and hassle, and it’s becoming easier for tech-savvy cardholders to do so. For instance, cardholders can now even explore their Mastercard credit card benefits in augmented reality in order to learn how to get more from the perks they’re entitled to but may not be using.