Having quick and easy access to your money is extremely important for anyone, but it can be especially daunting if you do not have proper access to a foreign country where you have moved to as a student.
Credit cards are an essential and quite useful tool when it comes to purchasing and paying for items. Lots of international students have their credit cards now. However, when it comes to picking the right one, excessive information can become somewhat overwhelming.
For most people, the choice of what kind of credit card they want to pick is a simple one- choosing between MasterCard and Visa card. However, if you are still in a dilemma about which one to choose, and the benefits of one over the other, here is everything you need to know about the differences between both.
But first, let us look into the benefits of both the cards.
The Benefits of Having a Mastercard or Visa Card:
- One of the most significant benefits of having either a MasterCard or a Visa Card is the fact that these two platforms are accepted almost anywhere in the world. This is especially helpful for international students, as they might be travelling to and fro into other cities and countries. They can easily use either of these cards for their payments.
- Neither MasterCard nor Visa issue credit cards- they are simply payment platforms. It means that neither of these platforms will determine the amount of interest you are going to be charged on your outstanding balance, nor will it identify any points that you might earn by using these cards. It is your issuing bank that will determine these.
- There are “Benefit programs,” which are built into both these cards. These are inbuilt into the cards long before the issuing bank can apply any of its conditions on the cards. Of course, these perks and benefits differ from card to card, but they are quite beneficial nonetheless.
- A huge benefit of both these cards is the advantage of contactless payment technology. All you need to do is tap your card on the payment terminal, and that is it! Your payment will be made automatically.
- There is also the added benefit of protection against fraud, which, unfortunately, you will not find in debit cards. In case your MasterCard or Visa card is being used by someone else to make any unauthorized payments, neither of these cards will charge you for them (of course, you will have to alert your card issuer at the earliest for this to happen).
Different between MasterCard and Visa:
The Conversion Rate
In most cases, but not all, MasterCard offers just slightly better exchange rates if an international student makes any purchases using foreign currency. This gives MasterCard a marginally better offer as compared to Visa.
In the case of price protection as well, MasterCard is slightly more beneficial as compared to Visa. In the case of a standard MasterCard, you can enjoy this benefit for up to 60 days after your purchase.
In the case of MasterCard World and World Elite cards, you can enjoy this benefit for up to 120 days. However, some Visa cards offer this benefit as well.
In some cases, after purchasing a product, you might decide to return it for some reason. Your reasons can vary- from being dissatisfied with the product, or simply not wanting the product any longer.
In case the merchant does not accept your return, return protection offered by MasterCard will refund the cost, offering refunds of up to $250 made within 60 days of purchase.
In case of a Visa card, you can avail of the same offer, but only with its Infinite cards, and maybe with Signature cards as well. In the case of MasterCard, most of them come with this “Satisfaction Guarantee” offer.
Every once in a while, we face specific unfortunate incidents after buying a new item. Maybe you recently purchased a new phone with your credit card. Unfortunately, it was stolen just a few days later.
Purchase protection covers this cost for up to 90 days after your purchase. However, with Visa, this facility is available only with Signature or Visa Infinite card.
Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver
In this case, Visa cards are slightly more beneficial as compared to MasterCard. Most credit cards anyway come with rental car insurance. However, the coverage can vary depending upon the issuer of the card, the type of credit card, and also the card network. In the case of Visa cards, there is no limit on loss-of-use coverage. In the case of MasterCard, the limit is $500.
These are the main differences that you will find between MasterCard and Visa. Both these cards are widely accepted modes of payment almost all around the world and have a lot of inbuilt benefits.
However, when it comes to choosing the best credit card for an international student, it is more important to look into the issuer of the map, rather than the company itself.
This is because the bank that issues the card will have their rates of interest, limits, and other such conditions. These vary from bank to bank, so you should pick one which is the most advantageous to you.
Another essential thing to remember is that even if the network does not provide specific benefits, it may be provided by the issuer itself. In this case, an example would be when MasterCard does not offer any rental car coverage. However, some MasterCard might have this coverage, simply because the issuer has decided to provide it.
There are different types of MasterCard as well as Visa cards, each having their benefits and eligibility. It is essential to research thoroughly and even take professional help before choosing one.
There might always be some offers which international students can avail of, so be sure to ask beforehand. When it comes to the differences between the two, it is very slight. However, for some, this small difference might prove to be the deciding factor between MasterCard and Visa.