Visa vs Mastercard

We compared the features side-by-side and it turns out Visa and Mastercard credit cards are pretty similar. Here's how to choose between them.

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Visa and Mastercard are two of the major card processors and both are accepted almost everywhere in Australia and worldwide, so what's the difference between the two? The fees and benefits of your credit card are largely dictated by the bank but Visa and Mastercard do have some specific features that set them apart. We've broken down things like acceptance, contactless payment technology and extra perks to help you decide whether a Visa or a Mastercard is right for you.

What's the difference between Visa and Mastercard?

Visa and Mastercard are two different companies that provide the networks required for processing card payments. Neither of them issue credit cards directly and both Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted around the world. The major difference between Visa and Mastercard can be compared across the perks offered by each company.

FeatureVisaMastercard
Acceptance200+ countries200+ countries
Contactless paymentsVisa payWave can be used to make contactless payments of up to $200 without a PINMastercard tap & go can be used to make contactless payments of up to $200 without a PIN
Entertainment offersVisa Offers + Perks gives cardholders access to exclusive discounts with partnered brands, pre-sale concert tickets, travel and dining deals.Mastercard Priceless Cities offers discounts and perks on hotels, shopping, dining, entertainment and more around the world.
Premium cardsVisa Signature cards are linked with Visa Front Line Access for pre-sale concert tickets, a 24/7 concierge service and travel perks through the Visa Premium site.Platinum Mastercard products are linked with Mastercard Priceless Cities, airport lounge access through Mastercard Airport Experience and other perks.
SecurityYou can contact the Visa customer support team 24/7 to report a lost or stolen card, request emergency cash or card or block your card.If your card is lost or stolen and you require emergency cash or card replacement, you can contact Mastercard Global Services 24/7.
Online shopping securityVerified by Visa is a password-protected authentication system that identifies the cardholder when a Visa card is used online in a suspicious way.Mastercard SecureCode is an additional layer of security that protects cardholders from fraudulent transactions online.

Visa Entertainment and Mastercard Priceless Cities perks

With Visa Entertainment and Mastercard Priceless Cities, you can access everything from exclusive presale tickets for upcoming concerts to VIP retail sales, travel promotions and dining perks.

Visa Entertainment is an offshoot of Visa Offers + Perks and is designed to cater specifically for your entertainment needs.

Mastercard Priceless Cities is a similar program designed to provide a range of benefits for cardholders. Both programs partner with major brands and companies to offer ticket specials, travel promotions, unique experiences and exclusive offers across a range of lifestyle categories including shopping, wining and dining. By visiting the relevant Visa Offers + Perks or Mastercard Priceless Cities websites, you can take advantage of exclusive offers that come with your card.

Visa Entertainment

visa logo

Visa Entertainment partners include Ticketek, Event Cinemas, Village Cinemas and The Walt Disney Company. Some of the offers you can take advantage of with a Visa card include:

  • Exclusive pre-sale ticket offers. With Visa Entertainment, you can book concert and theatre tickets before their general release to the public.
  • Exclusive events. Access special events like movie previews exclusive to Visa Entertainment members.
  • Discounted prices. Get tickets for cheaper with Visa's dollars-off offers or percentage discounts, e.g. $10 off or 50% discount.
  • Last minute offers. Visa Entertainment sometimes puts out last minute deals for concerts and events at short notice.
  • Product offers. There are periodic promotions on movies, books, CDs and home entertainment products.
  • Competitions. Enter competitions to win freebies such as new-release DVDs or ticket passes. It can be as easy as answering a question to enter the draw.

You can also visit the Pay with Visa website to find more Visa travel, shopping and dining perks if you have a Visa card.

Mastercard Priceless Cities

new mastercard logo

Mastercard's Priceless Cities program provides unique offers for a range of locations around the world, including Sydney, New York, London, Tokyo, Singapore and Bangkok. Mastercard Priceless Cities separates its promotions into four key categories:

  • Dining deals. These offers include exclusive tours and dining experiences at award-winning restaurants, opportunities to meet world famous chefs, priority seating and complimentary glasses of wine.
  • Entertainment offers. Enjoy exclusive premium ticket pricing for stage productions, savings on local and international attractions, and other random delights like golf trips, yachting adventures or mixology classes – whatever tickles your fancy.
  • Shop and save. Attend private champagne receptions at boutiques and enjoy discounts off your purchases at VIP sales, or have your own personal stylist take you on a shopping tour for the day with these offers.
  • Travel in style. Receive complimentary room upgrades and enjoy club level access with free buffet breakfasts, afternoon tea and canapes, or get a special price on spa packages or luxury retreat packages involving romantic private dinners and sunset experiences.

Compare Visa vs Mastercard credit cards

$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate Purchase rate Annual fee Amount saved
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% p.a. for 36 months
19.99% p.a.
$29 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Save money with a 0% balance transfer rate for 36 months (with no BT fee), a first-year annual fee discount and free travel insurance.
ANZ Low Rate
0% p.a. for 30 months
12.49% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($58 p.a. thereafter)
Now eligible for Cashrewards Max. Save with 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 30 months (with no BT fee) and $0 first-year annual fee. Plus a 12.49% p.a. purchase interest rate.
St.George Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 30 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 30 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
PayPal Rewards Card
0% p.a. for 20 months
20.99% p.a.
$0
Get 50,000 bonus points on eligible spend (worth $250 to spend at over 750,000 businesses) and a $0 annual fee for life.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
20.24% p.a.
0% p.a. for 17 months, reverts to 20.24% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($87 p.a. thereafter)
Now offering Cashrewards Max. Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 17 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.99% p.a.
$295 annual fee for the first year ($395 p.a. thereafter)
Earn up to 110,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 20k after 12 months).
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 32 months
12.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 32 months (with no BT fee). Plus, save with a $0 first-year annual fee.
NAB Low Fee Card
0% p.a. for 6 months with 2% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$30
Receive complimentary insurance covers and 0% p.a. for 6 months on balance transfers.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$279
Get 90,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $6,000 using your new card within 90 days from approval and 2 Qantas Club lounge invitations per year.
St.George Amplify Platinum
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$99
Receive 80,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $350 in eGift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer.
BankSA Vertigo
0% p.a. for 30 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Enjoy 0% p.a. for 30 months on balance transfers (with no balance transfer fee), a low purchase rate and a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Card
0% p.a. for 30 months
13.99% p.a.
$0 annual fee for the first year ($55 p.a. thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 30 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
Virgin Australia Velocity Flyer Card - Balance Transfer Offer
0% p.a. for 28 months
20.74% p.a.
$64 annual fee for the first year ($129 p.a. thereafter)
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months and a reduced annual fee in the first year. Ends 30 September 2021.
Bank of Melbourne Amplify Signature
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$279
Up to 200,000 bonus points (100k in the 1st year & 100k in the 2nd year) - worth $900 in gift cards - when you spend $12k/year for the first 2 years.
St.George Amplify Platinum - Qantas
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.74% p.a.
$99
Earn 60,000 bonus Qantas Points, plus enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 15 months with a 1% BT fee.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Name Product Purchase rate Interest-free period Annual fee Balance transfer rate
Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 28 months
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 28 months with no balance transfer fee and a discounted $49 first-year annual fee.
Citi Rewards Card - Flybuys Offer
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Get 100,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $500 Flybuys dollars) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.
Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$225 annual fee for the first year ($299 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 3 months, 80 bonus Status Credits on eligible spend and a reduced first-year annual fee.
Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 28 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Save with a $0 annual fee for the first year, plus, a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months.
humm90 Mastercard - Balance Transfer Offer
23.99% p.a.
Up to 110 days on purchases
$99
0% p.a. for 36 months
Get 0% interest on balance transfers for 36 months, with no balance transfer fee. Plus, up to 110 days interest free on purchases.
Coles Low Rate Mastercard
12.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$58
0% p.a. for 15 months
Enjoy 0% interest on balance transfers for 15 months, with no BT fee. Plus, earn Flybuys points as you spend.
humm90 Mastercard
23.99% p.a.
Up to 110 days on purchases
$99
Enjoy up to 110 days interest-free on purchases, 0% foreign transaction fees and flexible instalment plan options.
Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer
13.74% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($59 p.a. thereafter)
6.99% p.a. for 12 months
Get $400 cashback when you spend $4,000 on eligible purchases within the first 120 days. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bankwest Zero Platinum Mastercard
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
0% p.a. for 26 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Get 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 26 months (with a 2% BT fee), ​an ongoing $0 annual fee and 0% foreign transaction fees.
Coles Rewards Mastercard
19.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 14 months
Get 40,000 bonus Flybuys Points or $200 off a Coles Supermarket shop, a $0 first-year annual fee and a 14-month balance transfer.
Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% p.a. for 12 months, reverts to 11.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$45
0% p.a. for 12 months with 2% balance transfer fee
Save with 0% p.a. interest on purchases and balance transfers for up to 12 months, with a one-time 2% balance transfer fee.
Citi Rewards Card - Balance Transfer Offer
21.49% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($149 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 30 months
Save with a $49 first-year annual fee and 0% on balance transfers for 30 months with no balance transfer fee.
Citi Clear Card - Cashback Offer
14.99% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($99 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 15 months
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a 0% balance transfer offer for 15 months.
Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% p.a. for 15 months, reverts to 9.9% p.a.
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0 annual fee for the first year ($49 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 15 months
Save with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers for 15 months (with no BT fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
20.49% p.a.
Up to 45 days on purchases
$49 annual fee for the first year ($150 p.a. thereafter)
0% p.a. for 22 months with 1% balance transfer fee
Get 130,000 bonus Altitude Points (worth $450 cashback) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days, a 0% balance transfer offer and a $49 discounted annual fee.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Although there are differences between Visa and Mastercard, you should pay more attention to how credit card rates, fees and features differ between banks when comparing credit cards. When deciding if a Visa or Mastercard is right for you, consider where you plan to use the card and the perks you want to take advantage of.

Images: Shutterstock

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2 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    YauSeptember 18, 2012

    What is the difference between visa card and master card?

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