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Visa vs Mastercard

We compared the features side-by-side and it turns out there's little difference between Visa and Mastercard credit cards – here's how to choose between them.

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Most of the credit cards and debit cards you see in Australia have a Visa or Mastercard logo on them. These companies are 2 major international card payment networks and both are accepted almost everywhere in Australia and worldwide.

So, what's the difference between Visa and Mastercard? For everyday spending, the short answer is "not much", because your credit card features are largely set by the bank. But Visa and Mastercard do have specific features that set them apart, so let's take a look at what they offer.

What's the difference between Visa and Mastercard?

We've broken down things such as acceptance, contactless payment technology and extra perks to help you decide whether a Visa or a Mastercard is right for you.

FeatureVisaMastercard
Acceptance200+ countries200+ countries
Contactless paymentsVisa payWave can be used to make contactless payments without needing a PIN if you spend up to $200.Mastercard contactless lets you tap to pay for transactions without needing a PIN if you spend up to $200.
Exclusive 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 Platinum and Signature cards give you access to Visa Premium, with perks including concierge services, hotel offers and Visa Front Line Access for pre-sale concert tickets.Platinum and World 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 securityVisa Secure (formerly Verified by Visa) adds an authentication step to online purchases to help protect you from fraud.Mastercard SecureCode is an additional layer of security that protects cardholders from fraudulent transactions online.
Virtual card options?Yes, including with mobile wallets (depending on the bank or provider).Yes, including with mobile wallets (depending on the bank or provider).
Sustainability highlights
  • Commitment to net zero carbon emissions by 2040
  • Carbon-neutral operations
  • Visa and CPI Card Group produced a payment card made of up to 98% upcycled materials (Earthwise)
  • Net zero goal by 2050
  • Commitment to restore 100,000 trees by 2025 through the Priceless Planet Coalition
  • Sustainable cards program with more than 60 financial institutions involved
Market share60% of the global credit and debit card market (according to a Reuters report in 2020).30% of the global credit and debit card market (according to a Reuters report in 2020).


Looking at these features side-by-side shows that you'll get very similar card acceptance, contactless payments, exclusive offers, premium perks and security for in-person or online shipping.

Both also have comparable sustainability initiatives, although it's worth taking a closer look at Visa and Mastercard initiatives if this is priority for you.

A key difference between Visa and Mastercard is the global market share. But Reserve Bank of Australia data shows that around 92% of all credit card and charge card transactions in Australia are made with Visa and Mastercard, and make up around 84% of all transactions by value. So the overall market share doesn't typically have a noticeable impact when you're paying by card.

Which is better?

Most of the time, you won't really notice a difference between paying with a Visa or Mastercard. If there are company features that you care about such as sustainability goals, that can factor into your decision.

But usually, you can focus on credit card features that you want and costs that are affordable for you – factors that come down to the bank or provider.

Compare Visa vs Mastercard credit cards

1 - 15 of 169
$
% p.a.
Name Product Balance transfer rate p.a. Purchase rate p.a. Annual fee Amount saved
HSBC Platinum Credit Card
0% for 36 months
19.99%
$29 for the first year ($129 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% for 30 months
12.49%
$0 for the first year ($58 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.
Virgin Money No Annual Fee Credit Card
0% for 12 months
0% for 12 months, reverts to 18.99%
$0
Save with a $0 annual fee and 0% p.a. on balance transfers and purchases for 12 months. Ends on June 30.
Latitude Gem Visa
21.45%
$107.40
Offers 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases of $250 or more and long-term interest-free payment plans for up to 60 months.
St.George Vertigo Card
0% for 32 months
13.99%
$0 for the first year ($55 thereafter)
Get a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
PayPal Rewards Card
0% for 20 months
20.99%
$0
Earn 1 point per $1 spent on eligible purchases. Plus, a $0 annual fee for life.
ANZ Platinum Credit Card
21.24%
0% for 25 months, reverts to 20.24%
$0 for the first year ($87 thereafter)
Now offering Cashrewards Max. Receive a 0% purchase rate offer for 25 months and a $0 first-year annual fee. Plus, complimentary overseas travel and medical insurance.
NAB Qantas Rewards Signature Card
0% for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
19.99%
$295 for the first year ($395 thereafter)
Earn up to 120,000 bonus Qantas Points (90,000 when you spend $3,000 in the first 60 days and 30,000 after 12 months).
NAB Low Rate Credit Card
0% for 32 months
12.99%
$0 for the first year ($59 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% for 12 months with 3% balance transfer fee
19.74%
$30
Receive complimentary insurance covers and 0% p.a. for 12 months on balance transfers.
St.George Amplify Signature - Qantas
0% for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.49%
$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% for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
19.49%
$29 for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Earn 100,000 bonus Amplify Points (worth $450 in gift cards) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and Kayo cashback offer.
BankSA Vertigo
0% for 32 months
13.99%
$0 for the first year ($55 thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. for 32 months on balance transfers (with no balance transfer fee). Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
Bank of Melbourne Vertigo Card
0% for 32 months
13.99%
$0 for the first year ($55 thereafter)
Save with a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 32 months (with no balance transfer fee) and a $0 annual fee for the first year.
ANZ Frequent Flyer Platinum
21.24%
20.24%
$0 for the first year ($295 thereafter)
Now offering Cashrewards Max. Receive 70,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $2,500 on eligible purchases within 3 months. Plus, a $0 first-year annual fee.
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1 - 15 of 81
Name Product Purchase rate p.a. Interest-free period Balance transfer rate p.a. Annual fee

Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer

Citi Clear Card - Balance Transfer Offer
14.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 36 months
$49 for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Offers 0% p.a. on balance transfers for 36 months with no balance transfer fee. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount and complimentary insurance covers.

Citi Rewards Card - Flybuys Offer

Citi Rewards Card - Flybuys Offer
21.49%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 15 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$49 for the first year ($149 thereafter)
Get 40,000 bonus Flybuys points (worth $200 Flybuys dollars) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee.

Qantas Premier Platinum

Qantas Premier Platinum
19.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 18 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$225 for the first year ($299 thereafter)
Earn 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months and save with a reduced first-year annual fee.

Citi Premier Qantas Card

Citi Premier Qantas Card
0% for 6 months, reverts to 21.49%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 6 months
$175 for the first year ($350 thereafter)
Get 80,000 bonus Qantas Points when you spend $4,000 in the first 90 days and a 0% purchase rate offer. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.

Westpac Low Rate Card

Westpac Low Rate Card
13.74%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 28 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$0 for the first year ($59 thereafter)
Save with a $0 annual fee for the first year, plus, a 0% interest rate on balance transfers for 28 months.

Coles Low Rate Mastercard

Coles Low Rate Mastercard
12.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 36 months
$58
Enjoy 0% p.a. on balance transfers for the first 36 months (with no balance transfer fee).

Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer

Westpac Low Rate Card - Cashback Offer
13.74%
Up to 55 days on purchases
6.99% for 12 months
$59
A no-frills card offering up to $400 cashback: $100 each month you make at least $1,000 of eligible purchases for the first 4 months.

Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card

Bendigo Bank Low Rate Credit Card
0% for 20 months, reverts to 11.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 20 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$45
Save money on interest for up to 20 months with 0% p.a. on purchases and balance transfers (11.99% p.a. after). Plus, a $45 annual fee.

Citi Clear Card - Cashback Offer

Citi Clear Card - Cashback Offer
14.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 15 months
$49 for the first year ($99 thereafter)
Get $250 cashback when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, free wine when you dine and purchase insurance cover.

Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard

Bankwest Breeze Classic Mastercard
0% for 15 months, reverts to 9.9%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 15 months
$0 for the first year ($49 thereafter)
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

Westpac Altitude Platinum Card
19.99%
Up to 45 days on purchases
0% for 24 months with 1% balance transfer fee
$49 for the first year ($150 thereafter)
Get 110,000 bonus Altitude Points (worth $350 cashback) when you spend $3,000 in the first 90 days. Plus, a $49 first-year annual fee discount.

Bankwest Zero Mastercard

Bankwest Zero Mastercard
14.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 34 months with 2% balance transfer fee
$0
Features an ongoing $0 annual fee and an introductory rate of 0% p.a. for 34 months on balance transfers (with a 2% BT fee).

MONEYME Freestyle Virtual Card

MONEYME Freestyle Virtual Card
19.99%
Up to 55 days on purchases
$0
A virtual, instant-use card that offers credit back at over 1,400 stores and the ability to transfer money to your bank account.

Citi Premier Card

Citi Premier Card
21.49%
Up to 55 days on purchases
0% for 6 months
$150 for the first year ($300 thereafter)
Enjoy 130,000 bonus points (worth $450 in eGift cards) when you spend $4,000 within the first 90 days. Plus, a first-year annual fee discount.

CommBank Corporate Low Rate Credit Card

CommBank Corporate Low Rate Credit Card
14.55%
Up to 55 days on purchases
$40
Designed for businesses looking to pay down large purchases over time with flexible payment options and customised controls.
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Visa and Mastercard benefits: What can you get?

While rewards, complimentary insurance and other card benefits are typically chosen by the bank or provider, both Visa and Mastercard also give you access to exclusive offers when you pay with your card.

Known as Visa Offers + Perks and Mastercard Priceless Cities, these programs cover travel, shopping, dining, entertainment and more. Here's a look at both of them.

Visa Offers + Perks

visa logo

Visa Offers + Perks (previously Visa Entertainment) is a complimentary perk that gives you access to shopping deals and offers with partners such as THE ICONIC, Booking.com and Hotels.com. Here are some of the offers you can take advantage of with a Visa card:

  • Shopping. Get discounts, cashback and other deals when you shop with partners.
  • Travel. Partners offer discounts on flights, accommodation and activities, with some offers even giving you extra perks at hotels.
  • Dining. Save on restaurant experiences, tasting sessions, masterclasses and more.
  • 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 search for offers nearby or anywhere in the world through the Visa Offers + Perks website.

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 4 key categories:

  • Dining deals. These offers include exclusive tours and dining experiences at some of the best 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 such as 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. You can also get a special price on spa packages or luxury retreat packages involving romantic private dinners and sunset experiences.

Bottom line?

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.

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