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2/9/09

Who is Better, Visa vs Mastercard?

The four major credit card companies (Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover) are all constantly trying to set themselves apart from the others. Whether by credit card services offered, credit cards offered, credit card terms offered, or rewards programs offered, to name a few, each company is constantly trying to convince the public that their company is the best when it comes to credit cards. However, with all of the conflicting advertising and consumer reports that you may have heard, read, or seen, how do you discover which card offers the best service?

With respect to Visa and MasterCard, the question of service can be broken down into two parts (1) acceptance around the world; and (2) customer service. The category "acceptance around the world" refers to the number of places that each card is accepted. Because of the vast amount of marketing and money that both of these companies have, the difference between the amount of locations in which each card is accepted is minimal. As such, it is very hard to distinguish between Visa and MasterCard on this subject. Because of this fact, neither credit card company gains an advantage over the other in regard to credit card service.

In regard to customer service, my personal experiences have led me to favor MasterCard over Visa. As far as telephone customer service, I found both services to be friendly and willing to help. However, as far as actual help is concerned, MasterCard actually delivers on its promises. My opinion on this situation is derived from the following experience.

My father and I have the same name. However, because I am named after my father, my name has the suffix "II" following my name. Despite this fact, from time to time I find my father's credit card activity being reported on my credit report. On one such occasion, both a MasterCard and a Visa belonging to my father were being reported on my credit report. After contacting both of the credit granting institutions and receiving instructions on how to remove my father's credit information from my credit report, the MasterCard account has since correctly been removed from my credit report while the Visa account belonging to my father still remains on my credit report.

Based upon this experience, I feel that MasterCard better protects its cardholders by correcting problems when they arise. On the other hand, it feels that Visa is more interested in protecting its own interests. Granted, your own experiences will dictate your opinion of each company. However, based upon my experiences, MasterCard has better credit card service.

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