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There are three main credit card companies, and they have several similarities between them. The companies include American Express, MasterCard, and Visa. However, there are differences in the credit cards when it comes to where to use your card and how. Here is what makes the cards different.

Acceptance of the cards

The number of merchants accepting card transactions from the three differs significantly. For instance, there are around 25 million merchants’ locations accepting American Express credit cards. The Amex card lags behind MasterCard and Visa in terms of merchant acceptance. In the US, only 6 million merchants are accepting Amex cards compared to around 9 million for MasterCard and Visa.

Banking partners

Another major difference when comparing the three credit cards is the cards on offer from banking partners. Usually, MasterCard and Visa do not offer their credit cards. The ones bearing their logos are issued by banking partners, credit unions, or merchants who have branded cards. Visa and MasterCard can partner with various banks such as Bank of America, Capital One, and Barclays to offer credit cards.

Unfortunately, Amex does not partner with banks to issues credit cards because it operates as a network and card issuer.

Transaction processing fees

The other area where the card networks differ is the cost of supporting them from retailers and merchants. Whenever a consumer makes a purchase using a credit card, the network levies the merchant or retailer. The transaction processing fee differs in the three cards, and it is the reason retailers and merchants consider if they will accept card payments.

For instance, MasterCard will charge 1.55% to 2.6%, and Visa charges between 1.4£% and 2.4%. However, American Express charges more, ranging from 2.55 to 3.5%.

Value-added benefits

The other value-added benefits that the companies offer to credit cardholders. The three cards offer some of the common benefits, but there are those exclusive benefits specific to a given network. For instance, World Elite MasterCard offers concierge service besides the exclusive travel benefits and savings. Therefore if you are looking for a specific benefit, it would be better to consider a card that offers the same.