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Choosing the right credit is a sure way of enjoying the full benefits of the new form of money, taking the world by storm. While no single credit is better than others, in all categories, there are those that stand out depending spending habits and credit situation. Visa, Mastercard, and American Express credit cards are some of the best but with distinct differences.


When it comes to coverage, American Express appears to lag the other two. Visa and Mastercard powered cards are widely accepted by merchants all over the world. A merchant, anywhere in the world, is 40% more likely to accept a Visa or Mastercard compared to an American Express card.

In the U.S, about 6 million merchants accept American Express credit cards compared to 9 million each for Mastercard and Visa Card. When selecting a credit card, it would be essential to go with one that is likely to go through when processing transactions regardless of jurisdiction.

Merchant Cost

Merchants pay close attention to the amount of charges they are likely to incur in transactions, before adding support to any given credit card. The merchant cost is the small fee levied by networks for processing transactions.

Of the three cards, Visa charges the least amount of merchant costs at between 1.43% and 2.4% of the value of a transaction. Mastercard comes a close second as it charges between 1.5% and 2.6% as Amex Express comes in third with charges of between 2.5% and 3.5% per transaction.

Banks issuing the Credit Cards

Visa and Mastercard are not in the business of issuing credit cards. Instead, they provide a platform that enables the processing of credit card transactions. Credit cards bearing the logos of the two networks are most of the time issued by partner banks as well as merchants or credit unions.

In contrast, America Express issues credit cards in addition to operating as a network. For this reason, the firm does not collaborate with other financial institutions to issue credit cards with its logo.

Types of Credit Cards

Visa and Mastercard support the issuance of a variety of credit cards with varying benefits, the features and benefits on offer differ from entry-level, Basic credit cards to Signature at the middle and Infinite with Visa credit cards. MasterCard also offers entry-level cards dubbed MasterCard Basic with fewer benefits, followed by World MasterCard and then Elite MasterCard. Unlike MasterCard, American Express only offers a single level of benefits with its credit cards.


While Visa Mastercard and American Express credit cards share many similarities, the unique features are what makes them stand out. Rewards and benefits on offer should be a key consideration as that is the only way one will be able to enjoy the full benefits of a credit card.