I'm looking for the current exchange rate for two currencies using Mastercard and VISA. Neglecting any currency exchange top-up which might be charged by the bank.

In the best case a public API or a chart including the current and past exchange rates. (It seems like that Mastercard and VISA do not disclose this exchange rate in an easy manner.)

I'm interested in - first, how much the Visa and Mastercard exchange rate do differ. Second, how does the exchange rate compare to services like Transferwise.

If there is no public service available, I would be curious in your opinion. I'm wondering if I should exchange a big amount of money using Transferwise or continue with my daily business using my foreign currency credit card (my bank doesn't charge any fees for foreign currency).

  • Does this answer your question? Is there any inherent difference between Visa and Mastercard credit cards?
    – base64
    Jul 25, 2020 at 7:22
  • "Mastercard and VISA do not disclose this exchange rate" Not True. mastercard.us/en-us/personal/get-support/convert-currency.html usa.visa.com/support/consumer/travel-support/… The caveat is that the exchange rate is not the day the card was swiped, there is 2-3 days delay between authorization and posting.
    – base64
    Jul 25, 2020 at 7:25
  • @base64 Thanks for the links - I was already aware of them. However, Mastercard and Visa only provide the exchange rate for those single queries - not over time and not in a computer readable format. For making comparisons this is not sufficient.
    – lennart
    Jul 25, 2020 at 13:31
  • Pretty sure you can automate and scrape day by day for historical data
    – base64
    Jul 25, 2020 at 15:38
  • There is little sense in comparing the base rates, as different credit cards use different fees on top of it. The base rate might be 'embellished' by anything like 0, 1, 3, or even 5% when you actually use the card, so who cares if the base rate is 0.01% different, if you pay 5% more with a specific card?
    – Aganju
    Jul 25, 2020 at 16:46

2 Answers 2


MasterCard and Visa each have a webpage where you can look up their conversion rates for purchases on any day:

You can find blog posts online where people attempted to survey results from these tools and compare the two companies. Here are a couple of examples:

As for comparing this to TransferWise, I’m not sure exactly how you are using your credit card for your “daily business.” However, TransferWise seems to be very transparent with the fees they charge and the rate they use, so you should be able to do a survey comparison between the cost of your current methods and the cost of using TransferWise.


For Mastercard you can try to use their API. It is not free though. But they promise they can deliver their currency rates history.

The Enhanced Currency Conversion Calculator is a subscription-based service that provides access to Mastercard's daily currency conversion rates and historical currency conversion rates

This is a link:


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