I have a card in a country, and want to create another card in another country for convenience reasons.

Let's say the terms of both networks are very similar for me, so I have no special reason to choose one rather than the other.

Considering I am using NetworkA (MasterCard or Visa) for my first card, are there good reasons to:

  • Use the same network?
  • Use the other network?

Would it change anything in terms of credit rating, convenience, privacy, insurance, customer support, complexity, future possibilities, security, etc?

One reason to choose NetworkB is that some shops might not accept both networks' cards.

  • 4
    Mastercard and Visa are not companies that offer credit cards. The companies that offer credit cards are usually banks; they choose to use either Mastercard or Visa to handle the logistics, etc but the terms of the card agreement are set by the bank (subject to some minimum requirements due to Mastercard or Visa rules). – Dilip Sarwate Apr 19 '14 at 13:29
  • I think that's the answer to OPs question. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Apr 19 '14 at 15:40
  • They are companies, although they don't offer credit cards. Regardless of the administrative structure, though, the last line of the question indicates one thereotically legitimate reason why choosing MasterCard vs Visa might make a difference. – BrenBarn Apr 19 '14 at 18:17
  • Thanks for the feedback! Replaced companies with networks. – Nicolas Raoul Apr 20 '14 at 2:54

Mastercard and Visa are networks, your issuer is a bank who is participating in the network. It is definitely advisable to have a couple of cards from different issuers, but having different networks is not as critical.

The reason I think it is useful to have cards from different issuers is that if a system of one issuer is down - you don't get stuck without the ability to pay. Also, if there's a leak or some kind of fraud of forgery affecting bank X - you can still use the card from bank Y.

As to having cards from different networks - it can help occasionally if you're traveling to a location where one network is more prominent than the other, but in case of Visa/MC - the same banks usually participate in both. It is more helpful if one of your cards is American Express/Discover/Diners Club/UnionPay - which are smaller networks and not all merchants accept them.

  • 1
    all true. One additional support for different networks - there are times that one or the other will have a promotion, some discount, or pre-sale on a concert or other event. – JTP - Apologise to Monica Apr 20 '14 at 13:42
  • I recall ads saying that Visa cards were the only cards accepted at the Olympics games... – Dilip Sarwate Apr 20 '14 at 14:36
  • @Dilip I seriously doubt that. May be long time ago that was true (Visa was much more prominent than Mastercard before Mastercard-Eurocard merger). – littleadv Apr 20 '14 at 18:31
  • 1
    @littleadv Well, take a look at this link re the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics where it says, among other things, that "As part of its partnership with the IOC, Visa is the exclusive payment card and system of the Sochi 2014 Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games. This means that, aside from cash, Visa is the only card accepted at all Olympic facilities, Official Sochi 2014 merchandise stores and any purchases made through the official Sochi 2014 online store. – Dilip Sarwate Apr 20 '14 at 18:40
  • @Dilip oh I see, its part of their sponsorship... Learned something new then:) – littleadv Apr 20 '14 at 18:45

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