My Italian bank, Fineco, offers me Visa or MasterCard credit cards at (apparently) the exact same conditions.

IIRC when I first requested it a few years ago, it was just a checkbox in the contract saying which card I wanted, but the clauses were (unless I missed something) exactly the same.

My card is going to expire in a few months, so I was wondering: is there any reason to pick one over the other? A few months ago I noticed a few shops have Mastercard contactless capabilities: is this to be considered a "plus", or actually Visa supports that too anyway now?

In case this question doesn't contain enough details, feel free to ask me to provide more, but please tell me what you need to know. Thanks.

  • Is is different than this question? money.stackexchange.com/questions/10293/… – explunit Oct 22 '14 at 20:38
  • @explunit they might or might not be the same, I'm not sure, I'll let the community decide. – o0'. Oct 22 '14 at 21:00
  • @explunit surely here there's the "contactless" sub-question, so if the rest was to be considered a duplicate, I could reword it in order to make that the only question. – o0'. Oct 22 '14 at 21:01

The short answer is that it probably doesn't matter if you select Visa or MasterCard. Both offer contactless payments (and in Europe, too) and are widely accepted.

The longer answer is that Visa and MasterCard are separate payment networks. While most merchants that accept one will accept both, that is not always the case, and there are some differences, see this previous question for details.


One very specific case where choosing one over the other might matter: when travelling.

Some regions of the world only (or almost only) accept one or the other at cash machines.

For instance, I was travelling on the huge island of Sumatra (Indonesia) & found myself not able to withdraw cash with my VISA. I did not have a MasterCard with me but had some "rescue USD" in a secret pocket. I luckily bumped into other travellers who had spare local money so I could exchange USD with IDR.

If travelling, you might want to have both cards: one VISA, and one MasterCard.

  • How long ago was that? This used to be a common issue a few years back, but it is my impression that nowadays this is quite rare. – jcaron Jan 24 '16 at 10:40
  • 1
    This was 6 months ago. But you can consider Sumatra as a very undeveloped part of Indonesia, hence the special case. In Java & Bali I did not have this issue. – Adrien Be Jan 24 '16 at 10:43

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