Consumers can get different kinds of credit cards associated with MasterCard. All these cards find global acceptance and come with a range of other benefits.
A large number of credit card issuers in Australia provide credit cards that come with a MasterCard connect. MasterCard, by itself, is not a issuer of credit, but functions as a third party payment processor.
It is not very different from its main competitor, Visa, given that credit cards affiliated with both find acceptance in most countries around the world.
The kind of MasterCard that is right for you depends on your particular requirements, and if you don’t pay attention to key aspects, you could end up regretting your choice. This is simply because MasterCard features with tend to have a bearing on the interest and fees you end up paying.
History of MasterCard
MasterCard began operations in the late 1940s, at a time when a number of American banks gave their customers specially issued paper that they could use in the form of cash at local establishments. MasterCard issued its first batch of credit cards in California, to serve as direct competition to the Bank of America card that later went on to become Visa.
With time, a number of franchises evolved in several cities, and in 1966, one such group formed the Interbank Card Association (ICA). No single bank dominated the running of this organisation, and member committees came into effect for this very purpose. ICA went on to become MasterCard in 1979.
MasterCard in Australia
By the late 1960s ICA started spreading its wings outside the US, and its initial affiliations were with Banco Nacional in Mexico and the European Eurocard. Japanese members entered the picture in the same year. By the late 1970s, it had members from Japan and Africa. A further expansion in the 1980s saw it entering Asia, Latin America, and Australia.
As of now, MasterCard has over 30 offices around the world, with a particularly strong presence in the Asia Pacific region. Its Australian headquarters is in North Sydney, NSW. The ‘big four’ banks all offer credit cards affiliated to MasterCard, as do a number of other smaller and regional banks.
MasterCard Credit Card Comparison
Rates last updated October 27th, 2016.
- Bankwest Qantas Platinum MasterCard
Bonus points and balance transfer offer have been extended until 30 November 2016.
September 28th, 2016
- Commonwealth Bank Business Interest-Free Days Credit Card
First year annual fee waiver + new offer of $250 cashback. Offers will end 31 October 2016.
October 10th, 2016
- ANZ Low Rate
A new offer of $100 Back and 0% p.a. for the first 6 months on purchases.
October 12th, 2016
What types of credit cards can I get with MasterCard?
MasterCard has also issued a new card called the MasterMoney account in the United States. This is an innovative card that combines features of both a debit card and a credit card. It is likely to be launched in Australia soon.
- ANZ Low Rate – Low Interest Credit Card
- Bankwest Breeze MasterCard – Low Interest Credit Card
- Bankwest Breeze Gold MasterCard – Prestige Credit Card
- BankWest Zero MasterCard – No Annual Fee Credit Card
- BankWest More MasterCard – Rewards Credit Card
- BankWest More Gold MasterCard – Rewards Credit Card
- BankWest More Platinum MasterCard – Rewards Credit Card
- Bendigo Basic Black MasterCard – Low Interest Credit Card
- Bendigo Red MasterCard – Credit Card
- Emirate Citibank World Mastercard – Credit Card
- Coles No Annual Fee Mastercard – Credit Card
- Coles Rewards Mastercard – Credit Card
- Commonwealth Bank Low Rate MasterCard – Low Interest Credit Card
- Commonwealth Bank Awards MasterCard – Rewards Credit Card
- Commonwealth Bank Gold MasterCard – Rewards Credit Card
- Commonwealth Bank Platinum MasterCard – Rewards Credit Card
- Commonwealth Bank Student MasterCard – Student Credit Card
- Latitude Low Rate MasterCard – Low Interest Credit Card
- Latitude MasterCard – Credit Card
- Latitude ‘GO’ MasterCard – Rewards Credit Card
- Latitude Coles MasterCard – Rewards (Petrol) Credit Card
- Latitude Coles Platinum MasterCard – Rewards (Petrol) Credit Card
- ME Bank frank MasterCard – Low Interest Credit Card
What are the benefits of using a MasterCard?
You can contact MasterCard’s round-the-clock Emergency Services from just about anywhere in the world, and can seek assistance in various matters. This service can help you with the reporting of lost or stolen cards, it can provide emergency replacement cards and cash advances, it can help you find the nearest MasterCard or Cirrus ATM, and it can provide information related to your account.
This platform is for select MasterCard cardholders, and it provides access to a variety of unique and exclusive experiences ranging across realms like dining, shopping, partying, travelling, and golfing.
MasterCard Priceless Cities
This platform gives MasterCard cardholders the ability to experience and savour different cities from around the world, and works as a guide in directing you to local gems, iconic landmarks, museums, food haunts, and more.
MasterCard Priceless Music
Through Priceless Music, MasterCard cardholders get the ability to watch some of Australia’s and the world’s finest musicians perform live. MasterCard makes this possible through a number of exclusive performances in Melbourne and Sydney. Competitions on this platform give fans the opportunity to enjoy all-expense-paid trips to events like the Lollapalooza festival and the UK Brit Awards.
Through the MasterCard Privileges program you get access to a range of travel and retail offers, which include Australian and international offers. These offers can lead to savings in hotel rooms, car rentals, and shopping.
When you use your MasterCard overseas, you don’t have to worry about making confusing currency conversion calculations. When you use your MasterCard to make a payment, it pays the merchant in the local currency, and bills you in Australian dollars.
What are the features of a MasterCard credit card?
- Global acceptance. MasterCard credit cards find acceptance in most countries and territories around the world, and you can use your MasterCard at any ATM or EFTPOS terminal that displays the MasterCard symbol. Bear in mind, though, that international transaction fees might apply.
- Easy access to funds. While you can use your MasterCard to make in-store, online, and over the phone purchases, you can also use it for cash advances at ATMs and supporting financial institutions.
- MasterCard PayPass. Just about all newly issued MasterCard credit cards make use of this technology that enables cardholders to make contactless payments for purchases under $100. This depends on whether or not the merchant in question supports this technology.
- MasterCard SecureCode. This online program provides additional security when your credit card details make it to the online marketplace, minimising the possibility of unauthorised usage. Close to 600,000 online merchants support transactions made using SecureCode.
- Zero Liability. MasterCard’s Zero Liability policy protects cardholders from unauthorised and fraudulent charges made using their cards. You can receive protection though this policy if you meet certain criteria, which include exercising due diligence in keeping your card safe, and reporting theft, loss, or unauthorised use as soon as you find out.
How can I compare MasterCard credit cards?
- Fees. The fees you end up paying depend on the credit card issuer you choose to go with as well as the card you get. While a basic no-frills MasterCard might require you to pay little or no annual fees, you might have to pay a noticeably higher annual fee if you get a gold or platinum MasterCard.
- Interest rate offers. Certain MasterCard credit card issuers offer promotional interest rates from time to time. These interest rate offers can apply on balance transfers and purchases, and their time duration can vary from six to 12 months, or more.
- Credit card issuer. This aspect can play a role in different ways. Many MasterCard credit card issuers give you the ability to access account related information online, but not all do. Not all have equally extensive ATM networks and ATM network partnerships, and not all provide the same levels of customer service.
- Rewards. While MasterCard does not provide a rewards program, you can find several MasterCard credit cards linked to various reward programs. While you can look forward to earning reward points that you can redeem for different kinds of products and services, you can also get a MasterCard that is linked to a frequent flyer program.
- Complimentary insurance covers. Getting a platinum or premium credit card, in all likelihood, brings with it a range of complimentary insurance covers which can include transit accident insurance, interstate flight inconvenience insurance, international travel insurance, purchase cover insurance, and extended warranty insurance.
If you plan to use your new credit card when travelling overseas, getting a MasterCard makes sense given its widespread acceptance. If you’re not looking for too many features, consider getting a low rate card, and if you want to make the most of your card you can look for one with extras like complimentary insurance covers and rewards. Don’t forget, though, that added features tend to result in increased fees and hiked interest rates.
Frequently asked questions
How can I apply for a MasterCard credit card?
Check with your bank if it provides a MasterCard credit card, or simply through the plethora of options online. Conducting an online search gives you an easy means to compare your options.
How long does it take to apply and how soon will I receive my card?
If you begin the application process with all the required information nearby, the application should take no more than a few minutes to complete. After the card issuer approves your application, it can take up to 10 business days for you to receive your card.
What eligibility criteria to I have to meet to apply for a MasterCard?
You should be at least 18 years old, a permanent resident of Australia, and will need to have a good credit history.
How can I make repayments?
This depends on the credit card issuer, and your options can include direct debits, cash, cheques, BPAY, and Australia Post outlets.
Do MasterCard credit cards offer interest-free days on purchases?
You can, in all likelihood, make use of a given number of interest-free days on purchases by paying your account’s closing balance in full each month. The exact number of interest-free days on offer can vary from one card issuer to the next.