Take a closer look at MasterCard credit cards
If you're looking to compare credit cards, we can help with some priceless information. In this guide, we take a look at MasterCard, which is a credit card payment system in itself.
- Credit cards allow consumers to buy now and pay later, often within a certain limit
- MasterCard is a type of card payment system, rather than a credit card issuer as such
- Your credit score can affect the likelihood of getting a credit card
If you’re looking to pay for something straight away, you can use cash or a debit card. But for larger purchases you may want to peruse the different credit cards available.
What is MasterCard?
Founded in California by several different banks, MasterCard has expanded over the last 50 years into one of the world’s largest financial services providers. Its principal operation throughout the world is processing payments between merchants’ and consumers’ banks via its debit and credit cards.
What is a credit card?
A credit card operates by allowing the consumer a line of credit from which they can borrow for purchases. In simpler terms, you pay at the till, your bank pays the shop from your credit balance, and you can then pay your bank or lender back in due course.
There’s often a limit on the amount one can spend on a credit card. It's still possible for consumers to run up a lot of credit card debt, so it’s wise to take care in terms of how much you spend on a credit card and always meet your minimum monthly repayments.
MasterCard credit card
MasterCard isn't a bank. It primarily processes payments, so most banks within the UK offer a credit card where transactions are processed by MasterCard. You might find that Barclays, NatWest or even Tesco credit cards carry the MasterCard logo, for example.
In essence, MasterCard makes sure that transactions are valid. Speed is particularly important in processing payments, as nobody wants to be waiting too long for their transaction to be approved. MasterCard also ensures that transactions are secure, and monitors payments for potential fraud.
According to MasterCard in April 2018, it enables payments in more than 150 countries.
MasterCard and my credit score
Everyone who has a bank account in the UK will have a credit score. This is, in essence, a report of your financial history.
Lenders will use it to help them determine how risky it would be to offer you credit. The worse your score, the higher the risk to them, and so the likelihood of you obtaining credit diminishes.
And so it is with credit cards. The worse your credit score, the less likely it is you’ll be offered a credit card. Your score isn’t the only thing credit card providers will look at when considering you for a card, and you can improve your credit score in many ways.
If you have your heart set on a credit card, working on your credit score isn't a bad idea (assuming it's not already tip-top). You can also use our smart search to see which cards you're most likely to be accepted for, and doing so won't leave a mark on your credit history. As ever, shopping around and comparing is the sensible way to find the right credit card for your requirements.