DEFINITION of 'MasterCard Card'

A credit, charge, debit or prepaid card branded by MasterCard Incorporated, a major technology and global payments company. MasterCard cards are available to individual consumers and to small, mid-size and large businesses with a variety of needs and credit histories. A wide variety of financial institutions, including Citibank, Capital One, Barclays and First Premier Bank, issue MasterCards to consumer. MasterCard itself does not issue cards, it only processes the card transactions. Each issuer decides what terms and rewards to offer consumers for each card. What these cards all have in common, regardless of the issuing financial institution or card type, is that consumers can use them at any business that accepts MasterCard cards.

BREAKING DOWN 'MasterCard Card'

To attract different types of consumers, MasterCards might have one or more features, such as no annual fee, rewards and cash back, a low ongoing interest rate or a low introductory interest rate. MasterCard also offers cobranded cards for consumers who want to maximize their discounts and rewards with a particular merchant, such as American Airlines, Exxon Mobil and Barnes and Noble. There is a secured MasterCard card for consumers who are new to credit or repairing bad credit, and there are prepaid MasterCard cards that can be given as gifts or used by consumers who don’t qualify for a credit card or who want the convenience of a MasterCard without going into debt. Consumers held more than 1.9 billion MasterCards in 2014.

Merchants pay MasterCard Inc. a small percentage of each MasterCard transaction they accept in exchange for the services and benefits MasterCard offers. By accepting credit cards, merchants can increase their sales, because consumers like the convenient and safe payment option. Merchants get paid in full for the purchases consumers charge to their MasterCards, and the issuing bank assumes the risk that the consumer might not pay the credit card bill in full. As with other credit cards, consumers can use MasterCard cards to make purchases in person, online or by phone, and consumers have no liability for any fraudulent transactions that might be charged to a lost or stolen card. MasterCard holders also receive benefits similar to those that other credit card companies offer, such as extended warranties and price protection.

RELATED TERMS
  1. MasterCard Acquirer

    A financial institution that accepts and processes transactions ...
  2. Banknet

    A global network operated by MasterCard that facilitates the ...
  3. Credit Card

    A card issued by a financial company giving the holder an option ...
  4. Authorized Transaction

    A credit card purchase for which the merchant has received approval ...
  5. Primary Account Number (PAN)

    The 14, 15 or 16 digit number that appears on the primary account ...
  6. Prepaid Cards Processor

    A company that processes transactions for prepaid payment cards. ...
Related Articles
  1. Tech

    Two Reasons to Own MasterCard in 2017

    With 2016 returns of only 6%, shares MasterCard were arguably a disappointment last year, but there are still reasons to own the stock.
  2. Investing

    MasterCard Q4 Earnings on Tap, What to Expect

    On Tuesday, analysts expect the credit card company to report increases in both revenue and profits.
  3. Investing

    MasterCard Stock Falls on Q4 Revenue Miss

    MasterCard's stock declined as much as 3.5% after it missed Wall Street's revenue estimates.
  4. Personal Finance

    American Express's Main Competition

    American Express competes with Visa, MasterCard, and Discover Financial Services in the credit card space. It also competes with banks to draw consumers.
  5. Investing

    MasterCard Stock Trades Ex-Dividend Wednesday

    MasterCard Inc. will send its dividend payment on May 9 to shareholders of record as of April 7.
  6. Personal Finance

    Comparing Credit Card Companies

    The four main credit card networks all have distinct strengths and drawbacks. Be sure you understand their unique traits before making a selection.
  7. Tech

    How the PayPal Credit Card Works: Benefits & Rewards (PYPL)

    Find out how the PayPal Extras MasterCard works for you, and how you can earn maximum rewards on gas and restaurant purchases throughout the year.
  8. Investing

    MasterCard's Stock Can Continue To Rise For Years

    MasterCard stock has had booming lately and appears poised to climb further. Here's why.
  9. Personal Finance

    How Credit Cards Built A Plastic Empire

    A decade before Mastercard or Visa existed, the first credit card company was introduced.
  10. Investing

    Credit Cards and the Cashless Society

    Visa and Mastercard are two great ways to play the continued transition to a cashless society.
RELATED FAQS
  1. Can you use a Walmart credit card anywhere? (WMT)

    Learn where you can use a Walmart credit cards, and find out the details and services provided to Walmart credit card account ... Read Answer >>
  2. What are the differences between debit cards and credit cards?

    Learn how the major difference between a debit card and a credit card is where the money comes from when a customer makes ... Read Answer >>
  3. Where are secured credit cards accepted?

    Repair a damaged credit history or establish one by opening a secured credit card account with a collateral deposit into ... Read Answer >>
Trading Center