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Visa, American Express, Mastercard - Which Network is Better?

Posted on the 14 October 2013 by Consumerfu @ConsumerFu
Amex Visa MasterCard

There are big differences between Visa, American Express and Mastercard networks. Many people looking for a new credit card don't understand that Visa and Mastercard don't actually issue credit cards. When comparing cards it is important to know which rewards are offered by the network and which are offered by the issuing financial institution.

  Visa Mastercard American Express


  • Accepted in over 200 countries
  • Emergency card replacement in one business day
  • Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver covers the cost of the vehicle for up to 15 days in your home country or 31 days international. Unlike other networks, Visa covers theft, accidents, “loss of use” and towing charges.
  • 24/7 Toll-free numbers for emergency services worldwide
  • Accepted in 210+ countries and territories
  • PayPass locator app helps you find merchants/ ATM’s worldwide
  • Car Rental Collision may not be offered with all cards. High-tier cards have restrictions on the type of vehicle and country where it is rented.
  • 24/7 Toll-free emergency services operators worldwide
  • Used in 140 countries
  • Luggage insurance with some no-fee cards
  • Roadside assistance sends a tow truck to all card members, but you pay for services unless you have a high-tier card
  • Car rental protection covers deductibles up to $50,000. Expanded coverage is a $25 flat fee for up to 42 days of coverage
  • Reward points can be used on travel site and 1,300 reward partners worldwide
  • Additional travel insurance, medical insurance and baggage protection can be purchased to cover emergencies


  • Verified by Visa uses additional password for secure online purchases
  • Fraud monitoring alerts customers to unusual charges
  • Zero liability for fraudulent charges, but does not include ATM transactions
  • Monitoring services to detect and prevent fraudulent charges
  • Zero liability protection applies once you report a lost or stolen card
  • ID Theft victims receive assistance contacting credit agencies
  • Monitoring systems catch unusual activity and alert customer
  • Fraud protection covers you without deductibles
  • Communication to consumers include account code so you know if its legit

Customer Service

  • Launched digital wallet service in U.S. and Europe
  • Account alerts through e-mail and texts remind you about payments
  • Mobile app lets you check balances, pay bills and review benefits

Returns & Exchanges

  • Purchases damaged/stolen within 90 days are covered by Visa
  • Extended warranty for one year, if manufacturer’s warranty is less than 3 years
  • Price protection reimburses costs if you find a lower price in 60 days
  • Purchases are covered for 90 days from theft / damage with several restrictions
  • Return Protection reimburses you up to $250 if you change your mind within 60 days and a merchant refuses to take the item back.
  • Extended Warranties are only for manufacturer warranties 1 year or less
  • Purchase Protection is good for 90 days against theft or damage
  • Extended Warranties for one year on merchant warranties up to five years
  • Return Protection reimburses up to $300 if a merchant refuses to take back an unused item within 90 days, but only in U.S., Puerto Rico and Virgin Islands

Premium Perks

Visa Signature:

  • No pre-set spending limit
  • Concierge services offer exclusive discounts,complimentary items, pre-event ticket purchases and upgrades
  • Reimbursement for lost luggage, travel and emergency assistance
  • Online Marketplace provides discounts and deals on merchandise
  • Buy groceries and earn $.0.03/gallon discount on gas with the Fuel Rewards program
  • Dine out at select restaurants and earn $0.01/gallon discount for every $50 spent with the Fuel Rewards dining program
  • Concierge services, insurance and additional services are available only on premium cards
  • Platinum members get complimentary airport clubs, $200 airline credit, discounts for companions and priority boarding
  • Concierge services for exclusive discounts, deals and pre-sale tickets
  • By Invitation Only offers for exclusive trips, events and experiences

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