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Master Card Card - The Benefits of Getting a Master Card Card

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When deciding on getting a credit card, most people do not put much thought into whether it is a Visa or a Master Card card. The other benefits are much more important than any of the minor differences between the two companies. The type of card usually only becomes an issue when one of the choices is American Express or Discover. The Visa card and the Master Card card have tailored their benefits and their availability over the years so that one does not have much of any advantage over the other.

It is a common error to label the card a Master Card card, but the official company name uses the compound word MasterCard, keeping the capital C, but eliminating the space. MasterCard was founded in 1966 by a group of California banks looking to create an interbank association to issue a credit card. Until 1979, the company was called Master Charge, which is one of the reasons for the confusion with the spelling of the current name.

As mentioned previously, some major differences in the credit cards available make the choice between Visa and MasterCard a moot point. Only once these big factors have been deemed as equal, should you be looking at the differences between the companies. Some of the big factors you should look at in determining if the MasterCard card you are looking it is right for you are as follows:

  • Annual Percentage Rate (APR) – This is the single-most important factor in deciding on a credit card. The APR determines how much interest you will accrue each billing cycle. The lower the APR, the less you will have to pay for using your card. Make sure you get the lowest APR, and don’t forget to check that it is not only an introductory rate, but will be maintained according to the market.
  • Grace Period – The grace period is the length of time you have to pay off your charges before they incur an interest charge. A common grace period is 28 days, but can be 20 days or less.
  • Fees – All credit cards have fees. Some fees are one-time only fees, while others are charged on an annual basis. There are also fees that are incurred as penalties for making late payments and over-drafting your card (charging more than your limit). Some cards have fees for online account access, ATM cash advances, or for making payments online or over the phone. Try to get the lowest fees for the ones that you cannot control. It is possible to avoid late fees and overdraft fees by careful spending and payment habits.
  • Finance Charge Calculation – Different banks use different methods for calculating how much interest you will pay. Some use only the balance before the grace period. Others calculate interest based on new charges if you still have a previous balance.
  • Credit Limit – If you are new to having a credit card, you may want to start with a low credit limit until you get the hang of using the card and paying the bill. High-limit cards can be dangerous, especially if your self-control is lacking when it comes to spending.
  • Rewards – Many cards have rewards programs. There are many programs from which to choose. Among the most popular types of rewards programs from MasterCard are frequent flier miles and cash-back rewards. Cash-back rewards can be limited to certain types of purchases, such as travel or restaurants, or they can be for all types of purchases. These rewards are like an automatic discount program. Some rewards are paid monthly while others are paid on an annual basis.
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