Every now and then it is important to take stock of your financial affairs, to make sure that you have all of your bank accounts and loans under control, and to ensure that you have the right financial products to support your financial objectives. While it is not essential to have a credit card, this line of personal credit can be a helpful way to manage your day to day expenditure and ensure that all of your bills are paid on time. But the question that is inevitable is: “What kind of credit card should I get?” In this article we take a look at a few of the main options.
With its headquarters in the United States, Mastercard is major player in the world’s credit card market. Mastercard offers both debit cards and credit cards and issues the cards through banks or credit unions. Mastercard was established in 1966. Mastercard is a transaction card that is widely accepted around the world and is generally priced the same as Visa from a merchant perspective.
Visa is a credit card company that was established in the United States in 1958 by Bank of America. It offers credit cards and debit cards which are distributed through other financial institutions. Visa cards are widely accepted around the world and from a merchant perspective are generally priced the same as Mastercard. Visa’s headquarters are in Foster City, California. Based on current estimates, Visa has just under 40% of the credit card market in the United States.
American Express was established in the United States in 1850. This company began life as an express mail business but moved into the financial services in the 1880s when it launched its first money order business. American Express is sometimes not accepted by merchants as they generally incur higher fees for processing transactions through American Express. However American Express cards often have the most attractive loyalty schemes, so while merchants may be reluctant to process the transactions, consumers will be keen to find merchants that will accept the card. American Express has been very good at building its brand and marketing its aspirational values. Recently the brand was ranked as one of the 20 most valuable brands in the world.
While not everyone needs a credit card, if you are finding yourself asking “What kind of credit card should I get?” then remember it is important to shop around, get the best deal possible and use your personal credit wisely.