Well-known for its “Priceless” advertisements, Mastercard is used in over 210 countries.
Today, Mastercard has 231 million cardholders globally. Second only to Visa with 336 million cardholders.
Mastercard is headquartered in New York.
In 1966 Interbank Card Association (ICA) was created. Later, in 1969 ICA became Master Charge. Finally, in 1979 Master Charge became what it’s known as today - Mastercard.
Mastercard has achieved many world records and set several milestones in its time, including:
Mastercard has continued to evolve throughout the past 50+ years.
In 2006, Mastercard made a change in its organizational structure. As a result, it was introduced to the New York Stock Exchange.
To remain successful, Mastercard has also made several acquisitions and formed various partnerships. This includes acquisitions of:
Mastercard has established several partnerships over the years. Partnerships allow Mastercard to increase their capital and reach new markets.
In the past, Mastercard has partnered with:
These partnerships have allowed Mastercard to participate in the international payment market. They have also enabled Mastercard to expand their services beyond consumer-to-business payments.
In the early 1970s, the only major credit card available to Canadians was Chargex. Chargex was a charge card provided by the Bank of America.
The Bank of Montreal (BMO) saw the interest in Chargex (which had 3.2 million cardholders) and decided to offer their own charge card system.
BMO, in partnership with the National Bank, introduced Mastercard (known as Master Charge at the time) as their credit card network in 1973.
Soon after Master Charge’s introduction into Canada, the number of credit card holders grew significantly. By 1977, over 8 million credit cards were used by Canadians and more than 27 thousand businesses accepted credit cards as a form of payment.
Mastercard credit cards are very popular in Canada. Credit cards offer increased purchasing power compared to debit cards. They also provide benefits such as points and cardholder solutions.
Mastercard offers the following categories of credit cards to Canadians:
Mastercard’s standard credit cards offer the following perks:
World Mastercard credit cards offer everything included with a standard credit card plus:
World Elite Mastercard credit cards include all the features of World Mastercard credit cards. However, they provide additional travel perks including:
Priceless Cities is a program that Mastercard launched in 2011. It allows cardholders to experience exclusive travel destinations and excursions.
The Priceless Cities program is meant to offer cardholders an experience that “money can’t buy”.
Mastercard is well-known for its credit cards. However, the company also offers other types of cards. These include:
Mastercard debit cards let cardholders enjoy the benefit of Mastercard’s network. These debit cards can be used at online and in-person stores throughout Canada.
For many people, Mastercard prepaid cards are an attractive alternative to a credit card.
Prepaid cards can be used wherever Mastercard credit cards are used. These cards can be loaded with credit and then used as an alternative to cash.
Unlike with a typical credit card, cardholders are not borrowing money when they make a purchase with a prepaid card. Instead, the card only allows the cardholder to spend funds that have already been paid towards the card.
Additional advantages of a prepaid card include:
Mastercard, unlike American Express, does not issue credit cards. Mastercard is strictly a credit card network.
This is why Mastercard credit cards are always paired with an issuer’s symbol on the physical credit card.
An issuer is a bank or credit union that issues the credit card. Issuers are responsible for the following:
Credit card networks, on the other hand, are responsible for ensuring that the credit cards can be used at a large number of in-personal and online locations. They also provide:
Mastercard credit cards are available through 20 different issuers in Canada. These issuers include:
In addition to interest and other fees, Mastercard Canada makes money by charging a transaction fee. Each time a cardholder makes a purchase with their Mastercard, Mastercard collects this fee.
For cardholders, this is not typically a concern, as transaction fees are usually charged to the merchant or retailer.
In 2013, Mastercard introduced Masterpass. Masterpass is a digital wallet that can be used to make purchases online.
Masterpass works by storing your payment and shipping information. This way, you don’t have to enter it each time you make an online purchase.
Additional Masterpass benefits include:
Mastercard Canada is dedicated to cardholder safety and security. They strive to protect their customers with the help of:
Mastercard Canada does not hold users accountable for fraudulent activity on a credit card.
If a consumer suspects fraud or credit card theft, Mastercard will complete an investigation. They will cover any charges that were the result of fraudulent activity.
Mastercard also uses chip technology to curb credit card fraud.
Credit card chip technology uses encryption to protect sensitive data when transactions are made. Chip technology is also often paired with a pin, adding a further layer of security.
Mastercard has gone the distance to maintain a socially responsible company.
There are three areas in which Mastercard aims to fulfil its corporate responsibility. These areas include:
Mastercard aims to make banking more attainable. To do so, Mastercard strives to provide people around the world with access to banking and financial independence.
Mastercard ensures that its business practices are rooted in strong morals and values. These morals and values are upheld in its day-to-day business operations.
Mastercard works to limit and reduce its carbon footprint. To do this, the company makes it a priority to:
To apply for a Mastercard in Canada, you must submit an application online or in-person with an issuer. Because Mastercard is only a credit card network and not an issuer, you cannot apply for a credit card directly through Mastercard. You can, however, use Mastercard’s website to find a list of banks and financial institutions that issue Mastercard credit cards. For your convenience, we have provided a list of Mastercard issuers in Canada above.
With so many options, the best Mastercard credit card will be different for each person. To find the best Mastercard for you, compare the various cards and consider what’s important to you. Keep in mind factors such as card benefits, annual fees, and interest rates. Find out if your bank or financial institution issues Mastercard credit cards. If not, explore other issuers that do.
To cancel a Mastercard, you must contact your credit card issuer. Mastercard is only a credit card network and, therefore, cannot cancel your credit card for you. Before cancelling your credit card, be sure to pay off any remaining balance and redeem your earned rewards. Once you’re ready to cancel, call your Mastercard issuer and finally shred your cancelled card.
Mastercard is accepted almost anywhere that credit cards are accepted. In fact, Mastercard is one of the most widely accepted credit card networks in Canada. Most notably, Costco and No-Frills accept Mastercard credit cards as their only form of credit card payment.
A prepaid Mastercard is a loadable charge card that you can use anywhere Mastercard is accepted. Mastercard prepaid cards can be used as a substitute for cash for online and in-person purchases. Prepaid Mastercards also work well as gifts, as no personal information is required to purchase one.
Emma is responsible for all content on Creditcards360.ca. She has a college degree in economics and a keen interest in personal finance. Get in touch with her by email.