MasterCard is one of the most recognizable credit card names in the world. It is used in hundreds of countries by millions of people. Moreover, the MasterCard name is actually on more than just a plain credit card, several different types of MasterCards can be used for different situations. These different cards have their own advantages and disadvantages, depending on what you want to use them for.
The standard MasterCard credit card offers users the ability to purchase goods and services on credit. The user can choose from various types of MasterCard credit cards, based on his income level, credit history and other criteria.
The MasterCard debit card is a card that only allows users to purchase goods if they have enough money in their account to do so. Some banks use the MasterCard logo for debit cards attached to the bank accounts of customers, and the customer can use the debit cards at ATMs and to make purchases.
A prepaid MasterCard is similar to a debit card in that there is a set limit to how much can be spent on it, but the card is "loaded" with money first as opposed to being linked to a bank account. Prepaid cards can also be bought in set amounts and are commonly referred to as "gift cards."
The MasterCard Gold card allows users to make purchases just like they normally would on a MasterCard credit card, but adds in the ability for users to earn points based on how much they purchase on certain items. These points can be redeemed for goods, services and even cash. The exact terms of the points and how they can be used is decided by the company that issues the credit card, as there are different brands based on the store or bank that issues the card.
A PayPass card is a relatively new type of MasterCard that allows users to make purchases without having to swipe their credit card, enter a PIN number or sign any receipts. A small electronic chip is embedded into the card, and when it is held against a PayPass reader, the transaction is immediately completed without the need for further input from the credit card holder. A PayPass MasterCard can function as credit card or debit card, depending on what type is requested.
Mickey Walburg has worked as a writer since 2000 on technical and creative writing projects. He has worked on a publication for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and now writes for various websites. Walburg holds a Bachelor of Science in systems engineering from the University of Virginia.