Visa Credit Cards

No credit cards have as much penetration as Visa credit cards, which are accepted almost everywhere you can use cash. A Visa credit card will allow you to the comfort of knowing that you can use a credit card whenever you might need it, making it a staple in your wallet.

Credit Card Processors
Visa does not actually issue credit cards itself, instead it operates a credit card network and processing service which allows businesses of all shapes and sizes to accept credit cards with the Visa logo. For all intents and purposes, Visa is a middle-man between the credit card issuer, and the business that takes the credit card.

There are four major credit card processing companies including Discover, MasterCard, American Express, and Visa. Each have its own pros and cons, and we’ll show you how to differentiate between the four.

Visa – Visa credit cards are not issued by Visa, and issued only by third-party banks and credit card companies who want to issue credit cards that are universally accepted.

MasterCard – MasterCard does not issue credit cards, either. Instead, just like Visa, it services credit card transactions for companies and banks, standing in as a middle man to make the credit cards function.

American Express – American Express operates its own credit card network like Visa and MasterCard, but it also issues its own credit cards to end-consumers. American Express differentiates itself by working mostly with high-income, high-net worth borrowers who are attractive to stores. However, American Express, by virtue of working on the higher end of the spectrum, is not accepted in as many stores as MasterCard or Visa. American Express charges higher fees on its network, and many businesses would prefer their customers use a Visa card, which is not as expensive to the business.

Discover – Discover is much like American Express. The company operates its own network, and even issues its own cards and credit lines to customers. Much like American Express, Discover is not accepted in as many places as Visa or even MasterCard, and merchants would prefer their customers use a Visa or MasterCard to reduce expenses.

Visa Matters
The processing company absolutely matters in deciding which credit cards to apply for. When you apply for a Visa credit card, you’re applying for credit from a company which has agreed to use Visa as its credit card processor. For example, if you have a Capital One Visa credit card, or a Bank of America Visa credit card, it makes very little difference which bank is listed on the card. Your card will be accepted in as many places as Visa is accepted.

Many people get the idea that Visa credit cards are somehow less attractive than Discover or American Express credit cards, which have a customer who is generally wealthier. However, the reality is that Visa credit cards offer everything that the more expensive credit card companies offer, plus the added benefit of knowing your card will be accepted in almost every single store that accepts credit cards in the first place.

Visa Credit Cards Have:
Rewards – Visa credit cards can be found with rewards equal to any other issuer. Visa credit card rewards are offered by the bank issuing the card, not Visa itself, so the credit card issuer is of little importance to the card you choose—at least in terms of rewards.

High credit lines – Whereas American Express and Discover have above average credit card lines, they also have a tendency to deny people who would only qualify for lower credit lines. Visa credit cards have no real boundary in terms of how high a credit line can go. Prime borrowers can get just as high of a credit line through Visa as they can through the luxury credit card issuers.

Universal acceptance – Few stores will turn down a Visa credit card; and if they do, it’s probably because the store doesn’t accept credit cards in the first place. Discover and American Express have less penetration into the market, as stores do not want to pay the higher fees to process each credit card transaction. Over time, you’ll notice that many “mom and pop” retailers accept Visa credit cards, but not American Express or Discover, which are simply too costly to operate.