How do I choose which is best for me?

These three companies are perhaps the only few big names in credit cards in the world today. For most banks in Singapore though, the more common brand of credit or debit cards would come from MasterCard and Visa.

The great thing about having these stamps on your card is that it enables anyone to be able to make purchases over the internet or in the shops in Singapore. The bad thing? With so many choices, it can be rather difficult to pick and choose which credit card suits you best.

But what are the differences between them anyway?

Differences between Amex, Visa and MasterCard 

Before we get into the thick of this conversation, it is quite important to know that firstly, these differences exist mainly due to the various benefits and offers that the cardholders can receive. For example, rebates when using a card. A good example of this would be POSB Everyday Card with MasterCard, which offers rebates on grocery goods after spending a certain amount, or Citibank’s Premier Miles card in conjunction with Visa, providing flyer miles per dollar spent using said card.

Unfortunately, because MasterCard and Visa are so incredibly competitive with each other, both are also awarded the Best Travel Credit Cards in America. This should probably give you a base idea of how well covered these companies are in the fields of Travel, Lifestyle and living in general.

To further compound the issue, the majority of the MasterCard and Visa cardholders can use their credit cards in almost every part of the world, whether to withdraw money at a higher fee or to purchase goods and services internationally. With the international footprint of MasterCard and Visa being so large, it makes it tough to define which company provides the best regarding deals and discount privileges.

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Then, of course, there are the business credit cards. These are usually offered by the larger companies for their employees (i.e. MasterCard, Visa, and the big auditing firms’ employees). These usually are issued when the company needs to send people out of the country (or in larger countries, between states and cities) for business reasons. The corporate individual cards usually offer somewhat better benefits and advantages like better discounts and lowered interest rates for borrowing thanks to the negotiations with the company on behalf of its employees.

Special mention goes towards American Express – or Amex. Once one of the powerhouse companies in the world (particularly so in Singapore many years back!), now it would seem Amex has been very much dwarfed by the 2 other giants in the credit card world. This is not to say that Amex is totally redundant; Amex still has a very strong presence particularly in the United States and Canada.

If you’re planning on doing business within the North American continent, having an Amex card could also serve you well regarding getting any bank loans and purchasing goods and services at perhaps a slightly lower interest rate than either MasterCard or Visa.

With so much said about these credit card companies, we go back to the question of choosing which would be the best amongst the companies.

The truth is, we can’t tell you which is best; you’ll have to decide that for yourself.

Of course, we’re not going to leave you just like this.

Here’s a list of benefits and comparisons of credit cards for your viewing pleasure. Hopefully, these will help you decide which would be best for you!

Amex, Visa and MasterCard

MasterCard Visa Amex
Travel Accepted in more than 210 countries

ATMs allowing cash withdrawal found worldwide

Accepted in more than 200 countries

Emergency services available 24/7, as well as emergency card replacement available in 1 business day

Accepted in 140 countries

Reward points can be used on the Amex travel site

Security -Monitoring services detect any fraudulent card usage

– Zero liability protection applies once the card is reported stolen or lost

– Monitoring services also detect fraudulent card usage

– Zero liability protection also applies, but not to ATM transactions (before reporting)

– Monitoring services also detect fraudulent card usage

– Fraud protection covers user without deductibles

Customer Service -24/7 emergency service operators worldwide

-Mastercardconnect available for international customer service

– digital wallet services launched in N. America and Europe – Mobile app and alerts through email and text
Returning/exchanging -Purchases covered for 90 days from theft/damage with restrictions

– Extended warranties for manufacturer warranties under 1 year

– 90-day protection from damage and theft

– Extended warranty if manufacturer’s warranty is under 3 years

– 90-day protection from damage and theft

– Extended Warranties for one year on merchant warranties up to five years


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Founder @ The New Savvy
Anna Haotanto is the Advisor (former CEO) of The New Savvy. She is currently the COO of ABZD Capital and the CMO of Gourmet Food Holdings, an investment firm focusing on opportunities in the global F&B industry. She is part of the founding committee of the Singapore FinTech Association and heads the Women In FinTech and Partnership Committee. Anna is the President of the Singapore Management University Women Alumni. Anna invests and sits on the board of a few startups. Anna is also part of the Singapore Chinese Chamber of Commerce & Industry Career Women’s Group executive committee. Anna’s story is featured on Millionaire Minds on Channel NewsAsia. She hosts TV shows and events, namely for Channel NewsAsia’s “The Millennial Investor” and “Challenge Tomorrow”, a FinTech documentary. Anna was awarded “Her Times Youth Award” at the Rising50 Women Empowerment Gala, organised by the Indonesian Embassy of Singapore. The award was presented by His Excellency Ngurah Swajaya. She was also awarded Founder of the Year for ASEAN Rice Bowl Startup Awards. She was also awarded the Women Empowerment Award by the Asian Business & Social Forum. Anna has been awarded LinkedIn Power Profiles for founders (2018, 2017), Tatler Gen T, The Peak’s Trailblazers under 40 and a nominee for the Women of The Future award by Aviva


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