The Fall and Rise of MasterCard

MasterCard seems to be making a lot of good choices recently with its branding showing up in a lot of high-profile cards.

Monzo, Revolut, Starling, Curve, Tide, and more are all MasterCard branded.

I used to have a MasterCard Credit Card by (IIRC) MBNA (remember them?) which I took out initially because I was going to Germany and back then (early noughties), I was advised that MasterCard was more prevalent in the European continent than Visa was, so make sure I had a MasterCard handy in case I ended up in a place that did not take Visa.

I didn’t even use that card.

Fast forward several years later, and suddenly I got a letter saying MBNA were transferring me onto Barclaycard Visa — which was the same as the other credit cards I had. So I ended up with multiple Barclaycard Visa cards, and no MasterCards.

The fact MBNA transferred me off MasterCard made me wonder why. Was there an issue with MasterCard? Were they like AmEx and causing problems with merchants? I shall never know.

I’ve been with Visa pretty much my entire adult life, and aside from that period above where I had a MasterCard, never had a MasterCard.

Eventually I decided to look at Monzo and Revolut, getting accounts successfully setup in both. Both issued MasterCard Debit cards. Starling’s app wouldn’t run on my device.

Monzo is rapidly becoming my main day-to-day account, whereas my Barclaycard is for things like larger purchases, bills, fuel, etc.

It’s strange since my last MasterCard experience, they’ve gone and pretty much disappeared, to coming back and almost every new card out there is MasterCard Debit….

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