Mastercard has been a significant player in the credit card industry for decades. Not only is it a household name in Canada, but it’s also widely recognized throughout the world. If you’re considering getting a credit card, then here’s what you should know about Mastercard credit cards:

How do Mastercard credit cards work?

A Canada Mastercard works much like any other credit card. You can make purchases online and in person at your convenience, and then pay for them at the end of the billing cycle. Any amount that you don’t pay in full will be added to the next billing cycle and begins occurring interest.

Benefits of using a Mastercard credit card

When compared to other types of credit cards, Mastercard credit cards offer some unique advantages:

Widely accepted

Mastercard is one of the most reputable and highly accepted forms of payment worldwide. This allows you to make purchases with many retailers using your Mastercard.

Rewards and perks

Mastercard has partnered with some of the best financial institutions, retailers, and travel providers to offer you a wide array of generous rewards. As you accumulate points for spending, you can redeem them for rewards that vary depending on the card you have. Here are some examples of redemption options:

  • Cash back
  • Gift cards
  • Free airline tickets
  • Nights in hotels

Some cardholders can also get other great perks, such as free checked bags with each flight or exclusive lounge access at certain airports.

Build credit

Because of how much a Mastercard credit card can be used, you’ll have the ability to build and maintain good credit. Using your card for everyday purchases and being responsible by paying your bill on time will appear as positive marks in your credit report.

How to apply for a Mastercard

If you’re considering getting a Mastercard credit card, here are the steps you can take:

1. Check your credit score

Find out your credit score by checking with one of the two main credit bureaus in Canada: Equifax and TransUnion. This will help you determine your eligibility for certain types of Mastercard credit cards.

2. Review your options

Based on your credit rating, browse through the different credit card options and compare what’s out there. Make a short list of two or three cards that you would like to compare.

3. Compare rewards

From your list, take note of any credit cards that offer rewards for making purchases in different spending categories. How likely are you to earn and use these rewards, and what is the value that they bring to you? Additionally, are there any special introductory bonuses that you could take advantage of?

4. Consider the APR and annual fees

Next, you should compare the fees associated with these credit cards. For example, suppose a card has a generous rewards program but charges hundreds of dollars in fees just for being a cardholder. In that case, you should consider whether having the card could result in a net positive benefit.

Additionally, consider the APR that card issuers might charge. Even if you’re in the habit of fully paying off your credit card each time, it’s helpful to know what the cost would be if you’re ever unable to pay your full balance.

5. Apply online

Once you’ve narrowed down your list to your top contender, it’s time to apply online. You can do this by visiting the specific Mastercard product’s official website and filling out an application. You may need to provide several personal details, such as your employment status and Social Insurance Number (SIN). Many applications can be completed within a matter of minutes, and you should find out relatively quickly whether you’ve been approved.

The bottom line

Mastercard credit cards can offer their users the convenience of easily making purchases, as well as many benefits when it comes to earning and redeeming rewards. Consider your needs and pick the Mastercard product that is right for you.

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