MasterCard & American Express – What’s The Difference?

MasterCard & American Express - What's The Difference?
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Learn more about the two business titans, MasterCard and AMEX, as Canstar explains the pros and cons of choosing MasterCard vs AMEX.

MasterCard & American Express – What’s The Difference?

If you’ve been contemplating  whether to get a MasterCard vs an AMEX credit card, the wondering is over! In this article, we’re outlining the difference between MasterCard and American Express (AMEX) and the advantages and disadvantages between these two credit card providers.


These two popular electronic money transfer brands: MasterCard and AMEX differ from each other, with their business approach. As you may have known, MasterCard is a payment processing system only, so it does not issue any cards directly to the consumer in anyway. However, it allows financial institutions, banks to brand their cards as “MasterCard” for credit cards and “Maestro” for debit cards, so they can use these cards on the MasterCard payment processing system. That is exactly how they make money (as we understand it).


In the other hand, American Express is also an electronic payment system, but more to that, they issue their own cards directly to the consumer, also finance payments, and process the transfers themselves. Their cards is designed to earn profit for them through interest charges and fees.


This is exactly difference between MasterCard and AMEX – now let’s learn more on their rewards programs and acceptance

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How Many American Express & MasterCards are there?

As you have known, MasterCard does not issue cards itself, due to this, there are no detailed statistics currently available about how many MasterCard cards are floating around the world. However, it will interest you to know that they have a 9% market share worldwide, and this is huge (Nilson Report, 2016). Concerning to Australia’s big 4 banks, Commonwealth Bank exclusively issues MasterCard products to their customers, while ANZ and Westpac issue both MasterCard and Visa to their customers too, and NAB offers only Visa cards worldwide


However, American Express has a very smaller market share worldwide, and they have 117 million cards actively floating around the world.


Below is a snapshot of each providers’ cards with links direct to the providers’ website. Please take note that these have been generated based on an estimated monthly spend of $2,000 for each network provider.


Also read:

7 Ways You Can Protect Your Credit Card Against Hackers

7 Tips To Increase Your Chase Credit Limit

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