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I submitted a credit card application for MasterCard, but I wanted Visa. What should I do?

By , CardRatings contributor
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Question: I submitted a credit card application for MasterCard, but I wanted Visa. What should I do?

Answer: Your best bet is to simply apply for another card, either from the same source or a different source. But I also think it is very important not to cancel the MasterCard. If you don't want it, simply destroy it. But by asking to have the account closed, you will likely take a hit for a couple of points off your credit score.

The only major difference between the two organizations is total revenue: in 2009, for MasterCard it was $5.10 billion vs. $6.91 billion for Visa. Frankly both cards are very similar in operation and acceptance, despite Visa being the more popular of the two. The fact that the card is either a MasterCard or Visa is of little consequence to you, the cardholder. The major asset of any card is whether it offers you the benefits you personally want and need from your credit card. For example, if you need a card for cash back rewards on specific types of purchases, does it provide that?

Before applying for the Visa card, I recommend you do some research. On CardRatings.com you can review all types of credit cards using the criteria that best suits your needs. For instance, if you are seeking a low interest card, do a search under "low interest." If you want "rewards," use that criterion. If you travel a great deal, "frequent flyer" may be your best choice of search category. Then, from those results determine the best card based on your other preferences such as low interest, low balance transfer rates, and so on.

Do not base your choice on introductory offers as these are teaser rates only, and once the promotion ends, you will usually pay a substantially higher rate going forward. The exception would be if you are deciding between two very similar cards and you like them both, you might want to choose the one with the better introductory rate. But whether it's a MasterCard or Visa is of minimal consequence. It's your preference.

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