As part of our series of articles breaking down funding methods for online casino accounts, we’re providing detailed breakdowns of different credit card providers. In this piece, we’ll look at one of the biggest companies in this area – the credit card giant MasterCard.
MasterCard is a global payment processing solution based in the United States which uses banks worldwide to issue cards under their brand in both debit and credit forms. Since its creation, Mastercard has expanded worldwide consolidating itself as a leading payment processor and the biggest competitor of Visa. With its competitive transaction costs, ease of use, and excellent reputation for security, it’s one of the most widely accepted payment forms in the world.
MasterCard is also one of the best online casino funding options you can make use of. By choosing an online casino that accepts MasterCard you’ll benefit from comprehensive security against internet fraud and an incredibly convenient way of getting funds in and out of your account. Before we look at the advantages MasterCard brings to the table, let’s briefly cover the history of the company.
MasterCard originally came into existence in response to the initial dominance of Visa in the US credit and debit card markets. Created in 1966, the card was initially known as Interbank and/or Master Charge before being officially renamed as MasterCard in 1979.
MasterCard continued to expand worldwide in the intervening decades before finally going public in 2006. Though it’s faced subsequent legal issues with anti-trust complaints in both Europe and America, the company has continued to make strides in markets world-wide and regularly reports revenue of over $9 billion dollars worldwide.
Today, the company offers a broad range of credit and debit cards through partner institutions throughout the world and is firmly established as one of the leading financial services providers in the market.
Ever since its foundation, MasterCard has held itself to the highest standards in terms of transparency and settlement procedures and has expanded its operations to cover pretty much the entire world, both online and offline. Here are the three main advantages you’ll be able to capitalise on when you choose a casino that accepts MasterCard:
- Reliable casinos accept MasterCard: Casinos that accept MasterCard will almost certainly be using reliable merchant services and have a good reputation online. MasterCard’s world-class consumer protection mean it’s extremely unlikely you’ll have payments either into or out of your account and the very presence of MasterCard as a payment option means you’re probably in safe hands in terms of your casino of choice. Obviously, you’ll still need to carefully vet casinos before actually signing up.
- Mastercard gives you the option to play big: Using a MasterCard credit card puts immediate funds at your disposal with very generous limits. If you find yourself dabbling in high-stakes poker or similar games of skill, it’s a payment option that gives you more than enough room for manoeuvre. Having the ability to stay in large jackpot games when the cards are temporarily against you can be essential to long-term success in many tournaments.
- Easy management of funds and accounts: Relying on MasterCard as your main funding option considerably simplifies matters logistically when it comes to payments. You can be assured that all you need to do is pay your Mastercard bill to keep the show on the road, rather than having to worry about logging in and out of multiple accounts and interfaces.
Though MasterCard is an excellent, proven solution for funding your time at the online tables, there are some potentially negative factors to be aware of. Here are three of the most common things to watch out for:
- “Hidden” fees: There are costs associated with using your MasterCard credit card to pay for your casino gaming. Firstly, some issuers consider such payments a cash advance and charge you the appropriate extra fees for that service. You’ll also need to bear in mind that if you don’t pay off the card when you get your bill, you’ll face additional interest and transaction charges which can add up considerably over time.
- Overspending: Because you are using a credit line rather than actual money, there is a danger of getting carried away and spending more than you can afford. When you’re dealing with online transactions and credit, it’s all too easy to forget that all those ones and zeros will turn into very real cash at some stage down the line. Make sure you’re setting yourself a sensible budget well in advance and never wager more than you know you can afford to lose.
- Security of your card details: Though standards of online security are constantly being tightened, the amount of people online trying to illegally access sensitive financial data has also never been higher. If your card details are stolen somewhere along the line, you can face issues with both identity theft and fraudulent use of your card. MasterCard’s security reputation is second to none but there is a degree of risk involved in all online transactions that you should be aware of.
Following on from our final point above, you should always check your account statement diligently and report any anomalies immediately to ensure any possible issues are dealt with as quickly as possible. MasterCard offer very comprehensive fraud assistance and there are mechanisms in place to help you should the worst happen.
As we’ve hopefully established above, MasterCard is an excellent option for funding your online casino account and we heartily recommend adding it to your overall payment mix. it’s not the only option out there, however. Let’s look at five solid alternatives you can also make use of:
- Visa: When it comes to credit cards, the other major provider that leaps into most people’s heads is, naturally, Visa. In common with MasterCard, Visa also provides a range of payment methods across credit and debit card accounts. They also enjoy a world-class reputation for security, are accepted worldwide both offline and online, and can be used in the vast majority of online casinos.
- Wire transfer: Wire transfer involves sending money directly from your own account to another, or vice versa. It’s one of the safest ways of transferring money as your financial details are never exposed. Depending on the banks and territories involved, however, there may be hefty fees associated with this method of funds transfer so be sure to check the fine print.
- PayPal: Despite stiff competition over the years, PayPal remains the leading online e-wallet provider and is an extremely popular way of transferring funds online and paying for goods and services. You should have little trouble finding online casinos that will happily accept PayPal for lodgements and withdrawals, though be aware this will not be an option open to most US residents. Paypal accounts can also be directly connected to debit cards, credit cards, and bank accounts which gives you an extra layer of flexibility.
- Neteller: Neteller is a similar type of service to PayPal, though not as popular worldwide. That said, it is available in more than 180 countries and has gained quite a lot of traction amongst online gamblers over the years. Neteller specialises in the transfer of funds for online gambling and customers of Neteller casinos who transfer high amounts of money are able to sign up for membership as “Neteller VIPs” who can benefit from substantially lower account fees.
- Skrill: Skrill is a less specialized e-wallet solution that’s primarily used for e-commerce and markets itself as a cheaper, and often easier, alternative to sending money with money orders, checks, and wire transfers. Based in the UK, Skrill was previously called Moneybookers until it was rebranded in 2011 and you’ll find numerous casinos that accept Skrill online.
When it comes to choosing an online casino, your choice of casino payment method is one of the more important ones you have to make. MasterCard is an excellent option to pursue and we have no hesitation in recommending it. As with any credit card solution, however, we have to stress that you’ll need to exercise discipline when it comes to using it in relation to gambling and take care not to over-extend yourself.
We typically recommend setting up a number of different payment methods to avoid over-reliance on any one source and MasterCard is an excellent option to have in the mix. You should also have no trouble finding a whole host of reputable online casinos that accept MasterCard when you’re searching for the provider that’s right for you. Start by checking out our list of recommended providers and good luck on the tables!