Understanding your Bill from Mastercard

Mastercard may be hiding fees and charges in your bill. Understanding your bill will help you avoid unnecessary cost.

Mastercard is arguably the biggest credit card company in America aside from Visa. But they make it easy to become annoyed with their policies and offerings when they don’t tell you about any extra charges you might find on your next bill or statement. Additionally, it’s difficult for people to make a choice about their credit card provider if they don’t know much about the interest rates they offer. We’ll explain both of these aspects and more.

What’s On Your Mastercard Statement

As a big credit card provider, MasterCard has a typical statement outline detailing your various charges and surcharges. The statement may also talk about various processing fees or break down exactly where your money went over the course of the month. Additionally, MasterCard usually advertises for additional accounts and special offers on your statement, but we’re most interested in any extra charges or fees.

What Are the Extra Charges You Might See?

As a credit card company, MasterCard both has a processing fee you can expect to see on most of your purchases where it applies. But they also include several other charges to be aware of that we’ll detail now:

  • Average processing fee: between 1.55% and 2.6%. This is made up of additional third-party taxes and fees, as well as the interchange fee rate that can vary from time to time
  • Merchant surcharge: this is a charge that merchants can levy any customers who pay with MasterCard credit cards. The fee is normally between 1.5% and 3% and it can be no greater than 4%. You can always check the surcharge rate at the register at which you pay
  • International fees: like Visa, MasterCard usually handles any transactions between foreign merchants or banks and US banks. This is usually 1% of the total transaction cost per transaction. However, MasterCard does offer certain credit cards that can avoid this extra charge
  • Credit card APR: can be 0% to pick up a special offer credit card. This 0% APR is only viable for 12 months, then climbs to 10.75% or so depending on your creditworthiness. This makes Mastercard a decent choice for short-term credit needs
  • Regular APR: between 16.24% and 22.24%
  • Balance transfer fee: either $10 or 5% of the amount of each balance transfer, whichever one is more expensive

It should be noted that the majority of the fees mentioned above are variable, and MasterCard has several special credit cards available that can eliminate or reduce the charges. For instance, there are several credit cards that have “no balance transfer fees” as one of their selling points. Therefore, your statement may or may not have these charges present when you receive it depending on the exact credit card you have with MasterCard. Review your card agreement to see if there’s been a mistake.

How to Contact Mastercard

Mastercard has a dedicated customer service page, including various weekly asked questions and quick-solution pages. You can also contact them if you need to replace your car quickly or they can connect you to your home financial institution.

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