Visa, MasterCard, or Discover?The credit scoring system is kept under lock and key, which means there is plenty of bad and inaccurate information circulating about how it all works.

One of the most common myths is that who issues your card matters to your credit score and the quality of your credit report.

In fact, it does not matter if your card is a Visa, MasterCard, Discover, or American Express card.

What matters for building credit is:


1) Whether or not the company who issues the card will report it to the credit bureaus. Neither MasterCard or Visa actually issue their own cards, they merely serve as processors. The bank that funds the card will be responsible for reporting your activity to the credit bureaus, so be sure to pick a card that reports to all three major bureaus.

2) How you manage your account. Be on time with each payment and keep your balances low when you can. Payment history and your account utilization make up the most important part of your credit score.

There is no such thing as a prime issuer. It is falsely believed that some credit card companies like American Express or Chase work with people with very high incomes and credit scores. In all reality, most people can qualify for at least one offering from any credit card company. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking one credit card brand is inherently better than the other.

If you’re in the market for a new credit card to build credit, look for one that will give you a decent credit line, and report to all three credit bureaus. As long as you pick a card that fulfill those two criteria, who issues or processes the card is not important to your credit score.


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