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Bits: why Mastercard FX rates are better than Visa, Air India returns to London-New York route

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News in brief:

The difference between Visa and Mastercard FX rates

It is easy to assume that Visa and Mastercard would use the same exchange rates when processing overseas credit card transactions.

In truth, that is not the case.  In most cases, Mastercard appears to come out cheaper.  Both Visa and Mastercard publish their rates online so this is easy to check.

I could have written a long analysis on this topic.  However, US site Mile Value ran an excellent piece this week which went into it in great detail.  It is worth a read if you want to know more about the difference between Mastercard and Visa and why Mastercard comes out ahead.

Air India to begin serving London – New York again

Air India, a Star Alliance member, has announced that it will resume flights between London and New York using its fifth freedom flying rights.

The route will start on 15th August.  The plane will start in Ahmedabad and route via Heathrow to New York Newark.  The flight time outwards is very reasonable, with a 12.30pm departure getting you into Newark for 3pm.

The 2 x 2 x 2 business class seating is not state of the art but, with a 74 inch pitch, will do the job for a short flight.  There appear to be two economy and one business class seat opened up for redemption for the Heathrow to New York leg, which can be booked via any Star Alliance airline.

Comments (41)

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  • Mud Island Mlungu says:

    Not really apples with apples.

    Visa is majority debit card business whereas MasterCard is majority credit card business.

    • Genghis says:

      I think it’s more gala v golden delicious. You choose because you prefer one over the other but you’re still eating an apple. With debit and credit cards, you prefer one (for all manner of reasons) but you can still pay for stuff and get cash with both

  • James67 says:

    I’ve never really understood the attraction of clarity, seems like a lot of needless hassle to me. Best card for both overseas cash and payments was undoubtedly N&P debit card if you can live with the daily £250 cash limit. Ofciurse, with respect to payments and cash now too, it is a different ball game now given the likes of supercard, curve and Lloyds avios.

    • John says:

      Clarity gives you £5 back if you spend £300 each statement period.

      Clarity has free cash withdrawals unlike Curve. I suspect Supercard will no21 longer have free cash withdrawals charged as purchases in the future – they must be losing lots of money from this

This article is closed to new comments. Feel free to ask your question in the HfP forums.

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