Established in 1966, MasterCard is an American multinational charge card cooperative owned by over 25,000 financial institutions. These companies issue all the MasterCard credit cards, allowing people from all over the world to process payments between their own bank and the banks used by consumers, merchants or credit unions. MasterCard is a direct competitor of Visa and is the second largest payment network in the United States, so it should come as no surprise that many gambling enthusiasts prefer to fund their online casino and poker accounts using MasterCard credit and debit cards.
Making a deposit to an online gambling site using your MasterCard card is as safe as sending your money via a traditional bank wire transfer, but keep in mind that you’ll have to provide the site’s staff with your credit card information, including the card number, expiration date, and Card Verification Value code. However, the risk of identity theft is pretty much negligible as long as you stick to reputable major network sites. All the popular poker rooms, casinos, bingo services and sportsbooks operate in an extremely competitive environment, which forces them to adhere to the highest standards in terms of customer security and privacy.
Finding a site that doesn’t support MasterCard deposits is much harder than finding the site that does, as all the online casinos, poker rooms, sportsbooks and bingo services seem to have this option these days, which shouldn’t be all that surprising if you consider how popular the MasterCard brand is. The aforementioned reliability problems are pretty much a non-issue outside of the United States, which means that funding your account shouldn’t require any serious effort regardless of the operator you pick.
Please note that much like in the case of Visa deposits, many sites have certain maximum and minimum deposit rules in place. In most cases, you won’t be allowed to transfer less than $5 and more than a couple thousand on your first payment. However, many sites are willing to make some exceptions to these rules for premium players, which means that you should probably stick with one or two networks if you plan on playing any high stakes games.
Making a MasterCard deposit is very simple and convenient – all you have to do is pick MasterCard in the cashier menu, input the aforementioned credit card details, add your billing address and wait for the money to be credited to your on-site account. In most cases, the transaction will be processed instantly, allowing you to join the action without any unnecessary delays. This means that while MasterCard payments aren’t exactly on par with e-wallet deposit in terms of speed, they’re significantly faster than the traditional bank wire transfers or Western Union/MoneyGram cash transfers. The transaction is going to show on your credit card statement, but keep in mind that most poker rooms and casinos use the name of their parent companies to avoid sounding like gambling sites.
Please note that while MasterCard payments have certain limitations. For example, most sites don’t offer MasterCard withdrawals, which means that you might be forced to cash out using a different banking method. In many cases, this means choosing between a bank wire transfer and check by courier. Both of these withdrawal methods are rather slow and might even end up being somewhat expensive, so you should definitely check all the available banking options before you decide to deposit your hard earned money via credit card.
Some of the most popular online banking options aren’t available to US-based gamblers due to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which made it impossible for many financial institutions to process any money transfers between the US-facing offshore gambling sites and their customers. MasterCard payments are one of the few methods available to American gambling enthusiasts, but unfortunately, they aren’t really all that reliable. First of all, your card has to be cleared for international transactions – if you have a domestic-only card, your payment is guaranteed to be refused.
Furthermore, MasterCard credit cards tend to have lower acceptance rate than their Visa counterparts, which means that your transaction is quite likely to be refused even if you’re using a proper type of card. While trying to send money to a gambling site isn’t illegal and doesn’t involve having to cover any fees, there’s simply no denying the fact that multiple failures to complete the transaction can get very frustrating. On a brighter note, if your card doesn’t get refused, odds are high that all the subsequent payments are also going to go through. Consequently, trying to make a MasterCard payment often requires you to assume a trial and error approach. If you can’t be bothered to go through all the hassle of trying several cards, I’d recommend sticking with Visa.