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Which variety of Mastercard is best in Italy?

...I can go with MBNA, Citibank or Capital One, along with my Visa card - which variety is accepted more? Or does it really matter?


Posted by
32069 posts


AFAIK, any MasterCard will be good. They all belong to the same "umbrella" organization, so it shouldn't make any difference. It's good to see that you'll also be taking a VISA, as M/C doesn't seem to be as universally accepted (at least in my experience). I also travel with both.

Happy travels!

Posted by
1874 posts

Capital One cards offer the lowest exchange rate fees.
It is the only card I use when I travel now. I was using my Visa card to get miles, but now I only use my Capital One card.

I travel with 2 cards, but use the Capital One only. the other card is just a back up in case I lost the Cap One. I never charge on two cards...who wants two bills when you get home from vacation?

Posted by
2207 posts

Lorne, Like Ellen I have the Capital One Card. Before moving to Italy I researched all the available cards. Capital One is the only major card I found that applies NO ADDITIONAL CONVERSION RATE fees. With their size, you get good exchange rates and then NO additional fees. Most cards charge a minimum of 1% additional fees - my AMEX Platinum is almost 3%.

Just make sure to call Capital One before leaving the US for vacation overseas. Their fraud department is very active. I have to call about once every 60 days despite notifying them up from I would be here a minimum of 2 years. But we have VONAGE so the call is free and the "hassle" is worth the security and rates I get.

Many smaller vendors over here will not take my AMEX card anyway due to the rate they are charged. Italy is generally a cash society and you can often negotiate better prices if you use cash! Good Luck in your selection!

Posted by
3580 posts

My CapitolOne card is a Visa card. I've used it abroad a few times when paying hotel bills and buying train tix. It worked fine, and there are no foreign exchange fees.

Posted by
12154 posts

As far as being accepted there is no difference between one Master Card and another or one Visa and another. If there is a difference between MC and Visa nowadays, I haven't noticed it (once upon a time MC wasn't accepted as much in Europe).

As to which is the best card, I'm hearing good things re Cap One because of no foreign transaction charges. I also saw where someone with a new Cap One card was having trouble with declines (I think the key here is a new card) even though she notified the company.

It's best to check out the cardholder agreement on your cards to compare. In addition to transaction fees, there are other travel related benefits cards offer. Before a trip is a good time to read the fine print regardless of which card(s) you take.

Don't know where you put them (or if you kept them)? You can often go online to see the agreement or call the company to send you one.