On Fri, 18 Aug 2000, B. Deutsch wrote:
> A good thought, but I beleive that MasterCard and Visa are owned by
> the same company (which is why the Visa commercials always slam
> American Express instead of MasterCard).
It's a bit more complicated than that, since both MasterCard and Visa are really capitalist cooperatives used by banks to administer their branded cards. As I understand it, the profits from credit cards go to the bank who issues the credit card, with Mastercard or Visa receiving fees for running the system. Because so many banks issue both Visa and Mastercard, the two systems are largely intertwined because their members are largely the same. And that intertwining as stepped over to antitrust violations according to recent government complaints.
If your Visa is from the same bank as your Mastercard, threatening to tear it up won't do much good. However, if it is from a different bank, the threat will scare the bank issuing the Mastercard, who can put pressure on Mastercard to back off.
Emailing Mastercard is a good first step, but everyone should also call their own bank (use the 800 number on the card) to also complain and threaten to tear up the card. That will have an effect if that also means you will essentially be doing your Visa credit card business with a rival bank.
-- Nathan Newman