Discover vs Visa: Difference and Comparison

Nowadays, payment is mainly dependent on card payments and online payments. These cards are issued by their respective banks and each user gets a unique card.

Discover and Visa are two important card companies. Also, the cards are categorized as credit and debit cards. These cards offer cash withdrawal from ATMs, card swipe payment, and credit card facilities.

Key Takeaways

  1. Discover offers cash-back rewards and no foreign transaction fees, making it appealing to international travelers.
  2. Visa has a broader global acceptance, providing more accessibility for cardholders.
  3. Discover issues its cards directly, while Visa partners with various banks and financial institutions.

Discover vs Visa

Discover is a US-based financial services company that offers credit cards, personal loans, and banking services, and was founded in 1985. Visa is a global payments technology company that provides credit and debit cards, prepaid cards, and payment services to individuals, businesses, and governments.

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Discover is a credit card company primarily started in the United States of America. Also, in 1985 Discover Bank came into existence and was introduced by Sears. Also, Discover Bank is ranked as number three along with 57 million cardholders.

Visa is an American-based financial corporation established in 1958. In terms of card payment, Visa is ranked as the second-largest payment network in the world.

All the transactions are operated only through four data centers which are located in England,  Colorado, Singapore, and Virginia

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonDiscoverVisa
EstablishmentDiscover was established in the year 1985, formerly known as Greenwood Trust Company.Visa was established in the year 1958.
RankingDiscover ranked as the third most used credit card in the world.Visa is ranked as the second most used card all over the world.
Global acceptanceThe global acceptance of Discover cards is limited up to the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern EuropeVisa cards are accepted in almost 200 countries around the globe.
Additional chargesDiscover does not charge any annual fee or foreign transaction fees.Visa charges an annual fee and a foreign transaction fee.
Types of cardsDiscover only issue credit cards.Visa issues credit and debit cards.

What is Discover?

Discover is a credit card company primarily started in the United States of America. While launched as a new company, Discover denied charging any type of annual fee and proposed a credit limit higher than the normal limits offered by other banks.

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Also, Discover is given the credits to introduce a ‘cashback bonus’ on subsequent purchases.

Discover Bank was formerly known as Greenwood Trust Company and all the payments are managed under the Discover Payment Network.

Also, in 1985 Discover Bank came into existence and was introduced by Sears. Based on the number of active cards in the USA, Discover bank is ranked as number three along with 57 million cardholders.

Discover claims that their cards are accepted throughout the world in around 99 percent of the merchants. However, in terms of global admittance, Discover cards are limited up to the Middle East, Africa, and Eastern Europe.

Furthermore, while traveling to foreign destinations, Discover does not charge any type of foreign transaction fees.

But it lags in its global acceptance. Discover enables the customers to pay their credit card bills late only once. Discover credit card does not implement any annual fee, which enables the customer to earn rewards without paying any extra charge.

What is Visa?

Visa is an American-based financial corporation established in 1958. All the transactions under Visa are managed by VisaNet. These transactions are operated only through four data centers which are located in England,  Colorado, Singapore, and Virginia

In terms of card payment, Visa is ranked as the second-largest payment network in the world.

In terms of global acceptance, Visa is accepted in more than 200 countries. According to logs of card users, there are more than 3.3 billion consumers throughout the world.

Whereas, Visa charges a small amount of 3% on the foreign transaction under the name of foreign transaction fees. The benefits offered to the cardholders depend upon the type of card.

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Visa credit cards are divided into two categories; Visa Infinite card or Visa Signature card and traditional Visa credit card.

In traditional Visa credit cards, the benefits cardholders get a doorstep delivery, card replacement in case of emergency, and zero liability.

On the other hand, Visa signature cards provide travel and emergency aided services and extended warranties on some products.

With Visa Infinite cards, the cardholders get royal benefits such as reimbursement if the luggage is lost, trip cancellation, interruption insurance, return protection, and much more.

visa

Main Differences Between Discover and Visa

  1. Discover lags in global acceptance as it is acceptable in the Middle East,  Africa, and Eastern Europe. On the other hand, Visa is accepted in 200+ countries throughout the world.
  2. Discover issue their credit cards and maintain a whole network to manage them. Whereas Visa is only a network to manage the cards issued by some banks.
  3. Also, Discover does not charge money on the name of the annual fee, whereas some Visa cards do charge a small amount of annual fee.
  4. Discover does not charge additional money in foreign transactions whereas Visa charges around 3 percent.
  5. Discover only offer credit cards whereas Visa offers debit cards and prepaid cards.
  6. Discover came into existence in 1985 whereas Visa was established in 1958.
References
  1. https://journals.lww.com/em-news/fulltext/2001/07000/discover_card_and_the_real_issues.5.aspx
  2. https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s001380050067
  3. https://go.gale.com/ps/i.do?id=GALE%7CA105290136&sid=googleScholar&v=2.1&it=r&linkaccess=abs&issn=03624331&p=AONE&sw=w

Last Updated : 13 July, 2023

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6 thoughts on “Discover vs Visa: Difference and Comparison”

  1. Discover’s payment method is really attractive for international travelers. I appreciated the fact that it does not charge foreign transaction fees.

    Reply
  2. There is no need to provide an annual fee in this technological era, when we have the option to choose a company that doesn’t charge it.

    Reply
  3. This article is very informative and it really goes deep into the differences between Discover and Visa. The only drawback is that Discover’s global acceptance is limited.

    Reply
  4. I think both companies have their own strengths and weaknesses. It depends on the consumer’s preferences and needs which one to choose.

    Reply
  5. It is a shame that Discover is not accepted in more countries as I often travel to those places. It looks like I will still have to carry a Visa or another card with me.

    Reply

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