Credit Card Guide
 
Follow Us  twitter facebook You Tube Google+
 
Credit Cards > Credit Card News > In the News > For Brits, It’s No Visa, No Olympic Games



 
 

For Brits, It’s No Visa, No Olympic Games

 
By Eva Norlyk Smith, Ph.D.
July 8, 2010

tools
tools
email print comment
tools
SHARE

Britons looking to attend the 2012 Olympic Games in London could have their own hurdle to leap over: due to a deal struck between credit card giant Visa and the Olympic Games, Brits who want tickets for the Olympics can only purchase them with a Visa credit card, debit, or prepaid card.

The Visa-card-only policy applies not just to the Olympic and Paralympic games, but to shops and cash machines located anywhere on the games site. And while overseas visitors to the Olympic games can buy tickets at home with other payment methods, they too will have to use a Visa credit card, debit card, or prepaid card if buying souvenirs, getting food at concession stands, or getting cash at ATMs.

While those involved claim that the contract is standard and actually necessary to help sponsor the games, The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) has nonetheless begun examining the matter. According to a recent statement, “The OFT and the European Commission are aware of these issues and are currently in discussion about what action, if any, should be taken.”

Consumer advocates have expressed outrage at the discrimination, which will force MasterCard-and American Express-wielding sports fans to acquire a Visa credit card or prepaid card in order to see the games. A variety of prepaid Visa cards can be purchased over the internet, some allowing cardholders to load as much as $10,000 onto their card, plenty for Olympic Game tickets, concession stand visits, and souvenirs for everyone back home as well.

As the world’s leading credit card giants, Visa and MasterCard are locked in a fierce competitive battle. Currently, Visa dominates the UK debit card market, but falls behind when it comes to credit card use. The UK’s 53 million Visa debit card holders easily outnumbers the 17.5 million Mastercard users in the country, however, in the credit card arena, the numbers reverse with MasterCard counting a full 36 million credit card customers versus Visa’s 22 million.

Time will tell whether Visa’s attempt to get an edge in the credit card playing field through its deal with the Olympic Games will be effective or not. However, one thing is for sure: unless the OFT steps in and nixes the Visa contract with the Games, American Express and Mastercard holders may have to throw in the towel and accept that some things are too priceless to pass up, and for the rest there is MasterCard.


Share 
 
     

 
 

VIEW RELATED STORIES

Govt. Watchdog Zeroes in on Debt Collectors - Consumers hounded by sometimes-threatening debt collection calls could soon get some relief. The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will be keeping a closer eye on debt collectors starting next year

Banks Sound Off On New Complaints Database - If you want to complain about your credit card, a new government website will let you make that complaint public. That's a win for consumers -- but is it fair to banks?

Do Overdraft Protection Programs Prey on the Poor? - The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is launching an investigation into banks' overdraft protection programs and fees

ALL CREDIT CARD NEWS & ADVICE ARCHIVES >>

 
     

 
  If you are commenting using a Facebook account, your profile information may be displayed with your comment depending on your privacy settings. By leaving the ‘Post to Facebook’ box selected, your comment will be published to your Facebook profile in addition to the space below.
 
     


 
Secure SSL Technology
Secure SSL
Technology
 
Twitter Facebook You Tube Google+
About Us Privacy Policy Editorial Team Terms of Use
Contact Us California Privacy Rights Media Relations Site Map

Close X