How to buy Mastercard shares

Mastercard is a leading payments provider and has long toiled to make it easier for you to spend your money. Use this guide to find out whether you should use some of it on Mastercard shares.
By: James Knight
James Knight
When he isn’t at work, James is an avid trader and golfer who likes to travel. He once fed,… read more.
Updated: May 19, 2021
Tip: our preferred broker is, eToro: visit & create account

This page has everything you need to know about Mastercard stock. Get a brief history of the company, some pointers on what to look out for, and the lowdown on the best brokers to use.

Compare the best Mastercard trading platforms

If you want to get shares now, use one of the brokers below. These have been chosen by our team of experts to help you find one that meets your needs. If you want to learn more first, keep reading for more on Mastercard.

1
Min. Deposit
$50
Exclusive promotion
User Score
10
Trade/invest in stocks with just $50
Invest for dividends and get payout on stocks on Ex-Dividend day
Over 11 payment methods, including PayPal
Start Trading
Description:
eToro is a multi-asset investment platform with more than 2000 assets, including FX, stocks, ETF’s, indices and commodities. eToro users can connect with, learn from, and copy or get copied by other users. Buying stocks on eToro is free and you can invest with as little as $50.
Payment Methods
Bank Transfer, Wire Transfer
Full regulations list:
CySEC, FCA
eToro USA LLC does not offer CFDs and makes no representation and assumes no liability as to the accuracy or completeness of the content of this publication, which has been prepared by our partner utilizing publicly available non-entity specific information about eToro. Your capital is at risk.
2
Min. Deposit
$1
Exclusive promotion
User Score
9.3
0 Commissions and no deposit minimums
Registered with and regulated by SEC and FINRA
Loss of cash protection
Start Trading
Description:
Financial company driven by technology and offering all-in-one self-directed investment platform that provides excellent user experience.
Payment Methods
Full regulations list:

How to buy Mastercard stock, a step-by-step guide

We have put together a simple five-step guide to buying your first share. The process isn’t massively complicated, so don’t worry even if you’re new to stock investing. These are the steps to follow in order to complete your investment:

  1. Choose a broker. You need to use an online brokerage platform. There are many different options to choose from, each with their own unique benefits and drawbacks. The comparison table above can help you select the right broker for you, and you can head to our comprehensive broker reviews if you’re still unsure.
  2. Create an account. Once you’ve selected your broker, simply go to their website and create an account. The steps required for this will vary from platform to platform, but generally you can expect to have to provide your name, email address, phone number, and some form of photo identification.
  3. Deposit funds. Log into your broker account and select the option to deposit funds. Depending on your broker you’ll have a variety of payment options available; most brokers accept bank transfers and debit card payments, but not all accept e-wallets such as PayPal. Select your preferred payment method and deposit the amount of money you wish to invest in Mastercard shares.
  4. Place an order for MA stock. Search for Mastercard’s ticker symbol (MA) and see the current price at which the stock is trading. If you’re happy with the price, enter the amount of shares you want and place your order.
  5. Execute your order. Once you have placed your order, your broker will automatically execute it for you and your Mastercard shares will be listed in your account. Congratulations, you’ve just bought shares in Mastercard.

What is Mastercard? And should I invest?

Mastercard is a financial services company best known as a card payment provider. Formed in 1966 as a way for regional US banks to offer credit cards, it was a cooperative owned by thousands of financial institutions until it became a publicly traded company in 2006.

The global shift away from cash and towards digital payments has helped turn Mastercard into a financial giant. Despite pressure from alternatives like PayPal, the big two – Visa and Mastercard – dominate the payments industry.

Because of that, Mastercard might be a good option if you’re looking to invest in finance. It can be a cyclical stock, as people spend less during tough economic times, but its growth strategy has been about creating new revenue streams, so it now makes money from things like offering data services to businesses as well.

How has the company performed in recent years?

Extremely well. It tripled its revenues over the decade leading into 2020, a performance that sent its share price up 1600% in that time. That significantly outperformed both Visa and the wider market as a whole over the same period.

Those years were defined by regular acquisitions, where it snapped up lots of startups with innovative technology to offer faster and cheaper payment options. It also grew its market share in debit cards, an area traditionally dominated by Visa, thanks to deals with new online banks like Monzo and more established names like Santander.

The pandemic caused its growth to stall out, as reduced consumer spending and fewer cross-border transactions hurt the bottom line. There have been some legal difficulties too, opening up the potential that Mastercard might have to pay millions out in fines for overcharging its customers on transaction fees.

Is it a good time to buy Mastercard shares now?

It’s usually been a good time throughout its history as a public company. The pandemic has created some uncertainty, particularly over whether people will travel as widely and often as before. But the company now has lots of different revenue streams to protect it against a slow recovery.

One of the biggest themes of its recent acquisitions has been expanding into more markets. It has bought its way into the Middle East and, notably, China. Alongside that, it added more business-to-business payment options so it can offer more services to merchants, banks, and governments.

The only clouds on the horizon come from its ongoing legal fights and antitrust issues. Those are something to keep an eye on, as is Mastercard’s active acquisition strategy that means it’s often in the news. Follow our market analysis to make sure you don’t miss out on anything important:

Buying, selling and trading Mastercard shares for beginners

What to do before buying shares

You should always take the time to research a stock fully before investing your money, especially if you haven’t owned shares before. The more knowledge you have, the better your chances of making a wise investment. 

With that in mind, here’s a checklist to run through before you start.

  1. Research the company. You should always examine the fundamentals of a company. What is Mastercard? How did the company get its start? How did it grow? Is Mastercard’s revenue and profit growth picking up? Is the company innovating? The more you know about Mastercard, the better positioned you’ll be to make smart investment decisions.
  2. Make sure you understand the basics of stock investing. Before getting involved in the stock market, make sure you have an understanding of how it works. This will ensure that you have more clearly defined goals and have thought through how you will achieve them.
  3. Decide between share dealing and CFD trading. Choose the type of investment strategy you want to pursue, and make sure you have carried out the necessary fundamental or technical analysis for share dealing and CFD trading respectively.
  4. Set the size of your budget. The golden rule of investing is never to risk more than you can afford to lose. Not every investment you make will result in a profit, so it is important to set a budget that not only allows good potential for capital growth, but also protects against overly damaging losses.
  5. Find the right broker. Individual brokers each have their own pros and cons. Some will have low fees but have a user interface you struggle to understand, whereas others may be a bit more expensive but come with a range of features that you want to take advantage of. Use our broker reviews to find the right platform for you.
  6. Examine broader market conditions. No stock exists in a vacuum, and it’s always important to analyse the general trends of the stock market as a whole before investing. If a bear market is setting in and stock prices are falling, it’s best to wait it out and invest your money later when the stock is cheaper. If, however, the market is looking bullish, you’ll want to make your investment quickly to get the maximum benefit from rising stock prices. Follow the latest news to help you keep on top of movements in the financial markets.

What is the difference between buying, selling, and trading shares?

If you’re new to stock investing, then it’s important to understand the basics of how to buy, sell, and trade Mastercard shares. Here’s a quick run-through of what’s involved in each.

Buying Mastercard

This process involves finding a broker and placing an order for Mastercard stock, as outlined in the steps further up this page. Ideally you want to time your investment when the stock’s price is low so that you can profit by selling the shares after they increase in value.

Selling Mastercard

When you sell any Mastercard shares, you’ll want to do so at a higher price than the one at which you bought to earn a profit. 

When you sell is up to you. You might decide to keep your shares for a long time, hoping to benefit from the company growing steadily throughout. Or, if you see that Mastercard’s stock is already up a lot compared to the price you bought it and you’ve noticed that the stock market is starting to fall, it might make sense to sell and take your profits to invest elsewhere. Equally, if the stock has fallen since you bought it and looks set to fall further, it might be a good idea to cut your losses by selling your shares.

Trading Mastercard

Trading is the same process, it’s just done over shorter periods of time with the aim to make small profits on a regular basis. This means that you can make money faster and spend your profits in your day-to-day life – however, on the other side it means you can lose money faster as well. For inexperienced investors, we generally recommend making investments for at least 6 months to a year instead of making trades in quick succession.

You can trade Mastercard shares through share dealing, or by trading with CFDs. These allow investors to speculate on stock prices and trade with leverage in pursuit of bigger gains. CFDs trading is explained further in the next section, but it is worth noting that beginners should avoid trading with leverage. It comes with large risks and is best left to experienced investors.

Share dealing vs CFD trading

When it comes to investing in any stock, the two options you have are share dealing and trading. Which one of these methods to opt for largely depends on your investment timeline, with investors thinking long term tending to go for share dealing, and those looking for short term gains pursuing a more aggressive trading strategy.

Here’s a quick summary of the two approaches, and the pros and cons of each.

Share dealing 

Share dealing refers to the practice of holding shares in a particular company over the long term. When investing like this, you’re seeking to profit either from dividend payments or an increase in the stock’s price over time.

When investing your money this way, it is important to do thorough fundamental analysis of the company in which you are investing. You want to put your money in a stock you believe will trend upwards over time, even if there is some market volatility along the way, rather than get distracted by shorter term peaks and troughs.

Pros

  • Can build wealth over time to achieve financial goals
  • Don’t need to be very reactive to short-term market movements
  • Some stocks will give you an income through regular dividend payments

Cons

  • Takes a long time to realise any profits
  • Your capital is tied up in stocks and cannot be used for other investments

CFD Trading 

If your aim is to generate profits in the short term, then you might be better off trading shares than holding them in your portfolio. Stock trades like this are executed using CFDs (contracts for difference), which allow investors to trade against the value of a stock without having to take ownership of it. When CFD trading, investors are looking to buy and sell stocks fast to profit from short-term fluctuations in value.

One aspect of CFD trading that many investors find attractive is that they allow you to trade with leverage. This means you can place large trades while only putting up a fraction of the value yourself – for instance, if a platform offered leverage of 1:10, you could put £10 into MA shares and be able to trade £100 worth. This can maximise profits if the market moves in your favour, but be careful as it can also lead to heavy losses.

When trading using CFDs, it is key to be skilled at technical analysis and reading stock price charts. As you’re trading stocks quickly and frequently, the fundamental strength of the company in which you’re investing isn’t as important as being able to predict how its stock price will rise and fall minute-by-minute.

Pros

  • Can generate fast profits if you read the market right 
  • Some platforms allow you to trade with leverage
  • Prevents your capital being tied up so you can take advantage of investment opportunities

Cons

  • Trading with leverage is risky and can lead to big losses
  • Doesn’t necessarily generate growth over the long term

Consider which approach suits you best and craft an investment strategy that works for you. If you need more information, then simply take our course on how to trade stocks.

How to choose a broker

With the wide variety of online brokers available these days, it can be hard to figure out which is the best service to go with. Our comparison table and in-depth reviews can help you cut through the noise, but by and large these are the aspects you should be considering when selecting a broker:

  • Range of stocks available. The most important thing is that you can actually find the shares you’re looking for. Some brokers offer more stocks than others, and many will allow you to trade other assets, such as forex and commodities.
  • Fees and commissions. You want to keep as large a chunk of your profits as you can, so it’s important to make sure your broker doesn’t charge high fees that can eat into your profits.
  • Regulation. You should only use regulated brokers to buy shares in Mastercard. Unregulated brokers can be risky and offer little to no protection if the business were to fail while you had funds in your account.
  • Payment methods available. You might want to get Mastercard shares using a specific payment method, such as PayPal. Not all brokers accept every payment method, but using our comparisons you can search only the brokers that support the option you’re looking for.
  • Reputation. One of the strongest indicators of a broker’s reliability is the reputation it has with the customers who have used it. Brokers are online businesses, and as such many user experiences can be found online. You can check these out in addition to our reviews to make sure you choose the right platform.
  • Customer service. As you’re going to be investing your money using the platform, you want to check that the broker offers good customer service in case you have a query or something goes wrong.

Latest Mastercard news

On Tuesday, Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA) shares edged lower 1% after launching Mastercard Installments, a Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL) program. The company has linked with banking partners to allow in-store and online instalment payments for US, Australia and UK customers. Mastercard becomes…
Shares of Conagra Brands Inc (NYSE: CAG) are down more than 15% from their high in early June, but Fairlead Strategies’ Katie Stockton says things are about to change for the stock in the fourth quarter. Stockton’s remarks on CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” Stockton agrees that Conagra has been in…
On Thursday, Mastercard Inc. (NYSE:MA) shares edged slightly higher after revealing plans to purchase a crypto intelligence firm. The company is buying CipherTrace, a cryptocurrency intelligence firm that tracks more than 900 cryptocurrencies. It plans to use the platform to accelerate its crypto strategy implementation amid…

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