Merchant Rules

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Merchant Rules

Rules for accepting Mastercard cards.

There are over 24 million locations where cardholders can use their Mastercard cards. As you might imagine, a network this large must operate under specific rules and regulations. Mastercard requires our members – banks and other financial institutions that issue cards and acquire transactions – to comply with Mastercard rules. Those members, in turn, must ensure that merchants they acquire for also comply with Mastercard rules.

Merchants are critical to the success of Mastercard, and that success is better assured if merchants are afforded access to and understand Mastercard rules applicable to their businesses. For this reason, Mastercard is pleased to now be able to share with merchants rules applicable to the acceptance of Mastercard cards and Maestro® cards.

Please be aware that these rules establish minimum standards of acceptable conduct; an acquirer may require a merchant to adhere to additional, more stringent standards than Mastercard rules require.

Please be advised that Mastercard rules and other standards change frequently. While we will endeavour to keep the standards on this website up to date, it is possible that this website will not be absolutely current in all regards. In the event of any discrepancy between the rules and standards found on this website and those rules and standards Mastercard deems to be the official rules and standards, the official rules and standards will apply.

Download the Mastercard Rules