This past week, I was invited to spend some time with MasterCard in New York City*. In the very hip offices of MasterCard, I learned some very interesting things.  One of which is that MasterCard is NOT a credit card company.  This is something that I have never thought about before, as the logo is on so many credit cards everywhere we go, I automatically assumed that it was,indeed, a credit card company.  It is a networking company.  MasterCard is all about connecting the consumer to things they want or need though the banks and stores. A-ha!  I get the difference now.

MasterCard is all about connecting consumers to experiences, actually.  Think about it.  I want to travel the world…but that’s kind of hard to do without a credit card.  Having a card enables me to keep my money safe while on vacation, convert my American dollars to the monetary system of the country I am visiting, attain things that I would like to have now instead of waiting to save up, or allowing me to shop and book things online where I can’t pay cash. They are simply connecting me to my bank, hotel, restaurants, and shops, making my experience a simple and streamlined one.  I greatly appreciate that!

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For a long time now, MasterCard has shared their view that experiences are priceless. Well, MasterCard always has the consumer in mind and with that thought comes a whole new wave of ways to make experiences better for you and I today.  All because experiences matter more to us than things do.

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I’m a busy mom, so any way we can simplify day to day activities is a bonus.  MasterCard has partnered together with Samsung and Fresh Direct to bring us the Family Hub refrigerator, which I was able to show you at the beginning of the month. This allows families everywhere to shop from the door via the large touchscreen, using their MasterCard, or any card. The experience of being able to shop from home when you are in a hurry is priceless.

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Purses and bags on your shoulder, fumbling for your wallet while trying to juggle kids and groceries can be hard, too. Imagine being able to shop with the ring you are wearing.  Simply being able to let go of all the fumbling and tap your ring at the checkout pad.  That’s actually a thing now!  Using Ringly, I can connect my MasterPass on my smart phone to a ring or other accessory I buy to allow me to pay with that instead of a  physical card.  How cool is that?!

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Have you ever thought of shopping using virtual reality?  I haven’t at all.  But, that, too, is happening now.  Samsung’s Gear VR makes it possible to shop for what you see while wearing the goggles, as they have partnered with MasterCard to enable shopping at home. It can also let you see apps, movies, and games all in 360 degree 3D. I got to try those goggles out in a simulated roller coaster and they are incredible!

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Have you ever been to a restaurant with a group of people and had the hassle of splitting up the bill?  You probably ended up paying for items you didn’t get and quite possibly splitting the check unevenly.  No more, my friend!  Already working in restaurants in London, and coming soon to select ones in New York City, MasterCard has an app, Qkr! Pay at Table to help you split the bill and pay for only what you want to pay for.  Everyone can select what they ordered to determine their cost, add tip, and pay all from the comfort of the table.  Quick and easy, this app is brilliant!  I can’t wait for this to spread all over the United States.

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So you can see that MasterCard has been busy developing great experiences for the consumer.  I love all these new innovations.

Also available to MasterCard consumers is the website priceless.com.  Here you can explore new experiences that are only available through them, here and around the world. You can sign up to receive notifications from Priceless Cities to see what cool experiences are available near you, if you are a card holder. Imagine being able to dine with a Celebrity chef or visit places not open to the public, just because you are a MasterCard customer.  It happens! You can also receive special pricing and incredible deals just by signing up.

MasterCard ended this fun and informative afternoon with us with a priceless experience to let us see what it would be like to have a Celebrity chef make us lunch.  We were treated to a one of a kind experience and got to dine with Marcus Samuelsson.  For those that don’t know him, he is a regular judge on Food Network’s Chopped and the owner of Red Rooster in Harlem.  Being able to ask him questions, watch him prepare our meal, and converse with him for the afternoon was an incredibly cool experience in this intimate setting.  Our food was delicious and we learned so much!  It truly was… priceless!

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I am really excited for the direction MasterCard has taken and happy we, as the consumers, get to go on this ride with them.  Be sure to explore their website and see all the amazing opportunities that are literally at your fingertips!  Let MasterCard help you create new experiences.

*I was invited to attend this special event, all opinions are my own.