The Purchase, New York-based company reported net income of $458 million, or $3.49 per share on Tuesday.
That compared with $349 million, or $2.67 per share, in the year-earlier period.
Analysts on average had expected MasterCard to post a profit of $3.33 per share, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
The company attributed its results in part to an increase in spending on its cards, especially outside of the United States. The gross dollar volume of the transactions MasterCard processed rose about 8.5 percent globally from the year earlier, to $656 billion. But growth in U.S. gross dollar volume was flat at $244 billion.
MasterCard also said more consumers have resumed traveling - and spending money - abroad. Its cross-border volumes increased 15.2 percent from a year earlier.
Revenues rose 6.7 percent to $1.37 billion, slightly below analysts' average expectations.
MasterCard cut expenses by 10.4 percent, to $648 million, from a year earlier. The company said it paid less in salaries and severance this quarter, after laying off employees during 2009.
MasterCard shares closed down 3.6 percent at $202.52 on Monday. They initially rose about 2 percent in premarket trading Tuesday before falling back to flat levels.
(Reporting by Maria Aspan, editing by Gerald E. McCormick, Dave Zimmerman)