Review: MBNA Rewards MasterCard®

Review_ MBNA Rewards MasterCard

Are you looking for a card that gets you rewards for travel or merchandise, as well as cash back? MBNA, a division of the Toronto-Dominion bank, has unveiled another card to help you earn rewards that you can put towards your passions. This group of cards are associated with hundreds of Canadian membership organizations as well as sports teams, educational and financial institutions and charities.  The new MBNA Rewards MasterCard® acts as multiple cards in one, is easy to use and has no annual fee.

Card Details

MBNA Rewards MasterCard

MBNA Rewards MasterCard stats

How to Qualify for the Card

  • You are a Canadian resident with a Canadian credit file
  • You must be the age of majority in your province or territory of residence
  • You have not filed for bankruptcy and don’t have any seriously past due payments

Value of one MBNA rewards point: $0.01

What are the best credit cards in Canada? Check out our 2015 Best of Finance picks for travel, merchandise and gift card rewards!

Sign Up Bonus: Average

The 5,000 sign up points that the cardholder receives after their first eligible purchase amounts to $50.00 when put towards travel or cash back. Let us emphasize the words “put towards travel”, as $50 – or 5,000 points – doesn’t get you anywhere alone. Cardholders must have at least 10,000 points to redeem travel rewards. Instead of saving those points for the future, 5,000 is also more than enough to redeem a $25 gift card from The Source or the Cineplex Great Escape gift certificate (two general movie admissions, two regular-sized soft drinks and a regular-sized popcorn).

Earning Potential: Average

How does this card stack up to other rewards options? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much you could earn over a two-year period. Assuming $1,119.58* is spent on the card monthly in the following categories:

Best of Finance Rewards Credit Card Methodology

*Source: Statistics Canada

Reward points earned over a two-year period: 26,870
Total dollar worth of points: $268.70

The benefit of MBNA Rewards MasterCard® is that cardholders can earn rewards on everything they buy provided the point of purchase accepts MasterCard. However, because it’s one per cent cash back, it might take a long time to rack up enough points to make any significant purchases. Cardholders must have at least 3,000 points to redeem merchandise, gift cards or gift certificates. MBNA offers a rewards catalogue that lets cardholders pick and choose from a selection of items that start at 4,360 points. Once again, the 10,000-point threshold must be reached in order to use them towards travel.

Balance Transfer Feature: Good

This card also includes a limited-time six-month 0% rate on balance transfers. Cardholders must make these balance transfers within 90 days of opening the account in order to take advantage of this rate. Keep in mind though that a transaction fee of either $7.50 or the equivalent of one per cent of the dollar amount of each balance transfer – whichever is higher – will apply to each transaction.

Once the six-month period is over, the balance transfer rate rises to 21.99%. In addition, the rate increases if the cardholder is late making any minimum payment, while remaining balances become subject to the applicable standard interest rate of 19.99%. If the customer’s minimum payment is late more than once within a consecutive 12-month period, the standard rates applying to the account will increase by five per cent. It’s the reverse for those who make the minimum payment every month.

Are you carrying the best credit card for your spending habits? Check out the Credit Card Rewards Calculator and find out!

Point Redemption: Great

When redeeming points for travel, cardholders aren’t limited to blackout periods or specific travel partners. The points can even be put towards first class or business class travel. There’s also no limit of how many can be used at one time. However, these points cannot be combined with any other travel rewards program. Trips must also be booked at least two weeks in advance.

A great thing about this card is that points can be earned throughout the year and never expire as long as the cardholder’s account remains open and in good standing. That means anyone looking to make long-term plans for a European vacation can start earning points 10 years in advance if they wish. Something else that’s cool: cardholders can put points towards a charitable donation. This is explained in greater detail once the application process is complete.

Merchandise, gift cards, gift certificates and travel rewards can all be redeemed by logging onto the credit card’s website or by calling the MBNA Rewards Redemption Centre.

Additional Benefits: Average

The MBNA Rewards MasterCard also has a few other features. This includes:

  • Purchase protection to cover eligible items for the first 90 days after they were bought
  • Extended warranty benefits which double eligible warranties for purchases up to one additional year
  • Rental vehicle collision damage waiver benefits
  • Travel benefits including lost document and ticket replacement, lost luggage assistance and legal assistance

Note that the travel benefits are for assistance services only.

Our Final Word

This is a great card for a customer who wants the basics in a rewards credit card with no annual fee or wants to take advantage of the 0% balance transfer fee for six months. It’s also a good option if the customer only wants one credit card. However, unless cardholders put every single purchase they make throughout the year on that card, it won’t earn all that many points – at least not quickly. And there isn’t a wide range of merchandise available in the MBNA catalogue.

SPECIAL OFFER: From now until November 30, 2016, sign up for the MBNA Rewards MasterCard and get a FREE $100 gift card! Choose from Starbucks, Best Buy, Amazon.ca or The Ultimate Dining Card. Click here for more information and to sign up!

Related Topics

Credit Card Reviews / Credit Cards / Credit Cards 101 / Growing Your Money / Lifestyle / Personal Finance / RSM News

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