PERSONAL FINANCE BLOG

Money shouldn´t stop making your plans come true. Learn how personal loans can help you!
National Bank World MasterCard Review
27 Jan 2019

National Bank World MasterCard | Credit Card Review

Credit cards are good for more than just providing rewards. This National Bank World MasterCard review will explore a card that won’t just earn you rewards, but will also make sure you never have to worry about having a medical issue while out travelling.

Travel with full peace of mind while still earning points toward future trips.

 

General Information

You Are Interested If You want a travel credit card for insurance first and points second, and you have the financial clout to qualify for a high-level one.
Brief Description The National Bank World MasterCard is an elite travel card that focuses its value in its insurance coverage as part of its benefits.
Main Requirements There are a few different ways you can qualify for this card as we’ll explain later in this National Bank World MasterCard review, but for the moment, suffice it to say that you’ll need a fairly high income (usually $60,000+) and good credit.

Card Details

Network MasterCard.
Provider National Bank.
Card Type This is a travel-focused card that also allows users access to other rewards if they really want them.

Fees and Interest

Purchase Interest Rate The yearly interest on this card for basic statements is 19.99%.
Cash Advance For cash advances, on the other hand, it rises to 22.99%.
Balance Transfer You’ll also pay 22.99% in interest on any balance transfers you’ve made.

Eligibility

Income Requirements You’ll need to make at least $60,000 a year to get this card, or meet one of two of other qualifiers not related to income that we’ll get to later in this National Bank World MasterCard review.
Household Income Requirements At least $100,000 in household income can also be enough to qualify for this card.
Annual Fee You’ll need to pay $115 a year in order to hold this card, and an extra $35 charge will apply per year for every additional card you request for other users.

Rewards

Welcome Bonus There are no welcome bonuses to take advantage of here, but National Bank does sometimes offer other promotions you can enjoy (usually when booking travel with your reward points).
How To Earn Points You’ll get 1.25 points for each dollar you spend up to $20,000 in one calendar year, then 2 points per dollar thereafter until you get up to $30,000 in spending. After that, you’ll go back to earning 1.25 points per dollar again.
Benefits Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage are included with this card, as well as trip interruption and cancellation insurance, flight delay insurance, baggage insurance, vehicle rental insurance and up to $5,000,000 in emergency travel medical insurance.

About National Bank World MasterCard

Main Features

We’ll open up this National Bank World MasterCard review with one of the most surprising features of this card: its accessibility. This is a premium-level card with a premium price tag to match. It’ll cost you $115 a year to get it, plus an additional $35 if you want to give an extra card to a family member or other trusted user. You would usually need a high income to get it, but that isn’t always the case in this particular instance. Existing National Bank credit card clients can also upgrade whatever card they currently hold to this one if they have consistently spent at least $15,000 a year on the card that they have. Since this isn’t particularly difficult to do if you use your card to pay for most of your monthly expenses, this is one of the easiest ways to get your hands on this great card. The other alternative path to this card is to have at least $250,000 in investable assets (in other words, you house doesn’t count). This option is less accessible to most people than the first, but there are sure to be at least a few people who can qualify this way and no other way who will appreciate the possibility. There aren’t many providers who offer options like this at all, so anything is better than nothing in that regard.

However, the fact that it is easier to get than some high-tier cards unfortunately shows a bit in how this card handles its rewards, as we’re about to get into in this National Bank World MasterCard review. Rather than use traditional bonus categories that are tied to the type of spending you do, this card boosts your earnings rate after you’ve spent a particular amount of money on it within the same calendar year. For your first $20,000 in charges, you’ll get 1.25 points per dollar. After that point, you’ll get 2 points per dollar until you reach $30,000. If you continue to spend after that, you’ll drop back down to the 1.25-point rate for the rest of your spending in that year.

These rates not only force you to spend quite a bit in order to hit the more lucrative rates, but also hold back on the points as soon as you pass the $30,000 mark. Your reward rates will never rise above mediocre with this card, even when you spend very liberally on it. To demonstrate, take a budget of $4,000 in spending per month – high, but not too far above what you’d expect from a person with the level of income you need in order to get this card. That person will spend a total of $48,000 a year all on their card, and will earn 25,000 points in the first earnings band, 20,000 points in the second, and 22,500 points in the last. This results in a total sum of 67,500 reward points, which will get you somewhere in the neighbourhood of $500’s worth of merchandise, gift cards or travel credits from the reward shop (possibly more when a promotional points discount is happening). This is not a bad final haul at all, but it can certainly be exceeded by other cards you can get at this level.

Things aren’t all bad, though. The most coveted thing aspect of this card that we’ll mention this National Bank World MasterCard review is the emergency medical travel insurance it offers. This is some very generous insurance, particularly if you’re under the age of 55. You’d have to take very long trips in order to exhaust the full 60 days of coverage that you get within that age range, so you will virtually always be able to count on this insurance alone for all your travel medical insurance needs. If you’re over 55 but under 65, you’ll still get 31 days of coverage, which should still be more than enough for the vast majority of trips. The only time when things get a little less certain is when you’re between 65 and 75 years of age, at which point your coverage drops to just 15 days. This is still far more than you’d get from most cards’ insurance plans, however, as they tend to exclude this age range altogether. This is clearly supposed to be the star attraction of this card, which helps to explain why the rewards are somewhat lacking. There are a few other travel-related benefits as well, but they aren’t so exceptional as to be worth covering in detail here.

Conclusions

Through all the good and bad points that have come up in this National Bank World MasterCard review, it’s still a little hard to come to a definite conclusion on its value. Even though this card disappoints a bit in terms of rewards, it makes up for it with excellent insurance coverage that is worth more than the annual fee all on its own as long as you plan on using it. Still, this doesn’t make it any more useful in day-to-day terms unless you spend a large portion of your time travelling each year. It is perhaps best used a supplement to other cards, but the high annual fee might prevent that from being a realistic plan.

About National Bank

National Bank, once known as Banque Nationale before it expanded into English dealings in the rest of Canada, began in Quebec in 1859 and is still headquartered there. They currently employ around 21,635 staff members scattered across their main four areas of interest: personal/commercial banking, financial market involvement, wealth management, and U.S. specialty finance.

What We Think

Now that we’re at the end of our National Bank World MasterCard review, we have to say that doesn’t excel in all areas. It has excellent travel medical insurance, but for general purposes and in the context of what competitors are offering, the cost is a little high and the rewards are a little low. If you’re not a heavy traveller, you might prefer a different card, and if you meet the requirements for this one you should have no problem getting what you want. Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide what matters to you in a card and run with it.