MBNA Canada is technically a subsidiary company of Toronto-Dominion (or TD) Canada, but as a credit card provider in their own right, they don’t receive as much recognition as many of the other major credit card providers in this country. Despite that relatively low-key profile, they go out of their way to make sure they have an impressive line of different cards to hand out to their clients. From travel rewards to cash back to store-specific cards, you’ll find whatever type of card you need somewhere in MBNA Canada’s range. We’ll be going over each of their major card categories below.
The Rewards Cards of MBNA Canada
The best place to start with this credit card provider is their rewards cards. The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus is the first and most plain of the two options, even if the difference between them is only slight. This one will get you 2 points per dollar spent on groceries, gas and even restaurants, though the bonus eligibility is limited to $5,000 in spending each year for each category. After you hit that cap on any one of those categories, all further spending that falls under that category only gets the base rate of 1 point per dollar, the same one that applies to all other purchases you might make.
The upgraded card, the MBNA Rewards World Elite, makes things a bit simpler by giving you a flat 2 points per dollar on everything with no limits. Not only will you get more reward points in total under this rate breakdown, but you will also have a much easier time determining how many points you will get for your spending if you’re trying to project your final gains and figure out if you can afford a particular reward. Aside from that, MBNA Canada throws in rental car insurance and some helpful concierge service to take care of small logistical difficulties for you. The $120 fee you’ll pay each year is quite high, especially considering that many cards that are equally expensive come with much better benefits – however, this card is much easier to get than those ones usually are, and you can make up for this charge with the extra points you’ll receive.
You can do just about anything with these reward points, from buying merchandise and gift cards to covering travel expenses with them. In terms of trade-in value, MBNA Canada states that 100 points comes out to $1 of travel rewards, whereas it takes 120 points to donate the equivalent amount to a charity. The cost of everything else varies, but those two options are generally the most efficient in terms of points-per-dollar, so try to only get these cards if those are the things you are primarily interested in.
MBNA’s Travel Cards Will Help You See the World
While the MBNA Rewards cards are primarily meant to be used for travelling as it is, MBNA Canada also carries a couple of cards that are more explicitly meant to be used for travel. The first is the Best Western Rewards Mastercard, which get you 5 reward points per dollar on every purchase you make at any Best Western location and 1 point per dollar on whatever else you might buy. You can use these points to pay for your hotel stays as you travel in any country that has Best Western locations. This card will also get you automatic Gold Elite status at Best Western hotels after you make just one purchase with your card in a given calendar year, allowing you to enjoy many minor perks when you stay at this chain’s hotels. It’s free, too, so you won’t have to pay anything to keep it on hand year after year.
To earn points toward flights instead, you could choose to apply for the Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard that MBNA Canada also offers. It rewards you in Alaska Airlines Miles (similar to Air Miles but useable only with this one single airline) at a rate of 3 Miles per dollar when you purchase flights, cargo services or vacation packages from the company itself. Buying anything else with your card earns you just one single Mile per dollar. As for extras, you’ll receive a complimentary checked bag and some extra price protections when you’re booking your flights, as well as a discounted companion ticket (meaning a second seat with you on a flight you have already booked) once a year. This one will cost you a $99 annual fee, though, so getting it requires a bit more thought than the Best Western card.
Save Money On Interest Easily With the True Line Card Set
One of MBNA Canada’s most interesting parts of their credit operations is their set of low-interest credit cards, known as the True Line cards. These cards offer rates that rank among the lowest in the country, and unlike the TD Emerald Visa which can sometimes dip its best rates slightly lower, their rates do not vary based on your credit score. That means that you can count on getting a great rate even if your credit isn’t impeccable at the moment.
The free card in this duo is the MBNA True Line Mastercard, which comes with 12.99% interest fees on both regular purchases and balance transfer amounts. Compared to the usual rate of approximately 20% on both of those things, this card offers a significant discount and provides its holders with the chance to save money on the fees incurred on any debt they might owe. The MBNA True Line Gold Mastercard can beat that at 8.99% interest, but you’ll have to pay $39 a year to get that card instead. Considering that this rate is one of the lowest available on credit cards in the whole country, though, it may well be worth it for some people with a high propensity for debt to invest in the upgrade.
Both cards also have an introductory offer that lets you pay 0% interest on balance transfers for your first 6 months, so it’s easy to move existing debt onto them and give yourself a leg up in paying it off. Once that initial discounted period is over, you’ll be paying the standard rate again, but as we mentioned above, even that is discounted. Either of the two cards should make it much easier for you to satisfy your debt obligations without having to break the bank to do so.
Cash Back Could Be Yours Too
People hoping for rewards they will always have a use for regardless of what is going on in their life will want to examine the Smart Cash set of cards from MBNA Canada. This line consists of two credit cards that have a lot of overlap between them, but that nevertheless warrant separate consideration. The Smart Cash Platinum Plus card is a basic version with no annual fee that gets you 2% cash back on gas and groceries for up to $500 in spending each month and 0.5% back for everything else.
The Smart Cash World card rewards groceries and gas the same way, but gives you 1% cash back on non-bonus items you buy instead. It also includes a bit of rental car insurance that the other card did not bundle in, but it costs $39 a year in exchange for this value. You’ll have to use it very often in order to get enough out of it to justify that additional cost, so be sure to verify that you really do spend enough each month on a regular basis to make getting the upgraded card a good idea.
Some Branded Cards To Round Out the Lot
MBNA Canada also offers a set of miscellaneous cards linked to a specific brand or organization. These are all free cards that you won’t have too much trouble getting if you happen to be interested in them. Only certain very dedicated consumers are likely to want to bother getting a card so closely affiliated with a certain brand or idea, but if you do really love to shop for products from one of these brands, it might be a good idea to go with one of these cards. Often the value of the retailer-specific rewards points that most of them use will be higher on a per-point basis than generic rewards points would be, since they can only be used in one particular set of shops. The ones available from MBNA Canada are:
- The Melaleuca Mastercard – This card works similarly to a cash back card in that it rewards you with a specific percentage of your spending back in reward dollars. In this case, you’ll get 1% of all your purchases back in Loyalty Shopping Dollars, which you will then be able to put toward your purchase of Melaleuca products.
- The Harley-Davidson Platinum Plus Mastercard – You can earn 1 Harley-Davidson Genuine Rewards point for every $2 you spend on this card, which you can then redeem for Chrome Cash that you can use in any Harley-Davidson store. As an added bonus, each purchase you make with your card gets you one entry into a quarterly drawing for a Harley-Davidson motorcycle.
- The Nordstrom Rewards Visa – This card gets you 2 Nordstrom Rewards points for each $1 you spend at a Nordstrom store, whether that’s a physical location or their online storefront. You’ll get 1 point per $1 otherwise, and you can only spend those points on Nordstrom products as detailed in their own store-specific rewards system.
- The Royal Canadian Legion MBNA Rewards Mastercard – This one is a little different in that there is a ‘name’ attached to it, but the card itself has little to do with that organization beyond the visual look of it. This is basically a standard MBNA rewards card like we talked about above, but it is decorated with statues of soldiers on a bright patriotic red field with the Legion’s logo next to them. Using this card does not actually confer any money to the Royal Canadian Legion or to any other veterans’ charities unless you use your reward points to make those donations yourself.
What Are the Main Strengths of MBNA CA?
MBNA CA is a surprisingly diverse credit card provider that covers a lot of different card types without overloading the consumer with too many choices to keep track of. The cards they do offer in each category are all solid choices, and their low-interest cards are undeniable standouts that stack up well against any competition. It’s hard to go wrong with any of your potential choices here. Even if you don’t quite know what you’re looking for yet, it can’t hurt to take a glance at MBNA Canada’s credit card offerings and see if any of them catch your eye – there’s something there for almost everyone.