If you’re looking for a no-fee travel rewards credit card, then the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is likely a good choice for you since it has straightforward rewards which can be redeemed for any type of travel purchase.
The card may not give you a generous signup bonus or a lot of additional benefits compared to some of the best travel credit cards, but it still a decent card. Read my MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard review now to find out what you get with the card and how MBNA Rewards works.
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard benefits
- No annual fee
- 2,500 bonus points after your first eligible purchase within the first 90 days of account opening
- 2,500 bonus points when you enroll for e-statements within the first 90 days of account opening
- Earn 2 points per $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases ($5,000 annual cap on each category)
- Earn 1 point per $1 spent on all other purchases
- Some travel insurance included
The nice thing about the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is that you can earn a total of 5,000 MBNA Rewards points as a signup bonus after you make a purchase and enroll for e-statements within the first 90 days of opening your account. The value of those points is only $50, but this is a no-fee card so getting anything as a signup bonus should be considered a win.
The earn rate of 2 points per $1 spent on gas, groceries, and restaurant purchases is nice, but note that there’s an annual cap of $5,000 for each category. This likely won’t be a big deal for most people, but I personally hate it when a credit card puts a cap on your rewards. Once that cap is met, you’ll get the standard earn rate of 1 point per $1 spent.
Despite the fact that the card is advertised as having a comprehensive travel insurance package, I don’t think it’s that impressive. Upon further inspection, you only get travel accident, trip interruption, rental vehicle collision damage waiver & accidental death & dismemberment benefits, and personal effects benefit. That’s not bad for a no-fee card, but it’s accurate to say the travel insurance is comprehensive when it lacks travel medical and delayed luggage.
How MBNA Rewards works
What’s interesting about MNBA Rewards is that you have the ability to redeem your points for travel, cash back, and merchandise. This gives you more options, but your points aren’t always worth the same.
Redeeming for travel gives you the best value so you can claim 100 points for $1 in travel. That being said, you need to redeem a minimum of 10,000 points. This is a bit restricting, but you do get nine months to make a redemption after your travel purchase has posted and your points can be used to pay for taxes and fees so there is some flexibility.
If you want to redeem for cash back, the rate is 200 points per $1. What’s annoying about this is that the MBNA World Elite Mastercard has a better redemption rate of 120 points for $1 of cash back. It’s not totally uncommon for different credit cards from the same provider to have different redemption values, but in this case, it’s a bit annoying since there’s a considerable difference.
You can also redeem your MBNA Rewards for gift cards. Each retail partner requires a different amount of points, but the overall value is lower than when you’re redeeming for travel and higher compared to the cash back option.
Overall, your best bet is to use your points to redeem travel since it gives you the highest rate of return.
How the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard compares to others
Comparing the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard to others is a bit complicated. It obviously doesn’t come close to any of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada, but it’s also not really competing in that space.
I guess you could compare it to a no-fee card such as the Tangerine Money-Back card. With the Tangerine card, you earn 2% cash back on up to three selected categories and 0.5% on everything else. As you’ve learned the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard gives you 2% in rewards for gas, groceries and restaurant purchases, and 1% for everything else.
However, you only get that rate of return with the MBNA card when you redeem for travel. The Tangerine card gives you true cash back rewards and can be applied to your account every month.
My MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is positive. The card isn’t bad for a no-fee card that earns you travel rewards, but I don’t love how you a minimum of 10,000 points to make a redemption.