MBNA used to be one of the most popular credit card providers but over the last few years, they’ve lost some of their appeal. Some of their credit card partners have gone to other providers while some of their rewards programs have gone through changes that have made them less lucrative.
That’s not to say MBNA isn’t a good credit card provider, heck, one of their cards is one of the best airline credit cards in Canada, but how does their Platinum cash back card compare? Read my MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard review to find out how much cash back you can earn and how it compares to other cards.
MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard benefits
- No annual fee
- Earn 5% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases for the first 6 months (until the total gas and grocery purchases in the applicable month reaches $500)
- Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases thereafter (until the total gas and grocery purchases in the applicable month reaches $500)
- Get 0.5% cash back for all other purchases
- Some travel insurance
Right away you’ll notice the most appealing aspect of the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard is the 5% cash back offer on eligible gas and grocery purchases for the first 6 months. This is great, but it’s capped at a spend of $500 each month.
Let’s say you max out that spend of $500, your cash back for the month would be $25. If you were able to spend a similar amount every month, you’d get a total of $150 at the higher cash back rate after six months. That’s not bad, but it’s also not as generous as some of the best credit card deals out there right now. That being said, this is not a special offer, it has been around for a while which is nice to know.
Once your promotional period ends, you’ll earn 2% cash back on gas and grocery purchases with the same $500 spending limit for rewards. In both cases, you would earn 0.5% cash back on any purchases above the $500 limit or on any other purchases.
One thing that annoys me about this card is how on the signup page it says you get a suite of comprehensive insurance. This may be true, but when I read comprehensive insurance, I assume that includes all the major travel insurance you would get with one of the best travel credit cards in Canada. However, if you look at the details, you don’t even get travel medical, trip cancellation, or lost luggage. This honestly wouldn’t be a big deal, but since the application says “comprehensive insurance,” I totally expect a good insurance package.
How the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard compares to others
The MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard’s main competition is the Tangerine Money-Back credit card. Although the Tangerine card does not give you any extra cash back for the first six months, it does allow you to choose up to three categories where you earn 2% cash back. All other categories earn you 0.5% cash back. Essentially, you’re getting one extra cash back category at 2% which can be significant.
If you happen to have a personal income of $80,000 or a household income of $120,000, then you may want to consider the Rogers World Elite Mastercard since it has no annual fee and you earn 1.50% cash back on all purchases. You also get 3% cash back on any purchases made in U.S. dollars which makes it one of the best credit cards without foreign transaction fees.
My MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard review is negative. It’s honestly not a bad card, but there are clearly better cash back credit cards in Canada. If you prefer to earn travel rewards, check out my list of the best travel credit cards in Canada.