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Updated: December 27, 2023

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware that some (or all) products and services linked in this article are from our sponsors.

We adhere to strict standards of editorial integrity to help you make decisions with confidence. Please be aware this post may contain links to products from our partners. We may receive a commission for products or services you sign up for through partner links.

Quick overview

Ready to earn a little extra on some of your priciest expenses? The MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard rewards you with 5% cash back on gas and grocery purchases for the first six months, up to a $500 monthly spend. After the welcome bonus, you’ll continue earning 2% on those categories and 0.5% on all other purchases. With gas and groceries at all-time-highs, it’d be nice to earn a little cash back when opening your wallet for these expenses, don’t you think? Another benefit of this card is that it has no annual fee.

One drawback, however, is its high interest for purchases and cash advances. Additionally, the $500 monthly cap on higher cash back rates might limit your earning potential, especially if your monthly spend on gas and groceries exceeds this amount.

Who is this card for

The MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard might be for you if you spend a lot on gas and groceries, since you’ll earn cash back on those expenses. With 5% back in the first six months and 2% afterward on these categories, it’ll suit your everyday shopping needs. Another benefit is that it has no yearly fee, a rarity for cash back rewards cards. However, if your spending stretches beyond gas and groceries, or if you tend to carry a balance, you may want to consider another card.

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus Mastercard pros and cons

Pros

Pros

  • Generous Welcome Bonus to earn accelerated rewards during the initial six months of account opening

  • No annual fee

  • Ongoing cash back rewards after the welcome bonus - up to 2% cash back on eligible purchases

  • Car rental discounts

  • MBNA Payment Plan: Flexible payment options for purchases over $100, which is a nice perk for budget management.

  • Purchase assurance and extended warranty

Cons

Cons

  • Monthly spend cap on the welcome bonus rewards earn rate

  • Limited reward categories

  • Potential fees for payment plan

  • No travel rewards or premium perks

Welcome bonus

The welcome offer is attractive: 5% cash back on gas and grocery purchases for the first six months, up to a $500 monthly spend. This can be a great way to maximize rewards early on.

How to earn points

Earning points is fairly straightforward:

  • 5% cash back on gas and groceries in the first six months (up to $500 spend per month).
  • After that, 2% cash back on these categories (with the same monthly cap, though you’ll earn 0.5% on all gas and grocery purchases in excess of $500).
  • All other eligible purchases earn 0.5% cash back.

Key benefits

  • No annual fee: This makes it an economical choice.
  • MBNA Payment Plan: Offers flexibility in managing large purchases.
  • Mastercard benefits: Includes various perks associated with Mastercard products.

Insurance coverage

  • Purchase assurance: This coverage protects most items purchased with your MBNA credit card for the first 90 days from the date of purchase. It’s worth nothing that there’s a lifetime total accumulative limit of $60,000 per account.
  • Extended warranty benefit: This benefit extends the written warranties for up to one additional year on most new purchases made with your MBNA credit card.

Extra benefits

  • Car rental discounts: Cardholders enjoy a minimum of 10% off base rates in Canada and the U.S., and a minimum of 5% off internationally at participating Avis and Budget locations. Reservations can be made through dedicated links for Avis and Budget, using specific discount codes, with the rental charged to the MBNA card.
  • MBNA Payment Plan: Offers the flexibility to pay for eligible purchases of $100 or more in monthly installments over 6, 12, or 18 months. This plan helps you manage your budget and potentially save on interest, with specific conditions and fees applicable.

How this card compares

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Mastercard vs. MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard

If you're considering a cash-back credit card, the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Mastercard and the MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard are two popular options. The Smart Cash Platinum Mastercard, great for those with modest spending habits, has no annual fee and offers up to 2% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases, and 0.5% cash back on all other eligible purchases. This card is a great fit if you prefer simplicity and minimal costs – and keep your spending in check each month, since rewards maximums are capped at $500 a month.

On the other hand, the Smart Cash World Mastercard, with its $39 annual fee, is better suited to bigger spenders. It offers a welcome bonus of 5% cash back on gas and groceries for the first six months (up to $500 monthly spend), then 2% on these categories thereafter (with the same monthly cap), and 1% on all other purchases. This card is more suitable if your monthly expenses are higher, especially in the bonus categories, as the higher cash back rates can offset the annual fee. The keyword here being “can” – it might be a good idea to have a look at your monthly spending to see if the rewards would offset the card cost.

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Mastercard vs. Neo Credit Card

Comparing the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Mastercard to the Neo Credit Card is a little more difficult since they both have different rewards structures. The MBNA card offers up to 2% cash back on gas and groceries and 0.5% on other purchases, making it a solid choice for everyday spending. It's particularly beneficial if you frequently spend on these categories and prefer a straightforward cash-back program.

The Neo Credit Card, on the other hand, offers an average of 5% cash back at thousands of partners and 1% cash back on essentials, like gas and groceries. It also offers a one-time cash back bonus of 15% the first time you shop with participating partners. This card might be more appealing if you frequently shop at Neo's partner merchants, as the potential rewards can be significantly higher. The annoying thing is that Neo doesn’t publish its list of cash back partners – you’ll need to create an account to view the most updated list. 

MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Mastercard vs. Tangerine World Mastercard

If you’re considering the Tangerine World Mastercard, consider your spending habits and preferences in reward flexibility.

The Tangerine World Mastercard allows you to choose two categories (if you deposit your rewards into a Tangerine Savings account) for higher cash back rates of 2%, and 0.5% cash back on all other purchases. This card offers flexibility to tailor your rewards to your spending habits. If your major spending categories vary or are outside the typical gas and groceries, the Tangerine card might be more advantageous.

Each card has its strengths and its weaknesses; the best choice depends on your individual spending habits and how you prefer to earn your rewards.

Is the card worth it?

The MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Mastercard is worth considering if the majority of your money is spent on gas and groceries. With no annual fee and up to 2% cash for those expenses, it's a great choice. However, this card isn’t as appealing if your spending is diverse or exceeds the $500 monthly cap. The card's simplicity and straightforward rewards make it a solid option for those looking for uncomplicated cash back in a card that can be had for no yearly fee.

FAQs

  • Is MBNA a hard credit card to get?

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    MBNA credit cards generally require a good credit score. Approval depends on your credit history and financial situation, making them somewhat challenging to obtain for those with lower credit scores.

  • Is MBNA owned by TD?

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    Yes, MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD), one of Canada's largest banks.

  • Are MBNA credit cards good?

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    MBNA credit cards are well-regarded, especially for their cash back and rewards programs. They offer a range of options suitable for different spending habits and financial needs.

  • Will MBNA increase my credit limit?

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    MBNA may increase your credit limit based on your creditworthiness and payment history. You can request an increase, but approval is subject to their assessment of your financial situation.

About our author

Justin da Rosa
Justin da Rosa, Freelance Writer

Justin is a writer and editor who has been covering personal finance for over 10 years. He's written for companies such as KOHO, Ratehub, BMO, Zoocasa, and Questrade, among others. Justin also created a course in Content Creation, which he taught at York University for four years. When not writing, Justin can be found at a live concert, on the golf course, riding a motorcycle, or sailing.

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