The MBNA Smart Cash Platinum MasterCard is somewhat of a saviour for cash back credit cards in Canada. After the disappearance of both the Canadian Tire Cash Advantage MasterCard and the American Express Gold Cash Back Card, it seemed like there was no truly good cash back credit cards left on the market. This card changed all that in 2009 with its non-tiered no annual fee cash reward, platinum benefits and perks, and 3% bonus cash back on all gas and grocery purchases. Not only that, but it automatically issues you a cheque once your cash rewards balance reaches $50, so you get a wonderful surprise in your mailbox every so often!
Many people use the MBNA Smart Cash as their primary or even sole credit card because it is so simple and rewarding without any complex reward schemes to understand or glaring lack of features. Others choose to use it primarily for gas and grocery purchases and still stick with a travel rewards or points credit card for their other purchases because they typically yield higher than a 1% return on spending.
The only bad thing that can be said about this card is that there is a $600 monthly maximum spending limit on the 3% cash back bonus for gas and groceries. After you reach this limit, you still continue to earn cash back at the regular 1% rate until your next statement period begins, so it is really only a minor annoyance. If you find yourself reaching this limit every month, consider having your spouse sign up as well so you can have a second card in the family and spend up to $1200 a month on gas and groceries instead of $600!
If you don’t currently have this card in your wallet, then you should! This card is essentially for EVERYONE!
- Increased 3% cash back on gas and grocery purchases.
- Subject to a $600 monthly spending maximum, equivalent to an $18 cash reward.
- The earning rate decreases to 1% after the maximum is reached.
- 5% cash back on gas and groceries in the first 6 months!
- No maximum on the amount of cash back that can be earned at the 1% level.
- Incredible insurance package for a no annual fee credit card.
- Free supplementary cards.
- The $600 monthly spending maximum on the gas and grocery bonus is a bit disappointing.
- The points system they use is unnecessarily confusing instead of calculating rewards in straight dollars and cents.
- Extended Warranty - up to 1 year.
- Purchase Protection – 90 days.
- Travel Accident - $1,000,000.
- Trip Interruption - $2,000.
- Car Rental Theft & Damage (CDW & LDW).
- Car Rental Accident - $200,000.
- Car Rental Personal Effects - $1,000.
- Call centre assistance for almost any unexpected problem while traveling:
- Emergency cash (costs paid by you, not them).
- Lost document and ticket replacement (costs paid by you).
- Lost baggage assistance (costs paid by you).
- Pre-trip planning information (entry requirements, vaccinations, etc).
- Find legal advisor or post bail (costs paid by you).