MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Review

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Annual Fee
$0
Max Earnings Rate
2%
Purchase Interest Rate
19.99%
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Poor-Fair
Limited Time Welcome Offer. Expires February 29, 2020 - Get 4 points†† per $1 on eligible gas, groceries and restaurants purchases and up to 10,000 bonus points. Conditions apply

The Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® is a straightforward card that offers accelerated rewards accrual on the average consumer’s most common purchases, as well as a solid flat rate on everything else, and exemption from an annual fee. A nice introductory bonus adds further value.

For people who want to earn points without modifying their shopping habits, and not be overly restricted in how they redeem their rewards, this card from MBNA is worth considering.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® Structure

The Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® accrues 1 point per $1 spent on any eligible purchase, anywhere. Cardholders won’t find themselves limited in what counts as ‘eligible’, as it’s very loosely defined as anything that isn’t a cash-like transaction (cash advances, balance transfers, returns, etc.). To supplement these constant earnings, the card also accrues double MBNA Rewards points on charges in three categories: gas, grocery, and restaurant.

Collecting 2 points per $1 at gas stations, grocery stores, and restaurants is great, but cardholders should be aware that for each of the three accelerated earnings categories, there’s an annual spending cap of $5,000. That means you’ll ‘only’ be able to earn up to 10,000 MBNA Rewards points at the 2 points-per-dollar rate in each of the gas, grocery, and restaurant categories each year. After cardholders reach $5K in spending annually in any of the above three categories, they will earn 1 point per $1 in that category for the remainder of the year (though there is no limit to the total number of points that can be earned).

*And for a limited time – New cardmembers can earn 4 points for every $1 spent on eligible gas, groceries and restaurant purchases during the first 90 days (Limited time offer expires February 29th, 2020)

About MBNA Rewards

MBNA Rewards points can be redeemed on virtually whatever the cardholder wants, including cash back against a statement, travel rewards (airfare, hotels, rental cars), gift cards, merchandise, and more. When redeeming MBNA Rewards for travel, 100 points are worth $1. When redeeming for cash back against a statement, 200 points are worth $1.

This relatively low cashback redemption rate may be a discouraging factor for those who prefer cash back, but if this is the case, getting a cash back–specific card is advised, anyway.

Feature Breakdown

  • Get up to 10,000 MBNA Rewards points as an introductory bonus
  • $0 annual fee
  • Earn 1 MBNA Rewards point for every $1 spent
  • Earn 2 MBNA Rewards points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases, up to $5,000 spent annually on each category
  • Earn 4 MBNA Rewards points for every $1 spent on gas, grocery, and restaurant purchases for the first 90 days of account opening (limited time offer ends February 29th, 2020)
  • Insurance benefits

It’s worthwhile to mention the nice bonus MBNA provides new cardholders, who only have to meet relatively easy milestones in order to earn 5,000 additional points. For making your first eligible purchase, you’ll get 5,000 points automatically. Sign up for automatic e-statements and MBNA will send you another 5,000.

Drawbacks

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® card could be thought of as a jack of all trades, and a master of none. This means that for cardholders who prefer cash back, for instance, there are stronger, more focused alternatives. The looming downgrade in point redemption value for cash back makes the card more useful for those who plan to redeem for travel.

Those interested in redeeming for cash back are encouraged to look at cards like the Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard, which offers 2% in cash back rewards for a customizable array of purchase categories.

Who’s the Card For?

The Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® is suitable for those who aren’t fond of paying an annual fee for the privilege of getting rewards points on their most common purchases, and who like to keep their options open for how they’ll redeem those rewards. Travellers might find it more valuable than comparable no-annual-fee travel rewards cards, such as the BMO Air Miles Mastercard, which has an accelerated earn rate in only one purchase category (travel) and earns rewards that are only spendable at Air Miles partners.