Normally, I wouldn’t be excited about putting a new credit card in my wallet. Actually, I can’t remember the last time I applied for a credit card, it must have been 10 years ago yet the MBNA Smart Card Platinum Plus MasterCard was almost too good to be true.
Almost, but it is true.
Before I take some flak from Gail Vaz-Oxlade for putting a new credit card in my pocket, here’s what all my fuss is about – a breakdown of the MBNA Smart Cash Platinum Plus MasterCard:
- 5% cash back on gas and grocery purchases for the first 6 months
3%cash back on gas and grocery purchases** (after 6 month honeymoon is over), up to $600 spending/month
- 1% cash back on all other retail purchases
- 1.99% annual interest rate on balance transfers for the first 10 full months
- No annual fee
- 24/7 purchase assurance
**Updated May 2013.
Maybe the best part feature of this card, once your cash back totals at least $50 at the end of a monthly billing cycle, MBNA will automatically mail you a cheque. Yup, very smart cash back indeed.
I figured this was the best credit card for me since after reviewing my credit card expenditures over the last few months, I calculated over 50% of my transactions were of the “gas and groceries” variety. Unfortunately wine from the LCBO doesn’t count as groceries 🙁
Given my existing MasterCard was providing only 1% return on retail products (which isn’t that bad), I figured I wasn’t getting as much bang for my buck, especially considering I never carry a balance. Good credit, curiosity and a desire to get more back if possible prompted my search for a new card.
I used the MoneySense decision tree in their September/October 2011 edition to help me with this process. After answering questions such as “Are you a small business owner?” (no), “Do you ever carry a balance on your credit card…?” (no) and “Which type of rewards are you most interested in?” (cash back) – these decisions let me to the following top choices in the MoneySense article:
- MBNA Smart Card Platinum Plus MC (annual fee 0%)
- Capital One Aspire World MC (annual fee $120)
- Capital One Aspire Cash Platinum MC (annual fee $0)
- Capital One Aspire Cash World MC (annual fee $120)
- Scotiabank Momentum VISA (annual fee $39)
- CIBC Dividend One MC (annual fee $0)
In the end, I chose MBNA because the 2%
3% cash back for most of my transactions and 1% on everything else, with no annual fee, even after the 6-month honeymoon expires. Based on my estimates, I should receive at least $150 cash back over the coming year on gas and groceries purchases alone. That’s three $50 cash back cheques to look forward, money I can use for anything instead of retail points I struggle to find something worthwhile to spend.
Cash back credit cards aren’t for everyone, heck, credit cards aren’t for everyone (right Gail?) but if you pay off your balance every month there are some great products out there worth switching for. Instead of seeing bills and flyers in our mailbox, I might actually enjoy visiting the mailbox now 🙂
What do you think of this card? Do you have an MBNA MasterCard in your pocket?
If not, what is your favourite credit card and why perks are you getting from it?