MBNA Rewards has gotten some bad press lately, with the changes in cash redemptions to their current credit cards souring the brand in a lot of people’s minds.
Despite this, with travel redemption values remaining unchanged, the program still offers some great value for your points.
We’re here to help you get the most out of MBNA Rewards and let you know how to best use your points for maximum value.
MBNA Rewards at a glance
|Value of an MBNA Rewards point:||High: $0.01 for travel
Low: $0.005 for cash statements
|Ways to redeem MBNA Rewards:||* Travel – 1 cent per point (CPP)
* Cash – 0.5 to 1 CPP
* Gift cards ‒ 0.92 CPP
* Brand-name merchandise ‒ 0.86 CPP
|How to earn MBNA Rewards:||3 credit cards|
|Who these rewards are good for:||* World Travellers
* Value Shoppers
|Frequently Asked Questions:||* Level of flexibility? High
* Blackout dates? No
* Do rewards expire? No
* Rewards cover taxes and fees? Yes
* Can these rewards be transferred? No
* Is there a way to earn rewards faster? No
* Do they price-match travel costs? No
Calculating the value of an MBNA Rewards point
MBNA Rewards gives cardholders several ways to use their points.
But like any rewards program, how much each point is worth depends on what they’re being redeemed for.
Redeem for travel: 1 CPP
For the most part, redeeming for travel is the best way to use your points.
1,000 points = $10, or 1 cent per point
It’s simple and provides the best value for your points, and you can even use your points to cover taxes and fees.
Plus, you’ll be able to use any amount of points for travel redemptions, so you’re not left waiting until you earn a certain amount to start planning your dream trip.
The catch? You have to use the MBNA Rewards site to book travel, and there are 2 things to keep in mind:
- If you don’t redeem a minimum of 10,000 points, MBNA will charge you a booking fee of $29, and
- there’s no price matching available.
To see how MBNA Rewards prices looked, we compared several different flights through the MBNA travel dashboard to flights through Google Flights. For the most part, the prices were the same, but there were a few instances where MBNA had a price that was higher by $50 or more.
As with any rewards program, you’ll need to do your research if you want to ensure that you’re getting the best value for your points.
Convert points into cash: 0.5 – 1 CPP
MBNA Rewards allows you to convert your points into cash in a number of different ways.
You can have it:
- deposited into your chequing or savings account,
- applied as statement credits,
- mailed to you in a cheque form, or
- given as a charitable donation.
The value you get for these redemptions depends on which credit card you have in your wallet:
: 120 points = $1, or 0.83 CPP : 200 points = $1, or 0.5 CPP : 100 points = $1, or 1 CPP
So, if cash is your preference for redemptions, keep in mind that you’ll be losing some value.
Redeem for gift cards: 0.92 CPP
MBNA Rewards offers a wide assortment of gift cards available for redemption with amounts ranging from $25 to $500.
One interesting redemption option is to redeem for e-gift cards (called virtual cards in the catalogue). While there’s a small selection available, you increase your point value to 1 cent, making it tied with travel as the best redemption option available.
We came up with an average value of 0.92 cents per point.
Here’s a sampling of what was available when we looked:
|The Ultimate Dining $100 E-Card||9,855||1.01 cents|
|Best Western $100 Travel Card||9,905||1.01 cents|
|Cineplex $50 E-Gift Card||4,955||1.01 cents|
|Old Navy $50 E-Gift Card||5,005||1.00 cent|
|American Eagle $50 E-Gift Card||5,005||1.00 cent|
|Cineplex Admit One Voucher x 2||2,465||0.97 cents|
|Fairmont Hotels & Resorts $200 Gift Card||20,585||0.97 cents|
|Winners/ HomeSense $100 Gift Card||10,470||0.96 cents|
|Gap Options $50 Gift Card||5,300||0.94 cents|
|Starbucks $100 Gift Card||10,695||0.94 cents|
|American Eagle Outfitters® $100 Gift Card||10,805||0.93 cents|
|The Home Depot® $100 Gift Card||11,030||0.91 cents|
|Cineplex $50 Gift Card||5,525||0.90 cents|
|Petro Canada $100 Gift Card||11,145||0.90 cents|
|Best Buy $100 Gift Card||11,255||0.89 cents|
|Canadian Tire $50 Gift Card||5,695||0.88 cents|
|Esso $50 Gift Card||5,750||0.87 cents|
|Cora $25 Gift Card||2,885||0.87 cents|
|Chapters/Indigo $25 Gift Card||2,940||0.85 cents|
|The Source $25 Gift Card||3,080||0.81 cents|
Redeem for brand-name merchandise: 0.86 CPP
MBNA also provides a large catalogue of merchandise to browse.
But unlike most programs, there’s actually some good value to have, with an overall average of 0.86 cents. Some of our items had a point value as high as 1.21 cents.
It’s definitely worth checking out and see if something you’re looking for is available. You could get a great deal for your points.
|Item Name||Points Required||Price (13% tax included)||Point Value|
|Fossil Grant Chronograph Brown Leather Men’s Watch||15,435||$186.45||1.21 cents|
|Fossil Jacqueline Navy Leather Watch||15,435||$175.15||1.13 cents|
|Napoleon LEX 485 Series Barbeque – Propane||116,805||$1185.37||1.01 cents|
|Bose SoundLink Colour Bluetooth Speaker II||19,315||$192.1||0.99 cents|
|KitchenAid Artisan 3.3L Mini Stand Mixer||52,415||$508.5||0.97 cents|
|Cuisinart Vertical Waffle Maker||9,640||$90.4||0.94 cents|
|Apple iPad mini 4 Wi-FI – 128GB||78,420||$597.77||0.76 cents|
|LG 55″ 4K Super UHD Nano Cell Display TV||214,520||$1582||0.74 cents|
|Nikon COOLPIX B500 Compact Digital Camera||47,750||$334.48||0.70 cents|
|Garmin Dash Cam 55||36,575||$226||0.62 cents|
|Dewalt 20V Lithium Ion Cordless Drill||38,975||$168.37||0.43 cents|
*Prices as found on google, with 13% sales tax added.
How to earn MBNA Rewards
There are 3 cards that earn MBNA Rewards. Here’s a brief overview of each one.
|Credit Card||Welcome Bonus||Earn Rate||Annual Fee, Income Requirements||Apply Now|
|MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard||Up to 10,000 points (terms)||* 2 points per $1 on gas, groceries, and restaurants
* 1 point per $1 on all other purchases
|$0, no income requirements||Apply Now|
|MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard||Up to 20,000 points (terms)||* 2 points per $1 spent on all purchases||$120, 80K personal or 150K household income requirements||Apply Now|
|Canadian Western Bank MBNA Rewards Mastercard||1,000 points||* 1 point per $1 spent||$0, no income requirements|
MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard
- 2 points per dollar spent on gas, groceries, and restaurant purchases ($5,000 annual cap on each category), and
- 1 point per dollar spent on everything else.
You’ll also get 7 types of insurance, a rarity for cards with no annual fee.
And as an added bonus, you’ll earn 5,000 bonus points after your first eligible purchase in 90 days, and an additional 5,000 points if you enroll for e-statements in your first 90 days.
Get all the details here:
MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard
This gives you a good 2% return when redeemed for travel and 1.67% when redeemed for cash back.
Plus, this card comes with a sign-up bonus of 20,000 points – 10,000 after your first purchase in 90 days, and an additional 10,000 points if you enroll for e-statements in your first 90 days.
This card comes with an annual fee of $120 and an income requirement of either $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.
With 8 types of insurance and World Elite benefits, this card has the most to offer.
Canadian Western Bank MBNA Rewards Mastercard
The last card that offers MBNA Rewards, the
It offers 1 point per dollar spent, but its big advantage is the low interest rate promotion that it comes with.
Balance transfers are 1.99% for the first 10 months. So, if you tend to carry a balance and want to earn some rewards on the side, this is a card to consider.
MBNA Rewards questions and answers
Here are some common questions and answers about the MBNA Rewards program.
How flexible are these rewards?
While MBNA Rewards doesn’t offer the ability to transfer your rewards, these points are still very valuable and flexible.
They can be redeemed for cash a number of different ways, and although you need to use the MBNA Rewards site, they can be used for travel through any airline, on any day, for a 1 point = 1 cent value.
Are there blackout dates?
No, MBNA Rewards has no blackout dates. As long as there’s availability you’ll be able to book with MBNA Rewards.
Do these rewards expire?
No, provided your account is in good standing.
Can you use points to cover taxes & fees?
Yes, points can be used to cover taxes and fees without any loss of point value.
Can these rewards be transferred?
No, there’s no option to transfer your rewards to other programs.
Is there a way to earn rewards faster?
No, credit cards are the only way to earn rewards.
Do they price match travel costs?
No, there’s no price matching available.
In a nutshell
There’s no denying that the MBNA Rewards program will provide quite a bit of value to anyone who’s looking to redeem for travel, electronic gift cards, or brand-name merchandise.
With flexible travel redemptions, a number of cash options, as well as merchandise and gift cards that can provide great value, getting the most out of your points won’t be too difficult.
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