MBNA has recently released a second Smart Cash credit card that is a World Mastercard. They now offer both a no fee version, the MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard ‒ and a $39 annual fee version, the MBNA Smart Cash World Mastercard.

You know that adage that change isn’t always a bad thing?

Sadly, this is not the case for the Smart Cash Mastercard from MBNA.


For a while, the MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard was the best no fee cash back card on the Canadian market.

This card has gone through a few changes in the past:

  • Removal of the World Elite Version
  • Earning rate on gas and groceries was reduced from 3% to 2%
  • Earning cap on 2% cash back was reduced to $400

…and although none of those changes have really been for the better, the latest change that MBNA has put in place seems like it will be the change that people are not going to be able to look past.

No longer free

Even with all the changes that this card has undergone, it remained a no fee card (and a pretty good one at that). So, through the years, it still remained a great card to have, especially if you were looking for a no fee card to pair with your Amex or other premium cash back or travel cards.

However, it seems the good time has now come to an end.

The MBNA Smart Cash Mastercard now has an annual fee of $39. (Rumor has it that this is only for new applicants, and current cardholders will not be charged this fee…but who knows how long that will last?)

The worst part? You’re not getting anything extra for your $39 annually.

Related: BMO CashBack Mastercard review – 4% cash back for 4 months, no annual fee, and no minimum income requirement.

All things considered…

Don’t get us wrong, this card still has a few great things going for it:

You just need to consider if this card still holds up for you – or, if you’ll go with one of the best no fee cash back cards instead.

So, what do you think about these changes?