MBNA Smart Cash Credit Card – Best Credit Card in Canada?

I’ve written about credit cards many times before listing my favorite cash back credit cards to my favorite rewards or points based credit cards.  Some people may consider credit cards to be “evil” but really, credit cards don’t have a bias.  They are a simply tool and they are only as “useful” as the person holding the card.  I try to use a credit card for every purchase possible for the free points, but I make sure to pay off the full balance every month.

To get back to the topic at hand, I’m a big fan of cash back credit cards with my former favorite being the MBNA 1% PremierRewards Platinum Plus card (discontinued).  It offers 1% cash back from the first dollar spent with no maximum rebate along with a comprehensive insurance package.  Of course, as I’m frugal, there is no annual fee.  However, there is a new cash back star in town, and it’s another card from MBNA.

The credit card is called the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard, and it offers all the perks of the PremierRewards platinum card but offers more cash back!  To put the icing on the cake, this card also has no annual fee.

How Smart Cash Works

Updated Feb 2015

• Get up to 5% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases for the first 6 months‡
• Get up to 2% cash back on eligible gas and grocery purchases thereafter‡
• Get up to 1% cash back for all other eligible purchases‡
• 1.99% promotional annual interest rate† (AIR) on balance transfers* for the first 10 full months
• If eligible, you will be considered for an upgrade to a Smart Cash World MasterCard® credit card††††
• No annual fee

Comprehensive Insurance Package

  • Travel Accident Insurance – $1,000,000 common carrier travel accident insurance.
  • Car Rental Insurance – Collision damage waiver.
  • Purchase Protection – 90 days insurance in case of theft or damage (up to $4,500).
  • Extended Warranty – Doubles warranty up to 1 yr.

How to Apply

Update: – They now allow online applications!  You can apply here.

For non MBNA card holders:

  1. Apply for an existing MBNA credit card like the 1% cash back PremierRewards (another favorite of mine).
  2. After receiving the new MasterCard, activate the credit card.
  3. After activating, call 1.800.404.1319 and ask to transfer your existing account to the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard.  If they ask for a promotion code, try CGLE.

Existing MBNA card holders:

  • Simply call 1.800.404.1319 and ask to transfer your existing account to the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard.  If they ask for a promotion code, try CGLE.

Final Thoughts

With 2% cash back on groceries and/or gasoline (up to $400 in spending /month), this card can benefit those who are light-medium gas/grocery spenders.  If you spend up to the maximum on gasoline/groceries (like we would), it would be $96 cash back per year in addition to 1% cash back on other regular expenses (up to $1,250 in spending).

To avoid the $1,250 monthly spending cap for the 1% cash back, give them a call to upgrade your regular Smart Cash into the free Smart Cash World card.  The Smart Cash World will give you unlimited cash back on your 1% along with additional Price Protection insurance.  Price protection will pay you back the difference if you find a better price on something you purchased within 60 days.  Note that the Smart Cash World is only available as an upgrade to the regular Smart Cash Card.

With the generous cash back along with comprehensive insurance benefits, the Smart Cash MasterCard (World) may still be among the best no fee cash back credit card out there in Canada.  What do you think?

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FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.
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Furnie Bird
5 years ago

After the 6 months I have done better with Scotia 4% for gas and groceries and 2% for recurring automatic payments and drugstores, even with the fee. I use CapitalOne Aspire for everything else at 1 1/2%.

5 years ago

Why not get your statements electronically? That way you get them as soon as they are available?

john power
5 years ago

I dropped the mbna smart card for one additional reason; the delivery of their invoices were suspiciously late….every month. Sometimes they arrived with only five days to go until the due date. Coincidence? When I called them out on it they were not apologetic. More fodder for the shredder.

6 years ago

Hi, would they give the 5% promotion, later 2% if you buy gift cards/ gas cards from participating gas stations?

6 years ago

The website only shows products for which people can still apply. It appears you have a card that has a grandfathered rate of 3%.

That said, I am surprised because I thought MBNA had changed the rate for all customers with the 3% card. I have been with MBNA 11+ yrs and had such a card but they changed it; I had no option to keep the old rate. So not sure how you were able to still keep your 3% rate.

6 years ago

The source is my online statements. I either get 3% or 1% which is wierd because on their website it states something completely different.

6 years ago

@me that is what I have found too. But wanted to have @pashy confirm since s/he claims there is a 3% card.

6 years ago

@smayer97, I believe MBNA cash back is 2% and 1% only. no more 3%. I have not seen any 3% cash back card without annual fee. I wish there is a no annual fee 3% card exist, so we can switch to it.

6 years ago

@pashy, I just checked on MBNA site and with online chat and there does not seem to be a 3% card from MBNA. Would you please supply the link to that info?

6 years ago

The cash back now for the MBNA is either 3% or 1%. I switched to the momentum infinite as soon as I got my last 50$ cheque.