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?

If you would like to read more articles like this, you can sign up for my free weekly money tips newsletter below (we will never spam you).


  1. Cash Instinct on June 8, 2009 at 10:24 am

    I was able to get Smart Cash card directly by calling, without having a MBNA card in the first place.

    It seems it is easier now to get this card, after the first few weeks being difficult because of the number of people getting the card.

    The advantage to apply for PremierPlus or SPG card first is to get a $40 bonus from GreatCanadianRebates. There is no such rebate for SmartCash, so it is “smart” to apply to another card first and then switch.

    For people who care, Smart Cash card also has PayPass.

  2. Ray on June 8, 2009 at 10:37 am

    3% is a great cashback rate! and the 5% cashback for the first fix months definitely is a big win…….over the long term I think the scotia momentum may still come out a little better….
    2% cashback on all grocery, gas and recurring bill payments up to $25,000/yr and 1% after….
    1% cashback on everything else…
    it also has the extended warranty, no auto coverage……..
    the only downside is $39 annual fee….although we get it waived because spouse is an employee

    depending on your spending habits over the long term I think the momentum can come out on top again the downside is the annual fee

  3. Daniel Morel on June 8, 2009 at 10:54 am

    I have applied for and received the Amex and got the points. I will cancel it before the year’s end and avoid the fee. I have the MBNA World points and I am going to switch. Is there a danger to your credit rating if you are constantly changing cards and chasing rewards?

  4. Ray on June 8, 2009 at 11:12 am

    You will get constant hits on your credit which can hurt your score but if everything else is good (no missed payments, no excessive debt load etc) it shouldnt be much of a pain……….

  5. casey5 on June 8, 2009 at 11:44 am

    I was also able to apply for the card as a new MBNA client, just call the MBNA customer care #, ignore the prompt for your card number, after a few seconds it will give you a menu option, select new card application and proceed.

  6. Tom @ Canadian Finance Blog on June 8, 2009 at 11:59 am

    Looks like an interesting card, might be worth signing up!

  7. Charles in Vancouver on June 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    These must be the type of cards that independent grocery stores are complaining about because they charge the retailer such high fees and eat into their profit margins.

    I don’t blame consumers for making the rational choice of opting for a high-benefits card (and I would myself), but at the same time I would like to see better regulations on merchant fees in order to even the field. As long as these stores are forced to accept credit cards at a steep discount to cash and debit, it effectively becomes a tax on people with bad credit who don’t qualify for these cards – they pay the same price tag at the same store and get zero benefits.

  8. Lana on June 8, 2009 at 1:13 pm

    I currently have the MBNA 1% PremierRewards Platinum Plus card and have been holding back on the Smart Cash card because I’m not sure if I would lose all the points I’ve earned on the 1% card so far, if I make the swtich.

  9. mojo30 on June 8, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    Once they get a slew of new customers the 3% will become 1..not worth the effort in my opinion.

  10. fifi on June 8, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Just switched over; been waiting for something more appealing, as an existing MBNA customer. Process took less than 10 mins on the phone, no hassles/promo code, etc. Thanks alot for the tip!!

  11. Martin on June 8, 2009 at 9:42 pm

    never pay a fee to own a credit card. if there’s fee, there’s a scam.

  12. Jack on June 8, 2009 at 11:38 pm


    Not necessarily a scam but I agree with you, I don’t like the idea of paying a fee to own a credit card.

  13. $1,600 Gold by 2011 on June 9, 2009 at 2:29 am

    Paying a fee for a credit card can be worth it. For example, I signed up for the $120 annual fee TD Travel card and received $100 worth of points automatically. Then, I receive the equivalent of 1.5% cash back through normal purchases and 4.5% cash back for purchasing flights through TD travel center. I’ve used the TD travel center and you can find the same deals with their travel center that you’d find elsewhere EXCEPT you can’t use promo codes. Very easy to redeem points as well.

    Before the next annual fee is due, I plan to switch to the lower fee option, $19/year, and will receive equivalent to 3% cash back for flights. Doing the math, if you spend more than $967 on flights in a year, you’ll be gaining >1% from this card overall.

    So I plan to get the TD travel card and this MBNA Smart Cash card for 3% off groceries, gas, and flights. Then both cards give equivalent to 1% cash back on other purchases.

  14. BFM on June 9, 2009 at 2:36 am

    I have just been looking for a good cash back credit card. I was thinking about the CIBC one. But I believe this one is a better deal. Thanks for the post. Nothing is better than extra money going into our pockets. A big thumb’s up!

  15. sneeker on June 9, 2009 at 10:26 am

    I’m thinking about going to this credit card, but my current credit card just charged me the annual fee on April 1, 2009. Should I ignore this ‘sunk cost’ and just move over to this MBNA one? I figure I will qualify pretty easily and don’t have a problem moving my credit around. what do you guys think? (my current card doesn’t even give 1% back, it’s a little less) Thanks.

  16. Little Ms.Scrooge on June 9, 2009 at 10:49 am

    I have HSBC master card and it gies back 2% (until Dec. 09) towards my mortgage principle. All my banking is thru HSBC and I don’t pay annual fees. Until I have paid off my mortgage completly (3-4 years) no other cards for me.

  17. LuLu on June 9, 2009 at 1:35 pm

    Please note that “1% on everything else” is not entirely correct. If you look at the Welcome Letter, it says “1% on net retail purchase”. I received my first statement in mail last week and noticed some items (dentist charge, Rogers bill) did not receive any cashback. I called the MBNA rep, and I was told Rogers bill and dentists are not retail purchases. Examples of retails are Walmart, Canadian Tires, etc.

    However, some people on other forums have called the rep. Some reps confirmed it’s “NET purchase”, not necessarily retails. I guess this card is so brand new that it’s the policy is unclear. Keep this in mind and don’t transfer everything onto this card yet.

  18. ethan on June 9, 2009 at 1:52 pm

    Is superstore or save-on-foods included in the grocery stores that can get 3% ?
    What if I buy some gift cards from these grocery stores ? would that get the 3% back ?

  19. LuLu on June 9, 2009 at 1:57 pm

    Merchant code 5411 (Grocery Stores) and 5541/5542 (Gas station) qualify for 3% (or 5% in first 6 month)


  20. Dk on June 9, 2009 at 2:21 pm


    You can get back most of your annual fee. By law (at least in Ontario) the credit card company has to refund a pro-rata share of the annual fee when you cancel the card, so if you cancel now you would get back approx. 10/12’s of the fee. Just make sure that when you call to cancel, you tell them that you want the annual fee refunded, as I don’t know if the reps on the phone will know enough to do it automatically.

  21. LisainSK on June 9, 2009 at 2:32 pm

    We’re switching ASAP…I spoke with Clair and she said that the WorldPoints are a product of MBNA and will transfer over to Smart Cash Dollars at a rate of 100 WorldPoints = 1 Smart Cash Dollar. 1 Smart Cash Dollar = 1 CDN Dollar. (Keep in mind that 100 WorldPoints = 1 CD Dollar). Yes, this card is soo new that not all the details are well known by all reps as the first rep I spoke with said that the WorldPoints would not transfer over. But not the case. Also I like that the interest free grace period to pay back the balance every month stays the same as our current MBNA Platinum Mastercard at 28 days. This is better than ScotiaBank’s Momentum card where I believe is 21 days interest free…the longer the pay back period interest free the better for Manulife One customers like we are. The only downside is to inform any businesses of our new account number if we have automatic monthly payments (WorldVision for example). We are switching ASAP.

    THANKS MDJ and Frugaltrader!

  22. Ms Save Money on June 9, 2009 at 2:37 pm


    So long as the credit card company’s policy is transparent to the consumer, even if they do charge fees it wouldn’t be a scam. But nevertheless, it’s not cool to pay any type of fees. :)

  23. personne on June 9, 2009 at 2:41 pm

    I think these schemes are kind of sleazy. The cost of goods should be the real costs. End of story. They’re basically bribing you to force more stores to support their credit cards. I’m hoping this becomes illegal soon, in the meantime it’s a personal, ethical question.

  24. Finance Guy on June 9, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    I have a Discover card that offers 5% back on gas/auto purchases. Being a huge car guy, this helps a lot. There are all kinds of cards for a number of interests, you just have to know where to look. And yes, I agree that credit cards are not evil. If you borrow money, pay it back period.

  25. Narajin on June 9, 2009 at 7:37 pm

    But isnt that Discover card only for US and not available for Canada?

  26. Spudman on June 9, 2009 at 10:21 pm

    Just applied and “hopefully” approved. I am not a current card holder. Used the promo code and then had no problem with application.
    Although the 1-800-404-1319 number gave me the run around and switched me to 4 different account managers. I got this number from someone else and got through after waiting through the prompts 1-888-876-6262.

    Cheers, Spudman

  27. Terri on June 9, 2009 at 10:54 pm

    Just a note, if you switch an old MBNA card over to this new card, you’ll only be able to get 3% cashback on groceries and/or gasoline for the first 6 months, not 5%. The 5% cashback offer is only for new applications.

    Thanks for the tip MDJ! I switched over today. Love your blog!

  28. Ryan on June 9, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    So is this card better than the MBNA Starwood Preferred Guest Mastercard?

  29. ken on June 10, 2009 at 12:02 am

    is the 3% on gas apply for any gas station?

  30. PAC on June 10, 2009 at 12:40 am

    Has anyone heard of paying for your mortgage, utilities, and taxes using a credit card. That would be great if you got rewards.

  31. cannon_fodder on June 10, 2009 at 9:20 am


    Tried it over and over and over. Never been able to make it happen (except for my cable bill and cellphone bill).

    I thought it was great when grocery stores started to allow you to pay with credit cards.

    But, car payments, mortgage payments, property taxes – not in my experience.

  32. FrugalTrader on June 10, 2009 at 9:21 am

    ken, as LuLU stated above, the credit card companies go by “merchant code”. Here the list again: http://scotiabank.com/images/en/filespersonal/19993.pdf

    ryan, depends on what you are looking for. When I claim my SPG points, they usually range from 2%-4% return on my spending, however I only use them for hotel points. Cash back can be used anytime. Personally though, I’m keeping my SPG card.

  33. LisainSK on June 10, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    Okay…so I called MBNA last night (we currently carry an MBNA Manulife One Platinum Mastercard) and the third rep said that they will not transfer my world points. So I did not immediately switch. I first redeemed my worldpoints online for cash (super easy…now just wait for the cheque) and will do the transfer tonight. All three reps stated that I will get the 5% cash back on groceries and gas up to $600 per month for the first six months. So there are conflicting reports here…but this card is soo new that all the reps don’t even know the latest. So a bit of a runaround but hopefully worth it in the long run…

  34. Agaver on June 10, 2009 at 1:43 pm

    Just found this website yesterday! and it made my day!
    I’ve been always mad with my current card since it does not give me anything not even candies.. but I guess it was my fault.. since I haven’t done anything to get a better card!
    So trying to help any other readers here… this is the way I got connected with an MBNA representative and applied for my first MBNA cc ever. Hope it will work :)
    Called: 1-888-876-6262
    Press French (it does not matter if u don’t speak french, I don’t, but if u press english u will end up in india and god knows what might happen…)
    Then wait for the options, even though you press french the next menu is in english and press 1. When the canadian agent answered (in english) I asked to apply for a new cc – So the agent transferred me to someone in Canada
    who spoke english. I applied.. hopefully it will work.. if not I’ll keep looking! :)

    Even though I selected French I never talked in french, neither the agent and avoided talking to Indians that don’t care, don’t know and really are not of help at all. Hope it helps someone else. The process was very easy and straight forward, just remember to select french in the first option.
    Hope it helps.
    Thanks for all the info / commentaries on this website, it’s helping me a lot and I’m sure it will keep doing it in the future as well!! :)

  35. RFD on June 10, 2009 at 10:58 pm
  36. cko64 on June 11, 2009 at 3:56 am

    If you are an existing MBNA card holder, you don’t need to transfer your existing MBNA MC to this Smart Cash card. You can just apply for this card.

    I called in and applied for this Smart Cash MC and kept my existing MBNA SPG MC as well back in early May, 2009.

  37. Blogging Banks on June 11, 2009 at 11:15 am

    I like the 3% cash back on gas. Do you know if that credit card has any annual fees?

  38. Spudman on June 11, 2009 at 2:02 pm

    My AMEX Gold 2% Cash Back card, may just get bumped to the #2 Position for most of my purchases!

    I can’t wait for my new card.


  39. dlm on June 23, 2009 at 7:40 pm

    Google who is MBNA and there’s an epinion saying MBNA is evil and treats customers terribly etc

  40. FrugalTrader on June 23, 2009 at 9:46 pm

    dlm, there will be complaints about every company if you look hard enough. I’ve been with MBNA for years and I’ve yet to have any issues with them. Of course, I’ve never had any need to work with customer service.

  41. John S. on July 3, 2009 at 3:47 pm

    Interesting. I just called the 1.800.404.1319 number and asked to sign up for the new card and got transferred twice…the last time I was sent to India..asked to sign up for the “MBNA Smart Cash Credit Card” and was told that they don’t know anything about this card.

    Some folks have been able to sign up for the card directly…others are not able to. These 800 numbers are always a pain. So much inconsistancy.

  42. agaver on July 4, 2009 at 1:36 pm

    It’s simple… you need to avoid as much as possible to be transferred to India.
    As I said, select french menu and you will see you will end up talking to someone in Canada in English and who won’t give u any trouble at all with the card. If you get transferred to India just hang up, don’t waste your time.
    It was the first time I was applying for the card, and hopefully I should get it.. in about 20 days. That’s what I had to do, select French in order to talk to someone in English in Canada… funny a? check post 34.
    Good Luck.

  43. agaver on July 7, 2009 at 10:45 pm

    Hi again,
    Just got my smart cash card.. today.
    Will start using right away! :)
    Have a good one!

  44. agaver on July 9, 2009 at 6:10 pm

    Hi can someone provide some feedback about the 1% cashback on everything else? I’m reading my Terms and Conditions paper that I’ve received with the card and it says “d) Every one hundred dollars ($100) in Net Purchase other than Gas and Groceries Purchases shall earn one (1) MBNA dollar.”
    Then on the welcome letter it says:
    “Purchase means the use of your card or Account number to buy or lease good or services”
    If I understand correctly telephone and internet charges should be considered services and therefore MBNA should honor the 1% cashback.
    Can anyone provide any information regarding this?
    Thanks a lot.

  45. Henry on July 20, 2009 at 4:24 pm

    agaver: There seems to be some confusing about the 1% cashback on other purchases. Some people on redflagdeals said that they did not get 1% cashback on dentist visit, online purchase, recurring charges, etc. CSRs at MNBA tell you different things.

    At this moment, you might consider not using Smart Cash Mastercard on items that may be interpreted as non-retail purchases. If there has been charges made already on Smart Cash Mastercard, try to argue for 1% cash back.

  46. sneeker on July 20, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Got my card! Yay!

    thanks so much to the peeps here at milliondollarjourney. i would have never known this card existed. love the site and hope to share a successful retirement story in the future.

  47. Mike on July 22, 2009 at 10:07 pm

    I had a deactivated MBNA account since I had a univ credit card a long time ago, so I was able to use that to get a Smart Cash card, but before that I tried to contact the french CSRs and when I tried the Smart Cash priority code or subsequently I spoke english I got immediately disconnected.

    Is it possible they’re onto us? It was the evening so its possible it was a skeleton crew? Not trying to discourage but wanted to mention! GL!

  48. kuku on July 24, 2009 at 3:06 pm

    I called the #, got english menu and pressed 1 – to apply for a new card,
    the csr was very nice and was speaking from Ottawa. my application
    ‘auto approved’ on the spot.

  49. Renaud on September 11, 2009 at 9:54 am

    This card is no longer available.

  50. FrugalTrader on September 11, 2009 at 9:58 am

    Renaud, how do you know this?

  51. S Kiegerl on September 18, 2009 at 5:42 pm

    I just tried to get one too, and was told they are no longer available.

  52. Jordan on September 27, 2009 at 7:52 pm

    Thought I’d make my first post here:


    The card is listed on the website. Looks to me that it is once again available. Still a good card?

  53. FrugalTrader on September 27, 2009 at 8:02 pm

    Great to see it online! I assume that it’s good to go again. However, users are still having trouble getting their cash back.. stay tuned.

  54. agaver on September 27, 2009 at 8:42 pm

    I should be getting my first 50 dollars by the end of this cycle.. will provide details later.

    • FrugalTrader on September 28, 2009 at 9:52 am

      agaver, from what i’ve heard, customers are getting their first $50 cheque, but subsequent cheques are being delayed. Keep us up to date on the issue.

  55. Peter B on October 4, 2009 at 5:30 pm

    Just called a CSR and I cannot switch my card from the World Points Platinum Plus to the Smart Cash Card without losing all my points. He suggested that I apply for the new card online then consolidate my account.

    So going to redeem my points now, and after I get my rewards, call and close my account. When you do it this way they can offer you the Smart Cash Credit Card without having to apply online :-)

  56. PK on October 4, 2009 at 9:23 pm

    How long do you people think this Smart Cash Credit Card promotion will be going on?

  57. Mike on November 16, 2009 at 2:40 pm

    Careful. You don’t actually get 5% back for the first 6 months and you don’t get 3% back after that.

    For the gas and groceries purchases first they give you 1% off, then they subtract that amount from the total, then they give you 2% the remaining amount and subtract that amount from your remaining total, then the give you 2% the remaining total. That does NOT = 5%. To make matters worse they calculate the cash back separately for each purchase by rounding down. They are very tricky and because of this you are loosing a huge percentage of your cash back each month. It’s borderline false advertising.

    I wonder if anyone has actually done these calculations.

  58. Anis on November 16, 2009 at 2:56 pm

    What is considered retail purchases when it comes to recurring monthly bills and charges?

    I am thinking household bills (phone, internet, cable, power bills) but also insurance coverage payments…
    Do these count?

  59. Agaver on November 16, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    Frugal trader, sorry for the delay this is my experience so far… 1st week of october I got my statement, and I had accumulated my first 50 dollars. To my surprise the check had not been sent with the statement… so I called them up right away :) . They told me I should get it the week after. I finally got it by the end of the 3rd week of october. This month I should be getting my second check. I guess I’ll have to call them up again… but let’s see :) I promise I’ll post again :).
    Mike I know what you mean… but… compared to my other credit cards this is the only one it actually sent me a 50$ check! I couldn’t be happier for now! ;)
    Thanks to million dollar journey!

  60. RamL on November 16, 2009 at 11:48 pm

    Mike, I do not think your interpretation is accurate. According to you, we should be getting only 4.384% cashback not 5%. I calculate my MBNA dollars every month and my final number has never exceeded more than 10 to 15 cents (per month) than what they give. So I recommend you double-check your cash back calculations. I have seen some people have reported that they get less cash back and their problems appeared to have been solved by a phone call. I read this on RFD forum.

  61. Mike on November 18, 2009 at 2:30 am


    I did call them and that is the answer I got, but after reading the terms and conditions I’m not satisfied what what they told me.

    I think this is what they should be doing:
    Lets say the item is $8.32, then 5% cash back is calculated like this:

    8.32 * 0.01 = 0.0832
    8.32 * 0.02 = 0.1664
    8.32 * 0.02 = 0.1664

    Add the total up (up to 2 decimal places) (0.08+0.16+0.16) = $0.4

    But I’m getting even less than that, so I think it’s time to call them again.



    So now the grand total cash back should I get is $1.68.

    Where did my 9 cents go??


  62. newuser on December 1, 2009 at 5:46 pm

    -Does online payment for bills (phone, cable, power bills) count as 1% back?
    -Does gov’t payment (passport payment) count as 1% back?

    I called mbna customer service and got difference answers for these. Is anybody here paid these using smart cash card and got 1%?

  63. agaver on December 3, 2009 at 10:27 am

    FrugalTrader, I’m reporting once again about the mbna cash back payment… and I could not be more satisfied… December 1st… I got my second 50$ check on the mail! I did not have to call this time, I went to check for mail and it was there… what can be sweeter than that? and to answer newuser up here, a month ago I got a flyer from MBNA asking me to add my recurrent bill payments to the credit card so they will count towards my 1% cashback… I added my phone bill and my internet bill. I haven’t check but it was on the flyer so I’m assuming they are giving me the 1%. I’m sorry but I don’t have the flyer with me anymore… :(
    Hope it helps! :)
    Once again, thanks milliondollarjourney and to mbna!

  64. newuser on December 5, 2009 at 3:36 am

    Hi, agaver,

    I am very happy for you. Thank you for deliver good news for all of us. Also thank you for answering my question about recurrent bill payments. I saw a mbna flyer too. it recommended us to pay the recurrent bills, but it did not mention the 1% at all. Maybe we saw the different flyer?

    Since you have already added your phone bill and internet bill, I recommend you to watch it out closely. Hopefully you will get 1% back. Please kindly let us know the progress.

    Thanks again.

  65. agaver on December 8, 2009 at 3:04 pm

    Hi newuser and MDJ readers…

    Newuser u were right. I got my statement closing in December today, and I noticed I haven’t earned the amount of dollars in cashback I was supposed to.

    Not even the simply 1% was being awarded. So I called them up.
    I find out that they did not even honored the 3% in groceries cashback they advertised everywhere. I do my groceries at Provigo (convenient location) and come on Provigo has to classify for groceries.. what else are you going to buy at Provigo? LCD TVs? It has to classify for my 3%. Period.

    So I called them up, and talk to Dash I believe.. and he was kind enough to pull the % awarded for one provigo transaction from the montlhy statement and to my surprise his system was showing him that the Provigo purchase generated only 1,69 % instead of 3 %…. but he can’t go transaction for transaction… he told me they know they have some kind of “system bug”
    and that they are working on it, that they will recheck all my transactions for the month and I should see some corrections for the next billing cycle on January 4th. When asked about the Bell and Internet bills the agent said they should qualify to the 1 % but due to this system problem at this time the information might not be correct.

    You can be sure if I don’t see my 3% on Provigo purchases plus the 1% they advertised for Jean Coutu, bell, internet… I’ll be talking back to them.
    I know I could call again and talk to another agent… since u get different stories from different agents… but I’ll give them some time for now until January…. promise I’ll write back.

  66. newuser on December 9, 2009 at 9:20 am

    Thank you , Andy!

    I hope they can correct their system mistake and give you the credit you deserved. To me, “network purchase” is a very general term. It is confusing. smart cash card give us good deals but we need to figure out the policy first.

    Do online payments count as 1%?
    Does car insurance payment count as 1%?
    Does passport renew payment count as 1%?
    Why do some grocery stores count as 1%?

    We better figure out their policy before stop using our previous point system credit cards. my other cards has less rewards than smart cash card, but I am certain I can get some points. that’s the dilemma.

  67. FrugalTrader on December 26, 2009 at 10:23 am

    I just checked the MBNA website, and it appears that they have taken down the online application. I’ve heard rumour though that transfers from existing MBNA cards are still accepted. See the blog post above for more details.

  68. Blitzkrieg on January 9, 2010 at 3:56 pm

    I just successfully applied for this card for both myself and my wife. Even though I already have an MBNA card, I had to apply for this card separately. FT, the promo code you provided did not show up in the CSR’s system. She had some trouble figuring out how to get me this card at first, but she did it in the end. It was quite painless. Once I was finished I just handed the phone over to my wife and she did her application too.

  69. natureboy on January 21, 2010 at 2:08 am

    Just got my third $50 cheque…couldn’t be happier…so far so good.

  70. agaver on January 23, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    Hello everyone,
    One more time reporting on this card and to specifically answer newuser questions. Well newuser… I’m happy to report that mbna updated their website for the better! yeap. Now, once you log in, you can also see the awards point granted for every transaction you made. so it’s easy and pretty straight forward.
    You have how much you paid, the date, which place and the % of points granted and also the amount of money you have earned! It’s simple, straight forward, spectacular and evacuates all of your doubts in 2 secs without having to call and fight for your well-deserved points. So to answer newuser..
    Do online payments count as 1%? – yes, I got 1% from ncix and futureshop
    Does car insurance payment count as 1%? My insurance haven’t switch yet.. even though we called them up… I guess another call must follow but it should work with 1%
    Does passport renew payment count as 1%? I’ll tell u once I get mine! But the Metro/bus services monthly card purchase counted as 1%
    Why do some grocery stores count as 1%? I don’t know I noticed that back in november, when I called them up since I noticed provigo and iga purchases were rewarded with only 1%. They told me they would have it fix by January and indeed they did ( I got my 3rd check or 4th? already in the mail) and on the new system all my purchases from iga/provigo read “bonus” and where granted 3% so basically every $100 in iga or provigo gave me 5$ back.. wich is great! :)
    Hope that evacuates anyones doubts! I really love this card.
    PS: Internet service, bell phone, restaurants, pet shops, walmart, zellers, jean coutu, pharmaprix are granted 1%.

  71. Anis on January 23, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    I can confirm that car and home insurance count as 1%

    Actually so far, I noticed that everything counts, regardless of the type of transaction, goods or services.

  72. newuser on January 23, 2010 at 5:20 pm

    Thank you very much for the posts from agaver and Anis. We can tell that MBNA Smart cash credit card is such a great card that we can enjoy it so much!

  73. Ian on February 1, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Just talked to a rep today. He said that you have to open a new account for this promo – it is no longer possible to transfer an existing account.

  74. CalgarySimon on February 2, 2010 at 7:20 pm

    Too bad – I just called & was told the MBNA Smart Cash is discontinued. Lucky you, whoever got it already

  75. FrugalTrader on February 2, 2010 at 7:38 pm

    I’m getting mixed messages, can anyone else confirm that the SC card has been discontinued?

  76. Anis on February 2, 2010 at 7:41 pm

    One thing is for sure, it disappeared from the MBNA website.

  77. Emeth on February 3, 2010 at 2:40 am

    I called MBNA about a week ago to ask if I could get my worldpoints card changed to a smartcash account. The male rep (whose English was so heavily accented I had a hard time understanding him) told me that the smartcash was no longer available. I told him that since that was the case I wanted to cancel my worldpoints card. At that point he transferred me to a female rep who spoke much better English. When I told her I wanted to cancel my card she asked me why. After I told her she said the card was still available and it would be no problem for me to get it. She asked me a couple confirmation questions then told me it would be up to 5-6 weeks to receive the card.

    So now I am waiting.

  78. nobleea on February 5, 2010 at 4:59 pm

    it’s still available for online applications. the link and promo code is on the red flag deals thread on this CC.
    i just applied today in fact.

  79. Ray on February 13, 2010 at 8:37 pm

    A couple tidbits, I called up that number saying my SPG card expires soon, I want to get the ball rolling on getting the Smart Cash card as the replacement. She said no problem. I asked what’s the natural replacement to the SPG card, she said ChoicePrivileges which gives their own form of points system. She said they didn’t renew the contract with SPG because they “didn’t like the card”. I said that was my best card so now I’m “not happy with you (MBNA)”. I told her I’ll take the Smart Cash card and the AMEX SPG and then I’ll decide where to spend my $60,000 per year. She said no problem, use the SPG card until the end of the month sucking every last SPG point from it, then call and activate the Smart Cash card you received in the mail and everything will transfer over. Still pissed at this AMEX SPG crap, I was getting at least two trips a year all accommodations free and now I have to juggle $50 cheques and some SPG points on whereever will accept AMEX, blah.

  80. Dan on February 16, 2010 at 5:05 pm

    I’m not sure whether or not this is still the case, but I applied and received this card during the summer. I was a new MBNA customer.

    The trick at the time was to call during regular business house on a weekday and speak to a Canadian rep. If you call and get an accent other than English or French, then hang up and call back. Eventually you’ll reach an actual Canadian.

    The problem with not speaking to a foreign rep is that they have scripted responses and really have no idea about the Smart Cash card. Speaking to the Canadian rep they most certainly are aware of the card and are willing to help you out. In fact, the lady I spoke with was pleasant to speak with and did a little small talk while entering my application.

    As recently as two weeks ago, this same procedure worked as someone else I know was successfully able to apply for the card. If you’re having problems, perhaps you’re just speaking to the wrong person.

  81. FrugalTrader on February 20, 2010 at 5:59 pm

    Nobleea, was your online application accepted? I’m reading reports of people getting the wrong card when using the code online.

  82. Chinstrap on February 24, 2010 at 6:54 pm

    Hi All,
    I would love hear the latest on this card..

    Actually, what is your preferred “setup” now with the SPG MBNA gone?

    I was using my Costco Amex combined with my SPG MBNA… I guess the Costco cash back Amex is still a good one but what else should I use?

    Thanks for your comments.


  83. Chinstrap on February 24, 2010 at 7:31 pm

    FYI.. I just talked to MBNA Canada and as of today, they are not accepting new applications for SmartCash. This can change in the future though as they are monitoring how things go. I was going to change my SPG card to the Premier Reward card but I was given the spiel on how my SPG card will change automatically into a Elite Travel Rewards which 1) give 2% equivalent on hotels and flights and 2) 1% back on cash whenever you hit 8000 points ($8000) or more. So she convinced me that this card was better than the Premier Rewards…

  84. SaverGirl on March 1, 2010 at 7:29 pm

    Called MBNA the day my SPG card would not earn points and explained that I did not want their new travel rewards card, that I was looking into cash back cards. The rep actually offered the Smart Cash, when I said I haven’t seen it on the website, she said, no, it’s so popular they don’t need to advertise it, mostly people are finding out about it from blogs. Sounds like a great card, should arrive in the next 2 weeks.

  85. Dustin on March 9, 2010 at 5:30 pm

    Just talked to MBNA and the first rep I spoke to said she couldn’t offer that card and there was no way to get it. So I said I wanted to cancel my account and was transfered to a “Senior” rep (basically a retentions rep) who promptly gave me the card to avoid losing my business. So it looks like the card is available to existing MBNA customers as long as you threaten to cancel…

  86. AI on March 16, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    Just converted my old MBNA SPG card to Smart Cash. The first rep said it wasn’t offered, so I had to say I wanted to cancel and I was forwarded on to a senior rep. I explained I wanted the Smart Cash and, after being put on hold for a while, I was able to change my account without any fuss.

  87. Greg on March 18, 2010 at 6:16 pm

    I used to have the old SPG reward program and was looking for something new. I called the existing MBNA cardholder number provided above. They answered on the first ring and were EXCELLENT to deal with… it was yes right away, no hassle. All done in about 2 minutes. Thanks for all the info on the Smart Cash card!

  88. Chinstrap on March 19, 2010 at 1:26 pm

    Confirmed! Threaten to cancel your card unless you get Smart Cash and it works. They don’t want to lose your business. It worked for my brother and I on the same day.


    For me:
    1) Costco Platinum Cash Back
    2) My new Smart Cash

    I will use Amex as it gets up to 1.5% back except when I get gas or shop for groceries (those not at Costco) at say Loblaws to get 3% back.

  89. Ray on March 19, 2010 at 2:53 pm

    So what’s going on here with AMEX/SPG anyways? Why is it 20 days since their card expired and still no news of their new card for signup? You’d think they would have their act together 30 days BEFORE expiry of the card. Don’t they know that people are settling into their replacement card and those that are smart are taking MBNA’s Smart Cash card and therefore they are just losing business? It seems like they want to draw down on the amount of credit they were issuing or the number of points the programs were giving out – whereas MBNA is bending over backwards in retention to keep all the business. AMEX/SPG is really screwing the pooch on this one.

  90. Roger on March 22, 2010 at 9:14 pm

    Here’s another experience with MBNA. Called today to transfer from Travel card to Smart Cash, but they are not offering the Smart Cash card any more because of customer complaints about redemptions.
    15 minute wait for customer specialist!

  91. Roger on March 27, 2010 at 5:21 pm

    Thank you everyone for your comments and help.
    Quick response from MBNA today, offering Smart Cash card to prevent cancelling account.
    5% refund on $600/month food and gas for 1st 6 months for long standing customer.
    Every bit helps!

  92. HelpsOnTheWay on March 31, 2010 at 4:06 am

    Anybody with existing MBNA account can get Smart Cash. You just have to threaten to close your account during regular hours when the retention team is in. MBNA stopped offering the product to new customers back in Nov or Dec and will only give it to you as a save attempt. The reason MBNA stopped offering it is because of the product’s “rich” nature. Which basically means MBNA underestimated how much they were going to lose and the demand for it.

    If you can get it you’ll receive cash back on all net retail charges. Net retail means retail charges minus merchant refunds. Basically don’t expect to receive cash back on stuff you returned.

    – For the first 6 months from account open date. Usually accounts are opened within 2 business days after the actual approval (when you’re approved for credit) but can vary.

    [5% on “recognized” (specific codes) gas and grocery merchants on the first $600 per calender month. After the $600 those gas and grocery charges earn 1% just like every other retail charges that are not G/G]

    -After the first 6 months.

    [3% on “recognized” (specific codes) gas and grocery merchants on the first $600 per calender month. After the $600 those gas and grocery charges earn 1% just like every other retail charges that are not G/G]

    Will earn on all retail charges. Retail is basically all charges not cash. Cash includes but not limited to: access checks, balance transfers, ATM withdraws, over the counter cash withdraws, and money transfers (western union). Cash can also include whats called quasi-cash: casino chips, lottery tickets, stuff that can be equivalent to cash or can be converted to cash.

  93. Bilal on April 27, 2010 at 12:14 am

    Just got the approval in the mail. My question is, is there a list of approved vendors?

  94. Paul on May 7, 2010 at 11:33 am

    Got it. Only because I was existing MBNA card holder and a former Starwood MBNA cardholder.

  95. Steve on May 12, 2010 at 7:21 pm

    So what is the verdict? Do you guys think the Smart Cash credit card is still better than the new Travel Rewards Elite card? I had been hoping MDJ was going to review the new card and give his two cents. I signed up for the amex spg given that it is free for the first year. But I am thinking the Smart Cash may be my main card going forward… Thoughts?

  96. FrugalTrader on May 12, 2010 at 9:28 pm

    Steve, I will try to get something for a travel rewards review. The problem with the travel rewards is that it’s only available to old MBNA SPG holders. If you fly a good bit, the travel rewards card looks very competitive.

  97. avelino on May 27, 2010 at 5:07 am

    Hi alll,
    Do you guys think the Smart Cash credit card is still better than the new Travel Rewards Elite card?

  98. Mr. Bubba on May 29, 2010 at 1:46 pm

    Yes by a mile get the MBNA smart cash card as I will outline below how to benefit yearly yields on cash back and other rewards combined..
    Thank you.

  99. Mr. Bubba on May 29, 2010 at 1:47 pm

    *Read this three times and you will figure this system out and to execute accordingly*

    Since I started last year I received to present date 8 cheques of $50.00 cash back intervals ($400.00 total) Just received one recently again.
    One thing I did wrong is I did not max out the 6 month promo start bonus each month (5% + 1% for gas and groceries up to $600.00 per month including gift cards) and after the regular issue of 3%+1% cash back for gas and groceries including normal issue 1% (total 4% is what it works out to).

    All other non gas or grocery purchases is 1% and no annual fee with no maximum threshold.

    Big Tip of the century:
    Purchase gift cards from Canadian Tire gas bars for only gas purchases with multiplier in hand as you know they do not accept other credit cards for direct purchase to obtain canadian tire money reimbursement as they accept only cash, debit or CT gift cards.
    The CT gift card (gas bars remember only) however allows you to be purchased with any credit card but get 3% +1% juice right off the bat with MBNA Smart Cash Card.
    Factor what it would be at 5%+1% promo of six months ($6.00 per $100 gift card x 3 gift cards per month x 6 months) = $108 cash back

    (after promo – 3% +1%) Right away you get $4,00 back on a $100.00 gift card from the gas bar which you should be able to use up from gas bar or store in a week or two weeks.
    Then use a 6 to 10X multiplier slip with gift card at gas bar and get back $1.50 to $2.50 CT money each fill up when empty on 60 litres.

    Let’s do the math now:
    If you spend $300 on canadian tire gift cards a month from gas bar only and make sure never from from the store as it only gives you 1%.
    Your up $12.00 on cash back (3%+1%) to use gift card for gas or store usage.
    Factor the four gas fill ups that month at $65.00 or $260 with 60 litres each time.
    Say it averages out that the multiplier is 8X for the month = $2.00 CT pay out money per fill up (more or less depends if it is 6X, 7X, 8X, 9X or 10X multiplier)
    Total then with CT money potential a month is $8.00

    Grand total with Smart Cash card factor is then ($12.00 cash back + $8.00 CT money) = $20.00 per month in your pocket each month after promo.

    Average that the trend is $20.00 per month x 12 months = $240.00 a year back to you with cash back and CT money combined .

    $600.00 per month allowance for (3%+1%) – $300.00 already used on (CT gift cards) each month = $300.00 left to use

    Now use this now for groceries or gift cards from petro canada and factoring in collecting petro points or grocery chain gift cards to get the rest of the 3%+1% cash back that equates to $12.00 per month or $140.00 per year cash back.

    Total Cash Back and CT money potential grand total = ($240.00 + 140.00) = $380.00 (CT money and $600 spend per month for whole year)
    If you factor 5% bonus then it is $12.00 extra x 6 months = $72.00

    Grand total could be $452.00 based on 5% promo and 3% and 1%

    If you spend even $10,000 or 20K each year on general spend at 1% cash back that is non gas or grocery then it is $100 or $200 a year.

    Total potential 1st year payout could be $552 or $652 with cash back and CT money.

    Ex.Petro canada offers gift cards that you can use to buy from (ie: home depot, best buy, future shop, movies, other retailers, subway, boston pizza, harveys, swiss chalet, canyon creek, the keg, jack astors, east side marios, XBOX live, etc and more.
    If gift cards you are looking are not there then get them from grocery stores that offer more of a variety while getting 3%+1% =4% cash back.

    If you did not follow this system then you would pay $7,200 regardless on things you need everyday for gas, groceries, retailers, and food chains.

    I hope this helps finally close what is the best rewards credit card by far and hope you can get the card still unless your a current MBNA customer and hint you will change to another card company and they will jump to provide it to you.

    Good luck.

  100. Chinstrap on May 29, 2010 at 2:04 pm

    Mr. Bubba,
    I haven’t read all your info. but it looks promising! So for sure the gift card thing works?!

  101. Chinstrap on May 29, 2010 at 2:10 pm

    Mr. Bubba,

    I don’t have a CT gas bar near me for convenience.. downtown TO.. However, I like the idea about buying gift cards from either a grocery store or gas station. So, if you went to eat at The Keg or Canyon Creek and used the card it would only be 1% but since you buy the gift card from the qualifying gas or grocery then you get back 4%… NICE!

  102. Mr. Bubba on May 30, 2010 at 1:05 am

    Yes I see it on my transcript online as follows during six month promo period:

    $100.00 Gift Card purchased
    BASE: CDN TIRE GAS BAR #0???? (city), ON $1.00
    BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths $2.00
    BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries $2.00

    It totals 5%. $100.00 CT Gift Card x 5% = $5.00 cash back

    Then on the same day I used the $100 gift card with a 8x multiplier on a 60L fill up and received $2.00 CT money. Total was $7.00 in my pocket.
    Factoring I had close to $35.00 remaining on the gift card for my next gas purchase or store purchase. Then repeat the process by getting a $100.00 gift card prior to filling up from gas and you are on your way.

    Correction it is 5% during six month promo then 3% after six month ongoing.
    Please ignore the 4% as indicated in my previous message as that was an error after looking closely at rewards mechanism online.
    It is always 3% cash back on grocery and gas purchases after the promo ends. 1% on all other non gas and grocery purchases even on all my re-occuring bills

  103. Mr. Bubba on May 30, 2010 at 1:20 am

    Use the Smart Cash Card mostly at Petro Canada and get any other gift card that you require (IE: KEG, retailer, cineplex, etc) but following gas purchase with CT when you can.
    If the gift cards that you like are not available then check grocery chains as last resort as you cannot collect any type of points like you can in petro (petro points) or esso (aeroplan).
    (ignore shell as airmiles program sucks and sunoco has nothing really to offer)

    If you purchase from petro say a $100.00 KEG gift card then factor this:

    – $5.00 back during promo or $3.00 back after six month promo
    – Petro points = 20X points per dollar on $100 gift card purchase = 1,000 petro points
    – Petro Canada website link your CAA card (if you have it) for additional 20% bonus
    1,000 points x 20% = 200 additional bonus points
    Total points = 1,200 per $100 gift card or 600 points per $50.00 gift card
    If you do this at Esso check if aeroplan miles apply to gift cards

    Better then nothing.

    If you just went to the Keg and spent $100.00 just with smart cash card directly you would only get $1.00 back (1%).
    The process above with KEG gift card you would get $5.00 during promo and 1,200 petro points.
    Let me know if this helps.

  104. Mr. Bubba on May 30, 2010 at 1:30 am

    This web link was very helpful if you like to triple dip on CT money by getting 3.5% cash back from Great Canadian Rebates and could be considered after 5% six month promo is over.


    That would mean 3.5% cash back with GCR and 1% standard offer with MBNA Smart Cash Card.
    Total = 4.5%

    If you spend $250 (1car) a month on gas or $500 (2 cars) then $3,000 ($135 Cash Back) or $6,000 ($270) per year. Then factor in the CT money. heh

  105. Mr. Bubba on May 30, 2010 at 1:35 am

    *Correction* on petro points
    ( I was blitzing patios all day and was indulging :D )

    Petro Points = 2,000 points on $100.00 gift card
    20% bonus with CAA card linked to account = 400 points

    Total points is 2,400

  106. Karl Marx on July 9, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    I wonder if this card will give 5% rebate on gas and groceries bought in USA? I don’t see why not, because the merchant codes are the same, but would like to know for sure.

  107. sneeker on July 9, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    I’ve used mine in the states and i’ve gotten the 3% on gas & groceries. booya. love this card. passive income at it’s easiest.

  108. cloneboy on July 13, 2010 at 6:06 am

    I live in windsor right near the bridge to detroit. I fill up PREMIUM gas at the bridge’s duty free called ammex market that offers alcohol and other stuff but GAS is the real reason why people go there. 69cents per litre for PREMIUM is a hugggggge discount compared to $1.15/$1.20 im payin canadian side and the 5% bonus cash back is amazing so overall i save almost %45 percent off gas. Considering the exchange rate, 2.5% merchant conversion comission and 4% market conversion, i’m still at around %40 savings after it’s all said and done. If I did not live near the border, I would be doing the canadian tire thing or the walmart thing as well.

    Walmart supercenters (grocery store) that have gas bars offer 2 cent savings on gas if you buy the gift card in store. So almost the same thing as the canadian tire situation. But definately great idea on grabbing gift cards at gas bars and collecting extra points at those stations too.

  109. Karl Marx on July 15, 2010 at 12:05 pm

    Duty-free gas – very interesting indeed! Too bad we don’t have those here at Niagara Falls – Buffalo bridge crossings. It must be huge lineups though: it’s well below even US price, currently around $2.85/gal or $0.75/liter for REGULAR at Buffalo, premuim is like $3.05 or $81/liter!

  110. Karl Marx on July 15, 2010 at 1:50 pm

    I still did not get it: is there a monthly limit on purchases that give you 5% rebate, during first six months? I understood that after promotion os over I will get 3% only up to $600 spent, that is pretty pathetic ($18 monthly). My gas+groceries will run well over that limit even I don’t do tricks with gift cards.

  111. FrugalTrader on July 15, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Karl, during the first 6 months the $600 limit still applies ($30 max rebate /month). If you spend over $600/month on gas/groceries, switch to another card that has higher than 1% return. At least that’s what I do with my SC card. I use it primiarly for gas/groceries (3% return), then switch usage for the remainder of the month after the $600 is spent.

  112. Karl Marx on July 15, 2010 at 4:55 pm

    Thanks FrugalTrader! So, all these gift card schemes are useless because they will put me above the $600 a month limit.

  113. Mr. Bubba on July 15, 2010 at 10:17 pm

    Not if you have a spouse apply for the smart cash card then it is $1,200 per month combined at 5% for six months and 3% thereafter.
    You can apply again for a new MBNA SMC card to make $1,200 allowance with no restrictions for yourself if you got no significant other.
    Just make sure you don’t rack it and pay more interest then what you recover in cash back situation.
    Have fun and still go for gift cards and petro points combination cannot go wrong dude if you follow above.
    The customer representative informed me you can apply for a couple SMC card with different numbers and starts as a new card just have to watch your credit rating risk

  114. Mr. Bubba on July 15, 2010 at 10:23 pm

    Canadian tire gas cards purchased only from gas bars is imperative with multipliers over each year you can add over a hundreds CT money to buy back at the store compared to air miles and other crap programs offered by others. heh
    Read previous postings above and digest and implement!

  115. Mr. Bubba on July 15, 2010 at 10:24 pm

    no annual fee for this card and is no brainer lol

  116. cloneboy on July 16, 2010 at 1:24 am

    @Karl Marx… the lines us are almost none existant. The market is literally designed for gas fillups. They have like 32 fill stations lol. its ridiculous, ive never waited to pump there and

  117. Karl Marx on July 22, 2010 at 7:27 pm

    Yes, this card does give a 5% rebate on gas bought in USA as well, verified! Not on the whole amount though. They first convert your purchase to CAD using more or less accurate exchange rate and give you points based on this amount. Then they add a usual 2.5% on top of your purchase in CAD, no points on this surcharge. Still pretty good.

    Purchases at Walmart however don’t give you any bonus points even though Walmart has a qualifying MCC Code 5411 – Grocery Stores, Supermarkets. This is a mystery to me.

  118. cloneboy on July 22, 2010 at 11:42 pm

    @karl, that sucks that walmart doesnt qualify for the 5%, atleast the grocery section/items. seems very scam artist-y lol. anyways… still waiting for my card although they only converted my account which they told me was impossible. some how the cancellation dept let me do it as i told them i would leave the company. I originally had there world points card and they lowered my interest to a 8.99% annual rate permanently. Than i heard about his card so i called and asked to convert and they said its impossible since i have 8.99% on my card, they said i would lose that if anything. Once i talked to a manager she agreed to convert my card and keep my low interest rate of 8.99%, i was extremely happy. I have a cap 1 card at 5.99 with reward miles but i’d rather have cash back lol.
    anyways keep the info flowing, always nice to revisit this post and see what people are saying!

  119. Karl Marx on July 23, 2010 at 12:51 am

    I am not sure why you care about interest on this card. Credit cards in general, and this one in particular, are to be paid in full each month. If you must borrow money, there are other instruments like lines of credit with lower rates like 5-6%, sometimes even 2%.

  120. Karl Marx on July 28, 2010 at 1:09 pm

    The $600 monthly cap sucks big time. I reached my limit in 2 weeks and now there is no point using this card – until the next month. Back to my trusted Driver’s edge from CITI, 2% on everything, no maximum.

    By the way, this $600 limit wasn’t advertised at all, only in small print after you got the card. Isn’t it a misleading advertising?

  121. Mark on August 9, 2010 at 12:29 pm

    How long did it take for the application to work?

    I’ve applied for credit cards in the past that was instant and this one said I will hear by mail within 30 days.

  122. FrugalTrader on August 9, 2010 at 12:52 pm

    Hey Mark, I believe I received my card about 2-3 weeks after application. It may help to give them a call.

  123. smartcasher on December 1, 2010 at 4:18 pm

    I have a question regarding balance transfers that some of you may know the answer to. I have the ability to transfer a balance from my MBNA SC CC to my line of credit account. The interest rate is 0.0% on this direct deposit until my March 2012 statement. There is a 1% fee however, so if I were to transfer $10,000, then it would cost me $100 upfront. Until March 2012, however, at 0.0% interest (as long as i make the minimum payment each month) it’d save me well over $400. And probably closer to $500+ if interest rates go up at all in 2011.

    I also still want to be able to use the remaining credit room on the MBNA card for my monthly purchases as it is my #1 card. Any idea if it is possible to still pay off the purchase transactions each month to avoid any interest while still maintaining a $10,000 balance on the card related to a 0.0% balance transfer?

    Anyone ever had any experience with this?

    • FrugalTrader on December 1, 2010 at 5:06 pm

      smartcasher, if you use a credit card for a cash advance, any additional purchases will face interest charges immediately (ie. no grace period). So if you write a cheque from your low rate CC to your LOC, that is considered a cash advance.

  124. Karl Marx on December 1, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    >Any idea if it is possible to still pay off the purchase transactions each month >to avoid any interest while still maintaining a $10,000 balance on the card >related to a 0.0% balance transfer?

    No, it’s not possible. You need two separate cards to do that: one for purchases getting 3 or 5% cashback, another – for 0% transfers.
    By the way, 0% until March is a lousy deal because it’s actually about 4% yearly because of 1% transfer fee. Get another MBNA that gives you 0% for 15 months.

  125. smartcasher on December 1, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Thanks FT and Karl,

    This rates expires in March 2012, not 2011, so it is for 15 mos.


    On this thread of RFD, it is suggested that it is possible to maintain the large 0.0% int BT while continuing to use the card.

    Q: “Could someone please explain that if I have 11000+ credit limit and I do a BT of 8000..can I keep using the card or I will be screwed and when I make payments, it will go to low interest BT amount? I read that somewhere but I’m not sure. Also what if I have a balance the day I do BT, am I ok?”

    A: “Either way your payments will go to the higher interest rate first (new change as of September 1st; they used to go to the lowest interest rate first). As long as youay the total amount of the purchases before the duedate you won’t accrue any interest charges. Just make sure you’re covering the minimum payment for your balance transfer and everything will be fine.”

    This is worth a call to MBNA to find out – I can post my results once I figure this out.


  126. Karl Marx on December 3, 2010 at 11:31 am

    Sorry I was not specific enough. Of course it’s possible “to maintain the large 0.0% int BT while continuing to use the card.”
    BUT: all your purchases will accrue regular interest ~20% from the date of posting (no grace period). There is more: mimimum payment you make will be applied to balance with lower rate, 0% that is.
    That’s why I don’t recommend to use the card this way, but of course you can do it.

  127. Dave on December 5, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    On the point of purchasing gift cards at the gas bar, I just got off the phone with MBNA (planning to apply for the Smart Cash card) and was told gas purchases have to be through the “Automated Pump” in order to get the 5%.

    Are you actually getting 5% when buying gift cards through the attendent?

    • FrugalTrader on December 5, 2010 at 4:05 pm

      @Dave, I do not believe that is accurate. 90% of the time, I pay for gas at the attendent and I get the full 3%/5%.

  128. Karl Marx on December 5, 2010 at 5:49 pm

    Dave: I always get 5% at gas stations no matter where I pay: at pump or attendant.

  129. smartcasher on December 8, 2010 at 7:35 pm

    I still haven’t called MBNA but I still plan to do so and see if my plan will work.

    I have heard people adamant on two sides of how MBNA handles the payments. Some people say that the payment goes toward the lowest int. rate balance first (0.0%) which would obviously make my strategy useless. Others say that in Sept 2010, MBNA changed the way they handle payments and it is applied to the higher interest rate balances first.

    I hope to find out soon and find out if it’ll work one way or the other. Worst case scenario is I guess I’d have to apply for yet another CC (from MBNA) and transfer the bulk of my credit limit over from SC card to the new one at 0.0%. Despite the 1% transfer fee, the March 2012 deadline makes this pretty appealing to use the 0.0% borrowing.

  130. smartcasher on December 8, 2010 at 8:53 pm

    I decided to call on work time (sorry boss) and MBNA says that you shouldn’t use the SC card with the 0.0% balance transfer because it eliminates the interest free grace period on purchases. If you are the type who pays the card bill off every month to avoid any interest, then you should definitely not do the balance transfer on the SC card.

    Therefore, he recommended applying for a second no-annual fee card and redistributing a chunk of the credit limit I hold at MBNA over to the new card. This is the route I will be taking. Will likely do about $12,000 and it should cost me $120 upfront for the transfer, but save me at least $450-$500 in interest on my house debt. Could also look at investing it or doing a large RRSP contribution, but will have to weigh these options out.

  131. Bob on June 6, 2011 at 7:24 pm

    The interest rate of 19.99% is pretty steep though.

  132. Deez on August 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

    It looks like TD just bought out MBNA’s mastercard portfolio… I wonder how long the smartcash cc’s benefits will last…

  133. Exact3001 on November 11, 2011 at 8:21 am

    I was just offered the MBNA smart cash world credit card for being an exceptional customer. Any thoughts on this card?

  134. Tana on November 12, 2011 at 10:27 am

    I got the offer two times now, once while signing in online and a second time by mail. I think maybe because td bought the account they are trying to get everyone to switch into a td terms of service or agreement. I don’t think there are any major losses if you do switch, I read that the limits that you can get are much higher, 50000$ as opposed to 17300$ with the current card. Other then that I didn’t really see any other differences. It is a world points card which essentially is the same thing except you can use the points for redemption of good and not just cash in the form of a cheque. Anyone who still has the terms of agreement might want to read both offers and let us know. There is definitely a reason why they want us to switch just have to dig deeper.

  135. Tana on November 12, 2011 at 10:31 am

    And btw, I’m holding a 8.9% fixed
    Low annual interest rate on purchases on this card. Is this rare or is this common among the posters? And yes this is my purchase interest rate, I have exceptional credit and I think this is why but I always thought it was a fluke that they gave it to me on a rewards card :)

  136. FrugalTrader on November 12, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    This card is still my primary card. I’ve already received hundreds of dollars in cash back cheques which doesn’t take long since we funnel most of our spending through it.

  137. Mr.Bubba on November 15, 2011 at 6:20 pm

    Ok I am back!
    Listen up people follow this and this has to be the best double punch I have ever seen.
    Upgrade to MBNA Smart Cash World credit card if you meet requirement for the enrollment 5% cash back bonus for six months once again with no annual fee and other perks (price protection, concierge vip service, etc.
    Then upgrade or get the MBNA world points credit card if you meet requirement and you then get 2X points per $1 spent instead of previous 1X point tier system.
    Here is the kicker you get 10,000 bonus points upon first purchase which is equivalent to $100 cash back without doing nothing and no annual fee. It has no limits whatsoever on 2X points mechanism.
    So basically you and your spouse with MBNA smart cash card yield the monthly $600 allowance (if your single) each ($1,200 maximum if your together with significant other) for 3% or 5% cash back on groceries, gas, etc…
    Anything over $600 if your on your own or with spouse’s card and then use the world points world credit card for all other purchases because you get more money back in the end then annual fee based cash back cards or regular offer at 1%.
    The double whammy potential on these premium cards with no annual fee is a no brainer.
    Get them both if you meet the requirements.
    Have a good one and get more in the end to use for leisure or trips.

  138. Mr.Bubba on November 15, 2011 at 6:59 pm

    Correction: Upgrade is WorldPoints MBNA World Mastercard not WorldPoints MBNA regular edition.

  139. smartcasher on November 15, 2011 at 8:06 pm

    Hey FT – have you switched to the new card or received that offer yet?

    Tana, please tell me you don’t let your purchases accrue interest at 8.9%?

  140. FrugalTrader on November 15, 2011 at 8:09 pm

    @smartcasher, I have not upgraded to the new card. I’m not sure why they are offering the world card upgrade for free, there is a conspiracy theory that it has something to do with TD taking over MBNA. Stay tuned!

  141. Tana on November 15, 2011 at 10:32 pm

    @smartcasher, no i do not carry a balance although it is my main card and use it to purchase everything and since it has such a low interest rate i love it even more. I have a points card from capital one as well and my interest rate with them is 5.99% as well. no fee.

    @MR. BUBBA……. where is this 10 000 bonus pts. I onyl see 1 000, and a $29 annual fee. And what do you mean 2X points. Im totally lost in your post.

    As far as my 8.9% APR, I had a premier rewards card a few years back and was given 8.9% rate to stay with the company because I was going to change, so they decided to keep me happy and give me a low low rate. When I changed my card to the smart cash card, they kept my rate, which is extremely rare. So thats how I got it.

  142. Brian on November 16, 2011 at 10:00 pm

    I also received the MBNA Smart Cash World MasterCard credit card upgrade offer. The terms look the same, with price protection for 60 days after purchase and vip desk access. Anyone else have ideas why this offer is coming out?

  143. JT on November 17, 2011 at 12:41 pm

    I also received the same upgrade offer for the MBNA Smart Cash World MasterCard credit card. What is the difference between this and the existing Platinum Smart Cash MC?

  144. Mr. Bubba on November 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm

    My conversation was recorded. I also asked them three times and told them as part of quality assurance of the discussion to confirm no annual fee to the mbna world points world edition upgrade card and they did each time to be sure lol.
    They indicated all terms (no annual fee), rates remain the same and is disclosed in documentation provided.
    The upgrade includes all the perks like MBNA smart cash world card (price protection, concierge, etc).
    However they clearly stated on the phone 10,000 points upon first purchase no minimum on purchase before December 19th, 2011. So go buy a candy bar for a $1 and get $99 dollars back (10,000 points = $100).
    Then get 2% when u think about it moving forward using the world points world edition card with no annual fee. TD would have to honour existing agreements unless they abolish both cards one day and start new with fee cards. That we would have to wait and see and then move onto another better card which FT can outline.

  145. Brian on November 18, 2011 at 8:18 pm

    So Mr. Bubba did you upgrade?

  146. smayer97 on December 2, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    I received the offer to upgrade to the World Cash Back card, and I upgraded as there are no losses, only gains, as far as I have been able to tell and confirm (and I get the 5% offer back for 6 more months).

    I notice that this new version is NOT on their website, nor do I see the 2X points version that Mr. Bubba mentions. I only see the latter with the 1X points for $29/yr.

    I was lead to believe that the upgrade was only available on a personal invitation only. Could it be that both of these available on a personal invitation only?

    Where is the info for these? I cannot find anything online

  147. J-P on October 12, 2012 at 4:47 pm

    Gas stations do not accept credit card payment for gift cards in QC.

  148. GK on October 23, 2012 at 11:39 am

    I believe Mr. Bubba was referring to the MBNA Rewards Travel Platinum Plus card. It is not really advertised and you cannot “apply” for it. The only way to get it was to get another MBNA card and convert it to that card (usually took a few CSR’s before one would do it).

    Here’s the website for the card:

    Plenty of discussion at RFD:

    Unfortunately the card was only available for a short period and is no longer offered as of Oct 6… though there are rumors it will be brought back in December.

  149. Ken G on October 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    This may have been mentioned already…however cash back on gas and groceries is down to 2% from 3% as mentioned in the article.

    See the website. https://www.applyonlinenow.com/CACCapp/Ctl/entry?sc=COMP&lc=en_CA

  150. S on November 6, 2012 at 4:52 pm

    I have the Smart Cash Platinum plus card and just received a letter stating that this card is changing.
    It offers an upgrade to a Smart Cash World card but only offers
    1% on regular purchase and
    5% on Gas and Groceries for the first 6 months.
    Not great as I’m pretty sure I’m receiving
    2% on regular purchases now??? The fine print seems to indicate with 30 days notice they can change anything they like

    Frugal Trader what is the best card out there now!!

    I paid for a Capital One Aspire travel card $120 which gives me 35,000 free points annualy plus 2 points on every $ spent which is working fine..but I have retained the MBNA card as I pulled 20k @ 1.99% for 9 months to invest.

    Your thoughts are appreciated please….

  151. FrugalTrader on November 6, 2012 at 6:07 pm

    @S, there is a lot of chatter here:


    In my opinion, I still like the SC card for gas/groceries, but the cap one 1.5% cash back for all other purchases.

  152. Dave on November 27, 2012 at 7:43 pm

    I used to use a combination of the Smart Cash (gas groceries) and CO World Aspire (everything else). Capital One offers the equivalent of 2% back in travel, with no spending cap – everything will be going on the World Aspire card now, after the 6 month promotion for the Smart Cash upgrade.

    To me, the total cash value of the rewards is more important than receiving straight cash, as long as the rewards are for something you use.

  153. loren on December 23, 2012 at 9:37 am

    I use the MBNA smart Cash Credit card, and always pay my bill on time. Sometimes I may be a few days late at the end of the month. I understand there is no annual fee, so how come I am being chard AIR this month?

    • FrugalTrader on December 23, 2012 at 12:25 pm

      @Loren, the fees are likely interest due to the missed payment. I recommend that you keep an eye out for when your payment is due as your credit score can be affected if payments are missed.

  154. David on May 29, 2013 at 12:33 pm

    This card looks good at the begining but if you do the math you will end up to ge less than 1% in the long term this is definitly smart cash but not for the customers!

  155. Dominique on November 18, 2013 at 11:14 am

    All of their customer service is in India and the Philippines and has a lot of difficulty understanding speaking both French and English. If you have problems in the future, imagine having to reconcile your account statement withs someone that asks you to repeat everything you say twice. The person I spoke to in French only spoke words that were written on a piece of paper that he was clearly reading, and was unable to answer my questions because he didn’t understand what I was saying, even when I used the fewest amount of words possible.

    My time is valuable, and MBNA doesn’t seem to value their customer experience, even pre me becoming a customer, how much worse will they treat me once I am a customer?

  156. Creepy Dude on November 18, 2013 at 1:10 pm

    Why bother with “smartcash” card, Dominique? This card is no good anymore since cashback was greatly reduced.

    • FrugalTrader on November 18, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      @Creepy, what is the next best card in your opinion?

  157. Guy on May 7, 2014 at 7:17 pm

    Do NOT use this card in the US or abroad. In spite of having a transaction done on a given day in a foreign currency, the exchange rate is based on the rate at the time the billing cycle is completed and NOT on the day of the transaction. While travelling, I track all of my purchases daily and watched in shock as posted amounts converted to CDN were changing more than a week after posting. If the CDN dollar drops between now and my next billing cycle, I will have to pay more. I’ll move all of my purchases back to VISA going forward. I’ve been with VISA since the early 90s and never had such a problem. Mastercard was a failed experiment in my opinion.

  158. Tana on November 26, 2014 at 10:26 pm

    Apparently they do not give me 2% cash back on gas purchases at Costco. It consistently shows up as only 1%.

    Even though it shows up as Costco Gas as the description. This is super annoying.

  159. smayer97 on November 26, 2014 at 11:46 pm

    @Tana, curious, do you have to be a Costco member to get gas at Costco? And can you use any credit card or does it need to be a Costco based one, for gas purchases?

  160. Tana on November 26, 2014 at 11:59 pm

    Hey Smayer, yeah you need a costco card but you can use Mastercard and interact debit and no it does not need to be a costco brand card. Costco only use to accept amex and debit but amex didn’t renew the contract so now they take Mastercard and Mastercard capital one is the new issuer of their card. It’s actually a great card if you don’t have the smart cash card from mbna … but I only pump at costco now and if I don’t get 2% this is no longer a great card for me. Kinda upsetting.

  161. Me on November 27, 2014 at 12:12 am

    mbna “smartcash” card was good before TD bank took over. TD bank changed cash back from 3% to 2%. I hope there is a good cash back card somewhere we can find.

  162. smayer97 on November 27, 2014 at 2:53 pm

    Yes, all the changes that TD has made has made is a much less favourable card (it used to me my top card), especially the new cap of $400 max spend for the current 2%.

    For an very recent alternative, I have found the Laurentian Visa card a very good one (I just got it about 1 month ago). It offers 3% on recurring charges, 2% on gas & groceries and 1% on everything else, with NO caps. It costs $49/yr, with a $50 credit the first year (until Jan 31/15), and extra cards are free. Check it out here:

    Second to this is the Scotiabank Momentum Visa card. It offers 2% on recurring, drugs, gas and groceries and 1% on all else, costs $39/yr but it has a cap of $25,000/yr spend on the 2% and extra cards cost $15/yr. Check it out here:

    Second, if you would like 4% on gas & groceries, 2% on recurring & drugs, and 1% on all else (has same cap of $25,000 for the 4% & 2% each), Scotiabank offers the Momentum Visa Infinite, but it costs $99/yr (1st yr waived) + $30 for extra cards. Check it out here.

    I believe these are the best available at the moment.

    And finally, there is one more than comes close (actually based on your annual spend, this one may be the best). It is the MBNA Rewards Elite Card. It gives 2% points on everything. It costs $89/yr, extra cards are free , and you get 10,000 bonus pts after 1st purchase. Points can be redeemed for cash in $50 increments.

  163. smayer97 on November 27, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    sorry, forgot the link to the last one. Check it out here:

  164. pashy on December 30, 2014 at 9:30 pm

    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.

  165. smayer97 on January 3, 2015 at 1:48 am

    @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?

  166. Me on January 5, 2015 at 4:01 pm

    @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.

  167. smayer97 on January 5, 2015 at 5:15 pm

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

  168. Pashy on January 5, 2015 at 10:25 pm

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

  169. smayer97 on January 5, 2015 at 10:41 pm

    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.

  170. ohaa on June 1, 2015 at 10:17 pm

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

    • FrugalTrader on June 1, 2015 at 10:32 pm

      As long as the store is coded as a gas station or grocery store, then the purchase will qualify for the enhanced cash back. So yes, buying gift cards from gas stations will qualify for the 2% cash back.

  171. john power on October 24, 2015 at 10:22 am

    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.

  172. smayer97 on October 24, 2015 at 11:08 am

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

  173. Furnie Bird on February 29, 2016 at 12:36 pm

    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%.

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