Anyone who’s looking for a new travel rewards credit card will likely look at the big five banks in Canada first. It’s a natural thing to do since they have an established brand reputation and rewards programs that are recognizable too. While these programs are certainly worth investigating, there’s another program that flies under the radar: MBNA Rewards.
As the name implies, MBNA Rewards is the rewards program for MBNA credit card cardholders. Although MBNA may not be a household name, they’re a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank and have many popular co-branded credit cards. MBNA Rewards is their own loyalty program that’s designed for people who like to use their points on a variety of redemptions including travel, merchandise, gift cards and more.
How much are MBNA Rewards points worth?
Similar to all loyalty programs, the value of your points will vary depending on your redemption. Generally speaking, you’ll want to figure out the value of one rewards point so you can quickly decide if redeeming for a certain item is worth it or not. Don’t worry if you don’t love math, we’ve got a chart below that will quickly break down what your points are worth per redemption.
|Reward||Value per point|
|Gift cards||$.0085 - $.0098|
|Merchandise||$.0075 - $.0090|
|Cash||$.005 - $.0083|
The best use of your MBNA Rewards points is travel where you’ll get a value of one cent per point. Unfortunately, there’s no way to get an increased value for your points since MBNA Rewards doesn’t have any transfer partners. That said, one cent per point value is similar to what many other bank travel rewards programs offer.
Interestingly enough, gift cards can be of decent value. Depending on the merchant, you can get a value of anywhere between $.0085 – $.01 per point. You could argue this is a sweet spot for your redemptions. That said, it would still be a devaluation compared to travel rewards if you’re going for the lower value gift cards.
As you can imagine, redeeming your points for merchandise can vary quite a bit. Some items have a better value than others, so you really need to pay attention to what you’re getting. Generally speaking, it’s best to avoid redeeming your points for merchandise since the value is not the best.
Finally, you can use your MBNA Rewards points for cash. You can choose from a statement credit, cheque, or direct deposit. While these options are convenient, the redemption value is not very good.
How to earn MBNA Rewards
If you want to earn MBNA Rewards, you need an MBNA credit card that specifically earns you MBNA Rewards points. Currently, there are only two credit cards available that earn you MBNA Rewards:
The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard® is an entry-level credit card and has no annual fee. It’s a popular choice for people who want something simple or want to build their credit history. The MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard® is MBNA‘s flagship product. Although it has an annual fee of $120, it does come with a good earn rate in multiple merchant categories.
Since MBNA Rewards doesn’t have any merchant partners, you must rely on one of the credit cards to earn you points.
How to redeem MBNA Rewards points
Most of your MBNA Rewards redemptions will be done via onlinetravelandrewards.com. That’s where you’ll find the online travel portal and product catalogue. After you log in, you’ll be able to search for redemptions that interest you. The number of points required will be displayed when you’re ready to check out.
There’s no minimum points requirement when making a redemption, and you can even add cash if you don’t have enough points to make a full redemption. This gives you a little bit of flexibility as you can claim what you want regardless of the number of points you currently have. Here’s how each individual redemption works.
Redeeming for travel
If you want to use your points for travel redemptions, you must use the MBNA Rewards travel portal. This portal is fully flexible and allows you to book flights, hotels, car rentals, vacation packages, cruises, and more. Even though you can only use the travel portal for your redemptions, MBNA Rewards does price match on select airfare and vacation packages. As mentioned, there’s no minimum point requirement when redeeming, and there’s no extra value to be earned, so you might as well use any points available.
Redeeming for gift cards
The MBNA Rewards redemption site has a category specifically for E-gift cards. They have dozens of partners including Apple, DoorDash, The Keg, Esso, Walmart, Home Depot, Cineplex and Nintendo. What’s interesting about gift card redemptions is how the value can change quite a bit depending on the merchant and the value you’re getting.
For example, a $50 Keg Steakhouse + Bar gift card will cost you 5,210 points. That’s a value of .96 cents per point. Whereas a $100 Keg Steakhouse + Bar gift card will cost you 10,035 points. That puts you at almost one cent per point (.99651 to be exact). Cashing in for a gift card is a good way to save on everyday purchases.
Redeeming for merchandise
If you prefer merchandise as your reward, you won’t be disappointed as there are hundreds of items available. Additionally, redemptions start at just 2,500 points, so it won’t take long before you get something for free. Some of the more popular items available include laptops, small appliances, and fitness equipment. The items available are brand-name products, and they’re shipped directly to you for free.
Redeeming for cash
One other MBNA Rewards redemption option is cash. What’s interesting is that you can choose to be paid out as a statement credit, cheque, or direct deposit. While getting cash is always great, MBNA does make it a bit more complicated than it needs to be.
If you hold the MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®, 120 points get you $1 in cash. That’s a value of .83 cents per point. However, if you have the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®, it takes 200 points for $1 in cash. That’s a much lower value at .5 cents per point. In other words, if you have the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®, you should avoid using your points for cash.
How to maximize your MBNA Rewards points
MBNA Rewards is a very basic rewards program, so there are only a limited number of ways to maximize your points. However, if you stick to the following tips, you can find good value in the program.
- Sign up when there’s a good welcome offer. Both MBNA Rewards cards typically have a decent welcome bonus, so you can earn a lot of points right away just with an account opening.
- Take advantage of the increased earn rate. MBNA Rewards cards do have generous earn rates on specific merchant categories where you can earn more points. Of particular interest is the 5 points per $1 spent you’ll earn on eligible restaurant purchases, groceries, and recurring bills with the MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®.
- Get maximum value for your points. Try to only use your points on travel redemptions where you’ll get a value of one cent per point. Some gift cards that have a similar value are also worth it.
How MBNA Rewards compares to other rewards programs
The most comparable program to MBNA Rewards is BMO Rewards since both programs require you to use their own travel portal to make a redemption. Admittedly, MBNA does give some good value for gift card redemptions, but other programs have similar value with select gift card partners.
Some people will say that Scotia Rewards is also a similar program, but Scotia Rewards allows you to redeem your points for any travel purchase you charge to your card. This is incredibly handy for people who like to deal hunt or want to book direct so they can take advantage of their status benefits.
One thing that MBNA Rewards lacks is transfer partners. Both American Express Membership Rewards and HSBC Rewards allow you to transfer your points to airline partners. This is a very popular option with both programs. With MBNA, you can only redeem your rewards within their own program.
MBNA Rewards FAQs
The last word
There’s nothing that really makes MBNA Rewards stand out from the rest of the crowd. That said, the rewards program is very easy to use and the credit cards offered have a good earn rate and typically come with a strong welcome bonus. MBNA may not be a brand that immediately comes to mind, but what they offer in terms of perks can be useful.
This offers for the “MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®” and “MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®” are not available for residents of Quebec. For residents of Quebec, please click here.
Sponsored advertising. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank (TD) and TD is not responsible for the contents of this site including any editorials or reviews that may appear on this site. For complete information on these MBNA credit card, please click on the “MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus® Mastercard®” and “MBNA Rewards World Elite® Mastercard®” links above.
The Toronto-Dominion Bank is the issuer of this credit card. MBNA is a division of The Toronto-Dominion Bank. ®MBNA and other-trademarks are the property of The Toronto-Dominion Bank.