Best Free Canadian Rewards Credit Card Award Goes to…MNBA

by Mike Holman

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A while ago I wrote how I used to have a Visa Aerogold credit card which might just be the worst Canadian rewards credit card ever.  I finally made the switch to a no-fee rewards card called the CIBC Dividend Visa which is ok – but it’s not as good as the MNBA Premier Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard.

1% cash back reward

The main thing I like about this card is the fact that it pays 1% cash back on all purchases from the first dollar.  The Dividend card that I currently own has a sliding scale so I only earn 1% cash back after spending $3,000 annually.

No annual fee

After paying $170/year for the Aerogold – I will never pay annual fees again.  This card has no fees of any sort.

Car insurance and extended warranty

Another great benefit of this card is that it provides extra insurance for car rentals so you don’t have to pay extra for collision when renting.  It also provides extra warranty for most purchases.

I’m signing up

This card looks good to me so I’m going for it.  If you want to sign up for the card then feel free to sign up through one of the affiliate links on this post.

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

1 MillionDollarJourney

Good call Mike, I came to the same conclusion as well for a good all around cash back credit card.

2 MoneyGrubbingLawyer

Has MBNA entered the 1990′s yet and started offering online account management? I cancelled my MBNA Mastercard in 2005, and as of that point they still didn’t offer online service.

What’s the opposite of a Luddite? Because whatever it is, that’s what I am, and MBNA drove me insane. Have they gotten with the times yet?

3 Jordan

American Express Gold is better, you get 2% back and it’s free. In a few weeks I estimate they’ll be paying me about $400 for using their card this year… sweet.

4 Four Pillars

Faran – I’ve never had a Mastercard before – I didn’t realize they aren’t accepted everywhere – thanks for the warning.

MGL – I don’t know. I’ll let you know once I sign up.

Jordan – I’ll have to look into the AmEx Gold – that sounds quite good – although I know that AmEx is not accepted everywhere.

5 guinness416

MBNA’s website is still a wee bit prehistoric (a lot of links lead to “please call 1-888…”) but you can see all your transactions there fairly quickly, order cheques, add users and go paperless etc through it which is good enough for me. I pay them via my bank’s site anyway.

This sounds like a decent card, although you’ll have to wrestle my MBNA SPG card out of my little hands before I’d switch just yet. FWIW, that’s a mastercard too and I’ve never had any trouble using it anywhere (except costco of course).

6 SdR

Jordan: the cashback Amex gold isn’t available anymore. Lucky you!

FourPillars: Have you looked at the MBNA Starwood Mastercard? Also a free card with all the same travel benefits, but it effectively gives you 1 SPG point for every dollar in spending up to $30k/year. SPG points are really flexible for all kinds of travel, and I can always get better than a 2% return on using points for free nights, cash & points deals, etc.

7 nobleea

Just be aware that once MBNA has your phone number, they will call you quite often trying to sell some upgrade or additional service.

I have a mastercard (not from MBNA) and I have never come across a situation where it was not accepted. That includes travel to 20 countries.

I guess that’s not true, you presumably needed a VISA card to sign up for the lottery for 2010 olympic tickets, and that pissed me off to no end.

8 Four Pillars

SDR – no, I’ll have to look into that as well.

nobleea – we get lots of calls from our regular Cdn banks (CIBC, TD) for crap all the time.

9 nobleea

Really? I’ve never gotten a call from BMO and I have all my accounts there. That’s why MBNA gets so annoying.

10 Tob

Really?

I’ve rocked the Aerogold VISA (now infinite) for most of 2008 and now have enough points for a round the world trip. Granted I do operate a small business and use it for 100% of my expenses.

11 Four Pillars

Tob – good luck with booking the plane tickets!

I should have clarified that if you charge enough, then the aerogold is not so bad. Of course you have to be willing to book flights 1 year in advance.

12 Patch

I have a Citibank Driver’s Edge Mastercard. 2% back up to a maximum of $1000 a year for the past 5 years towards the purchase of a any new/used car. Makes sense for my situation cause I know I’ll be trading in by 2011. I have encountered places where it’s Visa only but not enough to cause me to get another credit card.

13 jesse

I agree with nobleea. CIBC is a pain in the @ss when it comes to peddling useless insurance and balance protection stuff. With the tiered dividend thing we hardly ever pull it out and use Mastercard whenever possible. Maybe twice per year we find somewhere that only accepts Visa.

We have Citibank Mastercard with 1% cashback on 1st dollar and rarely receive phone calls from them. When we do, typically it is them asking about suspect charges. Good idea to call them before you travel because they have flags for irregular spending patterns. They used to have good travel/car insurance but I think that was scaled back.

With the comments on MBNA telemarketing I wouldn’t even bother. I’d strongly consider Citi unless you are OK with telemarketer slime.

The other thing to watch for on these cards is the aggressive payment date and aggressive interest charges. You need to be proactive at paying them off or your cashback goes dodo very quickly. The 1% back is great but they’ll throw you over a barrel with one blink.

14 Tob

Flights are booked!

We booked in September for major flights: CA-NZ-AU-GB and return.

15 Tob

Should have mentioned flights will be Jan through May.

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