Hey everyone, thanks for joining me for another Modest Money Review! I’m Joshua, the guy behind a lot of the investment product reviews here. I’ve been talking a lot about investment services and, it’s time to switch it up a bit. Today, I’m going to talk about a Canadian credit card that seems to be taking the market by storm, the MBNA Smart Cash credit card.

MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard Short Review

MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard Pros – MBNA is a good overall lender. They’re one of the largest and mos trusted lenders in the market today. This is a cash back credit card with a great plan. You can earn a bunch and, I’ll get into detail on that in the long review! Also, the Smart card has no annual fee which makes it easy to earn free cash!

MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard Cons – I’m not a big fan of the interest rate structure. Yes, you get a good promotion for 10 full months, but the standard rate is 19.99%. It’s not as competitive as I would like to see from one of the largest lenders in Canada. However, using the card properly, you won’t pay a dime in interest, another thing I’ll get into in the long review.

MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard Overall – The truth is, this is a great credit card for those who want to earn cash back. With cash back rates up to 5%, you can earn a bit pretty quickly. However, if you’re not smart about it, you’ll find yourself paying a 19.99% rate or worse. That being said, this card is only for those who are very financially balanced and understand the term time is money in detail!

MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard Long Review

Alright! You decided to stick around and read the long review. Thanks! OK, let’s start with fees and interest rates. The purchase interest rate for the Smart card is 19.99%. To avoid the less than desirable interest payments, make sure to pay your balance off before the grace period. I always suggest paying the balance off every time you get paid from work. Once per week or two.

As far as other rates and fees…

  • Promotional Interest Rate – 1.99% for 10 months
  • Annual Fee – $0
  • Balance Transfer Interest Rate – 21.99%
  • Grace Period – 21 days
  • Balance Transfer Fee – 1% of the amount being transferred
  • Wire Transfer Fee – 1% of the amount being transferred
  • Cash Advance Fee – 1% of the cash advance total

They’ve recently started charging a foreign currency exchange fee too at 2.5%. So if you’re traveling abroad, keep in mind that currency exchange is better done via specialized companies, such as the ones MoneyTransferComparison.com reviews.

Of course some other smaller fees apply so read the terms and conditions! As you can see, the fee structure is pretty standard for the cash back market. The key is to use the credit card for purchases only to avoid all of the other fees that come along with it. Pay your purchases off within your 21 day grace period and you won’t pay a dime in interest. All you will do is earn cash back!

Now, lets get into the fun stuff. The MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard’s name says it all. It’s a cash back credit card! For the first 6 months, you can earn up to 5% cash back on qualifying purchases. By qualifying purchases, I mean grocery and gas purchases. After the 6 months, you still earn up to 2% cash back on qualifying purchases. You also earn up to 1% cash back on all other “eligible purchases”. Read the terms and conditions for more on what qualifies as an eligible purchase.

Another feature of the cash back that I find pretty cool is that you don’t have to ask for it. With many cash back credit cards, you have to call and claim your points. If you forget to do that and your points expire, your cash simply goes down the drain. Now with the Smart Cash card, once your cash earned is over $50, they send you a cheque! You don’t have to remember a thing!

Finally, lets talk a bit about the lender. MBNA is no stranger to the credit card market. They’ve been around and they have the capital to stay around. Their overwhelming experience offering credit cards and other financial services to consumers has molded their customer service departments into some of the best in the country! That being said, when you choose a credit card, you’re starting a financial relationship. MBNA is a great lender to start that relationship with!

Who Should Consider The MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard?

This card as with any other option isn’t designed for everyone. Only those who are very disciplined when it comes to money should use this card. It’s important to track your purchases and pay them off within the grace period. If you don’t you can find yourself paying a ton. That being said, if you think that impulse buys may cause you to spend more than you can afford to pay back in a week or two, this card isn’t for you. However, if you want to earn cash and are smart with your money, the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard could be the perfect credit card for you!

Rating: 4.6 / 5
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MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard Reviewed by Modest Money on .

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