MBNA features a comprehensive selection of Canadian credit cards, including rewards, cashback, and balance transfer, along with convenient and safe online banking, identity protection, and other services.
MBNA Platinum Plus is a favorite with customers who wish to save on interest and consolidate unsecured debt. The card goes with a zero promotional interest rate over a 1-year period, saving you plenty.
• 24.99 percent for balance transfers
• 19.99 percent for purchases
• Default rate: standard rate + 5 percent
• No annual fee
This balance transfer credit card offers plenty of benefits such as fraud protection, superb round-the-clock customer service, long grace period of 21 days, and more. Keep in mind that there are fees that apply, including foreign transaction fees, RAC, account and cash advance fees. Customers are charged 24.99 percent on cash advances. A copy of sales draft or your account statement will cost you $2.50. You will be charged $20 per returned payment and $25 each time you go over the limit.
Who Is This Card for? Card Demographics?
Balance transfer credit cards such as MBNA Platinum target borrowers with multiple or high interest cards who are only able to pay the minimum due to hefty rates. Cardholders often end up with a lot of debt due to the high interest charges, and a balance transfer card is one way out of this. Basically, this card is a wise choice to deal away with debt quickly provided that you pay more than the minimum or even better – pay the balance in full.
How and Where to Apply
There are two ways to apply with MBNA Canada, by phone and online. If you choose to apply online, you will be asked to provide basic information such as your monthly payment or income, housing status, years at your current address, mobile and phone home number, and so on. As part of their credit card application, customers are also asked about their employment status, i.e. self-employed, retired, permanently disabled, homemaker, student, employed, or unemployed. If you apply online, you will need to provide personal information such as date of birth, address, and whether you are a Canadian resident. You are also free to apply by phone. Just make sure you mention the priority code (CQOR01).
Customers who plan on transferring high interest credit card balances are also asked to provide information such as account number and payee name.
Pros of the Card
As a balance transfer credit card, there are a number of benefits for customers, one being the low interest rate on transfers. The lower the interest rate offered, the more you benefit and save in charges. Cards such as MBNA MasterCard Canada offer zero rate which is a great offer to consider. The longer the promotional period, the better because you have more time to repay high interest debts. This is especially helpful if you have a heavy debt load and need more time for repayment.
Cons of the Card
There are several factors to take into account before applying, and fees and charges are a major consideration. Financial establishments that offer balance transfer credit cards often charge balance transfer, monthly, and annual fees. Transfer fees account for 3 – 5 percent upfront and are calculated on the balance to be transferred. If you transfer $5,000 with a 5 percent fee, then you will pay $250 in charges. MBNA Platinum goes with 1 percent in fees. However, the more you transfer in existing balances, the more you pay in fees. At the same time, if you pay a lot in interest, then this option is worth exploring.
When it comes to interest rates, zero teaser rates attract new customers and so do long promotional periods of 12 – 18 months. It is a good idea to check the regular rate, which can be as high as 28 – 30 percent. The MBNA platinum card has a long promotional period of 12 months which is certainly a plus for customers. With a regular rate of 19.99 percent, however, this is definitely not a low interest card.
How Does the Card Compare to Other Major Canadian Credit Card Competitors?
The best thing to do if you have a hefty debt load is to shop around and compare. Small and major banks and other establishments in Canada offer cashback, low interest, and rewards credit cards with balance transfer options. Balance transfer cards with zero interest over a promo period are offered by issuers such as Best Western, American Express, Scotiabank, and others.
Scotiabank, for example, offers a balance transfer card with a promo rate of 0.99 percent on cash advances and balance transfers. Compared to MBNA, however, the card goes with a shorter promotional period of 6 months.
Capital One also offers balance transfer options that are worth exploring. The best part is that customers are free to transfer balances on loans, store cards, cashback credit cards, and other cards. Balance transfers are processed relatively quickly (within a period of 3 – 4 weeks). You still have to pay the minimum during this period. The only requirement is to transfer balances on existing Canadian accounts and not foreign accounts. The good thing about Capital One is that customers can choose from different types of accounts to move balances. All they have to do is offer details such as creditor names, account numbers, and amounts. Other establishments in Canada also offer balance transfer solutions with no annual fee, air miles, cash back, and other perks.
One option is the SimplyCash Preferred Card offered by American Express which goes with no annual fee on supplementary cards, 1.5 percent cash back during the promotional period, and other benefits. Similar to the MBNA Platinum Card, SimplyCash goes with zero percent but the promotional period is shorter (6 months). Note that there is a 1 percent balance transfer fee if you are a new member. On the good side, the card goes with a generous insurance coverage, including flight delay insurance, lost or stolen baggage coverage, travel accident insurance, etc.
Any Better Alternatives to This Card?
This depends on many factors, including amounts owed, interest rates on existing balances, and perks and incentives such as money back, travel rewards, complimentary services and upgrades, bonus points, welcome bonuses, and so on.
Usually better alternatives also mean more requirements to meet, including high income level (household or personal), very good or stellar credit, low debt to income ratio, etc. The Sony Card MasterCard, for example, goes with a higher rate compared to MBNA Platinum Plus (1.99 percent) but offers plenty of added benefits. Customers are offered the chance to earn rewards points on select purchases. Points can be redeemed for merchandise, including gaming and video products, audio, and so on. Holders also benefit from the fact that there is no annual fee. The first eligible transaction earns a generous welcome bonus of 10,000 bonus points.
Air Miles Platinum by MBNA is another option that allows you to earn rewards miles and redeem them for a large selection of rewards, from travel to electronics and other merchandise, movie tickets, and more. The best part is that the card goes with zero interest on balance transfers, cash advances, and purchases, which makes it a favorite with many customers. MBNA Platinum, in contrast, goes with a standard purchase rate and no rewards.
As you can see, there are different alternatives to look into, depending on your lifestyle and spending style, whether you are a frequent traveler, whether you pay the full balance or the minimum only, and a lot more. Whatever card you choose to use, ask for fees and penalty charges such as foreign currency conversion charges, dishonored payment, funds advance fees, etc. Eligibility criteria also apply.