Review: MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

mbna world elite mastercard review featured image

If you are a miles and points enthusiast, you are used to devaluations and changes with credit cards and loyalty programs. That being said, it isn’t always doom and gloom as sometimes unexpected positive changes can happen.

The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard, which has been a contender for many spending categories all this time, often felt overshadowed by other credit products. However, the card is about to get even better with the soon-to-be addition of a very desirable frequent flyer program as a transfer partner.

Let’s dive into our review of the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard to see if it is a good fit for your wallet.

Overview

Welcome Bonus

The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard currently has a welcome offer in which cardholders can earn up to 30,000 MBNA Rewards points:

  • Earn 20,000 MBNA Rewards points upon spending $2,000 in the first 90 days
  • Earn 10,000 MBNA Rewards points upon enrolling in paperless e-statements
MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard earns MBNA Rewards points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 5x MBNA Rewards on restaurant, grocery, digital media purchases, and more.

Check out our MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard review for more details.

BONUS
30,000 MBNA Rewards
MINSPEND
$2,000
NET VALUE
$180+
ANNUAL FEE
$120
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

†Terms and conditions apply.

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

The required minimum spend of $2,000 in the first 90 days is a reasonable amount to earn the full bonus and should be achievable by most customers through the normal daily use of this credit card.
30,000 MBNA Rewards points are worth $300 when redeemed towards travel.

However, within the next year, MBNA Rewards points will be transferable to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Program, increasing their value greatly. We will touch on that more later.

Earning Rates

The earning structure on the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard is one of the more extreme set-ups in Canada, offering a high category multiplier or no multiplier at all. Cardholders can expect to earn MBNA Rewards points on all purchases:

  • 5 MBNA Rewards points for every dollar spent on:
    • Eligible restaurant, grocery, digital media, memberships, and household utility purchases.
  • 1 MBNA Rewards point for every dollar spent on all other eligible purchases.

For all categories that earn 5 MBNA Rewards points per dollar spent, there is a $50,000 cap per category, per calendar year. This means that you can earn 5x MBNA Rewards points on up to $50,000 in grocery spend per calendar year, in addition to $50,000 in restaurant spending, and so on. Once you reach the cap for that particular category, you will earn 1 MBNA Reward point per dollar spent until the next calendar year.

The way the earning rates on bonus category spend are structured on the MBNA Rewards World Elite is incredibly powerful if you are a big spender, as many credit cards combine spending category limits on multipliers. Frankly, this makes it one of the best Mastercards in Canada.

Annual Fee

The annual fee on the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard is a reasonable $120, which matches many similar credit cards in the Canadian market.

Benefits

While perhaps not as glamorous as other credit cards that offer airport lounge access or no foreign transaction fees, the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard does offer a unique birthday bonus and solid insurance coverage to round out the card.

Birthday Bonus Points

Cardholders will also receive birthday bonus points. This bonus is equal to 10% of the total number of points earned in the 12 months leading up to the cardholder’s birthday. This bonus has a limit of 15,000 MBNA Rewards points.

mbna birthday bonus happy birthday

This means in order to maximize this bonus, you would need to earn 150,000 MBNA Rewards points during the year leading up to your birthday in order to receive the maximum birthday bonus of 15,000 points. While this might feel like a stretch, depending on your spending habits, it just may be achievable thanks to the generous 5x MBNA Rewards points categories mentioned above.

Insurance Coverage

The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard offers a good combination of travel insurance paired with insurance that can benefit you in your day-to-day life.

The card offers rental vehicle insurance, which includes collision damage waiver benefits providing coverage for up to 31 consecutive days for eligible auto rental damage. Additionally, travel medical insurance offers up to $2 million of coverage for the first 21 days of your trip. Travel medical insurance is available for an insured person under 65 years of age.

Focusing more on air travel, this card offers delayed and lost baggage coverage in addition to flight and trip delay coverage. The baggage coverage offers up to $1,000 in coverage per insured person per trip toward the purchase of essentials such as clothes and toiletries if your baggage is delayed for over 4 hours or lost. The flight and trip delay insurance offers up to $500 in coverage per insured person if your flight/trip is delayed for over 4 hours.

mbna world elite lost delayed baggage insurance

From the day-to-day insurance perspective, this card offers both mobile device insurance and price protection coverage. 

The mobile device insurance offers $1,000 in coverage for eligible mobile devices in the event of loss, theft, accidental damage, or mechanical breakdown. On the other hand, the price protection insurance covers you if purchase an eligible item with your card and find the same product advertised in Canada at a lower price within 60 days of the purchase, the difference will be refunded subject to a maximum of $500 per item and a calendar year maximum of $1,000 per account.

For additional details, refer to the certificate of insurance included in your MBNA World Elite Guide to Coverage.

Redeeming MBNA Rewards Points

MBNA Rewards points are redeemable for travel, a statement credit, merchandise, and gift cards, similar to many other financial institution-based loyalty programs in Canada. However, if you can resist redeeming your points for any of the above options, there is an even more valuable option coming in the near future.

MBNA Rewards Points Redemption Options

Currently, if you want to get the best value out of your MBNA Rewards points, redeeming for travel purchases is the way to go. For travel, you can redeem at a rate of 100 MBNA Rewards points = $1 CAD. This redemption results in an MBNA Rewards valuation of 1 cent per point.

If you want to redeem your MBNA Rewards for a statement credit, deposit to your chequing account, or a charitable donation (to a participating organization) points can be redeemed at a rate of 120 MBNA Rewards points = $1 CAD. While this is not an optimal value as it works out to 0.83 cents per point in cash back value, it may be preferred for those who are interested in cash over travel redemptions.

Redeeming for merchandise or gift cards are often poor value redemptions, so I would advise against using your points for these options.

Coming Soon – Transfer MBNA Rewards to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

Within the next year, MBNA Rewards will be able to be transferred at a rate of 1:1 to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan program. This presents a massive value proposition since it is currently near impossible for Canadians to earn Alaska Miles since the sunsetting of the MBNA Alaska co-branded credit cards.

qatar airways qsuite business class couples seats
Redeem your Alaska Miles for a flight on Qatar Airways QSuites

Alaska Miles can be redeemed for a variety of exclusive business class and first class flight awards, including Qatar Airways QSuites, Japan Airlines business class or first class, Cathay Pacific business/first class, and more. Redemption pricing within the Alaska Mileage Plan program is often reasonable, provided you can find availability. If you are new to the idea of booking award flights, check out the best practices when booking award flights.

Comparable Cards to the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard

The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard excels in many categories, but it is always important to consider other similar options to ensure you are selecting the right credit card to add to your wallet.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is the no annual fee version of the World Elite card and comes with different earnings rates and perks.

MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard earns MBNA Rewards points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 4x MBNA Rewards on restaurant, grocery, digital media purchases, and more. In 2024, we awarded this card as the Best No Annual Fee Points Credit Card.

BONUS
10,000 MBNA Rewards
MINSPEND
$500
NET VALUE
$100+
ANNUAL FEE
$0
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus card earns 4 MBNA Rewards per dollar spent on the same categories as the world elite version, but only up to $10,000 in spend per category, per calendar year. The card offers a slightly weaker birthday bonus and less insurance coverage, which is expected for a credit card with no annual fee.

This version of the card also does not have any minimum income requirements, whereas the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard has a personal annual income requirement of $80,000 annually or a minimum household annual income of $150,000.

Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

The Scotiabank Gold American Express card earns 5x the points on grocery and restaurant purchases, with up to 6x points at certain grocery chains.

Apply Now Learn More Earn $75 in FlyerFunds upon approval.
Scotiabank Gold American Express Card

The Scotiabank Gold American Express card earns Scene+ Rewards points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 5x Scene+ points on grocery, restaurant, and entertainment purchases. This card charges no foreign exchange fees.

Check out our Scotiabank Gold American Express card review for more details.

BONUS
40,000 Scene+
MINSPEND
$7,500
NET VALUE
$280+
ANNUAL FEE
$120
FOREX FEES
No
EXPIRY
Jul 1, 2024

Scene+ Rewards points can be cashed out at 1 cent per point toward any travel purchase, making this another card that is good for flexible travel redemptions. This card also offers no foreign exchange fees, which can be a benefit when traveling internationally.

American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt card is another strong grocery and restaurant 5x multiplier contender within the Canadian credit card landscape.

American Express Cobalt Card

The American Express Cobalt card earns Membership Rewards points and gives cardholders the opportunity to earn 5x Membership Rewards on eligible restaurant, food delivery, and grocery store purchases. In 2024, we selected this card to receive the award Best Credit Card for Grocery Purchases.

Check out our American Express Cobalt card review for more details.

BONUS
15,000 Membership Rewards
MINSPEND
$9,000
NET VALUE
$174+
ANNUAL FEE
$156
FOREX FEES
Yes
EXPIRY

The main difference and benefit of the American Express Cobalt card is that it earns Membership Rewards points, which can be transferred to a variety of frequent flyer and hotel loyalty programs, including Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, Air Canada Aeroplan, British Airways Avios, and more.

Conclusion

With the upcoming changes of MBNA Rewards points becoming a transferable currency to Alaska Airlines, the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard has positioned itself as one of the stronger credit cards in Canada and is frankly the best MBNA credit card out there.

The reasonable annual fee, coupled with the easy-to-reach welcome bonus and generous 5x spending categories (with high annual caps), make a very compelling argument to add this card to your wallet sooner rather than later.

Josh Bandura

Josh Bandura

Co-Founder at Frugal Flyer
Josh has been involved in the miles and points game since 2015 but has scaled up his knowledge and points earning potential in recent years. With a consistent attitude of "min-maxing" in many aspects of his life, Josh has transferred this mindset over to the miles and points game. Always looking for the next big opportunity, he aims to share content on a variety of topics including his travels, miles and points, and most importantly, how to get the most out of your credit cards

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