MBNA Rewards points are MBNA’s in-house loyalty and rewards program that allows cardholders to earn points and redeem them for travel and a variety of other options.
As a result of some upcoming changes to MBNA Rewards, namely the ability to transfer points to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan, this program has taken the spotlight as one of the best bank loyalty programs for Canadians to be involved in.
Let’s take a look at how to accumulate MBNA Rewards points and explore all the different redemption options available to maximizing their value towards your next vacation.
Earning MBNA Rewards Points
MBNA Rewards points can be earned via two methods: credit card welcome bonuses and organic credit card spending.
Credit Card Bonuses
Like many bank loyalty programs in Canada, the quickest way to earn MBNA Rewards points in Canada is through credit card welcome bonuses.
The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard offers the highest welcome bonus of all MBNA Rewards earning cards. However, it has a higher barrier to entry with a required $80,000 personal income or $150,000 household income.
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.
30,000 MBNA Rewards
The MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard has a lower welcome bonus but also has no personal or household income requirements in addition to no annual fee.
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.
10,000 MBNA Rewards
Ultimately, either of these two credit cards presents a great opportunity for starting to build your MBNA Rewards points balance.
Credit Card Spending
Both of the MBNA Rewards earning credit cards have excellent spending category multipliers, making it very easy to earn even more MBNA Rewards points on top of the welcome bonus. These multipliers also have a generous total annual spending cap. Both cards also offer a lucrative birthday bonus, giving cardholders the opportunity to earn even more points.
The MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard earns:
- 5 MBNA Rewards points for every dollar spent on restaurant, grocery, digital media, memberships, and household utility purchases (up to $50,000 in annual purchases per category).
- 1 MBNA Rewards point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
MBNA Rewards World Elite 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.
On the other hand, the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard also has a strong, yet slightly reduced, earning structure. Cardholders can expect to earn:
- 4 MBNA Rewards points for every dollar spent on restaurant, grocery, digital media, memberships, and household utility purchases (up to $10,000 in annual purchases per category).
- 1 MBNA Rewards point for every dollar spent on all other purchases.
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 10,000 MBNA Rewards points.
Redeeming MBNA Rewards Points
If you are looking to get the most out of your MBNA Rewards points, we suggest focusing exclusively on using them for travel redemptions and eventually, transferring them to the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan. MBNA Rewards points are worth 1 cent per point when redeemed for travel and as a result, that should be your benchmark or goal value when making a redemption.
Opting to redeem your MBNA Rewards points for alternatives such as statement credits, merchandise, or gift cards will significantly diminish the value of your points by comparison, and as a result, should be avoided.
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.
In order to redeem for a travel purchase, travel bookings must be made through the MBNA Rewards travel portal. MBNA Rewards can be redeemed for flights, hotels, vacation packages, car rentals, and cruises. Cardholders can enter the details of their desired travel booking, select the number of points they are looking to redeem, and click search to be presented with available options.
Cardholders will then go through the booking process and finalize the booking. There is no minimum or maximum number of points per redemption, however, any outstanding balance will need to be paid with a credit card at the time of booking.
Transfer 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.
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 or first class, Starlux, 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.
Ultimately, the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan is an incredibly valuable program and is absolutely one you should diversify into if you are looking for additional frequent flyer programs outside of Air Canada Aeroplan and British Airways Avios.
Statement Credits & Charitable Donations
MBNA Rewards points can be redeemed for a statement credit on your credit card account, a deposit to a chequing or savings account, or a charitable donation.
A minimum of 6,000 MBNA Rewards points worth $50 must be redeemed when cashing out for any of the above options. This means that cardholders will receive 0.83 cents per point when redeeming this method, significantly below the stated 1 cent per point value that should be aimed for when redeeming MBNA Rewards points. As a result, we would not recommend redeeming your MBNA Rewards points for any of the above cash equivalents.
Gift Cards & Merchandise
As with many bank loyalty programs, you can also redeem MBNA Rewards points for gift cards and merchandise.
MBNA Rewards points can be redeemed at a rate hovering around 0.88-0.89 cents per point when redeeming towards gift cards for your favorite merchants. Points can also be redeemed for various pieces of merchandise at a similar cent per point value.
Similar to the cash equivalent redemptions mentioned above, redeeming for gift cards or merchandise will result in an MBNA Rewards points value below the stated 1 cent per point value that should be aimed for when making a redemption. As a result, we would not recommend redeeming your MBNA Rewards points for any merchandise or gift cards if you want to get the most out of your points.
Frequently Asked Questions
MBNA Rewards points are worth 1 cent per point. Once the ability to transfer MBNA Rewards points to Alaska Airlines miles is added to the program, the ture value of an MBNA Rewards point will increase significantly.