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MBNA Mastercard Changes
July 23, 2018
1:55 pm
gicjunkie
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Just got a notice about the upcoming changes to my MBNA Rewards World Elite MC.

Increased annual fee from $89.00 annually to $120.00 as of September 1, 2018 (a $31.00 annual increase).

As of February 1, 2019 , redemption of points is 120 for each $1.00 instead of 100 points per $1.00 (a 20% loss of point value.)

So much for a good thing. Time to go shopping for another card.

July 23, 2018
2:27 pm
Loonie
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Good luck, gicjunkie! I actually prefer the BigBanks for credit cards. On credit cards, I find them less prone to nasty fine print, even if the return is often slightly lower; and it enables me to stay with a provider for longer period of time so that there are no hits on my credit rating.
I think this downgrading was predictable, as they were going after market share earlier. I think that going for the best rate is more reliable with GICs, as you can lock in, whereas credit cards are always subject to change. We saw this recently with the Rogers card, for example.

July 23, 2018
5:18 pm
file
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To put the redemption change into a percentage, previously it was 2% cashback and now it will be ~1.67%.

July 24, 2018
3:37 pm
Saver-Mom
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Not planning to borrow anything so do not care much about credit rating. Still have my first ever card from 30 years ago...
Mbna is owned by TD. I guess we 2% back folks are going to have to look for the next churn. Have left Tang credit card over this and will leave Mbna too...maybe costco card or wait for a TD special. Any ideas?

July 24, 2018
4:48 pm
Save2Retire@55
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I have never paid for any CC and can't really find the value on a for fee card considering my expenses. My main card is MBNA Mastercard but the free one from years ago.
And I recently added Rogers World Elite due to its good value on out of country expenses. Also, it pays 1.75% for everything in Canada.

July 24, 2018
5:32 pm
gicjunkie
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Quite frankly, I do not usually condone paying for a credit card. This one "was" worth it to me because I charge just about everything I can on it and the rewards "were" worth more than the annual fee. Now that the fee is being increased and the points are being devalued, it's not worth it any more. I will dump it after my current annual fee is up. The Rogers card is a reasonable value as a replacement (it's free, currently gives 1.75% back and is a good foreign currency card) but, we've seen how these reward programmes can change very quickly. Unfortunately, if you are not a Rogers customer, there may be no way to cash out your rewards.

Regarding the credit checks: I also don't really care about my credit rating EXCEPT for the ability to apply for new credit cards when the rewards programmes change on my older cards. Remember to apply for the new card before ditching the old one, or just hang onto it if there is no annual fee. I believe that cancelling a card can also hurt your credit rating. It is said that you should always keep your oldest cards if possible.

July 24, 2018
5:33 pm
AltaRed
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Ultimately these cards, with some nuances to attract a specialty like the forex crowd, have to revert to the mean. Merchants are getting more vocal and assertive about the fees they pay and there may be a time where much of what we 'enjoy' now will be nothing but a memory. FWIW, I don't go chasing these things.

July 24, 2018
6:05 pm
Top It Up
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What is even more staggering to me is the number of individuals using 3rd party payment systems like PayPower, My Payment, and Plastiq in their quest to earn "copious" credit card points.

July 24, 2018
6:43 pm
Norman1
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gicjunkie said

The Rogers card is a reasonable value as a replacement (it's free, currently gives 1.75% back and is a good foreign currency card) but, we've seen how these reward programmes can change very quickly. Unfortunately, if you are not a Rogers customer, there may be no way to cash out your rewards.

If one is not a Rogers/Fido customer, one can cash accumulated rewards for a statement credit once a year. See previous post.

July 25, 2018
4:52 pm
need4greed
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My MBNA is 'grandfathered' from the old SPG days and up to this point, I get 2% cashback with no annual fee. With the changes, my cashback will actually drop from 2% to 0.5% (dropping to 1 pt / $1 and 200 pts for $1). Needless to say I will be changing card starting Feb 1, 19.

July 25, 2018
7:50 pm
Peter
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I've had the no-fee Smart Cash Mastercard since the beginning -- since 2 iterations prior when it was an eBay card. I will sadly be cancelling it now.

July 25, 2018
8:58 pm
Save2Retire@55
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gicjunkie said ... but, we've seen how these reward programmes can change very quickly. Unfortunately, if you are not a Rogers customer, there may be no way to cash out your rewards.  

They change it > We dump them. Easy.
Reward > Does it matter if you get it cash or just apply to the credit you spent? You can change the setting online and the points be applied directly on your next bill ($20 increments).

And my next card would be https://triangle.canadiantire.ca/en/rewards-cards/triangle-world-elite.html

I applied for some cards after Amazon Visa so waiting to be above 800 point before applying for this one.

July 25, 2018
9:01 pm
Save2Retire@55
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Peter said
I've had the no-fee Smart Cash Mastercard since the beginning -- since 2 iterations prior when it was an eBay card. I will sadly be cancelling it now.  

I keep mine but I probably stop using it after getting the new CanadianTire card.

July 28, 2018
11:38 am
User230
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People in debt find it harder to leave the card. That's where they make most of their money.

The lure is the rewards program. The hook is they get into debt. Once they have enough of these. They shed the fat. The fat being those that are "leeches". People that pay their bills on time and collect high rewards.

For cc companies to make a profit on ones purchases alone they would need to offer 0.5% rewards most likely.

Right now, they are trying to shed some of the fat well still being competitive enough so most people wont care to switch.

Get rid of the points hoppers (that go where the most points are) and keep the majority that simply don't care enough to change their habits and switch.

August 17, 2018
12:11 pm
Saver-Mom
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Still have not received any notice.
Thread on RFD says others from QC have not either, also one from TO
Could we be spared?

August 17, 2018
12:35 pm
Loonie
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Perhaps check the fine print on your Agreement and see if they are required to notify you of changes in writing? Perhaps, if you do online with them, they only need to send something to your online inbox or similar?

But perhaps they have invented a new superpremium card for you lucky people!

August 17, 2018
1:53 pm
Saver-Mom
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That would be the only time in my life we get better service than the ROC,
Nope, nothing on line yet either

August 17, 2018
2:40 pm
Londonguy
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I have had this card for many years and I can promise you that I'm definitely getting my rewards cut back. I could be wrong, but I think it's more likely that you just didn't get your copy of the letter in the mail rather than believing you've somehow been spared.

Are you sure that your version of the old card was the MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard (which was a free card) that was converted by TD into an MBNA Infinite Visa? I ask because that's the card that's being diluted as of September 1st. However, if your old card was an MBNA Rewards World Elite card (which was not a free card), it's not the same card or rewards program as the Smart Cash, so you're in a different boat. Unfortunately, the old RWE cards are also being diluted but in a different way as of Feb 2019.

August 17, 2018
2:50 pm
Saver-Mom
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I am talking about the Elite Mastercard which I have used excessively for a year and a half, paying 89$ per year for the privilege but with a 100$ sign on bonus that more than covered the first year. I am not one of the ones who had no yearly fee grandfathered. The card will now have an annual fee of $120 for everyone starting Sept 2018, due at your annual renewal unless you cancel first. The card's cash back rate will also drop to 1.67% and the minimum to redeem cashback will be raised to 6000 points from 5000, ie equal to redeeming 60$ or more at a time. Bye bye MBNA RWE. It's been fun. This is what I have read here and at RFD, but as others at RFD noted, we have not received notice of these changes yet. Maybe the memo is in being translated...

August 18, 2018
7:19 am
Londonguy
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That makes a lot more sense then. I'm an RFDer as well and perhaps you already know this story, but the trial balloon for the latest dilution to the Smart Cash card effective September 2018 was floated by TD before the summer (via one of their fake surveys that they used to leak out the news). Like yourself I've been reading about the February RWE card dilution since the end of July, so maybe the formal notification process for those changes hasn't started yet.

FWIW by the end of August I'll have about $45 in accumulated rewards credits (I can't earn them any faster because of the existing spending caps). Since I only have their free Smart Cash card I don't have to sweat an annual fee, so once I spend enough on G&G at 2% to make my last $50 block, I'll cash that out and then throw the card in my sock drawer. TD can go pound sand.

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