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MBNA's Smart Cash Card - BEST CASHBACK CREDIT CARD EVER!!!
October 5, 2009
11:59 am
djino
Ottawa (Gatineau, Qc Area)
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George said:

djino,
Is it good to use this card for USD transactions? Howz their
conversion rate? Thanks.


Just like any Canadian Credit Card used to make US Purchases, the Card Issuer will charge a 2-3% Commission above the U.S to Canadian Exchange rate (so MBNA is no different).

Do I get 5% (3% after 6 month promo) cashback on Gas/Grocery stores in the U.S.?

Yes. I believe it also works in other countries as well. Someone on another site mentioned using it in New Zealand at a Grocery store, and when they received their statement and did their own calculations it worked out to receiving 5% cashback.

What is better? Using a U.S Credit Card or the MBNA Smart Cash Card

A Combination of the two. Since the card issuer charges somewhere between 2-3% on top of the exchange rate, it is best to use the Smart Cash card on Gas/Groceries and a U.S. Credit card for all others to minimize/remove any foreign exchange fees.

djino
"Hope that helps"

October 5, 2009
8:10 pm
George
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Thanks djino,I just activated my card today.

November 21, 2009
1:34 am
Max
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I got a question here:

On my last statement I had a MNBA dollars balance of : $59.14 CAD

When am I supposed to get my check? At $30 or $60? I forgot.

Thanks

Max

The day you become free is the day you work for fun.

November 21, 2009
1:46 am
Peter
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I think the threshold is $50.

November 22, 2009
6:44 pm
djino
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Yes, once you've reached $50+ dollars, you will receive your $50 Cheque in the mail within 4-6 Weeks of your statement showing $50+ MBNA Dollars

Also notice now MBNA has added a REWARDS tab for the smart cash card as you can view your previous and pending MBNA DOLLARS. You can also see detailed report of each transaction and how many bonus (the extra 2%) you've received.

There seems to be a bit of issues here (from the redflagdeals forum) concerning transactions from Mid October until now with MBNA not giving any the 3%/5% on Gas/Groceries.

You may want to call MBNA to let them now

djino

November 22, 2009
10:08 pm
copperbeech
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We received a letter from mbna in early November:

We recently identified an error in the number of MBNA Reward Dollars that were reported on your MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard credit card statements.....an adjustment to your total number of MBNA Dollars earned will be reflected on your next statement as "MBNA Dollars Adjusted".

I havent yet received our "next statement".

So do you think it is in our favour?

November 23, 2009
2:38 am
Max
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Wow, thanks Djino for the heads up, just went on the website to test their Rewards tab and their expandable option to see all description and bonus from rewards is really clear:

10/31/2009 11/03/2009 Pending SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN - MONTREAL, QC $21.82 1.07
BASE: SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN - MONTREAL, QC 0.21
BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths 0.43
BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries (mcc specific) 0.43
11/02/2009 11/04/2009 Pending STM-ASSOMPTION - MONTREAL, QC $37.00 0.37
11/02/2009 11/04/2009 Pending SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN - MONTREAL, QC $15.06 0.75
BASE: SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN - MONTREAL, QC 0.15
BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths 0.3
BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries (mcc specific) 0.3
11/06/2009 11/06/2009 Redeemed REWARDS ACTIVITY (50)
11/07/2009 11/09/2009 Pending BOULANGERIE PREMIERE - MONTREAL, QC $4.20 0.04
11/07/2009 11/09/2009 Pending EB GAMES #1873 - MONTREAL, QC $50.78 CR (0.5)
11/07/2009 11/12/2009 Pending FROMAGERIES HAMEL JEAN - MONTREAL, QC $12.89 0.12
11/07/2009 11/10/2009 Pending MARCHE METRO E BOURDON - MONTREAL, QC $50.10 2.5
BASE: MARCHE METRO E BOURDON - MONTREAL, QC 0.5
BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths 1
BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries (mcc specific) 1

This way I can see faster if they gave me the 5% on what I'm supposed to get.

The day you become free is the day you work for fun.

November 23, 2009
1:36 pm
djino
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copperbeech said:

We received a letter from mbna in early November:

We recently identified an error in the number of MBNA Reward Dollars that were reported on your MBNA Smart Cash MasterCard credit card statements.....an adjustment to your total number of MBNA Dollars earned will be reflected on your next statement as "MBNA Dollars Adjusted".

I havent yet received our "next statement".

So do you think it is in our favour?


Nope it is not in our favour. If you notice during July/August MBNA has been giving more MBNA DOLLARS than we are entitled to (you will see Adjusted amounts on July/August statements). Basically they are now reversing those Adjusted amounts.

I would review those early statements to see if the errors during the summer were in your favour as then you will see MBNA has now reversed them as we were not supposed to receive them. If you think you were entitled to those early Adjusted amounts during the summer, then give MBNA a call.

djino

November 23, 2009
2:06 pm
djino
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Wow, thanks Djino for the heads up, just went on the website to test their Rewards tab and their expandable option to see all description and bonus from rewards is really clear:

10/31/2009 11/03/2009 Pending SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN -- MONTREAL, QC $21.82 1.07
BASE: SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN -- MONTREAL, QC 0.21
BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths 0.43
BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries (mcc specific) 0.43
11/02/2009 11/04/2009 Pending STM-ASSOMPTION -- MONTREAL, QC $37.00 0.37
11/02/2009 11/04/2009 Pending SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN -- MONTREAL, QC $15.06 0.75
BASE: SUPERMARCHE A CHAUVIN -- MONTREAL, QC 0.15
BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths 0.3
BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries (mcc specific) 0.3
11/06/2009 11/06/2009 Redeemed REWARDS ACTIVITY (50)
11/07/2009 11/09/2009 Pending BOULANGERIE PREMIERE -- MONTREAL, QC $4.20 0.04
11/07/2009 11/09/2009 Pending EB GAMES #1873 -- MONTREAL, QC $50.78 CR (0.5)
11/07/2009 11/12/2009 Pending FROMAGERIES HAMEL JEAN -- MONTREAL, QC $12.89 0.12
11/07/2009 11/10/2009 Pending MARCHE METRO E BOURDON -- MONTREAL, QC $50.10 2.5
BASE: MARCHE METRO E BOURDON -- MONTREAL, QC 0.5
BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths 1
BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries (mcc specific) 1

This way I can see faster if they gave me the 5% on what I'm supposed to get.

Yup, but as you can now see, we are not in technically getting 1%/3%/5% from our Smart Cash Card spending as they calculate each transaction in the following way:

Base = Every Transaction including Gas/Grocery gets 1%
Bonus Smart Cash 3% = Gas/Grocery -- extra 2% above Base)
Bonus Smart Cash 5% = Gas/Grocery -- extra 2% during 6month promo

Example

Lets suppose I make a Gas purchase of $32.87. We would think the simple calculation would be $32.87 * 0.05 = $1.64 in Cashback (During the 6 Month promo). MBNA Calculates this as follows:

Base = Rounded down to closest cent ($32.87 * 0.01) = $0.32
Bonus 5% = Rounded down to closest cent ($32.87 * 0.02) = $0.65
Bonus 3% = Rounded down to closest cent ($32.87 * 0.02) = $0.65

Total is $1.62 (lost 2 cents on this transaction due to the rounding down of each category.

BUT THERE'S MORE!!!

As you know MBNA puts a $600 CAP on the Gas/Grocery Bonus. This $600 Cap does not coincide with your billing cycle, but for the Calendar Month.

So if your billing cycle begins on the 15th then any transactions from the 15th to the 30th (or 31st) still continues from the previous statements CAP. In the middle of your billing cycle (1st of the month) the cap is finally reset.

How do I know if this has effected me?

You will see the following on your statement as I have

PETROCAN 676 SOMERSQPC -- OTTAWA, ON $9.50 0.27
BASE: PETROCAN 676 SOMERSQPC -- OTTAWA, ON 0.09
BONUS: Smart Cash 5% Gas & Groceries for 6mths PROMOTION MONTHLY CAP EXCEEDED 0.09
BONUS: Smart Cash 3% cash back on gas & groceries (mcc specific) PROMOTION MONTHLY CAP EXCEEDED

My Billing Cycle usually begins around the 26th of the month. That Transaction above took place on the 29th of September. If my $600 cap were to have been reset when my Billing cycle began, then this would not happen, but since the cap is reset on a calendar month cycle, any further transactions until October 1st, I would only get the 1%.

djino

November 24, 2009
12:53 am
Max
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Why so much trouble to save so little?

Saving 0.02$ on a 37$ transaction?

Screwing you on your billing cycle to make you exceed your $600 without you knowing it while your wife could have taken the exceeding balance on her card.

By the way, do you know what are the fees that Visa and Mastercard are charging to the stores that accept credit card funded payments? I know it increased last May, was it from 2% to 3%? Is it the same with Amex?

The day you become free is the day you work for fun.

November 27, 2009
2:29 pm
djino
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A bit more information for the $600 CAP issue.

As I mentioned in my previous post, the $600 cap on Gas/Grocery spending is NOT a cap for your billing cycle, but a $600 Calendar Month cycle.

More so, this is for transactions that POST to your account within the calendar month.

What does this mean?

Suppose my billing cycle began today (Nov 27th). If during my previous billing cycle, $300 in Gas/Groceries were POSTED to my account from November 1st until today, even though today is a new billing cycle, my $600 cap does not get reset until Tuesday December 1st. One would figure, I have $300 to use until Tuesday to take advantage of $300 remaining at 3%. What you also need to know is that these transactions need to POST to your account on or before Monday November 30th i.e. by login to MBNA, the transactions need to go from TEMP Charge to POST Charge before Tuesday.

How long does it take for a transaction to POST?

This depends on the merchant, but on average it can take anywhere from 2-5 Days.

What if I do not need Gas/Groceries today, but I want to take advantage of the 3%/5% cashback before months end?

Give yourself minimum 3 Days before the end of the month to do the following: Login to MBNA and total all Gas/Groceries transactions that have POSTED to your account from the 1st until the current day. Go to your regular Gas/Grocery store and purchase Gift Cards up to the maximum to not exceed the $600 cap from the 1st of the month.

Its best to do this as much as possible during the first 6 months to take advantage of the 5% benefit.

djino

November 30, 2009
4:45 pm
Cal
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Finally got this card. It took 2 months! I even got the 2% rate for 1 year but I have to use it by Feb or lose it. The regular rate is 14% which is lower than other cards but MBNA has many many fees and transaction charges the others don't. Too bad the rates are useless for me as I always pay off the balance in full.
As for reward points - yes, they skim off a few cents on every transaction so technically you are getting slightly less than 5/3/1%. There is no annual fee for now although I suspect there will be one soon. If that happens, I'll tell them Sayonara.

December 1, 2009
3:51 am
digitalembrace
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I know this is a little off the card your on about but if you drive why so hung up on this card to save a few c. The benefit rate always drops after a short time anyway. Get the citibank drivers edge mastercard. NO Fee! 2% of all purchases, and save up to $5000. credited to account to purchase any motor vehicle! YES! Any make,any model,any year, including 4 wheel off road vehicles, NEW AND USED. The interest rate is 19.99% but who cares as long as you pay the bill before due date. The other plus+++is that you get double the warranty to 1 extra year extended warranty on almost anything you purchase, as well as 60 day price protection so that if purchased in Canada and it goes on sale in 60 days you get a credit if applied for. That was great as I got back $100 from card company this summer for a ride on lawntractor, as well as $29 for a coat and $12.00 for two balaclavas, all within a two month period , just because I scoured the web using the canadian google search with item name and or #. I had the gm card at 5%, now 3% and limited by vehicle. Now I can buy any vehicle I want, not what they want to sell. Just putting this out as an option as I have been viewing this form for about 2 years on and off and can't believe some of what I read. Enjoy!

December 1, 2009
2:06 pm
djino
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I know this is a little off the card your on about but if you drive why so hung up on this card to save a few c. The benefit rate always drops after a short time anyway. Get the citibank drivers edge mastercard. NO Fee! 2% of all purchases, and save up to $5000. credited to account to purchase any motor vehicle! YES! Any make,any model,any year, including 4 wheel off road vehicles, NEW AND USED. The interest rate is 19.99% but who cares as long as you pay the bill before due date. The other plus+++is that you get double the warranty to 1 extra year extended warranty on almost anything you purchase, as well as 60 day price protection so that if purchased in Canada and it goes on sale in 60 days you get a credit if applied for. That was great as I got back $100 from card company this summer for a ride on lawntractor, as well as $29 for a coat and $12.00 for two balaclavas, all within a two month period , just because I scoured the web using the canadian google search with item name and or #. I had the gm card at 5%, now 3% and limited by vehicle. Now I can buy any vehicle I want, not what they want to sell. Just putting this out as an option as I have been viewing this form for about 2 years on and off and can't believe some of what I read. Enjoy!

It might be best to use in combination (the Smart Cash with Drivers Edge). Obviously the 3% (5% during first 6 Months) on Gas/Groceries is still better than 2% Citi Drivers Edge. But of course you would then use Citi Drivers Edge for all the non-gas/grocery purchases as 2%, as its better than Smart Cash at 1%.

I mentioned I believe during the earlier pages of this thread, if you have an existing Credit card that offers cashback/rewards greater than 1%, you could come out ahead if you use it in combination with Smart Cash for all the non-gas/grocery purchases.

djino

December 3, 2009
3:12 am
digitalembrace
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djino, definately better for the first five months. But what I have been doing was purchase grocery gift cards when on sale at a 5% discount of face with the credit card and then gaing the 2% in card bonus as well. Very beneficial in the long run for me as I get the best of both worlds in one transaction.

December 3, 2009
1:02 pm
djino
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digitalembrace,

Doing what you've done above is also a good idea, but you also have to subtract the savings you would have made if you kept $3600 (6 months of $600) in an high interest savings account since you would purely be using Citi-Drivers edge for all transactions during that time and purchasing Gift Cards with Smart Cash -- as you have to pay off both credit cards at months end).

I think the best idea is to just use the Smart Cash for Gas/Groceries when you need Gas/Groceries. If by the end of the Calendar month, you have not used up the $600 for that month, buy Gift Cards for the amount of the remaining room (at least for the first 6 months of 5% Cashback). Use Citi-Driver's Edge for all non gas/grocery transactions at any given time. Yes, this is practically the same as if you bought $600 of Gift Cards at the beginning of the month, but if you are like me, I tend to Grocery Shop at multiple stores based on sales and I fill up on Gas based on which station has the best price/litre WHEN I NEED GAS.

djino
"But to each his own, this is just my preference"

December 3, 2009
7:47 pm
digitalembrace
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djino, your right on. Personally I lose a little but can't be bothered with all the different cards/banks. The Sobeys card I buy can also be used at Price Choppers, all in the Empire chain of companies. You can get to pick the lower priced gas station? Wow, your lucky as our prices are requlated and the high/ low price per zone is the same at one and all. Presently $1.06 per l

January 5, 2010
7:49 pm
kevin
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Called to apply but this card is no longer available.

January 5, 2010
9:17 pm
Patrick
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kevin said:

Called to apply but this card is no longer available.


Darn.. Really? Just read the entire thread for nothing lol...

January 5, 2010
9:21 pm
djino
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I cannot confirm or deny its availability, but one thing I can definitely advise, is to get call back and speak to another Rep.

djino
"Always get a 4th and maybe a 5th opinion when it comes to MBNA"

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