MBNA Smart Cash credit card for existing customers: 3% back on grocery store purchases

First published on May 25, 2009

Note: the credit cards mentioned in this article are available in Canada only.

September 2009 update: there is now a page about the Smart Cash credit card on the MBNA website

Scotiabank has a compelling new credit card (and well-made, accompanying TV ads) called the Scotia Momentum VISA. This credit card gives you 2% cash back on grocery store and gas purchases and 1% cash back on all other purchases. Assuming that you don’t carry a balance (and thus the interest rate on a card is irrelevant), this a great way to save money without having to change any of your habits. However, this card has its drawbacks, such as a $39 annual fee and a $15 fee for additional cards.

MBNA has an even better offering called the MBNA Smart Cash credit card. It gives you 3% cash back on grocery store and gas purchases and 1% back on all other purchases. It has no annual fee and there is no fee to have additional cards (or what they call “authorized users”).

The MBNA Smart Cash credit card is not advertised, and has no official web page from what I know. You’ll have to do your research by reading forum posts and the like. It is also available only to people who already have an MBNA MasterCard. If you fall into this category, you can call the customer service number on the back of your card and ask to convert your existing card to a Smart Cash card (technically they send you a new card; but at least you don’t have to fill out another application form).

And while you’re taking the time to do this, remember that you can tell your credit card company to stop sending you promotional junk and paper statements.


12 Responses to “MBNA Smart Cash credit card for existing customers: 3% back on grocery store purchases”

  1. Derek says:

    Thanks for heads up!

    I just switched my useless Canucks MBNA MasterCard to the Smart Cash card without any hassle. Sounds like a good deal!

  2. Calvin says:

    I signed up for this card a few days ago. I am not an existing MBNA customer. Some forum posts mentioned needing to provide a promo code, but the rep I spoke to was already familiar with this card.

    Looking forward to getting it in the mail.. :)

  3. Pete says:

    While the annual fee does make the Scotia Momentum less appealing, it does have a few more benefits than noted in the article.

    The MBNA card gives you 3% only on grocery and gas. The Momentum gives you the 2% on grocery, gas and drug store purchases, as well as on all recurring payments. The recurring payments are significant for me, and possibly others, who have many monthly bills auto-charged to their Visa. Depending on your spending habits, this may be more beneficial, just don’t forget to deduct the annual fee from any proceeds when deciding.

  4. Elm says:

    Hey I also signed up for the MBNA smart cash platinum plus card.
    it has no annual fee and I was able to get a free supplementary card
    I saw this card in the red flag deal forum here is an excerp
    5% for gas/groceries 6 months
    afterwards 3%.

    You get 3% back on the first $600 spent on gas groceries each month, after that it will be 1%.

    1% cashback no cap on other purchases.

    No annual fee


    10 months for 1.99% B/T promo

    can request rebate once cashback hits $50.

    otherwise same as premier rewards platinum plus aka prp+.

  5. Sam says:

    I have a MBNA smart cash card. I also have the visa momentum. If I must say so myself, the MBNA is a much better card. I have discovered that if I use it for my everyday purchases, my 1% cash back actually earns me more money than the 2%, so where I use my card doesn’t really matter. Another thing that I like about MBNA is that when you go online to view your accounts, not only do they show what has been posted, but they also show what they call temporary postings, which means even if a purchase hasn’t been posted to my account yet I can still see exactly where my card is being used. Alot less confusing when your trying to figure out how come your card says that you have spent money but it isn’t showing yet.

  6. Josh says:

    I just received my Smart Cash card in the mail and noticed something that I didn’t expect. It looks like if the balance of "MBNA Dollars" is below $50 for the month then the balance is not carried over to the next month. Can anybody who has had this card for a while confirm this?

    Just to clarify, it looks like if the balance is over $50 but under $100, A cheque is issued for $50 and then the balance is carried over, but if no cheque is issued for the month, then you start the next month with a balance of 0 "MBNA Dollars"

    Reply from Peter: From what I understand (I’m just a consumer like you), you don’t lose any earned balance. If you only earned $10 in a month, that is supposed to carry over to the next month. Basically, anything that hasn’t been paid out should carry over to the next month.

  7. Jenny says:

    So do I need to apply for another MBNA card first?
    It seems Calvin above didn’t have to, but on the forum you linked to they say an existing account is required.

    Reply from Peter: It doesn’t hurt to try. Also, I’ve heard that it all depends on which CSR you get. Call 1-888-876-6262 and let us know how it goes!

  8. Renaud says:

    This card is no longer available.

  9. Bob says:

    Online sign up…

    No previous MBNA card required

  10. Cliff says:

    Thanks for the link Bob,

    link still works and I put in my application. I didn’t have an MBNA card before… 30 days to reply… hope it goes through…

  11. alexg says:

    garbage. I just got one. you only get credit in multiples of $50 dollars and anything less DOES NOT CARRY OVER to the next month (unless it’s over 100$) also gas and groceries is limited to $18. so unless you spend $4000 every month its useless.

    Reply from Peter: Maybe they changed things, but I don’t spend that much and the balance certainly carries over for me, and there’s no limit on monthly rewards for gas and groceries. It is true that they send you cheques in $50 multiples (which seems wasteful versus just giving you a credit) but that is better than other cards that only credit you once a year.

  12. Adam says:

    I have the Momentum card and it is great. I drive a lot for work, and spend $150/week in gas, buy all my groceries on it, and have my auto/home ins, rogers, hydro and water all set up to come off automatically. I combine this with purchasing pretty much everything I buy with the card, and I received over $600 in cashback. I have never carried a balance, and the bank paid the fee for me for the first year.

    It sounds like the MBNA card would be good, and no fee, however if they do not carry over $ from month to month, and only send out funds in $50 incriments, you could actually be losing quite a bit if you were sitting at $40 and it did not carry over(that’s 1% on $4000 of purchases). My momentum VISA actually does a straight deposit to my chequing account in November-great for Christmas!

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