I get legged over with MBNA’s replacement for Diamond Club!

Letters started to land on doormats yesterday from MBNA explaining what rewards scheme would apply to ex-bmi Diamond Club credit cards now that the Avios scheme has closed.

Interestingly, MBNA has decided to make different offers to different people.  It isn’t yet clear if they are doing this based on the card type you used to hold OR the amount of money MBNA made from you in the past.  It seems to be the latter.

There are at least three different variants:

Some people are told they will get no rewards

Some people who held the MasterCard are being offered an eye-wateringly good 0.75% cashback on all future spend (details here) on what will now be a free card

Some people who held the Amex and Visa combination are being offered 1% back on the American Express and 0.5% back on the Visa (details here) on what will now be a free card

What did I get?


My Diamond Club will be converted to an MBNA credit card.  This card will carry no rewards or cashback at all.

What is interesting about this decision is my ‘history’ with Diamond Club.  I am responsible for probably the biggest single transaction ever made on a bmi Diamond Club credit card.

Despite this, I have paid a grand total of £0 interest on the cards over the last decade.

So, why have I been given a card with no rewards?  Have I historically spent too much?  Have I paid too little interest?  I imagine I will never know.

Diamond Club cards

For the rest of you – or at least those of you who did not also receive the ‘no rewards’ card – there is a substantial arbitrage available here if you are self-employed or have any other reason to pay tax to HMRC.

Let’s take VAT payments for sole traders.  The credit card fee is 0.38%.  Because it is a business expense, the net fee for most people is nearer to 0.25%.  Giving you 0.75% cashback represents a decent profit.

Even on your personal tax payments, where you cannot write off the card fee as a business expense, you will make a margin of 0.37% which is worth having.

Anyone who receives the 0.75% cashback MasterCard deal should consider themselves lucky and should be thinking carefully about why they may want to use a rewards Visa or MasterCard instead.

I am not yet sure what I should do.  I am tempted by the Lufthansa Miles & More card, purely as a way of getting Lufthansa First Class redemptions.  I may not qualify for the sign-up bonus as I have had the card before, but I would get a 33% bonus on my spending for 6 months.  That would make 1 mile per £1 on their Visa card.

I also qualify for the HSBC Premier World Elite MasterCard as I have the current account – I used to work for HSBC once and lifetime Premier came as a perk – which pays 1 Avios per £1.  There is a £195 fee but the sign-up bonus offsets this in Year 1.

Disclaimer: Head for Points is a journalistic website. Nothing here should be construed as financial advice, and it is your own responsibility to ensure that any product is right for your circumstances. Recommendations are based primarily on the ability to earn miles and points and do not consider interest rates, service levels or any impact on your credit history.  By recommending financial products on this site, I am – technically – acting as a credit broker.  Robert Burgess, trading as Head for Points, is regulated and authorised by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a credit broker.

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  1. OT – Tesco – apart from Surrey Quays has anyone confirmed any for the ‘big hitters’ (JL/Amazon)? Thinking the Heathrow/M4 corridor, Southall to Reading. Slough and Maidenhead have nothing, anyone got anything nearby confirmed, maybe Drayton or Bulls Bridge?

    • I saw quite a few Amazon £25 in the Tesco Reading Extra (Kings Meadow) today, didn’t see any John Lewis but the gift card section was about to be restocked

    • Plenty at Tesco in Oxford

      Just picked up a £50 JLP voucher.

      So that’s:-

      50p Cashback with my former Diamond Club Card
      360 Avios with Clubcard

      Tomorrow I’ll spend my £50 JLP Voucher in Waitrose, along with my £8 off when you spend £40 voucher.

      And earn another:-

      50p back with my former Diamond Club Card

      That’s a whole lot better than 50 JLP points (plus £8 off obviously)

      • I don’t follow the second “50p back with my former Diamond Club Card”. Is that because you’re spending another £50 in Waitrose? If so, why not buy another JL GC in Tesco?

  2. Jim cleaver says:

    I don’t expect to get anything. After spending about £30k per month for 7 years, and £100k per month since the HMRC fees dropped in vat, paye, and tax, I think MBNA will be glad to see the back of me.

  3. James Slater says:

    Like many others, I got my letter today, offering nothing. Can anyone recommend a replacement where I can earn AVIOS to complement my BA AMEX Premium Plus card for use in stores that only accept Visa / Mastercard. I need something that either earns AVIOS directly, or anything that I can convert to AVIOS.

  4. My Diamond Club Mastercard is getting replaced by the … “Nothing” Mastercard. The Mastercard Priceless experiences benefit has had no value to me since it was launch. Never used it on any of my MCs.

    I’ve never paid any interest on the card. It was my default card for non-Amex spend.

    Sad to see it go and the number I had memorised over the years changed :-(

  5. Toby Warren says:

    I used to put c£35k a year through my fee free MasterCard, didn’t pay interest. Been provided with the reward free option.

    Bye bye MBNA.

    Will get the Lloyds avios card (for fee free overseas spend) and probably the John Lewis cash back card to mop up any non Amex spend

  6. Another offer of zero for me. I may keep the card gathering dust as it has a high limit, and the Lloyds I’m applying for probably won’t match it. High limit has been useful for buying 4 same day tickets to nz on…

    • Aeronaut says:

      If you have a high limit on one card, then that might harm your chances of getting a high(er) limit on another card, as lenders can take into account the total amount of credit available to you.

  7. Londonbus says:

    I got nothing either. Spent £500 – £1,000 per month. Paid in full – never paid a penny in interest.

    I am not a profitable customer for MBNA.

    • Also got offered zero. Been a customer for many years, though apparently not a profitable enough one. Going to close all my MNBA cards and go elsewhere.

  8. I mean it does make sense, with the reduction in interchange fees. MBNA may have made either a small profit or acceptably small loss when giving away avios per £ spent before, but with the new regs in place those who pay no interest/fees are loss-making for the company.

  9. Jonathan says:

    I got nothing either.. I probably put through about 40-50k a year but pay no interest… oh well, I’m going to stick with my HSBC World Elite until I hit my bonus level and then probably switch back to my BA Platinum AMEX (once my new year starts and I can get another accumulate another companion ticket).

  10. grex9101 says:

    comments deleted?

  11. Nick Burch says:

    OT but credit card related – I was in a Lloyds branch on Thursday, and the staff there told me they were about to launch a new credit card with a sign-up offer of a chance to win a holiday to the states. They didn’t know what, if any, points/rewards earnings it would have, nor the fine-print of the holiday prize draw, but they were keen to tell me to check the website or pop back in next week, and not to apply for one of their credit cards in the mean time!

    • So they know there is a card that may have an offer to win a holiday but they don’t know when or what, useful as usual staff at the Lloyds bank!

  12. Evening,

    Can someone please suggest the best way of ordering currency for max return these days. Nee to order for collection at T5 on Monday.


  13. Will Squires says:

    It’s interesting that they’re offering an Amex with double cashback – I thought that was dead in the new world?

  14. Ruth Grinth says:

    I got offered the 0.75% cashback, have had the card for about 19 years though, since I was a student on no income with a credit limit in excess of £10k!

    • VISA or AMEX?

      • Ruth Grint says:

        I held the Mastercard. The letter suggests that it will still be a Mastercard. Don’t think I paid any interest during the whole period I held the card either.

        Have a few days off work before I go back, whilst I wait for my missing case to arrive back from Venice I will be avidly reading about all the alternatives and number crunching!

  15. I got .75% to the £ on the old Mastercard. I must be profitable for MBNA to offer that.

    I was going to ditch this card for another MBNA portfolio card. I’m not too fussed now…

  16. I got Visa nothing card.

  17. Hmm – anyone else not received any letter at all? I got the one telling us that you wouldn’t earn anymore but I’ve not had anything since telling me about what the card is going to be replaced by!

  18. I’ve taken the Lloyds Avios duo card as my Diamond Club replacement.

    double avios on Amex spend for first 6 months, so it’s 2.5 per pound. Good value

    • Very good card. Remember it’s only 2.5 avios/£ up to £2.5k / statement month. This meant a bit of juggling between and wife’s cards to maximise value.

  19. Does anyone know if having had a Diamond Club AE card disqualifies you from the welcome bonus if you take a British Airways Premium AE card because the former is classed as a BA product?

  20. biscuiteer says:

    Nothing for me – had the Amex card for 10 years and paid off every month.

    I called up to cancel the card – which they’ve done.;

    Interestingly I tried to apply for the Virgin White card and was refused! Anyone else had any issues when applying for any of the MBNA owned cards?

  21. Am I the first / only person here to have been offered 1% / 0.5% on Amex Visa?

    I’ll probably be cancelling the cards anyway – I get 1.25% cashback on my Amex Plat Cashback CC and 0.5% on my Nationwide Visa (0% FX), so see little value in keeping an MBNA account.

  22. I got offered the 0.75% cashback on the BMI Platinum Mastercard.

    • I got nothing, so I applied for the MBNA Lufty card – 0.75 miles per £1 on the Visa plus 33% bonus for 6 months, plus the 10k sign-up bonus – and got it with a silly £20k credit limit.

      So why not give me the cashback card?!

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