MBNA adding cashback rewards to its credit cards
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Many HfP readers have an MBNA credit card, primarily the (not available to the general public) Horizon card:
For the benefit of new readers, MBNA used to dominate the ‘air miles’ credit card market in the UK. At its peak, it issued cards for:
- bmi British Midland (many versions!)
- Emirates (x 2 versions)
- Virgin Atlantic (x 2 versions)
With the introduction of the cap on interchange fees, MBNA decided to withdraw from the affinity market and put itself up for sale, eventually being purchased by Lloyds Bank.
Most people who held one of these cards were offered something called the Horizon card. This is, frankly, an amazingly good piece of plastic:
- It’s a Visa card
- which gives 0.5% cashback
- and which has no foreign exchange fees
You don’t earn any points, but for non-UK spending it is a great product.
MBNA is now introducing Amex-style cashback rewards
MBNA is about to launch ‘Smart Rewards’. There is a holding page here on their website and a FAQ here.
All cardholders will see potential ‘Smart Rewards’ offers as long as they are registered for online card servicing.
As with Amex, you need to manually opt in to each offer that you think may interest you.
Cashback will be added to your card balance once per month. You will be able to see ‘pending’ payments online so you will know that an offer has successfully triggered.
The companies shown as typical of the partners who will be involved are:
- LNER trains
- Costa Coffee
If you’d like shopping to be a little more rewarding, MBNA Smart Rewards could be the perfect fit:
- Browse available offers and pick out the ones which suit you best.
- Keep track of the cashback you’ve earned in the Smart Rewards hub.
- Coming to Online Card Services soon, and launching on our app in early 2021.
It’s the cherry on top of that ice cream sundae… an extra banana in the bunch. Up to 15% cashback on the things you buy regularly soon adds up, but you might also be inspired to try something new.
At present, we don’t know any more. It is good to see Lloyds Bank extending this scheme, which is already available via some of its other brands, to MBNA.
The key point at present is that, if you were thinking of cancelling a legacy MBNA credit card for any reason, you may want to hold on.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – March 2023 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit card, here are our top recommendations based on the current sign-up bonuses.
In February 2022, Barclaycard launched two exciting new Barclaycard Avios Mastercard cards with a bonus of up to 25,000 Avios. You can apply here.
SPECIAL OFFER: Successfully apply for either of the Barclaycard Avios credit cards by 2nd April 2023 and you will be entered into a free draw to win ONE MILLION AVIOS! Full details are on the application forms here (free) and here (paid). This competition is exclusive to Head for Points readers. T&C apply.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
Barclaycard Avios Plus Mastercard
25,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £10,000 Read our full review
Barclaycard Avios Mastercard
5,000 Avios for signing up and an upgrade voucher for spending £20,000 Read our full review
You can see our full directory of all UK cards which earn airline or hotel points here. Here are the best of the other deals currently available.
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
25,000 Avios and the famous annual 2-4-1 voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & four airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
30,000 points and unbeatable travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and 1.5 points for every £1 you spend Read our full review
Earning miles and points from small business cards
If you are a sole trader or run a small company, you may also want to check out these offers:
Until 30th March 2023, the sign up bonus on American Express Business Platinum is increased to 120,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. The bonus on American Express Business Gold is increased to 60,000 Membership Rewards points – click here. T&C apply, see the application forms for details.
American Express Business Platinum
Crazy 120,000 points bonus (to 30th March) and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
60,000 points sign-up bonus (to 30th March) and free for a year Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
30,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
Get a 10,000 points bonus plus an extra 500 points for our readers Read our full review
For a non-American Express option, we also recommend the Barclaycard Select Cashback card for sole traders and small businesses. It is FREE and you receive 1% cashback on your spending.
Barclaycard Select Cashback credit card
1% cashback (3% for 3 months if you apply by 31st March) and no annual fee Read our full review