Back in November, we tipped you off about the upcoming launch of MBNA Smart Rewards.
This is MBNA’s attempt to compete with Amex’s market-leading cashback offers. It is now active.
Many HfP readers have an MBNA credit card because at one point it issued 13 different airline cards.
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.
When those cards closed, most cardholders were offered a market-leading card called Horizon with no foreign exchange fees and 0.5% cashback. I think most people who got offered it decided to keep it, because it is a decent option for overseas spend.
How does ‘Smart Rewards’ work?
At present, MBNA Smart Rewards is only available via the website. It is apparently coming to the app soon. This is good news because, as the app is OK, I hadn’t used the website for well over a year until I was researching this piece yesterday.
When you log in to the website, you will see a reference to ‘Smart Rewards’. Click on that and you will be asked if you want to activate it or not.
You will see a screen like this:
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.
I have seven offers showing at the moment:
- Paul – 10% back
- Huel – 10% back
- Trespass – 10% back
- Byron – 5% back
- Europcar – 5% back
- Land’s End – 15% back
- Fortnum & Mason – 5% back
One obvious problem is that, as the screenshot shows, it is not immediately clear that you need to opt in. You need to click the little ‘down’ arrow for the registration box to show. I can imagine a lot of people not realising that registration is required.
This clearly isn’t a life-changing selection but, given the current lockdown, it would be unfair to judge how it will develop.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – December 2022 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.
You qualify for the bonus on these cards even if you have a British Airways American Express card:
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 UK’s most valuable card perk – the 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:
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a £200 Amex Travel credit every year Read our full review
American Express Business Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus 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
10,500 points bonus – the most generous Avios Visa for a limited company 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.