Back in November 2020, we covered the launch of MBNA Smart Rewards. This is a new in-store cashback scheme which pays out when you use your MBNA card in participating shops.
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.
When Smart Rewards launched, I thought it would make a great card even better. I was wrong. The selection of offers has been shockingly poor, at least given my purchasing patterns.
Current retailers on my list include such high profile retailers as GO Outdoors, Apex Hotels, shopDisney, Weird Fish, Q-Park, tails.com, Ann Summers and Mainline Menswear. I have earned a grand total of 31p cashback so far.
It seems that things may be picking up though. A HfP reader sent me the following screenshot of offers which appeared on his card this week:
I can only dream of such offers, but if you haven’t looked at your MBNA Smart Rewards options recently it may be worth checking again.
Want to earn more points from credit cards? – September 2021 update
If you are looking to apply for a new credit or charge card, here are our September 2021 recommendations based on the current sign-up bonus.
The following offers will expire on 2nd November 2021:
- 10,000 Avios on British Airways American Express
- 40,000 Avios on British Airways American Express Premium Plus
- 60,000 points on The Platinum Card from American Express
Here are the top current deals:
British Airways American Express
10,000 Avios for signing up, no annual fee and an Economy 241 voucher for spending ….. Read our full review
British Airways American Express Premium Plus
40,000 Avios and the UK’s most valuable credit card perk – the 2-4-1 companion voucher Read our full review
American Express Preferred Rewards Gold
Your best beginner’s card – 20,000 points, FREE for a year & two airport lounge passes Read our full review
The Platinum Card from American Express
60,000 points and an unbeatable set of travel benefits – for a fee Read our full review
Virgin Atlantic Reward+ Mastercard
15,000 points bonus and the most generous non-Amex for day to day spending 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 Gold
20,000 points sign-up bonus and free for a year Read our full review
American Express Business Platinum
40,000 points sign-up bonus and a long list of travel benefits Read our full review
British Airways Accelerating Business American Express
60,000 Avios sign-up bonus – plus annual bonuses of up to 30,000 Avios Read our full review
Capital On Tap Business Rewards Visa
The most generous Avios Visa or Mastercard 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: