Some rewards cards are more complicated than they need to be. The MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard quietly bucks that trend and is arguably the most straightforward and flexible rewards card to use for everyday spending.

Other top rewards credit cards have incentives such as higher earn rates for the first three to six months, or they pay back more in certain spending categories but not in others. With the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard, you earn 2 points for every dollar spent – anywhere – with no limits to how much you can earn.

Let’s take a closer look at what makes this card so attractive for everyday use.

MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard Review: Get 2% Back On Every Purchase

MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard Review

Incredibly, I’ve never written a full review on this card before now, but a recent reader question prompted me to take a closer look.

This reader was looking for a cash back credit card and was torn between two Visa Infinite cards: Scotia’s Momentum Visa Infinite, and CIBC’s Dividend Visa Infinite. Both are solid cash back cards, but here’s why I suggested taking a look at the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard instead:

First, the details. We already mentioned getting 2% back on every purchase. You also get 10,000 points with your first purchase, putting an immediate $100 into your pocket. In addition, if you sign-up for the card through Great Canadian Rebates, you’ll get another $60 cash back from GCR.

Is it a travel card, or a cash back card?

Ok, now for one of the better features: Flexible rewards redemption. The MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard is often promoted as a travel credit card, but it actually works just as well, if not better, as a cash back credit card. Here’s why:

One annoying feature of the Scotia Momentum card is that you only get your cash back once a year, in November, as a statement credit. With the MBNA card you can redeem your points as often as you want, in whatever form you want – a statement credit, a deposit into your account, or even by cheque.

It also has a lower annual fee ($89 vs. $99), which gets wiped out in the first year by the 10,000 welcome points. Add in the $60 cash back from Great Canadian Rebates and you’ve essentially paid for the annual fee for two years.

Let’s talk about ‘Other’ Spending

Here’s another point in favour of the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard. ‘Other’ spending.

If your “other” spending – purchases that don’t fall into categories like groceries, gas, dining, travel, etc. – is significant then you’ll benefit more from a straight 2% cash back card with no caps on how much you can earn. The MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard fits the bill, as it doesn’t matter where you use your card, you’re getting 2% back on those purchases.

I used the Scotia Momentum Visa Infinite card for several years until our shopping patterns changed and I found myself spending more on ‘other’ categories and also we switched most of our grocery shopping to Costco, which does not accept Visa.

I’ve written here before about the Costco effect on earning rewards and how if you shop regularly at the warehouse giant then you need to use a MasterCard.

Final thoughts

I’ll be clear: Right now I personally use the Capital One Aspire World Elite MasterCard for my everyday spending, but that’s only because it’s a grandfathered version of the old Cap One Aspire Travel that comes with a $120 annual fee (the new version of the card has a $150 annual fee) and it still pays me10,000 miles each year on my card anniversary, a generous $100 feature that the new card doesn’t offer.

For all of these reasons, if I was looking to get a new everyday rewards card today, I’d choose the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard.

You can sign-up here and get an additional $60 cash back through Great Canadian Rebates.

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