AA reward credit card customers should redeem their points as soon as possible and consider switching to another reward scheme, as they'll no longer be able to earn cashback on fuel and spending or collect points on purchases from October.
MBNA, which has issued AA reward and non-reward cards since 2009, says it's written to all affected customers to let them know that the cards are being withdrawn on 24 October as a result of a "mutual agreement" with the breakdown cover provider.
After this date, card-holders will be automatically switched to one of two MBNA credit cards. They will be able to continue using their current AA card until their new card arrives in the post, but they'll no longer earn cashback on fuel or be able to collect points for spends on petrol and other purchases.
Those with points will also only be able to redeem them until 23 October.
However if you're affected, there are a number of reward cards currently on the market which may let you earn more than MBNA's offerings, or which let you tailor rewards to where you spend and what you spend on. See our Credit Card Rewards and Cashback Credit Card guides for more ways to earn.
What's happening and who's affected?
The following AA credit card customers will be switched to MBNA's More Rewards credit card or the MBNA Platinum credit card from the weekend of 24 October, though the credit cards themselves should arrive in the post during the first two weeks of November:
- AA Rewards credit card (for both AA and non-AA members)
- AA Fuel Card
If you've recently signed up to the AA Dual credit card issued by the Bank of Ireland, which isn't a rewards card, you're not affected by this change.
What do the new cards offer?
The MBNA More Rewards credit card is a dual Amex and Visa product, offering one or two points per £1 spent. The MBNA Platinum credit card is a Visa card that does not have a rewards programme.
MBNA says the card that customers will receive will depend on the user's "individual circumstances".
It adds that after 24 October, any letters or statements customers receive will be MBNA-branded, but the interest rates that customers are currently on, including any promotional rates, will stay exactly the same, as will PINs, credit limits and any fees or charges associated with the account.
MBNA says customers should destroy the AA card once they receive the new MBNA card. If they don't wish to take up the new MBNA offering and want to close the account, they should contact customer services.
What happens to my loyalty points?
Depending which AA reward credit card customers have, they usually earn either cashback (3% on fuel and 0.5% on other spending) or reward points (one point for every £1 spent on motoring or fuel and for every £2 on everything else). One point is worth 1p if spent on AA products such as breakdown cover, but is only worth 0.5p if redeemed as 'cashback', for shopping vouchers or an array of other rewards.
Customers can redeem points online, and the deadline to do this is 10pm on 23 October. Depending on exactly which type of credit card customers have, there may be different thresholds which users need to reach in order to redeem points. MBNA has confirmed these thresholds still apply even though the scheme is ending.
MBNA says it will remind customers before the deadline to redeem their points as any remaining points will be cancelled if they're not used in time.
Net £100s a year with loyalty/cashback cards
AA customers should consider switching as there are a number of reward cards currently available where you can earn cashback, airmiles, supermarket points and petrol spending.
For the best cash returns, the Amex Platinum Everyday* card for example, pays 5% on spending on the first three months (maximum spend of £2,000, or £100 cashback, over the three months), and up to 1.25% after. You will however need a minimum £20,000 household salary to get it.
Meanwhile the Santander 123* Cashback card gives 3% when you fill up your tank or spend on rail travel, up to a maximum £9/month, 2% in major department stores and 1% in major supermarkets. However you will need a minimum £7,500 income to get it and there's also a £24/year fee.
Remember to set up a direct debit to repay the card IN FULL each month, otherwise you'll be stung by their respective 22.9% and 16.5% representative APRs.
What does MBNA say?
An MBNA spokesperson says: "The partnership between MBNA and the AA will come to an end in October 2015. We have had a very successful relationship with the AA since 2009 and have been issuing AA credit cards to customers in the UK for almost six years.
"Cardholders can continue to earn and redeem AA points up to and including 23rd October 2015, however, no further AA points will be earned after this date. Cardholders can use their AA cards after this date, however AA points will not be earned."