Thousands of MBNA credit card-holders will see the rewards they can earn on their cards cut – or even axed – in the New Year. Act soon if you're affected or risk losing your reward points.

The company is the latest provider to cut some of its reward schemes following last year's cap on interchange fees – the charges retailers pay to card firms when customers spend on debit and credit cards.

This change comes on top of the recent closure of Diamond Club, a travel rewards scheme operated by MBNA.

Many other major card providers have already scaled down cashback and loyalty point schemes, citing the cap as the reason for the change. These include Capital One, RBS, M&S Bank, American Express, Santander and Tesco Bank.

What's changing?

While MBNA isn't completely stopping any of its rewards or cashback cards, certain customers are being moved onto cards that don't offer rewards. Five of the company's credit cards – four cashback cards and one reward card – are affected, though none of these is currently available to new customers.

MBNA declined to comment on exactly how many customers would be affected by its changes, but the number is understood to be in the thousands. Letters have already been sent to those affected – if your rewards are staying the same you won't be notified.

If you're unsure, or you want to check whether your benefits are remaining, you can contact MBNA on 03456 062 062.

The changes will take place during January 2017, and any cashback due will be paid by the end of February. If you have any reward points, they must be redeemed by 31 March 2017.

Does MBNA still have any reward cards?

There are a few cards still open for new customers, and their offerings aren't changing. These include the Intu card and several airline cards including the Virgin Atlantic Black and White cards. For more on these, see our Airline Credit Cards guide.

What are interchange fees and why do they affect cashback cards?

Retailers pay interchange fees to card firms when customers use a card. They used to be around 8p per transaction for debit card payments and around 0.8% of the transaction for credit card payments.

However, in March 2015, MEPs voted in favour of bringing in a cap of 0.2% of the value of transactions on debit cards and 0.3% of the value of transactions on credit cards. This came in on 9 December 2015. See the EU agrees card charges shake-up MSE News story for more information.

For options of the current cards offering cashback or rewards available, see our Cashback Credit Cards and Credit Card Rewards guides. Just remember to always repay IN FULL each month or interest will dwarf the rewards earned.

What does MBNA say?

A spokesperson for MBNA says: "Like many brands in the market, due to recent changes in legislation which impact rewards payouts, we regret that we're not able to offer certain MBNA rewards/cashback cards to certain customers any longer. Where we can, MBNA will continue to offer some form of rewards to certain customers."