More than 75,000 MBNA customers will stop earning cashback and rewards via their Amex credit cards next month, and will be sent a replacement Visa card which won't offer any such perks. If you're affected, here's what to do.
Two MBNA Amex credit cards are to be closed – the MBNA Rewards Credit Card and the MBNA Credit Card with cashback. Both were first available in 2005 but have been closed to new customers since October 2015.
MBNA's decision follows a series of cuts to cashback and rewards offered by other credit cards, with almost 500,000 Barclaycard customers seeing cashback halved this summer. See our Credit Card Rewards guide for full info on how this kind of card works and our current top picks.
Earned rewards? You've three months to redeem them
You'll stop earning reward points or cashback with both MBNA credit cards after Friday 22 September. After that:
- If you have the MBNA Rewards Credit Card, any points you've accrued must be redeemed by 30 November 2017, otherwise they'll be lost. Points can be redeemed on anything from shopping vouchers and cashback to gadgets and charity donations.
- If you have the MBNA Credit Card with cashback, any cashback owed will be applied to your account by the end of October.
MBNA says all cardholders will automatically be sent a replacement Visa card which will arrive by the end of November – however, these won't offer any rewards or cashback so you'll need to look for an alternative card if you want to continue earning when you spend.
You'll still be able to use your Amex credit card without earning cashback or rewards between Friday 22 September and when the replacement card arrives.
What card could I get instead?
If you want to keep earning rewards with a credit card, it's still possible to get up to 5% cashback in the first three months and up to 1.25% after, depending on how you spend, with our top-pick cashback cards:
- The fee-free Amex Everyday gives 5% for three months (max £100), then up to 1% after, though you must spend £3,000/year to get ANY cashback (22.9% rep APR).
- If you spend about £9,000+/year, Amex Platinum can win. It has a £25/year fee, but gives 5% for three months (max £125) and is up to a higher 1.25% after (28.2% rep APR).
Why are the MBNA credit cards being closed?
MBNA says the card closures follow the EU's introduction of a cap on interchange fees – the charges retailers pay to card firms when customers spend on debit and credit cards – that came into effect in December 2015.
Since the introduction of that cap there have been cuts to cashback and rewards offered by a series of credit cards, and a court ruling in July 2017 stated that the cap also applies to Amex cards that aren't issued by the company itself, like these MBNA ones.
There have also been other cashback credit card closures recently relating to the end of licensing agreements between Amex and several card companies. A cashback Amex Barclaycard was closed earlier this year, and MBNA's American Airlines Amex card was also scrapped in June.
MBNA hasn't announced any changes to its other Amex credit cards, included airline-branded deals with Emirates, Virgin Atlantic, Etihad and more – it says simply that cashback and rewards are "continually reviewed".