Update September 5th. 2011. I think I'm finally rid of MBNA. I work abroad a lot and MBNA change their terms and conditions so often, informing you by post with letters containing huge amounts of tiny print I decided I got nothing in return for the time I spent administering the card so I'll just stick with my other cards. I imagine MBNA give cards to people with pretty useless credit ratings which explains their apparent paranoia towards their customers. If your credit rating is so bad people like MBNA are the only people who will give you a card, maybe you shouldn't have one at all and just stick with a debit card and a bank account you keep in credit with an agreed overdraft limit. The period of time between MBNA issuing their statements/bills and the time payment is due seems to get less all the time meaning, I suppose they cream off a fortune in late payment fees. The amount of correspondence having an MBNA card generates is amazing, yet, if you owe them money, they don't contact you. They contact debt collection agencies (who I presume "buy" cases from them). I was once working on a boat, the internet access was awful, when I DID get online MBNA's servers were down and before I got online again, my ages and wonderful mum was getting aggressive phone calls from MBNA's debt collectors for a late payment fee I didn't even know about plus interest. Part of the problem I've had with them recently is the web site has been redesigned giving the impression you don't owe anything. Working abroad a lot, payments can take weeks to show up on your card. I can think of nothing positive to say about MBNA. Anyway, my "Platinum" card is now in bits and I think, I've paid them everything they're due though when I spoke to them, they couldn't tell me when charges would stop being applied to some elements of the card and I have to keep logging onto the web site for about 2 months to be sure I owe them nothing. Now, the original review is below.
I have an MBNA "Rewards" Platinum card. My main gripe, since I travel a lot, is the short time between the bill being generated and the payment due date. My June bill was generated June 9th 2011 and the payment due date is June 26th. Allowing 2 working days for the clearance of payment, that means if you see your bill immediately it is issued, you have 15 days to pay it.
I pretty much ignore this card but used it to buy something worth £48 over the phone in the UK when my other cards were in my car. The transaction date was May 5th.. By June 7th, MBNA had generated a bill for my account for June where I owed them £61.26 for the same transaction. If you want a card you can use to get up to about 50 days interest free credit, I wouldn't choose MBNA.
MBNA deluge you with changes in terms and conditions, interest rates, payment due dates, definitions of statement dates. If you value your time and work out how much time you spend keeping up to date with what's going on with your card, this card is very expensive.
If you pay by direct debit, I presume that won't be a problem.
I find their web site a bit weirdly laid out and, as usual, all the stuff you need to know isn't easily found.
What irritates me most about MBNA is that if your account is in arrears, perhaps because you THOUGHT you'd paid your card off in full and then didn't use your card for a while and didn't know a £1.20 interest fee was added just after you paid the full amount which would then be liable for a £12 late payment fee, MBNA, whilst being perfectly able to email you when your statement is ready seem unable or unwilling to email you about such matters and instead, hire debt collectors to hassle you for small amounts and send you letters which, if you travel a lot is no good so expect calls from your worried elderly Mum when she's had calls from people wanting to talk to you etc..
I also find their payment due dates seem to shift around a bit so this is a "high maintainance" company who expect you to be take a deep interest in your MBNA card. Time is money so it could be seen as an expensive card to run.
MBNA may not be the worst but they're not the best so I can't see any point in suggesting you have one of their cards. The constant notifications and paperwork revealing changes to the way they administer your card have made me reluctant to use the card since I don't have the time to read all their paperwork so, the day before I use the card, they may have trebled my interest rate for all I know.
Maybe the Conservatives will bring in a limit on the charges and interest credit card companies can charge.
MBNA clearly have no interest in customer service and instead demonstrate disdain and disregard for their customers. In my case, I paid off £6100 one month, and a further £30 next month of a total balance of £47 (in the absence of a statement!) but they charged me £12 for late payment and refused to apologise!They deserve to lose all their customers and be driven out of Britain!They are very far from the cheapest for credit cards and ruthlessly apply every charge and fee in the fine print, totally without regard for their customers, previous credit history or, indeed, any shred of basic customer service competence.
I have had a long relationship with MBNA and suddenly they have applied a 27% APR with only 30 days notice and no reason, that was an overnight increase of 50% from the 18% I have always had. My financial position has not changed and I have never missed a payment.
I think the process is, offer 0% then increase credit limits rapidly to be the biggest credit limit over the other cards. Then hike the APR.
I can only assume they do it to lock people to them when they have no option and no other card to transfer to.
On a £15000 credit limit it will cost me over £1300 extra a year. This is daylight robbery, so only accept the 0% offers if you believe you can either pay off the balance when it reverts or tranfer to another card before these extortionate rates kick in. I have registered a complaint but am not holding my breath. Due to some policies maturing this year I will be paying off my balance with them but they have shot themselves in the foot as I will be telling everybody how bad they are. I assume this is the sting in their con, please please please be aware of this.
Aparently the only department that can discuss this are not able to use telephones and need to be written to...hmmm so how long can they hang it out and get every penny of interest they can.
My first suggestion is that they get some telephones in the complaints department!
My second is that you should avoid MBNA at ALL COST!. No pun intended.
STAY AWAY FROM MBNA regardless of if you are in Canada, US, UK. They are the worst bank ever. I had $15,000 available credit and just because I didn't use my card for about 1 1/2 years, which is my own perogative, they reduced my available credit to only $400 without even notifying me. I found out that they did this when I decided to call them to order cheques because I wanted to send my daughter to private school by using my $15,000 available credit. STAY AWAY From MBNA!
MBNA was the first credit card I held, and has remained steadfastly tucked in my wallet ever since. On their main silver accounts they had poor interest rates (around 17.9%APR) and no loyalty packages, but did offer interim incentive periods at very low interest rates for balance transfers. I was going to close both my accounts with them, when RBS refused me a special rate on a balance transfer, so I elected to contact MBNA who offered me 1.9% fixed on balance transfers and cash advances for 6 months and 14.9% thereafter. I discussed with them the possibility of upgrading to a Platinum card as I fulfilled the criteria, yet they said no. I challenged this decision, and within two weeks, received my new card, cheque book and pin number, together with an increased credit limit, a special rate of 1.9% on cash advances and balance transfers, with 14.9% thereafter. As I have pointed out MBNA offer existing customers balance transfers at extremely preferential rates - however be careful - I took advantage of an excellent rate of 4.9%APR to transfer a balance of £700 from an existing card - I did however already have a balance on the card. I had a sizeable chunk of money courtesy of the taxman and decided to reduce the MBNA balance - only to discover that those balances carrying the lowest interest rate are actually cleared first - i.e. the amount I repaid was higher than the £700 and therefore any benefit to me was lost and I am still paying interest on the remaining balance at 14.9%APR - I therefore suggest if taking advantage of a preferential rate with MBNA Platinum that you clear any other balances first or you will get stung. The card itself is standard fayre, offered in both Visa and Mastercard, and not exactly dynamic looking; MBNA have recently been undertaking mass advertising on TV of their Platinum card - not really specifying the criteria - hoping I would imagine that customers will apply in the hope of getting one and alternativel
y be offered their Silver Card at an annual APR of some 3% higher. The platinum card can be applied for on-line, although applicants will not receive an instant response, and will have to wait around 7-10 days to know if their application has been successful. This is because they carefully assess a whole list of areas rather than relying on a computerised credit scoring system, which means you are actually dealing with a human being, so I guess if you have recently moved house or changed jobs this can work in your favour. WHAT DOES IT COST? There is no annual fee, and you can have up to three additional card holders on your account at no extra cost, risky I guess if the kids are at Uni. Current interest rate for new applicants is 0% - Fixed for 6 months for cash advances and balance transfers (+ a 1.5% commission charge for using a credit card cheque - they used to be one of the few that didn't charge, but I guess financial climates dictate) and 15.9% Variable thereafter. I don't know yet whether they will continue offer preferential rates and payment holidays to existing customers, but judging by their previous service, I guess they probably will, although beware of taking advantage of such rates if you already have a balance on the account. Interest Free period is 59 days if you pay the balance off in full by the given date on the statement. If you check around this is actually considerably more than the likes of Egg (45 days) and Marbles (c 51 days). Minimum payment is 2.25% (Yes, strange isn't it?) of the oustanding balance or £5, whichever is the greater. INCENTIVES & LOYALTY REWARDS Well there aren't any, but they do claim to offer special rates on: * Flower deliveries * Chocolate purchases * Holidays * RAC Membership * Home insurance If you book through the numbers provided on the literature - I must confess I have never tried to find out. Th
ey do however, seem to look after, and try to retain their customer base, exercising a relationship marketing strategy aimed at keeping them rather than just getting them, and then leaving them go once the the honeymoon period is over. CHARGES They will charge £18 if your payment is: a) More than one day late b) Any time a payment you make to the account bounces c) Every time you exceed your credit limit BE WARNED: If you are changing from a Silver to a Platinum account, all the indications are that you will be able to miss a payment because of the transfer, this is not the case. You should make the payment as normal to your old card account - I got caught out here, and my payment was late, to be fair, their customer service advisor agreed to waive the late payment charge and it was recredited immediately to my account. CUSTOMER SERVICE I cannot say enough for this company - they are one of the few Credit Card Companies still offering freephone calls. The service provides automated balances, and will always advise you, if waiting to speak to a representative, when queuing time is likely to be more than around 5 minutes. They do not however, unlike the competition, accept Switch/Delta payments over the telephone, and are a little slow at crediting Home/Mobile banking payments to your account, so make sure you leave a little time in making payments to ensure clearance and avoid penalties. I have been with them since they hit the UK market, purely because their advertising arrived in front of me at that moment when I was considering a credit card, and their interest rates have dropped considerably in light of the new UK competition. I have heard a lot of people complaining they get bombarded with literature about the company, I must confess I have not found this to be the case whatsoever, with literature being confined to inclusion inside the monthly postal statement. INTER
NET ACCESS They do now offer internet access on their accounts, you can set it up yourself with a few essential security details, the site is fully secure, but does seem to fall over quite easily. Online you can see your last 6 months statements, your current balance and transactions, and transfer balances on-line. You can also amend personal details, considerably easier than telephoning, they even accepted mine on-line without my postcode - YES, A RESULT. You do get free purchase protection on most items costing between £50 and £1,000, providing you pay for them in full on the card. PAYMENT PROTECTION costs 68p per £100 of outstanding balance. HOW CAN YOU GET ONE? Answer one of the many adverts you see in magazines and papers, or apply on-line at www.mbna.co.uk. I believe you need to be over 21, and have a minimum salary of around £25K, although I can't actually find this stipulated on their web-site. SUMMARY Personally, I have been with them for 4 years and think it is now getting towards the time when we may well part company - if you take advantage of preferential rates from higher cards - in the long run you could unwittingly end up paying more than you were in the first place. The jury is still out - but I am still annoyed with MBNA at the moment over the misunderstanding of the balance transfer situation - that will teach me to read the small print. Sue
Maryland National Bank of America want your business! You have probably received mailings from them guaranteeing pre approval and a silver, gold or even platinum card, despite your meager earnings. This is not because they are really nice guys who just want to help you out, sorry. The MNBA card does carry a lower interest rate than many of the high street banks cards, but it is not the lowest. Do check the finance pages of the Sunday papers, (the big ones, not the ones with a nipple count) as they give the best rates available at any time. This card does not carry an annual fee and tempts new customers with ‘cheques’ that allow you to pay off existing debt at a reduced rate. The reduced rate does not apply to new purchases and these deals pay off the lowest interest rate debt first, which is in their favour, not yours. Do watch out for the late payment fee, if you miss the payment date by one day they charge you not only interest for the whole month, but an additional ‘penalty fee’ of almost twenty pounds! That is a lot considering the standard credit limit offered to students is £500, and if it pushes you over the credit limit, guess what – penalty fee! If getting a 'prestige' card is important to you, go ahead, or hold on until AmEx offer you a Centurion! MNBA may be one of the easiest cards to get your mitts on, but it certainly isn’t the best – shop around a bit more.
MNBA repeatedly sends student mailshots through the post encouraging them to apply for one of their credit card accounts. Currently I am receiving one every 2 weeks and would have thought that they could utilise their time and effort in better ways. I mean even if i did apply they may not even accept my application, and if they did it would only be of the condition of a tiny credit limit. I just wish they would stop sending me the details on their cards. I mean as if they are going to give a student a platinum card - get real and stop sending me this junk!