True Line® Gold Mastercard® Credit Card
MBNA has retired its popular Platinum Plus Mastercard, but has introduced two excellent balance transfer credit cards to take over in its absence. Of the two, the True Line Gold Mastercard offers a better balance transfer promotion and more favourable interest rates overall, though unlike the other True Line card it does come with a $39 annual fee.
Balance Transfer Promotion
The main reason to seek out a balance transfer card is its favourable balance transfer interest rate, which provides shelter from regular credit card interest rates—typically 20% or more. The True Line Gold offers a 0% balance transfer rate for 6 months, available on all balance transfers made within 90 days of the account opening. This is the only true 0% balance transfer deal in Canada currently, and it’s only available to those that sign up by October 31, 2018. Prospective cardholders should know that there is a 1% fee for each balance transfer, though this will be a small price to pay relative to the massive amount saved on interest during the promotional period.
Aside from the 0% promotional rate, the True Line Gold also shines compared to its competition in its attractive post-promotional interest rates: unlike most balance transfer cards, the balance transfer interest rate doesn’t jump up to an astronomical level after the 6-month promotion is over. After the 0% rate has ended, it will increase to a very reasonable 8.99%.
Other Notable Features
- 8.99% interest rate on purchases and access cheques
- Annual fee of $39
- 24/7 customer service
- Proactive fraud protection
Aside from balance transfers, the MBNA True Line Gold card offers an equally attractive interest rate on purchases—8.99%. This is a very rare feature for balance transfer cards: cardholders can not only consolidate debt and avoid high interest on it, but they can also use the card for their everyday purchases and not be harshly penalized. However, they should be cautioned to at least make the minimum payment each month. If a cardholder misses his or her minimum payment twice, interest rates on the card increase to what they’d otherwise look like on a standard credit card.
MBNA provides constant access to customer service via phone and email, so any issues that a cardholder encounters during their transfers or daily use can be addressed immediately. They also offer all cardholders around-the-clock protection from fraud, a service similar to those that scan statement entries in real time and warn cardholders of suspicious activity.
MBNA True Line® Cards Rates
|Card||Purchase Rate||Cash Advance Rate||Balance Transfer Rate|
|True Line® Mastercard®||12.99%||24.99%||12.99%|
|True Line® Gold Mastercard®||8.99%||24.99%||8.99%|
Who’s the Card For?
Those who are trying hard to reduce their credit card debt will naturally be averse to the idea of paying a $39 annual fee. In this case, they might instead be drawn to a no-fee balance transfer card, like the MBNA True Line Mastercard. But before making that choice they should consider the very likely possibility that the lower interest rates of the Gold card will end up saving them far more than $39 in the long run. We’ll give a simple example of how much each card will save someone in interest, and for the sake of simplicity we’ll ignore the effect of making minimum payments:
Over the course of one year, a $10,000 transfer to the no-fee True Line Mastercard accrues about $649.5 in interest: $0 during its first 6 months (0% balance transfer promotion) and $649.5 for the rest of the year (12.99% on balance transfers).
The same example using MBNA’s True Line Gold card would result in only about $449.5 in interest payments over a year: $0 during its first 6 months (0% balance transfer promotion) and $449.5 for the rest of the year (8.99% on balance transfers). That’s a savings of $200, which eclipses the $39 annual fee.