MBNA True Line® Mastercard® Review

This offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

Regular Balance Transfer Rate
Cash Advance Interest Rate
Purchase APR
Annual Fee
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
You could get a 0% promotional annual interest rate (“AIR”)† for 12 months on balance transfers✪ completed within 90 days of account opening

The MBNA True Line® Mastercard® is an ideal fit for those who want a no annual fee credit card that comes with competitive interest rates. Its standard purchase interest rate of 12.99% is about half of what most credit cards charge, so if you happen to periodically carry a balance from month to month you’ll at least be able to keep interest charges at a manageable level. Furthermore, the card’s balance transfer promotion of 0% for 12 months can help you get any outstanding balances you have with other credit cards under control.

Pros and Cons


  • Solid welcome offer: 12 months of 0% APR on balance transfers made within the first 90 days (plus a 3% transfer fee)
  • No annual fee or minimum income requirement
  • Low standard interest rate of 12.99% for all new purchases charged to the card
  • Some extra perks like fraud protection and a discount on car rentals


  • 3% balance transfer fee is comparatively high
  • Interest rate on transferred balances increases to 12.99% if you’re late on a payment
  • Very high cash advance interest rate of 24.99%
  • No insurance benefits
  • Can’t transfer a balance owed to either MBNA or TD

Balance Transfer Promotion

The MBNA True Line® Mastercard’s balance transfer promotion will likely be its biggest selling point for those looking to reduce their credit card debt. New cardholders can enjoy a 0% promotional annual interest rate for 12 months on any balance transfer completed within 90 days of opening the account. After 12 months the promotional rate ends and the interest rate increases to the standard balance transfer rate of 12.99%, which is still relatively low. Any balance still remaining from the transfer will be subject to the 12.99% rate. It’s important to note that if you miss a minimum payment, the promotional balance transfer rate will end on the first day of the second statement period and your 0% interest rate will jump to the regular 12.99%.

It’s also important to be aware that taking advantage of the balance transfer promotion is not free. You will be charged a transaction fee of 3% (minimum $7.50) of the dollar amount of each balance transfer that you initiate.

0% interest is certainly eye catching, and the MBNA True Line® Mastercard’s promotion length of 12 months is among the longest offered in Canada. But its balance transfer fee is also one of the highest among low interest credit cards, and though it’s a one-time fee it can nonetheless amount to a significant upfront cost. For example, if you were to transfer a balance of $5,000, you would pay a fee of $150. Before deciding to transfer a balance, it’s crucial to weigh the cost of that fee against the interest you would pay if you elected not to transfer the balance to your MBNA True Line® Mastercard®.

Fees and Interest Rates

Perhaps the most impressive aspect of the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® is that, despite its balance transfer promo and low purchase interest rate, the card doesn’t charge an annual fee.

Unfortunately, the card’s cash advance interest rate is a relatively high 24.99%, so it’s best to avoid using the card for cash advances (which are generally not advised with credit cards anyway, since interest starts accruing immediately). Other fees to be aware of are a 2.5% foreign transaction fee and a $29 fee for any statement period when you go over the credit limit.

Perks and Features

Aforementioned welcome offer and regular interest rates aside, other perks and features of the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® include:

  • Add up to 9 authorized users with no additional annual fee
  • Save a minimum 10% off base rental car rates in Canada and the U.S., and a minimum of 5% off base rental rates internationally on eligible car rentals at participating Avis and Budget locations
  • Cardholders can use available credit on their credit card to transfer funds directly to their chequing account. Interest rates will apply.
  • Around-the-clock fraud protection

How to Apply

You can click here to apply for the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®, where you’ll be taken to an application form. You’ll need to provide personal details like your date of birth and your contact and employment information.

MBNA True Line Mastercard application

If you want to take advantage of the balance transfer promotion you will need to include additional details like the payee name and account number from the credit card balance you want to be transferred. When you apply, there’s a section on the application called “Transfer to Credit Card” that allows you to move balances from up to three other credit cards onto your MBNA True Line® Mastercard®.

MBNA True Line Mastercard balance transfer

Note that if your requested balance transfers exceed your approved credit limit, balance transfer requests will be fulfilled in the order that you list them on the application form and any transfers that will exceed your credit limit will be automatically cancelled. You must complete the balance transfer transactions within 90 days of opening your account for them to be eligible for the welcome offer of 0% interest for 12 months. Any balance transfers made after the promotional period will be subject to the standard 12.99% rate.

Who Is Eligible?

To be eligible for the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® you must be a Canadian resident and have reached the age of majority in your province or territory. Furthermore, you should have a credit score in the range of fair to good. There is no minimum income requirement. Unfortunately, the balance transfer promotion offer is not available for residents of Quebec.

How It Compares

Credit CardMBNA True Line® Mastercard®CIBC Select Visa* CardScotiabank Value®
Visa* Card
Annual Fees$0$29 (first year rebate for primary cardholder and up to 3 authorized users)$29
Regular Interest Rates12.99% for purchases and balance transfers; 24.99% for cash advances13.99% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances12.99% for purchases, balance transfers, and cash advances
Balance Transfer Promotion 0% interest on balance transfers for 12 months + 3% transfer fee (min. $7.50)0% interest on balance transfers for 10 months + 1% transfer fee0.99% interest on balance transfers for 6 months with no balance transfer fee
PerksUp to 10% discount on Avis and Budget car rentals$100,000 Common Carrier Accident InsuranceDiscount of up to 25% off base rates at eligible AVIS and Budget locations in Canada and the U.S
Minimum Income RequiredNone$15,000 household income$12,000 personal income

Two Canadian credit cards that are worthy competitors of the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® are the CIBC Select Visa* Card and the Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card.

The CIBC Select Visa* Card features a low interest rate of 13.99% for purchases, which is a percent higher than the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®. However, unlike the True Line card, the CIBC Select Visa* Card offers this same low rate for cash advances as well, compared to MBNA’s sky-high rate of 24.99%. The CIBC card also features a balance transfer promotion of 0% interest for up to 10 months with a 1% transfer fee. The 1% fee is a better bargain than the True Line card’s 3% fee, however, the CIBC Select Visa* Card only lets you transfer up to 50% of your credit limit, whereas the MBNA card allows you to transfer up to your full credit limit. And unlike the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®, the CIBC Select Visa* Card does charge an annual fee of $29, though it’s rebated for the first year.

Like the MBNA True Line® Mastercard®, the Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card has a low purchase interest rate of 12.99%, however, unlike the True Line card, the 12.99% rate also applies to cash advances (which is almost 50% lower than what the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® charges).

The Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card also features a balance transfer promotion: New cardholders who transfer a balance (which can’t exceed their approved credit limit) get a 0.99% introductory interest rate for the first 6 months. While the interest rate and length of the promotion is not as good as True Line’s 0% interest rate for 12 months, the Scotia card doesn’t charge a transfer fee at all, which is a rarity among Canadian credit cards. So, when considering what card works best for you, you’ll need to figure out whether or not you can pay down your entire balance transfer amount in 6 months and whether the 0.99% interest rate will end up costing you less than a 3%, one-time transfer fee. You’ll also need to take into account the Scotiabank Value® Visa* Card’s annual fee of $29.

Final Word

If you’re looking for a low interest credit card, the MBNA True Line® Mastercard® offers a low purchase APR of 12.99%, as well as a good balance transfer promo with one of the longest promotion lengths (12 months) in the country. However, the 3% balance transfer fee can add up and definitely detracts from the money you could save by doing a balance transfer. For some people, it might be wise to first consider other balance transfer credit cards that feature a lower upfront transfer fee, even if the cards have a shorter interest free/low interest period, provided you can pay off the transferred balance within the promotional window. If you can’t pay off your balance during a short promo period, however, the MBNA True Line® Mastercard’s 12 months of 0% might be worth the 3% transfer fee. Finally, the card may also be a smart pick for those who don’t need a balance transfer promotion but just want a card with a low purchase interest rate and no annual fee.

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Author Bio

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, Forbes.com and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town. You can follow her on Twitter at @MacgregorWrites.