MBNA and Best Western to End Relationship

Just last week, MBNA announced significant changes to the MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercard family. 

In a similar development, it looks like its hotel-affiliated cousin, the Best Western Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard, will soon be retired from the Canadian market entirely. MBNA and Best Western are set to end their relationship as of September 12, 2023.

MBNA Ends Relationship with Best Western

Recently, cardholders of the Best Western Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard have begun receiving letters dated June 19, 2023. Contained within are details that MBNA will be ending its relationship with Best Western as of September 12, 2023.

All existing Best Western Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercards will be converted into MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercards starting on September 13, 2023, with plastic cards to be mailed out to cardholders shortly thereafter.

What this means is that you can still earn Best Western Rewards points until September 12, 2023. However, after that, even if your Best Western co-branded card still works, it will be earning MBNA Rewards points instead.

It’s good to remember that since Best Western Rewards are administered by the eponymous hotel chain, your points are safe in your Best Western account, and they can continue to be redeemed for free stays whenever you so desire.

After September 13, 2023, you’ll start earning MBNA Rewards points at a rate of 1 point per dollar spent, except on merchants coding as restaurant, grocery, digital media, memberships, and household utilities, which each earn 2 points per dollar spent, up to a limit of $10,000 per calendar year per category.

There’s also a bevy of insurance coverage that comes with the card, such as mobile device protection, as well as a 10% birthday bonus each year, which gives you 10% of all points you’ve earned in a given year as a present, up to 10,000 bonus points.

Where Did All the Hotel Points Go?

Sadly, MBNA’s relationship with Best Western is set to terminate completely. This is in marked contrast to MBNA’s ongoing integration with the Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan ecosystem.

While cardholders will eventually be able to transfer MBNA Rewards points into Alaska miles at a 1:1 ratio, no such transfer relationship is set to continue with Best Western.

Perhaps the decision to sunset Best Western Rewards in Canada was a long time coming. After all, MBNA hasn’t really been marketing or pushing most of its co-branded or affinity products for a long time now.

Moreover, the Best Western Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard, which once upon a time offered excellent welcome bonuses of up to 60,000 Best Western Rewards points, has been stuck at a measly 20,000 points for several years now.

Canadians have now been left largely bereft of co-branded credit cards for earning hotel points

On top of this, Best Western doesn’t have the same footprint in Canada as it does in the United States.

It’s unfortunate that in Canada, a market that’s so addicted to summertime travel, the only options consumers are left with to earn hotel points are either transferable currencies, such as American Express Membership Rewards points, or the ever-reliable (and ever-devaluing) Marriott Bonvoy co-branded credit cards.

While Best Western wasn’t the best alternative to Marriott Bonvoy or Hilton Honors, it was the only co-branded alternative Canadians possessed within our home market. Now, consumers will be forced to either consolidate all their loyalty into the Bonvoy program – which has not been without critiques over the years – or to enter the lucrative American market if they want their fix of hotel points.


MBNA has announced the sunsetting of the Best Western Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard, and its replacement with the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard. The relationship is set to end as of September 12, 2023.

While this change might eventually offer interesting opportunities for cardholders to transfer MBNA Rewards points into Alaska miles, the lack of ability to continue earning hotel points directly is a shame. It also doesn’t appear that MBNA Rewards will be transferable to Best Western Rewards, so the only way to earn points going forward will be on hotel stays or US credit cards.

Here’s hoping the future brings brighter possibilities for hotel-affiliated credit cards in Canada.

Until next time, travel on points.

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