Upcoming Changes to MBNA Alaska Airlines Mastercards

Last fall, MBNA closed off applications to its pair of Alaska Airlines co-branded credit cards.

In June 2023, it was revealed that as of September 1, 2023, MBNA’s Alaska Airlines co-branded cards would cease to exist entirely, and cardholders would instead be transitioned to the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard and the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard.

In a letter sent out to legacy Alaska Airlines co-branded cardholders, MBNA released details of transition offers that award a welcome bonus upon meeting a minimum spending requirement.

MBNA’s Transition Offers for Legacy Alaska Airlines Cardholders

As of September 1, 2023, both the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard and the MBNA Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard will officially be discontinued. 

At that point, legacy cardholders will automatically be transitioned to the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard and the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard, respectively.

Existing MBNA Alaska World Elite Mastercards will be converted to MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercards

A letter sent out to legacy cardholders has revealed that MBNA is offering a welcome bonus as part of the transition to the new cards.

Legacy cardholders of the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard can earn 20,000 MBNA Rewards points upon spending $2,000 (CAD) between September 1 and November 30, 2023.

For context, the current welcome offer on the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard is for up to 30,000 MBNA Rewards points, structured as follows:

  • Earn 20,000 MBNA Rewards points upon spending $2,000 in the first three months
  • Earn 10,000 MBNA Rewards points for opting into electronic statements

Legacy cardholders of the MBNA Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard can earn 5,000 MBNA Rewards points upon spending $500 (CAD) between September 1 and November 30, 2023.

For context, the current welcome offer on the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard is as follows:

  • Earn 5,000 MBNA Rewards points upon spending $500 (CAD) in the first three months
  • Earn 5,000 MBNA Rewards points for opting into electronic statements

It’s worth noting that the welcome bonuses for new cardholders are superior to those available through the transition offer, especially since it only requires opting in for electronic statements.

Coming Soon: Transfer MBNA Rewards to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan

When MBNA announced that it would discontinue the co-branded Alaska Airlines credit cards entirely, it also hinted that it wasn’t the end of the relationship between it and Alaska Airlines.

Currently, MBNA Rewards points can be redeemed at a value of 1 cent per point against travel purchases. It’s also possible to redeem them for gift cards, merchandise, and cash back.

At some point in the next year, MBNA Rewards is expected to become Canada’s newest transferable points currency, as MBNA has teased that MBNA Rewards points will be transferable to Alaska miles at a 1:1 ratio.

The exact details about this change have yet to be released, and we don’t yet know the date from which it’ll be possible to transfer MBNA Rewards into Alaska miles.

Once the change occurs, the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard will strengthen its position in the ranks of Canada’s 5x rewards cards, since it earns 5 MBNA Rewards points per dollar spent on restaurants, groceries, digital media, membership, and utility purchases. 

Since Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan will become a transfer partner of MBNA Rewards, you’ll essentially have the ability to earn 5 Alaska miles per dollar spent on the aforementioned categories, which is outstanding.

Despite some recent devaluations and a move towards dynamic pricing, Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan still offers some compelling redemption sweet spots.

Redeem Alaska miles for Japan Airlines business class

Furthermore, without any other meaningful ways to access Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan in Canada, MBNA Rewards is set to burst onto the Canadian loyalty scene in earnest.

Conclusion

MBNA has sent out transition offers to legacy cardholders of the MBNA Alaska Airlines World Elite Mastercard and the MBNA Alaska Airlines Platinum Plus Mastercard, who will be transitioned to the MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard and the MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus Mastercard, respectively. 

By completing a minimum spending requirement in the first three months after the transition, legacy cardholders can earn 20,000 or 5,000 MBNA Rewards points, respectively.

While September 1, 2023 will officially mark the end of an Alaska Airlines co-branded credit card in Canada, at some point in the next year, MBNA Rewards will be transferable to Alaska Airlines Mileage Plan at a 1:1 ratio.

Further details about the changes to MBNA Rewards are expected in the near future.