MBNA True Line Mastercard review: The best no fee, low interest credit card in Canada

Craig Sebastiano
by Craig Sebastiano January 20, 2020 / No Comments

While collecting points or cash back on a rewards card has its appeal, it’s not necessarily the right financial move for everyone.

Rewards credit cards have high annual interest rates (typically 19.99%), and if you’re strapped for cash or can’t quite manage to pay off your balance in full every month, they can actually cost you more in interest than they’d earn you in rewards.

Enter the MBNA True Line Mastercard – the complete package for anyone looking to save on credit card interest and fees.

The card has no annual fee and one of the lowest fixed interest rates on purchases in the country – a big plus if you regularly carry a balance from month to month.

MBNA True Line Mastercard – At a glance

  • $0 annual fee
  • Standard annual interest rate of 12.99% on purchases and balance transfers
  • Interest rate of 24.99% on cash advances
  • Around the clock protection against fraudulent charges
  • Note: Interest rate varies for residents of Quebec

Low standard interest rate

The MBNA True Line Mastercard’s regular annual interest rate on new card purchases (and balance transfers after 10 months) is just 12.99%, about a third lower than the 19.99% rate that regular credit cards charge. Over time, that makes a huge difference in how much interest you have to pay.

For instance, here’s how the numbers would play out on a typical credit card versus the MBNA True Line Mastercard if you:

  • Racked up a $4,000 balance
  • Gradually pay it off in monthly instalments of $250
 Typical credit card  MBNA True Line
Interest rate 19.99% 12.99%
Balance $4,000 $4,000
Your monthly payments $250 $250
Months until your balance is paid 19 18
Total interest owed $690 $416

Annual fees and income requirements

One of the best things about the MBNA True Line Mastercard is that there’s no annual fee. Zero. Zilch. Nada. That means you can come out ahead by not having to pay a fee every year. For comparison’s sake, most low interest credit cards from the big banks with comparable rates do charge an annual fee (typically between $20 to $39).

You also won’t need to meet specific income requirements to qualify for the MBNA True Line Mastercard. The main eligibility requirements for this card are that you’re a resident of Canada and you’ve reached the age of majority in your province or territory.


Additional perks

Besides a lower interest rate and no annual fee, there are some other perks that come with the card. For example, if you use your card to rent a car at participating Avis and Budget locations, you can save a minimum of 10% off the base rental rates in Canada and the United States. And you can save a minimum of 5% internationally at participating locations.

Another great perk this card comes with is Mastercard Zero Liability. Because you hold a Mastercard, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized purchases made with your card online, over the phone, in store, via a mobile device, or automated teller machine transaction. Note that some conditions do apply.


Drawbacks

While the MBNA True Line is arguably the best low interest credit card in Canada with no annual fee, it does have some minor drawbacks.

For one, while the card’s annual interest rate on purchases and balance transfers is low, the rate on cash advances is 24.99%. Secondly, as you would expect from a no fee card with low interest card, the MBNA True Line doesn’t offer much in the way of frills or rewards – which, truth be told, aren’t things you should be chasing if your primary goals are to save on interest and get out of the red.

The bottom line

The MBNA True Line Mastercard has everything you need in a low interest card: a low 12.99% standard interest rate on purchases and balance transfers, along with no annual fee.


MBNA True Line Mastercard – Quick review

The Pros

  • There’s no annual fee
  • The standard annual interest rate is only 12.99% (which is the lowest fixed rate for a no fee card and seven percentage points less than the typical interest credit card interest rate of 19.99%)
  • You can add up to nine authorized card users with no additional fee

The Cons 

  • While the annual interest rate on purchases and balance transfers is low, the rate on cash advances is 24.99%

* Interest rate examples and calculations are for illustrative purposes only and assume no changes in daily spending activity.


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