Credit Cards

Amazon Mastercard by MBNA

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  • Sep 3rd, 2019 5:41 pm
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jacnel wrote:
Aug 18th, 2019 7:41 pm
Don't like the mbna brand? They still exist in the UK so I assume they'll probably continue here.
Yeah, that doesn't really mean anything. It's a dated brand name that means absolutely nothing. All of its brand value is in the different brands/flavours of their credit cards. Lloyds Banking Group owns MBNA in the UK, but there's nothing saying they might decide to rebrand it. (They have a lot of divisions.) In Australia, I forget who owns them...Bank of America retained the U.S. division, but I believe it was absorbed by the Bank of America brand. Initially, they renamed the subsidiary FIA Card Services, which was a modest improvement, but had little brand value. ;)

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Doug
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dekvitaly wrote:
Aug 19th, 2019 3:13 am
MBNA was sold across Canada/USA/UK so they are no longer connected. The brand is kept under a negotiation only, at which the parent company will kill it anytime.

This happens a lot. i.e. Virgin Mobile Canada is no where connected to Virgin Mobile Australia/UK for instance.
Safeway Canada (West Coast) is Sobeys while Safeway USA sold to Albertson's. Again, brand is kept only for a lame reason
It really depends if Bank of America retained ownership of the MBNA trademark in Canada, Europe, and Australia. In the case of Safeway, Safeway U.S. sold them the Canadian trademarks so Sobeys is free to do with it as they please - they just can't enter other world markets with that trademark (i.e., the U.S.) since they only own it in Canada.

Sears was an example of what you refer to whereby the Sears brand and trademark reverted to the parent company with the Canadian subsidiary's bankruptcy. The parent company has since gone bankrupt. And, at any rate, it's hard to believe Sears has any meaningful brand value left.

Virgin was a good example whereby the parent company retains global rights and licenses, by way of an agreement, to each of the buyers in the respective countries. Even in that case, though, such agreements can be irrevocable and only revert to the parent company in the event that the Canadian buyer is ultimately dissolved.

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Doug
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dekvitaly wrote:
Aug 19th, 2019 3:13 am
MBNA was sold across Canada/USA/UK so they are no longer connected. The brand is kept under a negotiation only, at which the parent company will kill it anytime.

This happens a lot. i.e. Virgin Mobile Canada is no where connected to Virgin Mobile Australia/UK for instance.
Safeway Canada (West Coast) is Sobeys while Safeway USA sold to Albertson's. Again, brand is kept only for a lame reason
Update: Just checked...as I suspected, 'mbna' is owned in Canada by The Toronto-Dominion Bank. (Note the 'current owner'.)

https://www.ic.gc.ca/app/opic-cipo/trdm ... &posNum=15

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Doug
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dmehus wrote:
Aug 18th, 2019 6:16 pm
Yeah, wouldn't mind seeing the MBNA brand disappear once and for all under the new owners. That's actually why I think they'll discontinue the affinity and sports cards because the affinity cards catalogue uses a previous iteration of the website and it keeps shrinking. Likewise, I suspect Scotia, already having an NHL sponsorship deal for debit cards, will pick up branding rights for the NHL credit cards. They'll probably pick up CFL while they're at it, too. ;)

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Doug
Scotia no longer issues NHL debit cards.
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Here2day2 wrote:
Aug 19th, 2019 6:26 pm
Scotia no longer issues NHL debit cards.
Hrm, interesting. That surprises me. That said, I maintain my position that mbna will soon purge the low volume NHL credit cards from their portfolio. Well, not purge the accounts, but rather reposition them into Platinum Plus or Smart Cash cards. ;)

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Doug
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dmehus wrote:
Aug 19th, 2019 9:09 pm
Hrm, interesting. That surprises me. That said, I maintain my position that mbna will soon purge the low volume NHL credit cards from their portfolio. Well, not purge the accounts, but rather reposition them into Platinum Plus or Smart Cash cards. ;)

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Doug
Those MBNA NHL, CFL, University and several other of their affinity cards are already standard MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus cards - some with what is nothing more than a logo on the front to differentiate them from the run-of-the-mill non-affinity card - the university cards provide a small extra bonus to the school (and similar for Legion, Nurses Assoc).
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robsaw wrote:
Aug 20th, 2019 2:54 pm
Those MBNA NHL, CFL, University and several other of their affinity cards are already standard MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus cards - some with what is nothing more than a logo on the front to differentiate them from the run-of-the-mill non-affinity card - the university cards provide a small extra bonus to the school (and similar for Legion, Nurses Assoc).
Yeah, @robsaw, but they don't make any money for the credit card issuer. Many banks are doing away with such affinity cards, as Vancity Community Investment Bank did by doing away with Oxfam and Amnesty International Visas and rebranding them as Shared Interest Visas. I expect MBNA to do something similar. Prior to withdrawing from Canada, Chase Canada did this by doing away with the Canadian Cancer Society MasterCard.

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Doug
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dmehus wrote:
Aug 20th, 2019 9:52 pm
Yeah, @robsaw, but they don't make any money for the credit card issuer. Many banks are doing away with such affinity cards, as Vancity Community Investment Bank did by doing away with Oxfam and Amnesty International Visas and rebranding them as Shared Interest Visas. I expect MBNA to do something similar. Prior to withdrawing from Canada, Chase Canada did this by doing away with the Canadian Cancer Society MasterCard.

Cheers,
Doug
They make exactly (or at worst nearly) the same money as they do off their regular MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus card, which is merchant fees and customer interest payments. The NHL and CFL cards provide nothing but a logo and a "special" link to redeem points for team-affiliated merchandise at the same rate for rewards redemptions as if it was any other reward. The universities and some of the other affinities get a tiny "donation" from MBNA. So, yes, there is an increased cost for maintaining and managing these sorts of cards but the economic equation is based upon the utility of that branding in getting customers that would otherwise not sign-up for an MBNA card. The real question is whether the typical customer for these affinity cards utilizes them enough to generate enough merchant revenue or pays low-risk interest on carried debt to make it worthwhile in light of the incremental costs. I don't think any of us have the information to answer that question except by speculation.
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robsaw wrote:
Aug 21st, 2019 12:20 pm
They make exactly (or at worst nearly) the same money as they do off their regular MBNA Rewards Platinum Plus card, which is merchant fees and customer interest payments. The NHL and CFL cards provide nothing but a logo and a "special" link to redeem points for team-affiliated merchandise at the same rate for rewards redemptions as if it was any other reward. The universities and some of the other affinities get a tiny "donation" from MBNA. So, yes, there is an increased cost for maintaining and managing these sorts of cards but the economic equation is based upon the utility of that branding in getting customers that would otherwise not sign-up for an MBNA card. The real question is whether the typical customer for these affinity cards utilizes them enough to generate enough merchant revenue or pays low-risk interest on carried debt to make it worthwhile in light of the incremental costs. I don't think any of us have the information to answer that question except by speculation.
I'm not disputing what they make, but there are added costs to maintaining a dramatically shrinking customer base of those cards, which are hardly market-leading let alone competitive. As you noted, the institutions are paid a commission or donation of sorts per sign-up and/or per transaction, which is not the most significant cost. You have to add in product marketing costs, costs related to staff ongoing training and product knowledge (so as to answer product-related questions, etc.), and servicing costs with respect to things like statement preparation service providers having to ensure that the statement templates are updated with the templates provided by mbna.

When the portfolio shrinks to the extent it is, I'm just saying, there's very little incentive for them to continue to maintain it.

As far as speculation, nothing wrong with that. It's all we have due to lack of granular transparency on the part of the issuers, but I can say that mbna Canada's card portfolio has shrunk by at least 50% from the purchase date. So, logically, we can speculate that the affinity cards would've shrunk as well. And they've always made up the smallest number of total mbna customers.

Long story short: mbna is a dying credit card issuer, with declining outstanding balances and increasing fees to try and offset for the loss of interest income from the lower outstanding balances and lower number of customers.

Cheers,
Doug
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So I got a letter from MBNA telling me that they couldn't extend me more credit and that's why they've reallocated money from my (completely unused drawer queen) SmartCash card to this one. It just seems odd that the letter saying this was sent... two months?... after I got the card...

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