National Bank of Canada has announced some changes that will be coming to their Platinum and World Elite Mastercards as of September 1. Both cards will see revised earn rates and some slight changes to the insurance provided on them. While the World Elite Mastercard will also see its annual travel credits benefit changed as well.
National Bank of Canada World Elite Mastercard Changes
As of September 1st the National Bank of Canada World Elite Mastercard will undergo changes for earn rates, insurance and travel expense benefits.
Earn Rate Changes
The card will move from its current 1.5 to 2 points per dollar earned to the following:
- 5 points per dollar in eligible purchases for Groceries and restaurants until a total of $2500 in gross monthly purchases is charged to the
account, regardless of the purchase category. After that, you will earn 2
points per dollar in eligible grocery and restaurant purchases.
- 2 points per dollar in purchases for Gas and electric vehicle charging, Recurring bill payments and À la carte Travel.
- 1 point per dollar for all other purchases
As you can see they have matched the likes of the American Express Cobalt Card, BMO Eclipse Visa, MBNA Rewards World Elite Mastercard and Scotiabank Gold American Express Card with a 5x points earn rate for groceries for dining. The difference BNC has set with their 5x points is that it is only awarded within the first $2,500 in spending on the card each month and that’s all spending! So if you spend $2,000 on the card for other purchases before you make any grocery or dining purchases and then you spend $1,000 on groceries and dining you would only earn 5x points on $500 of the groceries and dining. The other $500 of groceries would only earn 2x points.
What’s key here though is the 2 points per dollar that remains in place once you hit that $2,500 in spending. Most other cards when you hit the cap will move to the base earn rate and not retain an accelerated earn like this.
The other categories that have accelerated earn rates such as gas, recurring bill payments and A la carte Travel are noteworthy as well. In particular the recurring bill payments at 2 points per dollar as this something the Cobalt card does not have (outside of streaming services) and it possibly more limited on cards like the MBNA Rewards World Elite which has 5x points on household utilities. Unlike some of the other cards in the market these 2 times points accelerators from National Bank do not have any spending caps.
So far all the earn rate changes are great especially if you spend a lot in those accelerated categories. However, if you were someone who grabbed this card to have higher earn rates on everyday purchases that don’t fall into those categories these changes will not be so great for you as the earn rate drops from 1.5 to 2 points down to 1 point per dollar spent. If this is your case you may be interested in the National Bank of Canada World Mastercard as it will retain higher base earn rates.
There will be slight changes to the insurance benefits package on the World Elite Mastercard. It will see the addition of mobile device coverage for two years (up to $1,000) and the removal of personal effects coverage on rental vehicles.
Travel Expense Benefit Changes
One of the most popular features of the BNC World Elite Mastercard was its annual travel expense benefit. It provided up to $250 in credits that were split among three options:
- Airport parking (maximum $100)
- Baggage fees (maximum $100)
- Seat selection (maximum $50)
So while $250 looked good on paper the requirement of that benefit being split among those three options meant that is was sometimes difficult to actually maximize the full $250. What National Bank has done now is lowered that $250 maximum to $150 but no longer has a split requirement and they have added more travel options as to what the benefit can be used on:
Maximum annual reimbursement: $150
Eligible travel expenses (no maximum per category):
- Airport parking
- Baggage fees
- Seat selection
- Access to airport lounges
- Airline ticket upgrades
Even though the overall credit is $100 less than before I have hunch very few cardmembers actually maxed out all three categories to earn the full $250. They most likely ended up with an amount quite a bit lower than that. Now that there is no maximum per category and we see more categories it should be easier for the majority of the cardholders to maximize this benefit and earn the full $150 being offered. I do also want to note this is still $50 more than any similar cards in the market that offer credits like this.
National Bank of Canada Platinum Mastercard Changes
As of September 1 the National Bank of Canada Platinum Mastercard will undergo changes for earn rates, annual fee and insurance coverage.
Earn Rate Changes
The card will move from its current 1 point per dollar earned to the following:
- 2 points per dollar in eligible purchases for Groceries and restaurants until a total of $1000 in gross monthly purchases is charged to the
account, regardless of the purchase category. After that, you will earn 1.5 points per dollar in eligible grocery and restaurant purchases.
- 1.5 points per dollar in purchases for Gas and electric vehicle charging, Recurring bill payments and À la carte Travel.
- 1 point per $1.50 for all other purchases
Just like the World Elite card they have move to the same accelerated earn rate categories with 1.5 to 2 points earning in those categories. However just like the World Elite Card the base earn takes a hit on this card as well by now offering 1 points for every $1.50 spent.
Annual fee changes
The annual fee for this card is being lowered from $89 to $70.
The Platinum Card sees a few more changes to its insurance benefits package that the World
Elite Mastercard does. Like the World Elite card it sees the addition of mobile device coverage for
two years (up to $1,000) and the removal of personal effects coverage
on rental vehicles. However the card also sees a reduction in the coverage amounts for Trip cancellation insurance ($1,250 down to $1,000) and Trip interruption insurance ($2,500 down to $1,500)
Wrapping it up
National Bank is making changes to their World Elite and Platinum Mastercards in September. The changes to the World Elite Card see it joining the growing ranks of 5x points cards! The question you may ask, is it a true 5x points card? And the answer is yes and no. It will depend on how you redeem for your travel. If you redeem for travel via National Bank’s a La Carte travel agency then yes this is a true 5x points card however if you choose the book travel anywhere and redeem points against the charge option it is not a true 5x points card. I recommend reading When earning 5x points isn’t the same as earning 5x points – a loyalty lesson for the back story on true 5x points cards!
Overall these changes mostly positive to these cards, you have to opportunity to earn a lot more points on these cards if you make use of the accelerated earn rate categories and despite the World Elite travel expense benefit being cut by $100, the $150 it will offer now is much easier and more flexible to come by.
You can learn more about and apply for each card with these links: