Thursday, March 19, 2009

MBNA MasterCard and National Bank MasterCard

Some positive news credit card news lately in the mail. My MBNA Mastercard is now finally paid off. Whew! What a relief to be free of that card.

It was a tough go with much sacrifice to get there, but I'm glad it's now done. It won't make much difference in the short term monthly budget since the MBNA payment money will just be moved onto the TD visa. The TD visa is moving along pretty well so hopefully that will be wrestled to the ground sooner rather than later.

And after the TD visa there's still the TD loan. So a way to go still but this is a positive milestone along the way to being debt free. Debt is slavery.

With the MBNA paid off I wanted to get rid of it. I still use Mastercard and find it useful sometimes so I wanted to replace it with a new card. I'm now replacing the MBNA Mastercard with a National Bank Ultramar Mastercard.

With the Ultramar Mastercard I get an extra discount on gas. I generally go to Ultramar anyway and I'm already getting a 2 cents/litre discount using the Ultramar ValuMax card. So now I'll get an extra 2% discount on top of that on gas I was going to buy there anyway.

It was a bit of an adventure getting set up with National Bank. I applied through the mail back in November with a form they give out at all of the local Ultramar gas stations. I didn't think much more of it for a few weeks as I didn't hear anything of it. Then in late January I decided to call them and ask what the status was. The National Bank rep (who answered in French initially which was kind of amusing, but it's great he's Canadian) was helpful and said I needed to go to a local branch and present ID so they know that it was really me who applied for the card, and not someone posing as me.

The local "branch" as it turns out in Halifax is also the AltaMira office way downtown on Barrington Street. It wasn't too bad to get there for 8:30 AM opening and an occasional trip downtown is pleasant. The people there were more used to selling mutual funds and they are just learning the branch procedures. But they were helpful and enthusiastic. They took the information and my phone number and said they would follow up with head office and get back to me. Later that morning they did get back to me and it was all set up. After that I got the answer from National Bank in just a couple of weeks.

They ended up approving me and giving me a $1,000 balance on the card. I passed on paying $15 a year for 19% interest and instead went with no fee and 26% interest. I'm not really concerned about the interest rate since I plan to just pay as I go and use the card as a convenience and for the discounts on gas and other purchases such as Paypal and other online. This card is good if you never carry a balance because it's no fee and you even get a discount on purchases.

There's some other benefits to the National Bank Mastercard. They have epost billing so that's a good thing for convenience and to help the environment. Also they are Canadian, so whatever merchant fees come of my card purchases will stay in this country.

Although terminating with MBNA and starting fresh with a new Mastercard will scratch my credit rating a bit, I think it is a good move. I didn't have to cancel with MBNA but I chose to.

MBNA is an American company. A subsidiary of Bank of America. Which makes them also associated with Countrywide and Merrill Lynch. So right in there with the scummy subprime, predatory lending, alt-a, synthetic CDO, CDS, bailouts, fraud, TARP. I'm embarrassed to be associated with MBNA/Bank of America. Let the US taxpayer take care of MBNA/Bank of America because I don't want to.

The MBNA telemarketers are so offensive and they never go away. It helped when I changed phone numbers a few months ago. They haven't yet found my new number but I expect eventually they will and it will be back to MBNA telemarketer harassment. I don't want your stupid travel insurance, or disability insurance or balance protection insurance, or whatever other worthless garbage your MBNA telemarketers keep pestering me about. Just go away and never come back. By canceling it might help get rid of the MBNA telemarketers.

The thing about the MBNA card is what it represents. The MBNA represents the past. The lost financial years. The old ways. This is about severing another link to the past. Making a clean break and a new start.

So the MBNA card is now canceled and cut up. It was a small bit of work to switch over the automatic billing for macpass and paypal to the National Bank card but now that's done.

Goodbye and good riddance MBNA mastercard. You brought nothing but misery and hard times into my life. I look forward to never interacting with you again!

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