Credit Card Articles

MBNA Canada Cards vs. Capital One Canada Cards

21 June 2011 by CreditCardsCo™

You have a lot of choices when it comes to new credit cards. If you are having trouble trying to decide which ones are best for you, maybe you should look first at the lending institutions that support them. In Canada, two of the most popular include MBNA Canada and Capital One.

While credit cards can appear similar there are often little differences that can affect your attraction to them. Sometimes these differences are as simple as which bank backs them.

The Facts

MBNA Canada Bank is the Canadian division of FIA Card Services. FIA Card Services is a subsidiary of Bank of America and is solely dedicated to handling the issuing and management of their credit cards. However, they once were an independent company that issued credit cards, specializing in affinity cards. While MBNA is, in fact, an American company, MBNA Canada has a headquarters in Ottawa, Ontario.

Alternately, Capital One Canada is still somewhat new to the financial market game. After all, their Canadian division is barely fifteen years old. However, what might appear to be a lack of experience can be deceiving since their credit card products, which are all they focus on in Canada, are quickly becoming very popular.

Although they may have also started working with other financial products, like auto loans, in the United States they are still primarily known as an innovative credit company. Now the eight largest deposit portfolio in the United States, Capital One aims to continue their success in Canada.

Credit Requirements

While you can spend all day looking at each benefit and comparing them the best place to start investigating is what kind of credit score you need to qualify for cards with MBNA Canada and Capital One Canada. The major difference between MBNA Canada and Capital One Canada is that MBNA credit cards seem to require a much better credit rating than Capital One does. This also seems to be consistent with the American equivalent of their products.

On average, MBNA credit cards require that you have, at least, "good" credit before you can be approved for one of their cards. While this is usually true of any credit card company, Capital One does offer several cards that are either designed for people with bad credit or are simply available to them.

At the same time, Capital One Canada also seems to offer more credit cards for "poor" credit ratings as well "excellent" ratings. Obviously this is a major disparity. However, this range of development might be the reason they have had such success: that they market to a wider variety of consumers and thus are able to attract more customers.

The Similarities

Side-by-side, MBNA Canada Credit Cards and Capital One Canada Cards are quite similar, but only in a few regards. When you are actually able to look closely, the disparities begin to expose themselves. However, next to each other you will see that both credit card issuers seem to appreciate:

  • The same low APR rate
  • Good credit on average
  • Benefits for world travellers
  • Affiliate partner savings

MBNA Credit Card Benefits

MBNA credit cards (both in the United States and Canada) are commonly very straightforward. They develop and offer financial products at a variety of income and need levels which feature many different benefits. Some of the most common benefits of MBNA credit cards include:

  • no annual fees
  • Extremely low introductory interest rates
  • Low or competitive standard interest rates
  • Affiliate partnerships with companies like Best Western, Starwood, Sony, and Pharaprix

Capital One Credit Card Benefits

It may appear that Capital One offers very similar benefits to MBNA but there are some sound differences. Capital One is very good at marketing specialty products, for example, and also seem to have a knack for attracting people who really want particular features.


Although their differences might be insignificant to you, you should consider what makes MBNA Canada cards and Capital One Canada cards stand out from each other. It could be the difference between the levels of satisfaction you feel at the end of the day.

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