If you want a credit card with more benefits and less fees than any other on the market, you'll need to take a Quantum leap. "Only for the select few. Only from MBNA." So goes the slogan for the new top of the line Quantum Card.
Recommend this product?
MBNA America stands firmly in second place, only behind Citibank, as the top issuer of credit cards in the US (by outstandings). As a former employee of MBNA America (6 1/2 long years!), and a cardholder in good standing, I was among the first wave of customers to upgrade my Platinum Plus card to the new Quantum card.
I remember when MBNA first came out with the Platinum card concept. I was working there at the time and it was a big deal. It was supposed to be the new standard in benefits and services, offering customers special treatment and enhanced features. Well, now every company has Platinum cards. Time for the next big thing, and MBNA has come through and raised the bar again.
-- What is the big deal about the Quantum Card? --
• The Object
To provide service beyond the customers' expectations.
• The Look
The card itself is translucent with a pale gray tone. It is somewhat lighter than a regular plastic credit card. The magnetic strip on the back is a matching color instead of the usual black. It's kind of strange looking and it feels a bit cheap. But, it's Quantum. :)
-- The Terms --
• APR: Ranges from 11.99% - 13.99%
I have the Quantum MasterCard that carries an 13.99% fixed rate with a 2.9% promo rate for the first 5 months. I have heard that some people are getting pre-approved mail offers at 11.99%, but with no promo rate. Quantum is also available in the Visa card. The APR also applies to cash advances, which is pretty rare. Usually cash advances are a higher rate.
• Promo Rate: 2.9%
I have a 2.9% promo rate for the first 5 months on everything, including purchases and cash advances. This is very rare. If you make a late payment or miss a payment you will lose your promo rate.
• Credit Line: $15,000 - $250,000 and then some
The credit lines on Quantum run from a minimum of $15,000 up to $250,000. Additionally, it is possible to withdraw up to $1,000,000 via check from a pre-approved line of credit attached to the account. Of course, not all of us will be approved for the $1,000,000 credit line.
Since the minimum credit line is $15,000, those with poor credit or no credit need not apply. This card is aimed at people with excellent credit scores and higher than average levels of income.
• Grace Period: Yes
The card has a 25-day grace period, so I can pay off my balances without paying any finance charges.
• Fees? Nice Surprise!
There is no annual fee, no application fee, no balance transfer fees, no foreign exchange fees, and no cash advance fees! There are late fees and overlimit fees of $29. However, I have seen some pre-approved offers without even late payment fees and overlimit fees! Amazing!
So, I can take out, in cash, my full available credit line with no fees at all at just 2.9%. Hmmm, anyone got any stock tips? ;)
-- The Benefits --
OK, this might take awhile, because this card has got benefits to the max and they are all FREE!
• 100% Fraud Protection - 0% Liability
This is actually the new standard in place for all Visa and MasterCards, however, Quantum will extend this protection to your additional line of credit as well.
• Concierge Service
Called Quantum Assist, this service will cater to your every whim. Do you need dinner reservations in the next hour? Are you looking for a pearl handled hammer? Do you need an event catered? The concierge service is free to Quantum cardholders. Naturally, you'll be charging the cost of the items or events on the card. And don't expect the lowest price, this is not a bargain hunting service.
The Concierge can be accessed by phone, or online, 24 hours a day. The online forms are nice, and allow you to specify any budgetary constraints. There is a nice assortment of floral arrangements and gift baskets available right on the site with just a click.
• 15 Minute Credit Line Increase Decisions
Don't have quite enough available credit to charge that Masserati? No problem, one call and you'll know if you're driving or walking in 15 minutes.
• Credit Card Guardian
This service will allow you to register every single credit card you have allowing one call to a 24/7 800# to handle all the details in the event that any of your cards are ever lost or stolen, no matter who the issuer. Additionally, this benefit provides "Traveler's Message Service" which allows your friends and family to leave messages for you at the 800# while you are traveling, and visa versa. Very nice. This service is provided by Cedant Corp.
• Quantum Travel Services
Use this benefit (an offshoot of MBNA's own Palladian Travel Services agency) for planning and booking your next adventure. There is a special area on the Quantum website with exclusive offers and upgrades available to Quantum cardmembers. Currently, the only offers on the site are high-end trips such as an African safaris and a trip to the Four Season's in Hawaii. I wish.
• Travel Accident Insurance
Quantum covers you for $1,000,000 in travel accident insurance when you purchase the full price of your common carrier ticket on the card. That's $1,000,000 for the cardholder and spouse, and $50,000 for each dependent child.
• Trip Interruption and Trip Cancellation Insurance
Quantum goes above and beyond by also including coverage in the event that you need to cancel or interrupt your trip for medical reasons. The travel plans must have been booked through Quantum Travel Services in order to be eligible for this coverage. This benefit covers to total cost of the trip, but there is a limitation of $15,000 per person.
Additionally, if your trip is delayed by over 12 hours due to inclement weather, technical difficulties, or a strike, you can get reimbursed up to $500 per person for meals, lodging, and other related expenses.
If your bags are delayed by the airline for more than 24 hours, you can be reimbursed up to $500 per person for the cost of necessary personal effects. I don't know about you, but I can't go anywhere without my large size bottle of Escape perfume and related accoutrements. Heh.
• Supplemental Lost Luggage Coverage
This is also a standard benefit on most Gold and Platinum cards. Your luggage is covered for up to $3,000 for you and any immediate family member traveling with you.
• Medical Expense Coverage
If you become sick or injured while traveling you are covered up to $10,000 per person for medical expenses. If you need to be evacuated to an emergency facility due to serious illness, you are covered up to $25,000 per person.
• Emergency Medical and Legal Referrals
This is another benefit from MasterCard, and will refer you to English speaking professional help when you need it while traveling. They will help find transportation and contact your family, if you desire. They will also be able to refer you to the appropriate United States consulates and embassies.
• Purchase Protection and Extended Warranty
This is a standard benefit on Gold and Platinum cards as well. Most of the items you purchase will be covered for 90 days against theft or damage, and the manufacturers warranty will be extended for up to an additional year. This coverage is provided through MasterCard. Be sure to save all receipts, including the charge receipt, in order to pursue this coverage.
• Supplemental Automobile Rental Insurance
Just charge the full price of your car rental on the Quantum card, and you are insured for up to $50,000. This coverage is through MasterCard.
• Members Only Website
The Quantum site is intuitive and packed full of information, both general and specific to your account. It is a member's only website.
In order to get financial information on your Quantum card, you are linked into MBNAnetaccess, MBNA's existing account information site. This requires an additional log in and is slightly inconvenient. MBNAnetaccess has been significantly improving its functionality over the past year. It now ranks very highly compared to other credit card issuer's online sites.
• Online Wallet
A feature in the website, this allows you to shop online and more through the Quantum portal. This service is in partnership with a company called Brodia and will receive email offers for you, store passwords, fill in forms, and keep records of your purchases. I chose the option of keeping the offers coming only into my Quantum mailbox and not to my normal email. You can also choose not to receive offers at all and/or block any senders you want. This is sort of cool, but nothing earth shattering.
-- How to get a Quantum Card --
• If you already have an account with MBNA...
Make sure your credit line is at least $15,000 and call them and ask to upgrade to Quantum. Depending on your credit score, you may be able to have the Quantum in your hands in less than a couple of weeks.
• If you have received an offer for a Quantum card...
What are you waiting for? :)
• If you do not currently have an account with MBNA and you have not received an offer for the Quantum card in the mail...
It might be worth a call to see if you can apply. It is my understanding that they are not taking unsolicited applications, but it doesn't hurt to try.
-- In Conclusion --
I have been a cardholder of MBNA for over 8 years. I enjoy their commitment to the customer. In fact, in each MBNA facility, you will see "Think of Yourself as the Customer" embossed over every doorway, and it is ingrained in every employee who works there. It is MBNA's mission to put the customer first, and in my experience, they usually succeed.
With the Quantum card, MBNA is raising the bar on benefits, services, and terms for customers with excellent credit. It will be interesting to see how the other credit issuers will respond.
If you can get your hands on the Quantum, go for it! The benefits and terms are truly outstanding.
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