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Thursday, August 10, 2006

MBNA Credit Card Not Worth Having

I will spare you the even longer more boring story, but to sum up, I purchased some big-ticket items with my MBNA LL BEAN PLATINUM VISA and afterwards went to register the product's with Visa's warranty protection. I was informed that MBNA "does not participate" in this Visa benefit. What?! So then I spent a lot of time on the phone with Visa trying to figure out what was going on, because I have used this very feature (when the fridge and DVD player broke in the same week, back in 2002 or so) and because of the benefit, that's why I put all of my expensive stuff on that card, such as Ryan's laptop, computer printers, and appliances.

Oddly, MBNA has continually raised my credit limit on this card so that it is now almost my yearly take-home pay. Way higher than most people with higher incomes even get, and way higher than my limit on other cards. So it's not just that I had the wrong kind of card or not high enough level. Evidently they did this for everyone. They supposedly sent out a letter informing customers that this benefit would be dropped. I'm one of those people who actually reads the small print enclosed in statements and I never saw any notice. While I was googling to find out about this problem, I found this post from another guy who also never got their supposedly sent letter. This seems like a class action waiting to happen.

There are 2 ironic things in this story though-1 is that I had another Visa card in my wallet which I would normally use because I get Amazon points (through Chase bank) and that card would have provided warranty extension but I didn't use it because it didn't say the word "platinum" on it which I thought was key. The second is that after I went the trouble to return the items and buy them back again on the Chase card, I found out that 1 item has a 3 year warranty anyway! (The store's ad said it only had 1 year thus prompting this whole warranty-extension madness in the first place).

Anyway, I am boring even myself as I type this but bottom line, I wanted to warn my friends that if you have MBNA, they SUCK and you should use another card. I recommend the Chase card and I recommend registering your big-ticket stuff with Visa. You send Visa copies of the receipt & warranty and if something ever breaks, they double the warranty for you, reimbursing your repair bills if paid on Visa. It's a protection benefit you already have through your card so you might as well make it work for you. Just don't get MBNA!

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