Today, I am going to review an underrated credit card called the National Bank World Elite MasterCard. I have been fairly critical of National Bank in my financial institution credit card rankings, but they do have a gem in their portfolio that holds value.
As usual, let’s start off with the highlights of the card before we touch on the features of the card.
- $150 annual fee (first year fee waived for applying before May 31, 2022)
- $50 for a supplementary cardholder (first year fee waived for applying before May 31, 2022)
- Earn 20,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first 3 months (for applying before May 31, 2022)
- Earn 1.5 points per dollar in purchases (on the first $0 to $40,000 in purchases in an anniversary year)
- Earn 2 points per dollar in purchases (on the next $40,001 to $80,000 in an anniversary year)
- Earn 1.5 points per dollar in purchases (on $80,001 and more in purchases in an anniversary year)
- Received $250 on seat selection, airport parking and baggage fees (annually)
- Receive unlimited access to the National Bank VIP Lounge at the Montreal Airport
- Travel insurance for up to 60 days
- Have at least $80,000 in personal annual income, $150,000 household income or have $400,000 asset under management. Or $25,000 in minimum purchases per year (existing client only)
The $150 annual fee for the primary and the $50 for the supplementary cardholder are fairly standard for a World Elite card. The real question is whether this annual fee is worthwhile year after year?
On a side note, there is currently a first year fee waived offer that runs until May 31, 2022. So if you have been thinking about trying this card out, now is as good a time as any!
Sign Up Bonus
There is a bit of a hit and miss with this promotion. Normally, there is no sign up bonus, but they do frequently (several times a year and covers a good chunk of the calendar year) offer a sign up bonus. The good news is that they usually combine the sign up bonus with a first year fee waived offer.
There is currently a 20,000 sign up bonus points offer that runs until May 31, 2022.
The 60 day travel insurance coverage is one of the highest in the credit card industry. This factor alone can make the card worthwhile to keep long term!
This is where a little math is required. Here are some sample rewards:
- Redeem 10,000 points for $100 credit for travel purchases
- Redeem 12,000 points for $100 contribution to a registered account
- Redeem for merchandise for lower points per cent
As a result, the best you can really do is 1 cent per point, which means earning 1.5 points per dollar is a 1.5% return. The 2% return is only for spending between $40,001 and $80,000. Here are some samples:
- $40,000 in spending nets 60,000 points (40,000 x 1.5) or $600 worth of points
- $80,000 in spending nets 140,000 points [(40,000 x 1.5) + (40,000 x 2)] or $1,400 worth of points
The real sweet spot in spending is $80,000 per anniversary year.
Travel Expense Credit
The $250 travel expense credit is really is big portion of what makes the annual fee worthwhile to pay at every renewal, as long as you can take advantage of what’s included as an expense:
- airport parking fees (maximum $100)
- baggage fees (maximum $100)
- seat selection fees (maximum $50)
Having unlimited access to the National Bank VIP Lounge at the Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL) is really what makes this card the most worthwhile. So anyone who can take advantage of the lounge several times a year (i.e. frequent departure or layover), it will more than justify the annual fee.
Though keep in mind that it is only the cardholder who can enter without a fee ($48.29 plus taxes per adult).
Overall, I think that this is a gem for National Bank. This is definitely a no brainer card to keep long term especially for someone who is able to frequently access the National Bank VIP Lounge. The travel expense credit and travel insurances are icing on the cake for me in my books.