Credit Cards: What Does Mbna Mean?

An explanation of the meaning of MBNA and a little bit about the company.

There are so many abbreviations and acronyms in the areas of finance and credit cards that it's no wonder the average consumer has trouble making sense of it all. One acronym that you'll see occasionally when you're looking for a credit card is MBNA. But what is it and what does it mean?

As you probably know, despite having official MasterCard or Visa logos on the front, the major credit cards that you can apply for are almost always affiliated with banks. When researching your options, you'll hear of Chase credit cards, the cards from which you may know are from Chase Manhattan Bank. You may hear of Capital One cards, which means the issued cards come from Capital One Bank. Like those, MBNA is the name of a corporate entity that issues credit cards. The full name of the company is MBNA Corporation, which is a bank and holding company, as well as the largest issuer of credit cards in the world.

MBNA Corporation is the parent company of MBNA America Bank, N.A., which is the United States division of MBNA Corporation. (The N.A. after MBNA America Bank stands for North America.) MBNA America has two subsidiaries, which are MBNA Europe and MBNA Canada Bank, which issue credit cards in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Spain, and Canada.



If you're wondering why the company is called MBNA, the truth is that the letters don't actually stand for anything in particular. Although the company does not have an official explanation on its Web site, it is true that MBNA once stood for Maryland Bank, National Association. The former MBNA was founded by Charles Michael Cawley, who started the company in a grocery store in Maryland in 1982. It eventually grew and expanded, and it is now based in Wilmington, DE - no longer in Maryland - and the corporate entity officially refers to itself as MBNA, merely by letters and not the original meaning behind those letters. So, the official company name is technically an acronym without meaning that originated from Maryland Bank National Association. Some online resources also refer to the originating entity as Maryland Bank North America.

According to current figures, Americans are indebted to MBNA Corporation by over $100 billion, making it second only to Citigroup as far as issuers of credit cards. As a corporation, MBNA is also the largest private employer in all of Delaware, claiming an astonishing ten thousand employees, and its New York Stock Exchange worth is over $30 billion.

Credit cards are not the only offering that MBNA has in its product line. The company also deals in loans, CDs and money markets for private consumers as well as businesses, though it is not unique among credit companies in having a wide selection of offerings. Interested consumers can visit the company's Internet Web site or call the informational phone number to learn more about its offerings. Researching each company's customer service and satisfaction history in online Web review sites are another good way to make decisions about a specific credit card.

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