Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are so far the most widely researched stem cells in clinics and used as an experimental cellular therapy module, particularly in cardiac regeneration and repair. Ever since the discovery of cardiomyogenesis induction in MSCs, a wide variety of differentiation protocols have been extensively used in preclinical models. However, pre differentiated MSC-derived cardiomyocytes have not been used in clinical trials; highlighting discrepancies and limitations in its use as a source of derived cardiomyocytes for transplantation to improve the damaged heart function. Therefore, this review article focuses on the strategies used to derive cardiomyocytes-like cells from MSCs isolated from three widely used tissue sources and their differentiation efficiencies. We have further discussed the role of MSCs in inducing angiogenesis as a cellular precursor to endothelial cells and its secretory aspects including exosomes. We have then discussed the strategies used for delivering cells in the damaged heart and how its retention plays a critical role in the overall outcome of the therapy. We have also conversed about the scope of the local and systemic modes of delivery of MSCs and the application of biomaterials to improve the overall delivery efficacy and function. We have finally discussed the advantages and limitations of cell delivery to the heart and the future scope of MSCs in cardiac regenerative therapy. Graphical abstract: [Figure not available: see fulltext.] © 2021, The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature.