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Battle of the Best Credit Cards: Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite vs. BMO World Elite

The BMO Rewards program has changed read here for the updates effective Jan. 15, 2018. In addition, the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite is no longer taking applications. Check out our list of the best travel credit cards in Canada for other options.

Travelling to new places and having new experiences are some of the best parts of life. But as anyone with a demanding career knows, it can be hard to find the time and money to make your travel dreams a reality. Fortunately, there are several travel rewards credit cards designed for working professionals that offer points redeemable for free flights, hotels and accommodations.

Here’s a quick comparison of the two best travel credit cards for Canadians with annual incomes of more than $70,000 to $80,000 per year: the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard and the BMO World Elite MasterCard.

At first glance, these two credit cards are very similar. They have the same rewards structure and their travel miles have the same value ($0.01 per mile). The biggest difference is the BMO World Elite MasterCard offers an annual Priority Pass Membership, which is valued at over US$200. This feature makes the BMO World Elite MasterCard a strong card… but is it the best card? Let’s look at a detailed monthly spending profile to see which card comes out on top.

Now let’s look at the value of the rewards earned with both credit cards when we apply this monthly spending profile to each one.

Card details

  • Annual fee: $150 (waived for first year)
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per dollar on travel, dining and entertainment purchases; 2 points per dollar on everything else
  • Earn 35,000 bonus points (value: $250) when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months
  • VIP lounge access with the included Mastercard Airport Experiences membership, plus 4 complimentary passes per year

If you look at the sign-up bonuses, the BMO World Elite card comes short by $200. But what puts this past the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite is the US$207 Priority Pass Membership that comes with this card. Therefore if you find value in private airport lounges, then the $200 loss is definitely worth it.

*Note: the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite MasterCard is no longer offered as of November 2017

The $400 sign-up bonus more than offsets the $150 annual fee but that is not enough to come out on top. In the first year, the Capital One Aspire Travel World Elite has return equal to $994, which is a few dollars less than the BMO card’s return.

It’s important to remember that the comparison above is based off a very specific spending profile, and both of these are among the best credit cards in Canada today. To be sure that either of these cards is the one for you, fill out your spending profile on our website and see which card comes out on top.

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