The Best BMO Credit Cards in Canada for 2019

Charlotte Sinclair
by Charlotte Sinclair July 10, 2019 / 1 Comment

Bank of Montreal (BMO), one of Canada’s big five banks, offers 13 different personal credit cards with a wide range of benefits.

Whether your financial priorities are earning cash back, saving points towards travel or a low interest rate, it’s easy to find a card that’s suited to your personal needs and spending habits. Below, we break down our picks of the best BMO credit cards for 2019.

The Best BMO Credit Cards in Canada

Credit Card Best BMO Card For Annual Fee
BMO World Elite MasterCard (View) Travel Points $150 (Waived for 1st Year)
BMO CashBack World Elite MasterCard (View) Cash Back $120 (Waived for 1st Year)
BMO CashBack MasterCard (View) No Annual Fees $0
BMO Air Miles World Elite (View) Air Miles $120 (Waived for 1st Year)
BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard (View) Low Interest $20
Shell CashBack World Mastercard (View) Gas $79


Best BMO Credit Card for Travel

BMO World Elite MasterCard

  • $150 annual fee (waived for the 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 ($140 value)

The BMO World Elite Mastercard is one of the best travel credit cards in Canada. You’ll earn three BMO Rewards points per dollar on travel, restaurant and entertainment-related purchases and two points on everything else, which you can redeem for flights on any airline with no blackout dates. You can even use your points to cover the cost of flight taxes and surcharges.

For context: 1 BMO Rewards point equals to $0.007 when redeemed for travel, so that works out to a strong return of between 2.1% and 1.4% on all your everyday purchases.

The BMO World Elite Mastercard also provides an excellent range of travel perks, including airport lounge access benefits with four free annual passes to Mastercard Airport Experiences, which opens up the door to over 800 airport lounges across the globe and on its own carries a value of $140. Cardholders also have access to a full suite of insurance coverage (emergency travel, travel accident, personal effects insurance, and more), with no limit on trips per year.

The icing on the cake: the card’s stacked welcome offer, which includes a first year annual fee waiver and 35,000 bonus points ($250 value) that is automatically added to your account when you spend $3,000 in your first three months.


Best BMO Credit Card for Cash Back

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard

  • $120 annual fee (waived for 1st year)
  • Welcome Offer: 5% cash back on all purchases (up to $200) for first 3 months
  • 1.5% cash back thereafter
  • Free access to Roadside Assistance program
  • Lounge access with the included Mastercard Airport Experiences membership

The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is a straight-forward cash back credit card that offers a flat 1.5% rebate on all your everyday purchases. It’s an ideal choice for cardholders who want to earn an even spread of rewards, value simplicity, and don’t want to think about how to maximize bonus categories. The BMO CashBack World Elite also features a lucrative welcome bonus of 5% back on all purchases for new cardholders in their first three months (up to $200).

BMO’s cash back redemption process is also more flexible than what’s offered by most other banks, letting you redeem your rewards at anytime (provided you have at least $50) as opposed to on a fixed annual or monthly schedule.

While this card does have an annual fee of $120, it also offers premium perks that include free Roadside Assistance (which on its own is valued at $60) along with a number of other benefits including emergency travel medical coverage and a complimentary membership to MasterCard Airport Experiences lounges (you’ll still need to pay $27USD per visit to a lounge though).


Best No Fee BMO Credit Card

BMO CashBack Mastercard

  • Welcome Offer: 5% cash back on all purchases (up to $100) for first 3 months
  • 1% cash back thereafter
  • No annual fee
  • 1.99% introductory rate on balance transfers for first 9 months

The BMO CashBack Mastercard is a great option if you’re looking for a rewards credit card with no annual fee. You can expect to receive 1% back on all purchases with no caps. For a limited time, new cardholders also have the opportunity to pocket five-times the cash back on all purchases for the first three months (up to a maximum of $100) – a hefty welcome offer for a no fee credit card.

As mentioned earlier, BMO’s cash back redemption process is also flexible, letting you redeem your rewards at anytime (provided you have at least $50).

An additional perk is that you can save up to 25% on your next car rental when renting through National Car Rental or Alamo Rent A Car as well as the 1.99% introductory rate on balance transfers for the first nine months.


Honourable Mention: No Fee BMO Credit Card

BMO Rewards Mastercard

  • Welcome Offer: 20,000 BMO rewards points ($140 value)
  • 1 point per dollar on every purchase
  • No annual fee
  • 1.99% introductory rate on balance transfers for first 9 months

If you’re in search of a no fee card but prefer earning points that you can put towards flight tickets over cash back, the BMO Rewards Mastercard is worth your consideration. The card offers 1 BMO Rewards point for every $1 you spend. Not to mention, you’ll receive a 20,000 points welcome bonus (approximately $140 value) to help you fast-track and save on your travel plans. Plus, with access to the BMO Rewards Centre, you’ll have the flexibility to book flights on any airline without having to worry about seat restrictions or blackout dates.

It’s worth noting that since 1 BMO Rewards point equates to $0.007, the BMO CashBack Mastercard (mentioned above) does offer more bang for your buck.


Best BMO Card for Air Miles

Air Miles World Elite Mastercard

  • $120 Annual fee (waived in the 1st year)
  • Earn 1 Air Miles reward mile for every $10 in credit card purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Get up to 3,000 bonus Air Miles
  • VIP Airport Lounge Access – 2 free annual passes to Mastercard Airport Experiences from LoungeKey

Out of the half a dozen or so Air Miles credit cards out there, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard is arguably the best – thanks in no small part to its welcome bonus and travel perks.

As a new cardholder, the card’s $120 fee is waived for the first year and you’ll get an injection of 1,000 bonus miles after your first purchase and an additional 2,000 bonus miles when you spend at least $3,000 on the card in your first three months.

In terms of everyday earning, you’ll get 1 mile for every $10 you spend. You can also double dip and earn twice the miles when shopping from Air Miles partners (like Sobeys and Rexall) by using your credit card and showing your Air Miles membership card at the same time.

As far as perks go, you’ll get a full suite of travel insurance benefits and two free passes to over 800 Mastercard Experiences airport lounges. When redeeming your miles for travel, you’ll get 15% off your redemptions to flights in North America.


Honourable Mention: BMO Air Miles Card

BMO Air Miles Mastercard

  • Annual fee: $0
  • Earn 1 Air Miles reward mile for every $20 in credit card purchases
  • Welcome Offer: Get up to 1,000 bonus Air Miles

If the BMO Air Miles World Elite isn’t the right fit for you due to its income requirement ($80,000) or because you prefer carrying a no fee card, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard is a great all-around alternative.

This card has no annual fee and an income requirement of just $15,000. It also lets you rack up miles quickly with its 1,000 mile welcome bonus (when you spend $1,000 on the card in your first three months) and an everyday earn rate of 1 mile for every $20 in purchases. Similar to other Air Miles credit cards, you can also double-dip and earn twice the miles when shopping from Air Miles partners.

While it does offer purchase and extended warranty protection, along with discounts at select rental car agencies, it, unfortunately, doesn’t offer travel insurance coverage.


Best BMO Card for Low Interest

BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard

  • Low interest rate of 12.99%
  • $20 annual fee
  • 9 month introductory rate of 3.99% on balance transfers
  • Includes zero liability, extended warranty, and purchase assurance

If you’re looking for a low-interest credit card, you may want to consider the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard. It carries an interest rate of 12.99% and has a nominal $20 annual fee. If you tend to carry a balance month to month, this $20 fee could actually save you money because you’ll have lower monthly interest payments compared to the payments you’d make with other cards with higher rates.

You’ll also receive coverage for zero liability, plus extended warranty and purchase protection. This is a great option if you’re looking for a low-interest rate credit card with a low annual fee. An additional perk of this card is the 3.99% promotional rate on transferred balances for the first 9 months. While not necessarily the lowest promotional rate on balance transfers, the rate will only increase to 12.99% after the promotional period ends and not 22.9% like most of the other cards on this list.


Best BMO Card for Gas

Shell CashBack World Mastercard

  • $79 annual fee
  • 3% cash back at Shell gas stations
  • 1.5% cash back everywhere else
  • Free roadside assistance membership ($69 value)

If gas is one of your single-largest recurring expenses, then you’ll want to set your sights on the BMO Shell CashBack World Mastercard. You’ll earn 3% cash back when you refuel at any of the 1,300 Shell stations across Canada. As an added bonus for drivers, the card offers a free roadside assistance membership, which on its own has a $69 value and will provide complimentary flat tire changes, winch services (up to an hour) and towing services up to 10km to the nearest qualified repair facility.

For all purchases not made at Shell gas stations, you’ll pocket 1.25% cash back per dollar. It does have a $79 annual fee, but it’s more than offset by the cash back on gas and everyday spending along with the roadside assistance membership.

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