How the BMO Rewards Program Works

Alyssa Furtado
by Alyssa Furtado March 6, 2015 / No Comments

The BMO Rewards program is one of the top rewards programs in the country, due to the success of the BMO World Elite MasterCard. The BMO World Elite MasterCard is one of the best travel rewards credit cards in Canada, because it offers 2 points for every $1 spent on all purchases – no matter where you shop. The BMO Rewards program allows you to redeem points to cover the cost of flights (including all taxes), hotel stays, cruises and vacation packages, as well as gift cards and merchandise. If that’s the kind of flexibility you’re looking for in a rewards credit card, keep reading.

How to Earn BMO Rewards Points

BMO has two credit cards that are affiliated with the BMO Rewards program: the BMO Rewards MasterCard and BMO World Elite MasterCard. With the BMO Rewards MasterCard, you earn 1 BMO Rewards point per $1 spent on the card, no matter where you shop; this card has a $35 annual fee and a 19.9% interest rate. With the BMO World Elite MasterCard, you earn 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on the card; this card has a $150 annual fee and a 19.99% interest rate, but comes with a 20,000-point sign-up bonus ($200 value), as well as a long list of additional travel insurance policies, VIP airport lounge access and 24/7 concierge services.

How to Redeem BMO Rewards Points

In order to redeem your BMO Rewards points, you must login to your BMO Rewards account, and either use their full service online travel agency or shop from their catalogue. Points can be redeemed at a rate of 100 points = $1 (e.g. a $500 flight requires 50,000 points). If you don’t have enough points, you can apply as many points as you do have and then pay the remainder with your credit card. Also, there is no restriction on the number of points you can use towards a travel booking.

Even though you’re restricted to booking your travel through the BMO Rewards travel agency, you can still fly on any airline with no blackout dates or seat restrictions; this flexibility is part of what makes the program so popular.

The Value of BMO Rewards Points

With both of the credit cards in the BMO Rewards program, every 1 point you earn will always be worth $0.01. When you spend $1 on the BMO Rewards MasterCard, the 1 point you earn will always be worth $0.01. And when you spend $1 on the BMO World Elite MasterCard, the 2 points you earn will always be worth $0.02 ($0.01 each).

The reason these returns will never change is because there are no tiers under which you must redeem your points. When you redeem for travel expenses, you can do so at a rate of $1 = 100 points (travel cost x 100). For example, if you purchased a $507 flight, you could redeem $50,700 points to pay for it. Let’s take a look at how this works:

Example: Redeeming Points for a $507 Flight

Points Required: $507 x 100 = 50,700 points
Value of 1 point: $507/50,700 points = $0.01

As you can see, each of your BMO Rewards points is always going to be worth $0.01, when you redeem them for a trip. And, if you had the BMO World Elite MasterCard and saved the 30,000-point sign-up bonus ($300 value) to use towards this flight, you only would’ve had to earn the additional 20,700 points yourself ($10,350 of spending). Coupled with all the additional travel perks and insurance policies, that makes the $150 annual fee look a little more worthwhile now, doesn’t it?

BMO World Elite MasterCard

  • Annual fee: $150
  • Earn 2 BMO Rewards points per dollar on every purchase
  • Earn 20,000 bonus points (value: $200) on your first purchase
  • VIP airport lounge access with the included Priority Pass membership, plus 4 complimentary passes per year
  • No blackout dates; points can be used to cover taxes/fees

If you want to earn travel rewards points with one of the best credit cards in Canada, here are more details on the BMO World Elite MasterCard:

  • Fly on any airline.
  • No blackout periods.
  • No seat restrictions.
  • Get priority seating.
  • Best in-class travel medical insurance coverage (up to $2 million).
  • $150 annual fee.
  • Annual interest rate 19.99% on purchases and 22.99% on cash advances.