BMO Credit Cards
BMO was established back in the early 19th century making it the oldest bank in Canada. It has withstood the hands of time, becoming one of Canada’s “Big Five”. It offers a full range of financial services including a wide selection of credit cards. Here we look at their best options in hand with details to help you find the best credit card for your needs.
BMO Credit Cards Overview
BMO offers an impressive list of credit cards in the following categories:
- No Fee
- Low Interest
- Cash Back
- BMO Rewards
- AIR MILES
- Lifestyle & Travel
This can make it challenging to find the ideal card considering all the features, rates, and restrictions of each card.
BMO Credit Card Benefits and Perks
To narrow down your search we have listed the benefits and perks of BMO’s most appealing credit cards:
BMO CashBack® MasterCard®
If you are looking for a no-fee credit card, the BMO CashBack® MasterCard® is an excellent choice. It provides many perks including a welcome 5% cashback bonus rate for three months. Your cashback is deposited into your chequing or savings account or can be credited to your monthly card statement. Where they stand apart is you also have the option to invest your cashback into a BMO Investorline account. Other benefits include:
- Extended protection against theft and damage card purchases
- Longer warranties on expensive items like electronics purchased on the card
- Low income of just $15,000 required to be eligible for the card
BMO World Elite™ Mastercard®
The draw to the World Elite card is the introductory bonus offers which can earn you up to $575 once everything is said and done. They also apply generous points for your everyday spending in various levels of welcome points. The top features include:
- 3 points for every $1 spent on travel, dining, and entertainment purchases
- 2 points per $1 spent on anything else
- 4 free passes for worldwide VIP airport lounges every year
- Out-of-country or province medical coverage up to $2 million
- Insurance for rental car collisions
BMO CashBack® World Elite® Mastercard®
This card packs a double bonus as it offers high cashback rates and everything that comes along with the World Elite label. The BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard® * is one of the bank’s best. You can easily earn enough money and more to pay their annual fee and new cardholders get a welcome bonus of up to 10% cashback on all eligible purchases for up to $2000 spent in the first 3 months. That adds up to $200 in cashback. The benefits also include:
- 5% cashback, up to $500 spent per month on groceries, 1% after that
- 4% cashback, up to $300 spent per month on transit, 1% after that
- 3% cashback, up to $300 spent per month on Gas and Electric Vehicle Charging, 1% after that
- 2% cashback, up to $500 spent per month on Recurring Bills, 1% after that
- 1% cashback unlimited spend on everything else
- 8 days of out-of-province and country medical insurance coverage for up to $2 million
- Damage and collision coverage for rental cars
- Protection from damage and theft through the first 180 days after purchase
- Items with the original manufacturer’s warranty get extended for up to two more years
BMO AIR MILES® World Elite® Mastercard®
This is one of the best Air Miles cards in Canada. If you collect Air Miles you can get an average of 2000-Air Miles when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months. They also offer an annual fee waiver for year one. This is the best card to earn Air Miles fast, at 1 per $12 spent. However, you also earn faster when shopping at Air Miles partner stores at 3 Miles per $1 spent. Some perks include:
- Complimentary LoungeKey membership for entry at US$32
- Comprehensive travel and medical insurance, with 15 consecutive days of out-of-province coverage for up to $2 million
- Purchase protection and extended warranties on items purchased with the AIR MILES World Elite card
BMO AIR MILES® MasterCard®
This is an excellent option for lower-income earners as you just require a minimum income of $15,000 to apply. If you are looking for a balance transfer card this is an excellent option as you can also earn Air Miles on purchases. When you do transfer an outstanding balance from another Non-BMO credit card or bank you pay 1.99% interest on this amount for 9 months. This provides an excellent way for those carrying balances on high-interest credit cards to pay off their balances and then have a single lower monthly payment on a lower-interest card. It also offers the following benefits:
- Special welcome offer of 800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles
- 3 Air Miles for every $25 spent at Air Miles sponsors like Sobeys and Rexall
- 1 Air Mile per $25 elsewhere
- No annual fee
- Purchase protection and extended warranties also apply
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®
Another card with a low minimum income of just $15,000, if you tend to carry a balance, but aren’t worried about Air Miles, this low-interest card is for you. This card is all about saving you money through reduced interest rates with a transfer balance offer where you pay 3.99% interest for 9 months. Considering most banks charge as much as 20% or more, you can’t go wrong with the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard®. You also get:
- Low interest on purchases and cash advances at 12.99%
- Complimentary damage and theft protection for new items bought with the Preferred Rate card
- Extended manufacturers’ warranties by up to one more year
- Low annual fee of just $20 which is usually waived in the first year as part of their welcome package.
BMO Credit Card Drawbacks
For the most part, BMO credit cards are pretty good. Where it might be difficult is that for many of their cards with the best features you require a higher income of $80,000 for individuals or $150,000 per household. You also need a good to excellent credit score with no bankruptcies in the past seven years. Some of the annual fees can be high at around $120, but as mentioned above, you usually can earn enough cashback or rewards to make up the difference and then some.
Also, the tie into Air Miles for travel cards might be a turn-off for some people who find this rewards program unattractive. Finally, you’re also looking at standard high fees for their cards of 19.99% for purchases and 22.99% for cash advantages on average. Keep in mind these rates are no different than any other bank.
How do BMO credit cards compare to other banks?
BMO is very generous, offering one of the very best purchase protection and extended warranty coverages available in Canada. They also offer some of the best balance transfer cards around. If you don’t collect Air Miles, you probably want to go for another travel card. However, if you do, you can’t find better cards to build your Air Miles fast.
How to choose the right BMO credit card for your need?
As with any credit card, you need to consider first, the cards available to you based on your income and second, what features mean the most to you. In most cases, the cards with fees offered by BMO tend to cover the fee through rewards or cashback so this is not as much of a concern. As well, they tend to be waived in your first year. The main consideration is your goals and what benefits you can gain from each card.
What is the best BMO credit card?
Again, there is no one card fits all solution when it comes to credit cards. We have featured the best BMO cards for the most common categories to help you decide.
What credit score is needed for a BMO credit card?
This depends on the credit card you apply for. In most cases, you need at least good, and for the more prominent features excellent.