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BMO World Elite MasterCard Review: A New Breed of Canadian Travel Card

BMO World Elite MasterCardAre you looking to earn easy, redeem easy and take it easy? How about a credit card that allows you to book any airline, any time with no restrictions, offers a 20,000 BMO Rewards sign-up bonus and has a market leading 2% earn rate on ALL spend. Oh, and one more thing, until November 30th, 2017, you’ll get a $150 annual fee waiver in the first year!

The BMO World Elite Mastercard has quickly become one of Canada’s leading travel credit cards, with one of the hottest welcome bonus offers in Canada today – An annual fee waiver of $150, 20,000 points, super travel insurance and 4 free lounge passes per year worth over $200!

The 20,000 sign-up bonus points for the BMO World Elite Mastercard will get you travel credit to use whenever, on whatever airline, with no blackout dates at BMO’s travel center – including taxes and fees. The only thing you’ll have to do to earn the bonus is activate your credit card with an initial purchase – buying a pack of gum will do. BMO’s paying you to try the card, without a whole lot of hurdles – take it.

Apply Now!

BMO World Elite MasterCard Benefits

BMO points are easy to calculate and easy to earn. One point equals 1 cent at BMO’s travel center e.g. 30,000 points equals $300. You will earn 2 BMO Reward points per dollar spent on all credit card spend (no caps, no tiers), translating to a 2% earn rate for each dollar you spend on your BMO World Elite MasterCard.

Put another way, spend $10,000 on your credit card, earn 20,000 points, redeem for $200 of travel. Simple stuff.

While you’ll be able to book any travel, anywhere, anytime with no black out periods or seat restrictions, you’ll have to book on BMO’s online travel center. All fares are published in their dollar value, as opposed to a point or mile value, increasing transparency.

To make sure you redeem your points at the lowest possible price, BMO has a price match guarantee. They’ll match the lowest price of any fare advertised to the general Canadian public. So now you can look for the best price on AirCanada.com, WestJet.com or a branded hotel website, and get the price matched through BMO Rewards, an awesome deal.

Here are some of the additional perks that help this card stand-out from the pack:

1) VIP Lounge Access Get a standard Priority Pass lounge membership (US$99 value) plus 4 free VIP lounge visits per membership year (worth over $200) at over 700 lounges worldwide (including Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Edmonton and Vancouver)
2) Comprehensive travel insurances: Get out of province/country travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, trip delay, flight delay, car rental collision & loss, baggage, purchase security and extended warranty – as robust as it gets.
3) Redeem for Taxes & Fees: Unlike Aeroplan, you can also use your BMO points to pay for airfare taxes and fees. Unlike Avion, you can do so at an earn rate of 2%, instead of 1% to 1.25% with the Avion card.
4) Price Match Guarantee: If you find a fare lower than that available at BMO’s travel centre, they’ll match it (there are some restrictions, but it keeps BMO honest nonetheless).
5) Free Top-ups: If you don’t have enough points for the full cost of your trip, you can pay the difference with your BMO MasterCard with no mark-ups.
6) Points will not expire: As long as you are a BMO World Elite MasterCard holder your points won’t expire.
7) Concierge Services: 24/7 access to BMO’s Concierge Service where you’ll get free dining and entertainment reservations and recommendations/

Best Costco MasterCard in Canada

Interestingly, with a 2% earn rate on all spend, including at Costco, the BMO World Elite MasterCard  is now the highest earning credit card accepted at Costco. In fact, it more than DOUBLES the rewards you can earn at Costco when compared to Costco’s own Capital One Platinum MasterCard, which for the Costco card is up to 1% after your first $3,000 in spend.

Worth It?
With the sign-up bonus now at 20,000 points and the stellar $150 annual fee waiver in the first year of cardmembership, this card offers real value. Considering all you have to do to earn the bonus is make one purchase, the hurdle is easy to achieve. A 2% earn rate on all spend is top of the line for a travel card.

The perks on the BMO World Elite MasterCard give a lot more value than the $150 annual fee, making the card a great travel companion in its own right. For example, priority pass lounge membership alone is worth over $100, plus you get 4 VIP lounge guest passes per year – also worth over $100, and the travel insurances can be worth over $500!

You will need to either have a minimum personal income of $80,000 or a minimum household income of $150,000 to be eligible for the card.

*Please note that the 20,000 mile signup bonus and first year fee waiver are only applicable on applications processed before November 30th, 2017.

Apply Now!


  1. After a long trip to Europe… deeply disappointed with this card and i will be canceling. This was a great card when I got it… way back in 2013, but since then it has gone down hill. The main issue is the BMo rewards website, having used this website in the past I knew it was limited (especially hotels), but after this last trip… it has been a complete headache, and not worth the hassle:

    Airfare: with sites like google flights you can get insane flight combination for cheap, the BMO rewards site does not pick up these flight combinations and prices… had to phone, spend forever on the phone, then argue why I shouldn’t have to pay the processing fee…

    Hotel: I knew this was a limitation before but this trip!…BMO had way less hotels, and the prices were always 20-30% more than other websites… if it had the hotel at all…

    Car rental: this is why I am quitting Bmo, absolute disaster, gave me a higher rate than anywhere else, there website said one pickup site, got there and was told another location, got there, had to pay extra! The Bmo website said the other location… but then if you went through the receipt, page 1 said the first location… but the fine print in page 7 said the other location… so of course no refund. And of course the BMO price quote includes no extra charges (location pickup, lot fee, etc…) thus the actual charge to me was for $100s of dollars more than me using my points… wish I had never used BMO to book this…

    In short this WAS a great card… the website (BMO rewards) and search engine is from 2013…save the hassle, and get a cash back card and book from hotels/booking.com

    • And since May it went only from bad to worse. BMO should re-think its cooperation with Aimia if they want to keep their cardholders holding their cards. Last time I was booking a Lufthansa flight and the price shown on BMO Rewards was 45% higher than Lufthansa’s own price! I spent 30 minutes while BMO Customer Centre was playing ping pong with me, sending the me from one “specialist” to another, telling me that they cannot get the same price, then actually booking it for me then trying to slap a $25 fee for … for what?!
      Also, their Price Guarantee means that you should compare the prices BEFORE you book as all sales are final. Also, with so many levels within each class (basic, somewhat flexible or fully flexible), BMO Rewards will only offer you the lowest price for each category, which means you sometimes will have to spend on extras like luggage and meals more than you would had you booked the ticket straight from the carrier.

      In 4 months my card will go to the bin.

  2. thanks for this information. is there anyway to wave the annual fee? I already have a mortgage with BMO. thanks!

    • Hi Sean!

      Good question. You will have to pay the annual fee of $150, but the good news is the bonuses and rewards that come with the BMO World Elite more than eclipse the value of the negligible annual fee. Just the 20,000 bonus miles are worth $200, and they can be achieved with a purchase as small as a pack of gum, putting you $50 (or $49, depending on your taste in gum) ahead right out of the gate!

      Thanks for reading!

      GreedyRates Staff

    • If you have a chequing account with them and go for the top-tier plan (Premium) you can have the annual fee reimbursed through BMO. However that plan is $30/month and to waive that monthly fee you will need to keep $6000 minimum balance. So up to you if you feel “losing access” to $6000 cash is worth the $150 annual savings?

  3. Hi I used to just use debit for business purchases & a no fee air miles bmo Mc for personal. I started last year adding most business purchases (with my accountants approval) to my Mastercard to get more air miles.
    I recently realized that I am spending $5000-$6000 a month. A considerable amount.
    I’ve often received offers over the phone from bmo (& with my paper statements) to upgrade.
    Can’t remember if they offered to waive the fee for 1st yr? I dunno. I think so maybe.

    Which card is best for me? I recall the words “world elite” but cannot recall if when they offered it was the “air miles world elite” or the “world elite”.

    I definitely look back at last year with about $70 k in spending & realize my desire to not pay a fee for a credit card (I always pay in full each month) probably cost me a free trip or more this year.

    Please advise. I am with 3 banks. Td personal. Bmo just for the credit card. Scotiabank for business. I don’t like my personal all eggs in one basket so will probably keep separate. Don’t know if so I business bank with matters.

    Mostly curious assuming they offer me both which world elite to get? Thx in advance for your time and help.

    • Hi Craig,

      If you’re spending $5,000-$6,000 a month, and the majority of it is in non-bonus categories (i.e. gas & groceries), you might want to take a look at the MBNA Rewards World Elite MasterCard. You will get 2% cashback on ALL your spend. Spend $6,000 get 12,000 points worth $120. You can then use the $120 and redeem for cash back as a statement credit against any purchases on your credit card (travel or not), or a direct deposit into your checking account!

      Alternatively, you can also use the 12,000 points to book travel through MBNAs travel centre – but we’d suggest booking your own travel and redeeming as a cashback statement credit.

      Hope that helps!

      GreedyRates Staff

  4. Aspire from the Capital One gives you 2% and have travel cancellation insurance.

    • Hi Andrei,

      You’re correct, the Aspire World Elite does offer 2% and trip cancellation insurance. However, the BMO World Elite also offers 2% and “trip cancellation” insurance. The biggest difference between the two cards is that the CapOne Aspire allows you to redeem your points against any travel, while with BMO you have to book your travel through its travel center, but you can book through any airline you want and their are no availability or time restrictions. However, the advantage of the BMO card is that it comes with slightly better insurance and 4 lounge passes per year, which the Aspire card does not.

      GreedyRates Staff

  5. I’ve had the BMO Master Card World Elite for a year. Here’s why I am switching away:
    -$120 + $50 (additional card holder) annual fee.
    -You have to book your travel through BMO rewards.

    -BMO Rewards Travel redemption/booking site is almost twice the price of other travel sites (Expedia, Hotels.com, etc). For example,I paid over $400/night for a hotel where other sites had the same hotel at around $200. Not a great redemption rate if they just jack up the prices.

    Also, the price match is VERY restrictive and would never apply to me.

    -They will NOT price match for flights and hotels booked separately. You HAVE TO book a vacation package with a specific list of travel providers to qualify for price match.

    In the end, I wasn’t realizing the 2% earn rate. Closer to 1% for me.

    Besides that, the card does have a nice list of features with probably the best medical insurance.

    • Hi Richard,

      Surprised you feel you were only earning 1%. That would implicitly mean BMO was charging 2X market rates, which is not our experience at all. We’ve done multiple tests comparing BMO’s airfare to market pricing and have not seen much of a difference at all.

      Hotels are a tougher gig. There will always be some hotels with large vacancy rates that will be willing to discount their rooms through the discount brokers. It’s usually never a good idea to use your points for those opportunities. Perhaps, BMO Rewards is best used for airfare.

      GreedyRates Staff

  6. I’ve been trying to use my reward points to book travel, and decided you cannot get your 2% fully.

    The redemption site has much higher pricing, and travel agents charge $29. Also, I question the competency of the travel agent, as they flat out told me some train schedule was not available… (the same site I was looking at).

    I am regretting getting this card. 🙁

    Wish I can book my own travels, and “redeem points” myself. Otherwise, their site is making me lose $300 on train tickets (Eurostar), and $300 on hotels (as they only match “canadian advertised price”) for 3 nights etc.


  7. I currently have the CIBC Aerogold Inifinite Visa and am thinking of switching to a different travel card. Here are my dilemna’s. First I have booked a flight through aeroplan on the card for next year. So I’m assuming if I cancel I will no longer have the insurance coverage? I’m torn between the BMO Rewards world elite card and the RBC West Jet World elite Mastercard. We already deal pretty exclusively except for the CIBC card at BMO and have a BMO Air Miles Mastercard. Will we get the signing bonus since we already have a BMO mastercard? I also understand I could upgrade my account to the premium plan and then it would pay the annual fee for the primary card holder. The West Jet card seems to have some great benefits as well. What else should I consider in making this decision? My husband is retired and it’s in sight for me so we are hoping to travel for pleasure a little more than we have been.

    • Hi Nancy,

      1. You will still be eligible for the BMO World Elite Welcome bonus. You just can’t reapply for the same card and get the welcome bonus again. Here are BMO’s terms: “BMO Rewards points that are awarded as a welcome bonus are only available to first- time BMO World Elite MasterCard cardholders and will not be awarded to current or former BMO World Elite MasterCard/BMO Rewards World Elite MasterCard cardholders who reinstate a closed account or who open a new account.” Sine you have a BMO Air Miles card, you remain eligible.

      2. The BMO World Elite card will earn you more points (2%) on your future spend than the WestJet World Elite card will (1.5%). However, the WestJet card gives you a companion voucher EVERY year, plus free checked bags for up to 8 travelling companions ($25 each way). The voucher can now take you to anywhere in North America for $99, plus to Mexico, Carribean, and London at various fixed prices. If you can fly your spouse down to Florida, return, for $99, ANY time of year, that’s tremendous value.

      As a result, you might want to consider getting the WestJet card simply for the voucher and the free checked bags, and the BMO rewards World Elite card for rewards on spend, plus the superior travel insurance and 4 free lounge passes.

      Hope that helps!

      GreedyRates Staff

  8. Another comment about the new 50$ fee for additional calls. I strongly urge to call and log a complaint if this affects you. Ridiculous to make such a major change about a year since this product was even introduced. Beyond that, the website does not warn you of this change, so beware if you are considering this card and the no fee additional card is attractive to you. I was told you would only find out about the change with your welcome kit AFTER you get approved for the card.

    • I agree… I just got a letter informing me of $50 supplementary card charge, in my case this adds up to a $270 charge annually (3 supplementary cards). This will make benefits no better than any no-fee “gold” card.

      It’s really callous on part of BMO to do this, and the beast part is that their response was: “oh well, you should use one of our free products… there is nothing we can do”

  9. I just noticed on my bill that “An annual fee of $50 per additional cardholder will be applied on the anniversary date of your credit card account if you have additional cardholders on your account,” effective June 10, 2016. I have only had the card for 7 months and while I think in the end it will still be worth it, effectively my husband and I will now be paying an annual fee $200/year to use this card. I just redeemed 81,000 points on airfare (my first redemption) which I was very excited about, so I’m disappointed to learn about this new annual fee. Thoughts?

    • Hi JadenJonas,

      It is unfortunate. Before you accept it, make sure to do the math. See how many points your spouse earns spending on the authorized user card, and whether it makes up for the incremental $50 authorized user.

      In doing your evaluation, see how much of the authorized user spend can be placed on the primary card i.e. recurring bills, reservations, travel, etc.. If the value is not there, your spouse might be better off getting a card of her own, if she can.

      If your spouse doesn’t spend a whole lot, he/she can always get a no fee cash back card, where she can get the same 2% value on all gas and grocery spend.

      Hope that helps!

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Will need to think about it, such as the extra administration of paying another credit card instead of a consolidated one. We currently use this card for all expenses except when shopping at Superstore/Shoppers Drug Mart, where we earn 3% with our PC Financial World Elite Mastercard. Thanks on the tips and what to consider while doing the calculations!

        • Fair enough. But remember, you can put all your cards on automatic payment, taking all the pain out of the administration of each card! Plus, you really should have more than one card in your wallet anyways, in the event it gets lost, stolen or frozen.

  10. Buyer beware on this card! They didn’t have the flight I wanted at a price I found elsewhere ($200 cheaper per ticket). I booked my flight elsewhere, planning to get the $700 I had in points on my card and apply it to the cost of my flight. Lo and behold they don’t give you the cash. You have to have a specific BMO account in order to get the points transferred to an account and they only give you 50% of the value. I wish I’d known this sooner. I’m not happy with this after having it for a year and accumulating all these points only to lose 1/2 of them. I will be cancelling it.

    • Hi Debby,

      That’s unfortunate. BMO is pretty clear that you have to redeem through their travel center to get full value for their points. Their travel center should offer the same flights as everywhere else at the same prices. However, if you can get the same flight for cheaper elsewhere, BMO Rewards does offer a price Match Guarantee. Just show them the advertised price before you book for the identical flight, and they’ll match it. That way you get the flight you want, for the price you want and get 100% of the value when redeeming your points.

      At 2% value per dollar spent, 4 free loung passes per year and some of the best insurance ocverage out there, this card still has a lot to offer.

      Hope that helps for the next time,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Thanks for your reply. I tried to book through them to get a price match but they wouldn’t honor the price I found saying it was from a travel agent, even though I found it on line at Flight Networks. I thought I read somewhere that they would send a cheque for your money so I didn’t worry when I booked with Flight Network, thinking I could get my points money and apply it. I guess it didn’t help getting a very unprofessional representative on the line and now losing half of my money.

        • Hi Debby,

          It looks like you got caught in the fine print:

          “Eligible Travel Providers: The Price Match Guarantee applies to vacation packages and airfare booked with specific travel providers based on advertised prices. Eligible vacation packages must be booked with Sunquest Vacations, ALBATours, Transat Holidays, Nolitours, Signature Vacations, Air Canada Vacations, Sunwing Vacations, and WestJet Vacations. Eligible airfare must be booked with Air Canada and WestJet. This price match guarantee does not apply to build-your-own packages (booking airfare and hotels separately).”

          Flight Networks is not part of BMO Rewards covered “travel provider” list. Not sure why.

          GreedyRates Staff

  11. Airline tickets purchased through BMO Rewards are charged a markup of $40 per ticket. Consequently, on my most recent purchase of 2 airline tickets using $551 worth of reward miles, I am only really getting 85% of the stated value of my rewards. Looked at another way, it is equivalent to getting 0% rewards on my first $2000 worth of purchases (or the first $4000 of purchases where tickets are bought as a pair). On the other hand, if you maintain a minimum balance of $5000 in a premium account at BMO, the $150 annual fee is waived. Considering that a high-interest savings account currently pays 0.70%, a cardholder would actually be up $115 per year by doing this.

    • Hi Clive,

      We’re not aware of the $40 mark-up per ticket through BMO Rewards. In fact, we are aware of the BMO Rewards price match guarantee, which would seem odd if all of their tickets we’re $40 more expensive than market price.

      We are aware that BMO charges a fee of $29.95 if you book through the phone, but BMO specifically states there is no fee when booking online.

      If you have evidence to the contrary, please let us know and we’ll investigate it.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • We just flew to Hawaii on the BMO world elite card, booked the tickets through their online system and didn`t get charged any surcharge. The ticket prices were also identical to the westjet website.
        I would only use this card for airline tickets; I don`t think I`d get my 2% anyway else, but I love that it covers the taxes and fees at that percent too. It`s why I moved away from Avion.

        • Concur about the point about using this card for airfare redemption… just came back from vacation and during the research period before, the flights I found on Google Flights were all identical to the ones through the BMO Rewards site. And just out of curiosity, tested it with more exotic locations (Iceland, Patagonia, New Zealand) and the top results were identical too – so unless they magically change the pricing just before you commit, I’d say their airfare prices are pretty legit in my experience.

          I usually can get better rates on hotels (especially smaller boutique ones that don’t affiliate with any of the big travel sites) so I don’t bother even trying hotels on this card. Same goes for even vacation packages – sometimes you can hit some great last-minute deals elsewhere.

          Only thing that sucks a bit is that the airfare pricematch guarantee only applies to Air Canada and Westjet (but kinda makes sense as it is a Canadian bank offering this card). Fortunately so far haven’t needed to invoke that pricematch – and hopefully never have to.

  12. How soon can you receive the 4vip pass? after you have received your new Bmo world elite card, assume they come in separately.

    • Hi Angela,

      After you receive your credit card, you will then register for the VIP Lounge Passes online. You will then receive your pass about 1 week after that. You receive 1 pass, which comes with 4 free visits. The pass gets scanned each time you make a visit.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • We just received our cards. What do we require to register for the VIP Lounge Passes? What is the website address?

        • Hi Shel,

          You can either wait 4-6 weeks for the Priority Pass card to be mailed to you, or if you want to use the passes sooner, you can get your number from Priority Pass e-number directly from Priority Pass, usually within 2-4 business days after you activate your credit card. You can then present your Priority Pass e-number at any lounge.

          Hope that helps,

          GreedyRates Staff

  13. what is the average score for someone to take this card?

    • Hi Cam,

      We don’t have full view into BMO’s underwriting criteria. However, we would say that at a minimum you would likely need a 680, more comfortable if you’re 700+. Of course that assumes your other approval criteria check out, such as income, debt servicing capability, etc…

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  14. Hello,
    I’m the primary holder of a BMO World Elite MasterCard. I have a question regarding the coverage provided by card. Does the card provide the coverage for the trip cancellation due to family member emergency?
    My spouse and I have already been away outside Canada for more than two months. Originally, we planned to be away December 6, 2015 – February 20, 2016. Unfortunately, due to an emergency, my mother was hospitalized in Malaysia on February 18, 2016 and we have to change our date returning to Canada to March 10, 2016.
    If the above is eligible for the claim, please advise how to proceed.
    Your prompt response is very much appreciated.

    • Hi Simon,

      To determine eligibility and/or to process a claim, you would need to call the insurance provider directly. In the case of the BMO World Elite MasterCard, you need to call Allianz Global at 1-877-704-0341. Your individual policy number is the last 4 digits of your credit card number, so have it ready when you call.

      A couple of things for you to consider (but please confirm with Allianz). You might want to consider the Trip Delay insurance instead of trip cancellation, since you’re delaying the return, not cancelling your trip. Second, your ticket must have been bought in full or in part with your BMO World Elite MasterCard. Third, you are supposed to notify Allianz within 48 hours of the event causing your delay.

      Here’s a copy of some the trip delay/interruption policy terms:

      4.3.2 Trip Interruption/Trip Delay Benefits (Post departure)
      The coverage outlined in this Policy of Insurance is provided to all eligible Bank of Montreal MasterCard Cardholders by Allianz Global Risks US Insurance Company (Canadian Branch). Your individual policy number is the last four (4) digits of your MasterCard card number.
      Coverage Eligibility
      Coverage applies only when You charge the full or partial cost of Your Trip to the Primary or Family Cardholder’s MasterCard prior to departure. Insured Person means the Primary Cardholder, Spouse and/or Dependent Child(ren).
      Coverage Period
      Coverage begins at the time of Your departure on Your Trip. Coverage ends at the time of Your return to Your original point of departure. Should You have to delay Your scheduled return date, You must notify the Operations Centre within forty-eight (48) hours of the event forcing Your delay, to enable the Operations Centre to assist You in making alternative travel arrangements. Failure to notify the Operations Centre within forty-eight (48) hours may reduce the amount payable.
      Coverage Benefits
      You will be reimbursed for the extra cost of a one-way economy airfare to Your departure point or to the destination point and any unused non-refundable land arrangements up to a maximum of $2,000 per Insured Person. Trip Interruption or Trip Delay benefits are payable when a covered event listed below occurs before Your scheduled return date:
      • The unexpected death, Sickness, Injury or quarantine of You, Your Immediate Family Member, Your Travel Companion or Your Travel Companion’s Immediate Family Member. Sickness and Injury must require the care and attendance of a Physician and the Physician recommends in writing that You interrupt or delay Your Trip.

      Hope your mother gets well soon and everythng works out for the best,

      GreedyRates Staff

  15. Am I allowed to use the BMO World Elite MasterCard for business purchases?

    Thank you.

    • Hi Nemo,

      Many people use their personal cards for business purchases. There is no restriction on where you can use your credit card that we know of. The biggest difference between personal, business and corporate cards are in who is liable for default and in the product construct. That said, issuers have no idea if a consumer used their personal credit card for a business purchase at Staples or Costco. Nor do they know if your card was used for business or personal reasons when you fill up for gas, or take a client out to a restaurant.

      Most issuers put cap rewards on categories like gas, groceries or pharmacy to avoid gamers (trucking companies, restaurant owners, doctors), but that’s the only way they do it we know of.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  16. Where can I find the names of the rewards partner participants (where can I use the BMO card in order to receive air miles points)?

    • Hi Theresa,

      You can use your BMO World Elite MasterCard anywhere that MasterCard is accepted and received 2 points per dollar spent. That’s one of the big advantages of the card, there are no partners, bonus merchant categories, caps or tiers. Use it, and you get 2% of each dollar spent. This card does not collect AIR MILES reward miles, it is a non-proprietary travel card.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  17. I am over 65 nearly 66. Do you know how much the extra medical insurance fee would be?

    • Hi Marlaina,

      Between the ages of 65 and 69, it would cost and additional $329 to get the travel medical insurance coverage. It would provide you with 31 day cinsecutive coverage, up to $2M per person.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  18. How does this Mastercard compare to the MBNA world elite and the scotia bank American Express Mastercard?

    • Hi Manjot,

      You can always check our Travel credit card ranking engine, to see which cards earn you the most rewards based on your spending pattern.

      That said, both the MBNA World Elite Rewards and BMO Rewards World Elite card offer 2% earnings on ALL spend, including Costco. However, with the MBNA World Elite you can redeem for any travel expense, or for cash back. You have to redeem your BMO points through BMO’s travel centre, which is still pretty good, has no flight restrictions, and you can book any flight.

      The BMO World Elite does come with more and better insurance, such as trip cancellation, and 4 free lounge passes per year. With respect to the welcome bonus offer, the BMO World Elite comes with a $300 value sign-up bonus, but a $150 annual fee. The MBNA World Elite comes with a $100 value sign-up bonus, no annual fee in the first year, and an $89 annual fee thereafter.

      The Scotia Amex Gold card has a very strong earn rate of 4% on gas, groceries, dining and entertainment spend. But there are stores that don’t qualify such as Costco, Wal-Mart and Loblaws. However, if a lot of your spend is not in those categories, you’ll only be getting 1% in rewards value. You can redeem for any travel that appears on your credit card statement, just like the MBNA World Elite card. There is also a very strong and complete insurance program. There is a nice sign-up bonus of $200 right now, with no annual fee in the first year.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  19. Hi, this is useful info! I am seriously considering to switch my avion infinite to BMO! I do have 2 questions on the air miles though… I plan on flying to HK with Cathay Pacific airline but Air Canada is cheaper to fly with. Does it cost the same air miles regardless of airline? Or do I check the BMO travel centre on how much they charge depending on airline and flight? So if it’s 1300 dollars for the flight will it cost 13,000 air mile points? Secondly, how much air miles would it cost to upgrade to business class? I know with TD aeroplan, sometimes it’s a free upgrade or it cost less points to upgrade.
    I also have a concern of cancelling my avion, as I had it over 7 years..once cancelled, won’t it affect my credit rating? I have very good credit report because of my consistent punctual payments and this is the only card/debt I had with me the longest.

    • Hi Cols,

      The BMO World Elite is not a point grid system. Each flight has a market price (price match gurantee) and you use your points, which have a dollar value (10,000 points = $100), to purchase your ticket.

      With respect to upgrading to business class, it would be the same concept. You would get a quote for a business class ticket, and use the corresponding number of points to acquire the ticket. If the ticket costs $1,200, it would require 120,000 points. There’s no special advantage to buying business class with the BMO World Elite MasterCard – except that you get 4 free lounge access passes per year.

      We do not recommend keeping accounts open, just for the sake of your credit score – especially if they’re costing you $120 a year. Your credit card should not be able to hold you hostage. “If a person established good credit, the impact of card closure should be minimal and short-lived,” said Christina Goethe, spokeswoman for FICO.

      Remember, even if a closed account had zero balances and no negative information, it will still stay on your credit history for up to 10 years – just like a defaulted credit card (which has been closed) will stay on your credit history for up to 7 years.

      There’s no easy way to get rid of your credit history – good, or bad. In your case that’s a good thing.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  20. Tejindar Randhawa

    Access to priority lounges is not as good as these guys make it seem. Had a layover in Tokyo and looked for the priority lounge. Finally found it but it was located outside the immigration area where you check in with the airline.
    The problem with that scenario is I’ve got 5 hours to kill and if I go through immigration and check in again, it would be a good hour before i can clear immigration and security to board again. Is it worth it? I definitely didn’t think so. Would i renew my membership? Definitely not because of the hassle I went through. The sad part is there were 5 of us travelling together and we were all pretty pissed off.

  21. With 4 passes to lounge, I have a family of 4 people. Let say I am the primary cardholder and my wife is supplementary cardholder, how many passes it will be used for my family each visit to the lounge?


    • Hi Nick,

      Officially, a family of 4, will require 4 passes per visit. Unofficially, some Priority lounges may let you bring your kids into the lounge without requiring a pass, so ask first.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • If my husband is the primary card holder and gets 4 lounge passes, do I as the supplementary card holder get any lounge passes ?

        • Hi Filomena,

          Unfortunately you do not get any free priority passes of your own as a supplementary cardholder. However, your husband can bring you into the lounge as a guest, using one of his passes.

          Safe travels!

          GreedyRates Staff

  22. Nobody has mentioned the interest rate. I currently have a 11.9% interest rate on my BMO World Gold card. Does this card offer a comparable rate or is it higher?

    • Hi Larry, the purchase interest rate on the BMO World Elite MasterCard is 19.99%. It come with a 21 day interest free grace period if you pay off your balance in full by the payment due date.

      GreedyRates Staff

      • when is the best time to apply for the BMO elite card in order to get the annual fee free promotion?

        • Hi Maria,

          Unfortunately, there is no fixed schedule for BMO’s credit card promotions. That said, the last time it took place was in the beginning of the calander year. No guarantees it will happen again though.


          GreedyRates Staff

  23. Hi!

    I’m shopping around for a travel rewards credit card. I bank with BMO and this card is an attractive option. But a friend of mine sings the praises of the TD First Class Visa Infinite card (*not* the aeroplan card)… and I’m wondering if it might be worth switching banks for.

    Benefits of TD First Class:
    -Earn 3 points (1.5% earn rate) for every dollar spent on the card.
    -Earrn 9 points (4.5% earn rate) for every dollar spent when purchasing travel through Expedia. I fly fairly frequently so those points can add up.
    -Expedia Best Price guarantee. If you find a cheaper, identical trip within 24 hours of booking through ExpediaForTD.com, Expedia will refund the difference — and give you a Future Travel Credit worth $50.
    -TD points can be put towards *any* travel-related expense, not just flights.
    -Customers redeem points by booking through Expedia, which also means that my travel agent can use the site. I can also book through any website and redeem my points within 90 days. Not so with BMO.

    Benefits of the BMO world elite:

    -VIP lounge access (but I’m more interested in getting to where I’m going for free faster than sitting in a lounge)
    -No fee for the second card holder (TD charges $120 for the primary card as opposed to BMO’s $150, but TD charges $50 for additional users).
    -BMO offers a better welcome package ($300 worth of points as opposed to $250 with TD Visa Infinite)
    -Better base earn rate of 2%. We probably spend more on groceries, etc. than flights…so maybe *those* points would add up quicker.
    -Personal benefit: my spouse and I have our personal accounts with BMO and I have a business account there. To switch accounts to TD would be a hassle and would be costly as I’d have to get new business cheques. Those are pricey!

    BMO cons:

    -BMO booking system is less flexible and cannot be used by travel agents. A quick test found that their prices don’t always match the lowest price available online. Their customer support agent mentioned that they “sometimes” match prices, but that sounded less than committal. Anyone have any experience with this?
    -No bonus points system (like TD with Expedia)

    TD cons:
    -Less attractive welcome package.
    -Smaller base points earnings.
    -Higher card fees when adding additional card users
    -No lounge access

    So…how to these two cards really measure up? What would sway a person to take one over the other? Am I missing something?


    • Hi Jamie,

      Both are great cards. In addition to the pros and cons of each card you mentioned we’d add the following:

      The TD First Class Infinite card is the better card for earning points ON your travel spend – up to 4.5% if you book and redeem on Expedia. However, it gets you a max of 1.5% on your non-expedia spend, compared to 2% with the BMO World Elite. So you’ll earn more on your travel spend with TD, but less on your non-travel spend.

      The other consideration is TD’s points are worth less when you redeem for non-Expedia redemptions, than for Expedia redemptions.

      The BMO World Elite card offers more value, and is probably the better card if the vast majority of your credit spend is non-travel related, since you’ll get 33% more value per dollar spent than the TD First Class Visa.

      One correction, is that BMO has reitereated a full price matching policy.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  24. Just a comment about the Zero Dollar Liability on BMO cards.

    I have a Capital One card and it’s been hacked at least 4 times. They have been great so far and it hasn’t cost me anything.

    From the fine print on the BMO site, looks like I would be in trouble with their cards.

    If you don’t meet these criteria, you will be liable for all charges incurred in connection with the unauthorized use

    You did not contribute to the unauthorized use
    You used reasonable care to safeguard your card and PIN
    You notify us by telephone within 24 hours if you learn of the loss, theft or misuse of your card or cheques, or after you suspected that someone else knows your PIN
    You have not reported two or more unauthorized transactions in the last 12 months, and your account is in good standing.

    • Hi Roy,

      The truth is, every issuer has qualifying language ment to protect them from abuse. We believe BMO will resolve any unauthorized transaction in similar fashion. In fact, if you take a look at CapOne’s qualifying language it is very similar:

      “MasterCard’s Zero Liability policy protects you from unauthorized use of your account, card, PIN or any account access cheques as long as you meet three conditions:

      Your account is in good standing.
      You’ve exercised reasonable care in safeguarding your card and PIN from the risk of loss or theft.
      You haven’t reported two or more unauthorized events in connection with your card in the past 12 months.”

      So even with that language coming from CapOne, you were protected each and every time you had an unauthorized transaction. Remember, in order to maintain confidence in the payments system, credit card issuers are usually VERY good at reimbursing for verified fraudulent use, with MasterCard and Visa’s strict oversight to ensure compliance with the networks promise of ZERO liability – which is the underpinning of confidence in the network. In a real case of fraud, they are not looking to find a technicality to avoid making good on their promise of zero liability – that would be killing the goose that laid the golden egg.

      Our belief is, you should feel confident that BMO would resolve similar cases with equally treatment, despite the legalese meant to protect themselves from abuse, which you will see with every issuer.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates Staff

  25. Hi,

    About the VIP Lounge, only the primary cardholder has access to the lounge? If the primary cardholder has a guest, does it count as using 2 passes at the time? Does the supplementary cardholder have access to the lounge as well?

    As compared to Avion card, I have an Avion card because I take advantage of the Avion transfer bonus which allows you to transfer your Avion points to BA Avios points at a rate of 1:1.5. Any thoughts on this? Thanks.

    • Hi Joyce,

      You’ll get 4 free Priority Passes per year. Each complimentary visit can be shared with your guest or guests. To be clear, when you bring a guest, it will not count as using 2 passes. The supplementary cardholder will also have acces to the lounge – that said, if you’re travelling with the supplementary cardholder, might as well bring them as a guest.

      We’re going to run some calculations and get back to you on the Avion to Avios transfer value versus the market.

      Hope that helps in the interim,

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Can the supplementary cardholder get into the lounge without the primary cardholder? As I understand the Priority Passes are in primary cardholder’s name. Thanks!

        • Hi Joyce, we just double checked with BMO. You’re right. Because the Priority Passes are in the name of the Primary Cardholder, the supplementary cardholder cannot use the passes, unless they are with the primary cardholder as a guest.


          BreedyRates Staff

      • I have used free priority passes recently (1 week ago) at one of the airport lounges in Toronto and I came with my husband and a friend. I was told to use 3 free passes when I called the Priority office. My husband doesn’t have a supplementary card. So now, I have only one pass left for the year. Could I have used them (husband and friend) as a guest? Please advise.

        • Hi Nancy,

          If you bring a guest, you have to use a pass to get them in the lounge. So you were informed correctly at the time, you and 2 guests, would use a total of 3 passes. While not as good as being allowed to bring in a guest free, it’s better than some other policies which only allow the primary cardholder to use the passes.

          Hope that helps,

          GreedyRates Staff

  26. Hello GreedyRates,

    I’m currently an international student in Canada without permanent residence. I want to have this world elite card for its benefits (welcome bonus and VIP lounges). I don’t have any income but I could have a 100k CAD deposit (future tuition fees from parents) in the account. Will I be able to apply for this Mastercard with that amount of money in the account? Or it is mandatory to provide an income statement more than 70k to apply?


    • Hi Yushi,

      Aside from the fact that you do not have permaenent residence or a credit history, the MasterCard World Elite card only takes into account personal and/or household income, which will prevent you from getting approved. You will have to have permanent residency to get approved for almost any unsecured credit cards in Canada. Regardless, MasterCard does not take into account assets in its eligibility criteria (unlike in the United States).



  27. I just got my BMO World Elite card just giving up my old Air Miles card. I was turned down I the Air Canada lounge at Vancouver airport. So I don’t see what is so great about the card if it is not recognized?

    • Hi John,

      The BMO World Elite card gives you access to 4 free visits to any of the 700 Priority Pass Lounges worldwide. There are 3 lounges in the Vancouver airport you have access to (Plaza Premium lounges in the domestic, international and U.S. departures). Next time you travel through Vancouver, use your complimentary pass at the Plaza Premium lounge. Let us know how it compares to the Air Canada lounge. The full list of lounges you’ll have access to with th ePriority Pass can be found at https://www.prioritypass.com/ .


      GreedyRates Staff

  28. I have this card and it is quite good. My wife got one as well so as a family, we got $600 worth of travel for free.

    We used the card for a hotel that was not on the BMO site – they were quite good about it…they wanted to charge $25 telephone booking fee, but I said “you didn’t offer the rate I wanted…” and they relented and applied our points against the hotel booking.

    The 2% is much better than Avion. No clue why Avion has so many customers…it’s rubbish as greedyrates.ca have said (not using those words of course!). Canadians to be smarter about travel rather than just be lazy and stick to what they have always had…they are losing out on better benefits.

    I just got my dad to cancel his TD Aeroplan Platinum card which he was paying an annual fee on to get a measly 1 mile per $1 spent…he had the card for something like 15 years! Insane….he got the BMO World Elite card as well.

    Ditch the Avion….get the BMO and when the annual fee comes up, cancel and get another card. The one thing BMO is not good about is giving the card for free for 2nd year…we spend about $90,000 on my wife’s card and when it came to the 2nd year, they said she had to pay the annual fee….we just cancelled the card….and will apply again in a few months.

    (I don’t work in Banking…i just am being smart about not paying annual fees for cards to get the most value for me and my family!).

    • But when you cancel the card, the accumulated points expire in 90 days. Will you have spent them all before then, or can you reapply for another free year within that time?

      • Hi Geoff, that will depend on whether there is another free year offer available at that time. BMO does say you will not be eligible to get the 30,000 point sign-up bonus, after cancelling your first card. We can’t see where it states you would not be eligible not to receive the annual fee waiver offer though. Not sure that helps.

        GreedyRates Staff

  29. This looks like a great card. But with the new Code of Conduct, will this card be able to keep up the 2% payout?

    • Hi Geoff, we assume you’re referring to Visa and MC’s “voluntary” reduction of average interchange to 1.5%. While that’s the average interchange, the World Elite Mastercard still charges an interchange of between 1.96% to 2.49%. Essentially that has reduced the low end by .04 and the high end by 11 basis points. We very well may see a change – but so far so good. Regardless, if it happens to the BMO World Elite MasterCard, it will likely happen to all other cards, by a similar margin.


  30. Thanks for this review. Very thorough. We are looking for alternatives to our RBC Infinite Avion card and this looks like it could work. One comment/clarification and one question:

    We can use Avion points to pay for taxes or pay the difference at 1:1 if we are short points.

    Flights on Avion are booked similar to airline points, that is, 35,000 points equals a flight within North America (except HI, etc). Does this card do that or is it like the WestJet card that uses points/dollars earned to redeem against the flight’s price? For example, Avion will pay up to $900 (or $750, I forget) for a flight when using 35,000 points. Would that same $900 flight cost 90,000 points on this card?


    • Hi Darryl,

      First, you are correct, the BMO World Elite card’s points are redeemed 1:1 relative to the dollar value of the flight. Said differently, if a flight costs $405.65 it will require 40,565 points to be redeemed. Each point is worth 1 cent. Earn 2 points per dollar spent, you get the equivalent of a 2% earn rate on the BMO Worl Elite MasterCard. We like that system because of its transparency and lack of breackage.

      Obviously the Avion point redemption system works differently, with each flight assigned a fixed point value, regardless of the cost of the flight. As result, the higher the cost of the flight, the more value you get. However, the lower the cost of the flight, the less value you get. We simulated 15 different flights using Avion and came out with an average value per point of 1.12 cents – however given the credit card offers 1 point per dollar spent on all spend and 1.25 points on travel, it falls well below a 2% earn rate – on the average.

      You are correct, you can pay for taxes with your points at a 100 points per dollar rate. Just remember, at that rate you’re only getting the equivalent value of a 1% to 1.25% earn rate on your card. With the BMO World Elite card, your earn rate remains 2% for boththe flight and taxes.

      Hope that helps,


    • It’s ironic to me that you say you were looking for an Alternative to the Infinite Avion because I got the Avion as alternative to the World Elite lol.

  31. Hi,
    I currently have RBC Avion Infinite Visa paying $120 annual fee +$50 additional card. Does it make sense to switch to this BMO World Elite Mastercard as it earns 2 reward miles per dollar spent(double that of Avion)? Anyone has any experience claiming of the reward miles for travel compared to Avion (in terms of choices, availability, customer services, etc.)?


    • Hi Alice,

      In our simulation, Avion provided an average redemption value of 1.12% per dollar spent, compare to 2% for the BMO World Elite MasterCard. In addition, the BMO World Elite MasterCard has no charge for supplemetary cards. In your case, that would equate to a $20 savings versus the Avion card ($150 ann fee + 0 supp fee = $150 for BMO World Elite, versus $120 ann fee + $50 supp fee = $170 for Avion).

      Although you have to book your travel on the BMO World Elite card through the BMO travel centre, you can book any flight and/or hotel and there are no blackouts or travel restrictions – you’ll find it comparable to the Avion experience. However, one notable advantage of the BMO World Elite MasterCard is that you can pay for taxes and fees with your points – you won’t be able to with the Avion card.

      Hope that helps,

      GreedyRates staff

      • Thanks. It definitely helps.

        Both my husband and myself had just got the World Elite Mastercard, to ensure we both have the Priority Pass lounge access, and together we got $600 equivalent initial bonus. However, if we split our spending on 2 separate cards that would take longer to accumulate points. Will the card allow us to transfer points to another user’s account?

        • Hi Alice,

          With BMO, and most other rewards card, you are only able to transfer points to another account with the same name as the primary cardholder, so the answer would be no, you could not transfer points to your husband’s account. However, you can use your points to buy a ticket or book a hotel in anyone’s name.

          That said, you did the smart thing by each of you applying for your own card. First, you both got $300 worth of travel credits, for a total of $600 free.

          Second, even if you don’t have enough BMO Rewards points for the full cost of each your trips because you split your spending on two different cards, you can pay the difference with your BMO World Elite MasterCard – with no mark-ups. So if you and your husband each had $300 in travel credits, and both your tickets were $450, you could each pay the $150 difference, without any mark-up.

          Third, now that you got the primary benefit of applying for separate cards (the sign-up bonus), you can get a second card as an authroized user on one of the accounts, if you wanted to combine your spend and avoid an annual fee in years 2 and beyond. Additional cardholders are free on the BMO World Elite card, so there would be no incremental cost. You can then book tickets with the combined points for as many different names as you’d like. You can also use the leftover points from the other primary card to book a hotel room or ticket and pay the difference with no mark-up.

          Hope that helps,


  32. Any thoughts on the BMO World Elite Air Miles card that is launching in a couple weeks? I got an offer to move my World Air Miles over to it with matching my World annual fee for the first year. Just not sure if I should stay with Air Miles or just move to another rewards program as they are handicapping the World card to a max of $6,000 spend a month and moving the 25% discount over to the Elite although being an Onyx collector the 25% doesn’t hold much appeal anyway..

    • Hi Cory,

      We haven’t seen the features of the new BMO World Elite Air Miles card just yet, so it’s hard to make a suggestion. However, if you’re spending more than $6,000 per month, our calculations show the BMO World Elite MasterCard is one of the highest earning out there. You’d be getting a flat 2% of value back per dollar spent. Are you getting close to that with the BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard – you’ll have to check? You might also want to consider the Amex Starwood card, which has a great rewards rate, 350 airline partners and a free weekend night when you spend over $40,000 per year and Starwood Gold status when you spend over $30,000 per year.

  33. So no credit cards ever cover out of country medical insurance for additional users? Any other banks offer it? I’m not talking about spouse or children but just an authorized user

    • Hi Val, we cannot seem to find any alternatives. So far only the primary cardholder plus spouse and children are covered for every card we’ve reviewed thus far, including the BMO World Elite.

  34. The VIP lounge access is in which airport? You just show the card and they let you in? And the travel insurance is for how many days out of country? I have never got how credit card travel insurance works..so no need to buy extra insurance..if you get ill the credit card issuer will pay all bills?

    • Hi Val, the VIP lounge is with Priority Pass, which gives you access to lounges in worldwide. In Canada there are lounges in each of the large airports (Toronto, Montreal, Calagary, Edmonton and Vancouver). With your membership, you will receive 4 free passes each year. Just present your pass at the front desk and you’re in. After your 4 free passes per year, it will cost you $27 per visit which you’ll have access to with your free membership card.

      With a credit card like the The BMO World Elite MasterCard, you are pretty well covered with your travel medical, trip cancellation, trip interruption, flight delay, lost luggage and car rental insurance. Check the coverage on the card to see if you’re covered in the amounts appropriate for you.

      The travel medical insurance on the BMO World Elite MasterCard will cover you out of country and out of province for 21 consecutive days. You and you’re dependents will be covered, whether you book travel with your card or not (i.e. you can drive and still be covered for travel medical). However, if you’re 65 or over you will not be convered by the BMO World Elite MasterCard unless you pay an additional fee. Please check the policy description itself for specifics related to coverage of pre-existing medical conditions, amounts and exceptions. In general, they work really well.

      Was that helpful?

      GreedyRates Staff

      • Thank you. Very helpful. Are additional card holders able to claim insurance too or only primary holders? Does the card have paywave?

        • Hi Val,

          The BMO MasterCard World Elite does have PayPass.

          With respect to insurance, many of the insurances are covered whether the purchase is made on the primary cardholders card or the supplementary card. However, there are certain insurances where that is not the case. Read you insurance certificates to make sure, or let us know which insurance specifically and we’ll do the research for you.

          GreedyRates Staff

          • Is out of country medical insurance and travel insurance usable by the non-primary holder too?

          • Hi Val,

            For Trip Cancellation, coverage applies only when you charge the full or partial cost of your trip to the primary or family cardholder’s MasterCard when booking your Trip. Insured person means the primary cardholder, spouse and/or dependent child(ren).

            For Travel Medical, To be eligible for the inclusive twenty-one (21) day Out-of-Province/Out-of-Country Medical feature you must be under age sixty five
            (65). This includes the Primary Cardholder his/her spouse and dependent children. You do not need to charge your Trip to your MasterCard to be eligible for this coverage, providing your MasterCard Account is in good standing. Insured person means the primary cardholder, spouse and/or dependent child(ren).



      • Hi GreedyRates,

        Can you elaborate on the VIP lounge access… is this just a place to go to hang out? or are there more things included in the pass?


        • Hi Renee,

          VIP Lounge access gives you a quiet place to relax, watch TV, read a newspaper, get complimentary snacks and refreshments, complimentary wi-fi, showers and leisure facilities, and conference space and meeting rooms if you need to meet with colleagues. If you have a long lay-over, or the gate is crowded, a lounge is a great, relaxing alternative.



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