Best BMO Credit Cards 2018
Bank of Montreal is a highly respected institution among Canadians, and offers many beneficial financial products including loans, mortgages, investments and of course—credit cards. Established in the early 19th century, it’s now one of the ‘Big Five’ banks in Canada. The bank provides credit cards to suit the lifestyles of nearly every cardholder profile, including different spending habits, income and credit levels, and reward types. Explore the very best that BMO offers below, where we’ve organized a list of credit cards based on their primary utility and what kind of person they’re ideally suited to.
Summary of the Best BMO Credit Cards
|Credit Card||Card Type||Annual Fee||Card Review||Apply for Card|
|BMO Air Miles Mastercard||Travel Rewards|
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO SPC Air Miles Mastercard||Travel Rewards|
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard||Cash back|
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO World Elite MasterCard||Travel Rewards||$150||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO Rewards Mastercard||Rewards||$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO CashBack Mastercard||Cash Back||$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard||Low interest|
|$20||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO Air Miles World Elite MasterCard||Travel Rewards||$120||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO Sobeys Air Miles Mastercard||Travel|
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO IGA Air Miles Mastercard||Travel|
|$0||Read More||Apply Now|
|BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard||Cash back|
|$120||Read More||Apply Now|
Best BMO Balance Transfer Card
BMO Air Miles Mastercard
Though it isn’t primarily known as a balance transfer card, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard does provide this option to new cardholders who want to consolidate their credit card debt, pay it off, and earn Air Miles on their everyday purchases. Those who transfer an outstanding balance from another credit card or bank (outside of BMO) will pay just 1.99% interest on this amount for 9 months. Few strategies are as effective for reducing compounding interest charges. Moreover, a simultaneous bonus of 500 Air Miles awaits new cardholders as well.
The card helps those who want to earn Air Miles quickly and reduce their travel expenses. At Air Miles sponsors like Sobeys, Shell, and Rexall, cardholders will earn 2 Air Miles for every $20 they spend, and 1 Air Mile per $20 elsewhere. For the low price of $0 per year (no annual fee), if you manage to spend just $1,000 per month on the card, you’ll earn up to 1,200 Air Miles in the first year. This is the equivalent value of a round-trip flight from Montreal to Toronto.
Finally, it’s easy and free to sign up supplementary cardholders. Extend them the benefits above, but also up to 25.00% off at Alamo and National rental car locations alongside purchase protections including extended warranties and damage coverage.
Best BMO Student Credit Cards
BMO SPC Air Miles Mastercard
BMO offers several excellent credit card options for students who love to travel, but cannot meet the high income and credit requirements of most cards. These students still have a lot to gain from increased purchasing power, and the SPC Air Miles Mastercard is just for them. It offers students a 500-Mile bonus straightaway after a single initial purchase. Afterwards, they’ll earn 1 Air Mile for every $20 spent with the card. No annual fees are charged to SPC cardholders either, which is another plus for cash-strapped students.
Students will also appreciate their ability to get up to 15.00% off when using the card at hundreds of their favorite stores, restaurants, and brands. The list is available from BMO and includes many Canadian staples that will keep students clothed and fed for less. Finally, the rate that Air Miles accrue is increased at all Air Miles sponsors across Canada, and cardholders can protect purchases made with the card thanks to damage coverage and extended manufacturers’ warranties.
BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard
While the SPC Air Miles card benefits students who love to travel, their second SPC card offers a bonus that is often preferable. The ability to earn cash back is a more direct way to save money on common expenses, and students will especially enjoy the BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard for its introductory rate of 4.00% cash back for the first 4 months. The cash back rate reverts to 1.00% on all purchases afterward, and like BMO’s other SPC card there is no annual fee.
Students will also get up to 15.00% off when shopping at any of the hundreds of stores and restaurants affiliated with SPC. This perk alone is worth getting the card, given the relevance of many of these stores to a student’s lifestyle. Alongside these savings, using the card to cover $1,000 worth of expenses per month will net $240 in cash back during the first year. With added purchase protection and valuable extended warranties for items purchased with the card, students can finally find a card that suits them well without unrealistic requirements for applicants.
Best BMO Travel Rewards Credit Card
BMO World Elite Mastercard
The World Elite label means that a credit card is accompanied by extra benefits like total travel and medical protection. Though the aforementioned Air Miles World Elite card is a great card for Air Miles devotees, not all Canadians love that rewards program. The BMO Rewards World Elite Mastercard is a good alternative, with cardholders able to earn BMO points for their everyday spending that can be redeemed on any number of travel rewards. BMO offers new applicants 35,000 welcome points after spending $3,000 during their first three months.
Cardholders will earn 3 points for every $1 they spend on travel, dining, and entertainment purchases, and then 2 points per $1 spent on anything else. Since it’s a World Elite card, cardholders will also receive 4 free passes for worldwide VIP airport lounges every year—a $200 value that offsets the annual fee. BMO travel protection features include out-of-country or province medical coverage up to $2 million, plus insurance for rental car collisions.
Add in extended warranties and protection for damage and theft on items purchased with the car, and it’s no wonder that applicants will need to show $80,000 or $150,000 in personal or household annual income, respectively, in order to qualify.
Best BMO No Annual Fee Credit Cards
BMO Rewards Mastercard
It’s sometimes difficult for cardholders to justify paying a high annual fee for a credit card, because in order to offset the fee they’ll need to use the card frequently and rack up rewards/cash back. Thankfully, BMO offers several credit cards that exempt cardholders from any annual fees while granting them some convenient benefits and rewards. One of the best is the Rewards Mastercard, which allows cardholders to earn 1 BMO Rewards point for every dollar they spend. BMO points are flexibly redeemable on travel, vacation packages, hotels, merchandise, and more.
The BMO Rewards Mastercard helps cardholders double their rewards rate to 2 points per $1 when renting vehicles at National and Alamo locations across Canada. They’ll also receive up to 25.00% off the price of their rental. Back up these perks with protection for new purchases against accidental damage, plus extended warranties by to up an additional year, and the whole offer becomes that much more lucrative. Finally, anyone can appreciate the generous bonus of 20,000 BMO rewards points, just for making an initial purchase and spending $1,000 during the first three months. There are few cards that give so much for so little.
BMO CashBack Mastercard
The BMO CashBack Mastercard is another handy wallet companion that doesn’t charge an annual fee and still provides high value. Cardholders are welcomed with a competitive 4.00% cashback bonus rate that lasts for their first 4 months, which returns to the standard rate of 1.00% on all their purchases after the promotional period. Charging $1,500 to the card per month means that new cardholders who receive the bonus will earn almost $360 in their first year. Cash back can be deposited directly into a chequing or savings account, credited to one’s monthly card statement, or invested via the BMO Investorline account.
As a standard BMO perk, the CashBack Mastercard extends protection against theft and damage to one’s new purchases made with the card. It will also grant longer warranties on expensive items like electronics (those that already have a manufacturer’s guarantee), which is highly appreciated when something breaks unexpectedly. All in all, the sum of these benefits makes the card a savvy addition to anyone’s wallet.
Best BMO Low Interest Credit Card
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard
For people who routinely carry part of their outstanding balance from month to month, interest charges are a constant concern. Saving money is more about reducing interest, in this case, than it is earning cash back or rewards. BMO offers a pertinent solution with their Preferred Rate Mastercard, which can immediately help applicants transfer their balances and then pay interest of 3.99% for 9 months. With most cards charging interest at 20% or more, this alone can put money right back into your pocket.
Even without the promotional balance transfer rate, BMO keeps interest on purchases and cash advances at a competitive 11.99%. Standard among BMO cards is complimentary damage and theft protection for new items bought with the Preferred Rate card, plus extended manufacturers’ warranties by up to one more year. These benefits are all available to cardholders for the low annual fee of $20.
Best BMO Air Miles Credit Card
BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard
BMO has an excellent relationship with the Air Miles program and can therefore offer some of the best Air Miles cards in Canada. They demonstrate this handily with their Air Miles World Elite Mastercard, which introduces new cardholders with a 3,000-Air Mile bonus and $120 annual fee waiver. After the first year, the relatively high annual fee is no longer waived, but the card’s benefits will have already proven why it’s more than worthwhile. Cardholders earn Air Miles at a fast rate of 1 per $10 spent, which can be spent on excellent travel rewards and airfare anywhere in the world.
One of the best perks of the World Elite card is its Priority Pass membership to airport lounges worldwide. Members receive two free vouchers to enter the lounge per year—a $150 value that already covers the annual fee and then some. Applicants need $80,000 personal or $150,000 household annual income to be eligible, given the higher-tier perks. The card’s advantages also include comprehensive travel and medical insurance, with 15 consecutive days of out-of-province coverage for up to $2 million.
Those who spend $4,000 per month on the card will earn 7,800 Air Miles in their first year. That’s already enough for a flight from Toronto all the way to Honolulu. A standard BMO benefit is the addition of purchase protection and extended warranties on items purchased with the Air Miles World Elite card. Last, but not least, cardholders can earn double Air Miles on purchases made at Air Miles sponsors across Canada.
Best BMO Credit Cards for Groceries
BMO Sobeys Air Miles Mastercard
For cardholders who spend a lot on groceries and love travelling inexpensively, BMO offers the Sobeys Air Miles Mastercard. You’ll receive 500 Air Miles just for one initial purchase, even something as small as a pack of gum or candy bar. Earning Air Miles on the most common purchases is where the card’s strengths lie, especially for Sobeys and Foodland shoppers. At these staple Canadian grocery stores, cardholders earn 2 Miles for every $20 they spend. Accordingly, weekly grocery purchases for the family will therefore help pay for their summer vacation at the same time.
Even for non-grocery purchases, cardholders earn 1 Mile for every $20 they spend. Double Miles are earned at participating Air Miles program partners—places like Shell gas stations, Ace Hardware, Rexall pharmacies, and National Car Rental. These perks are made even more valuable given the absence of an annual fee.
BMO IGA Air Miles Mastercard
Using the BMO IGA Air Miles Mastercard means earning Air Miles quickly on one of the month’s largest expenses: food. Shoppers loyal to IGA will love that they’ll be able to earn 2 Air Miles for every $20 they spend at this grocery franchise, but just as valuable is their exemption from paying an annual fee. Cardholders will also earn Miles everywhere else they use the IGA Air Miles card, but on these other purchases, the rate is 1 Mile per $20 spent. At Air Miles sponsors across Canada—like Ace Hardware and Shell—Miles will accumulate twice as fast.
Like the Sobeys Air Miles Mastercard, the IGA card also rewards new cardholders with 500 welcome Miles, all for a single initial purchase. That’s a lot of value delivered immediately, and just one more reason why BMO is one of Canada’s best card issuers.
Best BMO Cash Back Credit Card
BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard
Combining a high cashback rate with all the valuable benefits of the World Elite label, BMO’s CashBack World Elite Mastercard is one of the bank’s best. The card has a steep annual fee of $120, but the rate at which you can amass cash back outweighs it by a significant margin. If you spend $3,000 per month you’ll earn $840 cash back in the first year. This includes the generous welcome bonus of 4.00% cash back for the first 4 months, after which the rate is reduced to a still-competitive 1.50%.
However, as a World Elite card, the benefits don’t end there. BMO provides 8 days of out-of-province and country medical insurance coverage for up to $2 million, plus damage and collision coverage for rental cars. Purchases made with the card are also protected from damage and theft, and any item that has an original manufacturer’s warranty can get it extended by up to an additional year. These benefits are only available to applicants who can demonstrate an annual personal income of $80,000, or a $150,000 household income.