BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* Review
Looking for that elusive rewards credit card with a hefty sign-up bonus and no annual fee? We got you covered. Want that no annual fee credit card to come with awesome rewards opportunities? How about access to Canada’s largest loyalty program with over 10 million active members, and one of the country’s richest earn rates? Check.
The BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* remains one of Canada’s most popular no fee loyalty credit cards, with its superb sign-up offer of 800 Air Miles* – and absolutely no annual fee. Not now, not ever.
The 800 welcome bonus miles* (when you spend $1,000 within the first three months) for the BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* is worth about $80 if you redeem for travel*. It’s also a great no-fee MasterCard to accumulate rewards in Costco!
Even if you have another “favourite” credit card in your wallet already, why not give one of Canada’s most popular credit cards and loyalty programs a try?
In This Article:
BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* Travel Hacking Secret
Long gone are the days when Air Miles were only good for toasters and blenders. Air Miles can now be used for instant cash rewards, travel or merchandise. You can double dip getting miles with your credit card AND your Air Miles collector card to earn miles doubly fast*. And you can get bonus miles with your card at retailers!
However, when doing our research, we found an unexpected revelation. With Air Miles rewards, you can hack your way to one of the highest travel earn rates of any rewards credit card in Canada, let alone a no annual fee card. The trick is to redeem for short-haul flights at the last minute. Doing so will earn you upwards of 2.04% in value from your BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* – that’s $2.04 per $100 spent!
For example, in our research at the time this was looked at a flight from Toronto to Boston booked 2 days before departure cost $664 (excluding taxes & fees), which we were able to book for 1,300 Air Miles – worth 51 cents a mile ($664/1300)! Divide 51 cents by $25 (1 air miles per $25 spent on the credit card) and you get $2.04 in rewards for every $100 spent on your BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* – unparalleled redemption value.
Compare the earn rate of 2.04% of the BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* to the 2% earn rate offered by many of Canada’s top premium travel cards that come with a $150 annual fee and the value is obvious.
So the BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* is not only offering a great 800 Air Miles* sign-up bonus, it also offers one of the best reward earn rates per dollar spent. By the way, if travel isn’t your thing, feel free to use Air Miles Cash Rewards to redeem at the till with so many of Air Miles’ retail partners like Sobeys and Metro. Plus you can consolidate debt onto the card with a low 0.99% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 9 months after you sign up (2% balance transfer fee applies)*.
BMO® AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* Benefits
Here are some of the additional perks that help this card stand-out from the pack:
- 800 Bonus Air Miles welcome bonus – 800 AIR MILES Welcome Bonus Miles when you spend $1,000 within the first three months*
- No Annual Fee There is no annual fee on this card – ever
- Earn Double Rewards Use your BMO® AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* and AIR MILES Collector Card at an AIR MILES sponsor to earn reward miles from both
- Earn Accelerated Miles Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners and 2x the Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store*.
- Earn on Everything Earn 1 Air Miles rewards for every $25 spent on the credit card*
- Free Additional Cards With a $0 annual fee, you can get as many authorized users on your card as you’d like to help you accumulate Air Miles even faster!
- Discounts Car rental discounts*
- Insurance double manufacturer’s warranty up to a year and automatically insure items against theft or damage for 90 days from date of purchase with your card*
- Low 0.99% interest rate on balance transfers in the first 9 months (2% applies to balance amount transferred)*
With the sign-up bonus now at 800 Air Miles* with no annual fee, this card offers superb value. With no annual fee, there’s absolutely no risk putting another card in your wallet, and you’re getting $80* of house money to play with. Free is always worth it.
To our knowledge, there is no better no fee Air Miles credit card offer than the 800 mile sign-up bonus* offered by the BMO® AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* right now. We think this is one the best options in the Canadian marketplace today.
*Terms and conditions applyBMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.
I was wondering if I paid my taxes to CRA which CRA gives the option to do, but it looks like it goes under cash advance with my mastercard elite do i receive airmiles like a bill payment?
Typically, you only receive air miles if it’s an eligible bill payment. An eligible payment usually has to be reoccurring on a monthly basis, so one-off annual bill payments such as your taxes usually don’t qualify. However, download the benefit agreement for your card off BMO’s website and talk to someone there to get true clarification.
Good day, I am considering a BMO air Miles card and am wondering if utility bill payments using the card count as purchases that allow me to collect the Air Miles?
Thanks for coming to GreedyRates—these types of questions are our specialty. If you want to know whether bill payments and other utilities will earn Air Miles with the BMO Air Miles Mastercard, they will! We did a check into the fine print for you and found that as long as your purchases aren’t classified as “refunds and excluding cash advances, cash-like transactions, interest charges, fees, credit or debit adjustments” then you’ll earn Air Miles on them. Purchases that only earn fractions of an Air Mile aren’t eligible, however, so that’s something to keep in mind. Enjoy the card, and your future travels as well!
I have never had an air miles MasterCard. How do I get the preferred rate 12.99 % ?
Thanks for the comment, but we’re a bit confused about which card you want. BMO offers several different Air Miles cards such as the BMO Air Miles Mastercard (the one mentioned in the article above) but also a card called the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard, offering 12.99% APR on purchases and cash advances. If you want either card you can apply via the links in this comment, but there are no BMO cards that offer both a low purchase/cash advance rate plus the ability to earn Air Miles. However, there’s little harm in getting both, given their low annual fees! Hope that helps a bit.
I had a BMO air miles credit card and cancelled about a year ago. If I apply again, am I eligible for the bonus points?
Thanks for posting your question to GreedyRates. Judging from the fine print it looks like you won’t be eligible, because the very first line of the disclaimer states that the “800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles offer is limited to new accounts.” Also, “Existing BMO AIR MILES Mastercard customers who cancel their card during the Offer Period, and existing BMO Mastercard customers who transfer into this product during the Offer Period are not eligible.” Accordingly, BMO has made it clear that only those applicants who have never had the card before will get those 800 miles.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a different Air Miles card and earn those bonus miles. There are tons of Air Miles cards out there that have nice introductory bonuses, including ones that don’t require a high income or credit score. The Amex Air Miles card offers 500 Miles as a bonus, for example. If you’re just looking for a basic card that’ll help you boost your Miles earnings then this will work. Otherwise, let us know if we can make suggestions on cash back or rewards cards—there’s lots that will complement your travel card perfectly.
We’ve had this card for years. It once offered travel insurance but this seems to no longer be the case. Thoughts?
Thanks for the comment about the BMO Air Miles Mastercard. The card does not have travel insurance, as you discovered, but if you’d like a similar card with these benefits then check out the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard. You’ll still earn Air Miles, but at BMO’s highest rate available, and also avail of complimentary membership to Mastercard’s LoungeKey program, which offers entrance into worldwide airport lounges. Finally, you’ll appreciate the card’s comprehensive travel and medical coverage for 15 days.
If you have the Air Miles card and want to make the switch, you’ll be able to do so more easily than most. Simply call BMO and they can swap the two cards for you, assuming that you meet the minimum income eligibility requirement of $80,000 (or $150,000 household). The existence of the World Elite card is likely why the regular Air Miles card no longer has travel insurance, as the bank wants to direct customers towards its better (and more expensive) card for these kinds of perks.
Hello, can I stack sign up bonus from different BMO cards ?
Hey there Philip,
Promotions that are typically un-stackable are things like low-interest balance transfer deals, but bulk rewards points gifts can sometimes be obtained simultaneously. However, this isn’t the case with BMO’s Air Miles cards, which we assume you’re referring to in your comment. The first clause in the fine print states, “800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles offer is limited to new accounts…Existing BMO AIR MILES Mastercard customers who cancel their card during the Offer Period, and existing BMO Mastercard customers who transfer into this product during the Offer Period are not eligible.”
We also checked with other BMO cards that aren’t in the Air Miles family, such as the World Elite Mastercard, which had a similar (but deeply buried) snippet of fine print. This means that you’re ineligible for new BMO promotions if you currently have a BMO account or card, and even if you cancel it during your application you’re probably still ineligible. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but at least you didn’t apply and get dinged for no reason! Thanks again for coming.
You had a special 500 bonus air miles for 3 purchases of $20.00 or more when paying by BMO Airmiles Mastercard for the month of October. How soon will I get my bonus 500 air miles.
Nice job picking up the BMO Air Miles Mastercard! It’s one of our favorite no-fee travel cards and does a great job at collecting air miles. One way is through the bonus you obtained when you signed up, which should be coming your way very soon. Typically it takes 2-3 statement periods for a bonus to reflect in your online bank, and since you signed up in October you may need to wait until December before the miles make it to your account. Have patience and keep us informed!
I have a BMO MasterCard elite with airmiles should I switch.
If you’re interested in the BMO Air Miles Mastercard and want to know how it stacks up against your World Elite Mastercard, we’ll do a quick comparison for you. If you choose the Air Miles Mastercard then you’ll pay no annual fee versus the World Elite’s $120, and will also get the 500 Air Mile bonus. Keep in mind that if you cancel your World Elite card, your Air Miles account will remain as it was. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the nice double-dip hack featured above, but there are some downsides. The World Elite earns twice as many miles per dollar, and already gives you a 15.00% discount on Air Miles flights in North America.
Add in the Priority Pass to VIP airport lounges (which we hope you’ve used!) and two free annual vouchers, and the Air Miles Mastercard probably ends up a small underdog against the World Elite. What puts the World Elite that much further ahead is its insurance coverage.
Ultimately, the choice is yours, but you might benefit by applying for the Air Miles card and only using it for short-haul flights, and for the 500-Mile bonus of course. You’ll be using the same Air Miles account regardless, so you don’t need to worry about which card to use for which purchase.
when using the BMO airmiles card, do you get any discount through any car rentals in Canada?
thanks in advance.
Thanks for your post. When you use the BMO Air Miles Mastercard to rent a car, you will get a discount off the price of your rental of up to 25%, like you would with most other Air Miles cards (but not all). We’re also happy to report that you’ll get a double bonus in the form of 2x Air Miles on these purchases at a wide variety of rental dealerships across Canada. BMO cardholders renting vehicles at Alamo, Budget, and National Car Rental get both these benefits, making it one of the most lucrative cards for those who frequently drive on vacations or business trips abroad.
Sir we have a airmiles bmo credit card, when we shop they are not accepting the airmiles in the card. Can you please let us know how to use those airmiles in our purchase.
Hi Uma! Thanks for your question. When you say that ‘they don’t accept Air Miles for the purchase’, do you mean on merchandise or on flights? Air Miles are a great reward, but are generally used for travel rewards such as flights, and can’t be used as currency for goods or services outside of the Air Miles program. Just respond back to this comment, whenever you like, and tell us what kind of purchase you’re trying to make with Air Miles. We will be glad to help!
Air miles is not really any good.
shell only gives you 1 air mile per $35 not 20 like advertized
when redeeming air miles they charge you fees so you do not get much of a deal
I got the BMO air miles card but after redeeming my air miles and gettting dinged substancially for fees i will use another rewards card
Not at all impressed
Thanks for the comments! Not sure we agree on the Shell observation though. When making a purchase at Shell, you would get 1 Air Miles reward per $20 spent on your BMO Air Miles MasterCard, plus using your Air Miles collector card, you would get another 1 AIR MILES reward on a minimum 15 litre fuel purchase in a single transaction and/or 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $10 purchased in-store. Where is the 1 air mile per $35 you refer to?
But the 1 point per $20 of spend is less than the Amex Air Miles card at 1 pt per $15 of spend – and it is also no fee.
We don’t think you should choose one or the other. We think you should choose both for the following reasons.
The Amex no fee Air Miles card is 1 pt per $15 of spend at Air Miles partners, 1 pt per $20 of spend everywhere else – that gives an advantage especially at Air Miles grocery and gas partners. The downside of Amex is acceptance. If you’re a die hard Air Miles collector, and want a no fee card, you should get both the Amex and Mastercard no fee cards, so you’ll always be in a position to receive and maximize your rewards. The other benefit is the free 500 Air Miles bonus for the Amex card, plus the free 800 Air Miles bonus for the BMO MasterCard. It costs no more to have the two cards than the one, and you’ll have more Air Miles for it.
Hope that helps,