BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* Review

Sign Up Bonus Points
Terms and conditions apply
Sign Up Cash Value
(including annual fee waiver and annual four free airport lounge passes)*
Annual Fee
first year waiver*
Purchase APR
Min Personal Income Required
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Welcome offer: Get up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* comes armed with a number of features designed for high-income globetrotters, like flexible airport lounge access and travel insurance*. It’s a particularly valuable asset if you:

  • Travel between provinces/territories or internationally at least 3–4 times per year;
  • Are frequently in need of a rental car; or
  • Regularly shop at retailers that accept only Mastercard.

But there’s no shortage of upscale rewards credit cards in the Canadian market, and if you don’t check off at least two of the boxes listed above you should consider other options that can help you earn a bigger bounty of rewards, or that offer superior travel perks.

Pros & Cons


  • High-value welcome offer
  • Flexible airport lounge access
  • BMO Rewards points can be used to cover flight taxes and fees

  • Great for those who frequently rent cars
  • Good for Costco and No Frills shoppers


  • So-so earn rates relative to its annual fee
  • Points have low redemption value compared to other travel rewards programs

  • Charges foreign transaction fees
  • Relatively high minimum income requirements

Welcome Bonus

New cardholders can earn up to 60,000 bonus points total.* The first 30K points are earned by making at least $3,000 in eligible purchases within the first three months of opening the card, which is a relatively low spending barrier*. Another 2,500 points can be earned for each month in which you make at least $2,000 in eligible purchases, applicable for the period starting four months after you open the account and ending 15 months after you open the account* (12 months * 2,500 points = another 30K points). 60,000 BMO Rewards points should be enough to cover a round-trip flight from Toronto to Cancun or Vancouver to Honolulu.

The annual fees for both the primary cardholder ($150) and first supplementary card ($50) will also be waived in the first year, bringing the maximum welcome bonus value to $600*. That’s very competitive relative to other credit card welcome offers.

Related: Best Credit Card Sign-Up Bonuses in Canada

Earning Rewards Points

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* has the following three earn rates:

  • 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases*
  • 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments*
  • 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else*

The rate for eligible travel purchases* out to a 3.3% return on spending if you redeem the points for travel, or if you deposit them into a BMO Investment Account (see ‘How Much Are BMO Rewards Points Worth?’ below). The 3 points per $1 rate works out to a maximum 2% return, which is competitive for travel spending and entertainment.

That said, there are several other Canadian rewards and cash back cards with superior earn rates on dining, so you might consider those instead if you eat out a lot. Read our article about the best credit cards for restaurants to find out which cards edge out the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*  in that respect.

Also, keep in mind that this accelerated rate applies to the first X amount you spend within these combined categories per year; after you cross that mark you’ll earn 1 point per $1 in those categories*.

How Much Are BMO Rewards Points Worth?

Following BMO’s regrettable devaluation of BMO Rewards points in 2021, 1 BMO point is now worth about $0.0067 when redeeming for travel, including flights, car rentals, hotel rooms, and vacation packages (150 points = $1 in redemption value). Other redemption options include:

  • Investing BMO Rewards points in a BMO Investment Account
  • Cashing in points toward a statement credit (max value of $0.005 per point)
  • Redeeming points for products from diverse merchants like Le Creuset, Dell, and Rayban

Cardholders should be aware that the value they get for their points varies from one redemption path to the next. See the below table for details.

 Redeem for TravelRedeem for InvestmentRedeem for MerchandiseRedeem for Gift CardsRedeem for Statement Credit
Single Point Value$0.0067$0.0067$0.0037–$0.0065$0.004–$0.0045$0.005
Minimum RedemptionNo minimum15,000 points ($100 value)N/AN/A200 points ($1 value)

You can learn more about the BMO Rewards program by reading our complete BMO Rewards Guide.

Apply for the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* here

Airport Lounge Access

The BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* provides cardholders with Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass.* This authorizes you to relax in any of the 1,300+ airport lounges available.

But what makes this card stand out is that it offers four free entries each year*. Most World Elite Mastercards offer just the basic membership, in which each lounge entry costs $32 USD. Plus the free lounge passes from the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* are flexible; you can use them yourself, or they can be used to admit your travel companions. The combined value of these four lounge passes is $128 USD, equivalent to $174 CAD as of December 23, 2022. The value of that feature alone exceeds the $150 annual fee for the primary cardholder.

Related: Best Credit Cards with Airport Lounge Access

Insurance Offering

The insurance package offered by the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* is fairly comprehensive overall, with a few highlights that outperform the insurance offered by most travel rewards cards, and some weaknesses as well. The coverage is summarized in the table below:

BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*: What's Covered?
Travel Emergency Medical*: Under age 65, up to 21 days of consecutive coverage. Covers up to $2,000,000. Does not mention if must charge trip to your card.
Delayed and Lost Baggage*: Up to $750 per person up to a maximum of $2,000 per trip for lost, stolen or damaged baggage. Up to $200 for baggage delay of over 12 hours.
Trip Cancellation*: Up to $2,500 per person up to a maximum of $5,000.
Trip Interruption*: Up to a max of $2,000 per insured person.
Flight Delay*: Up to $500 per person per trip for flight delays of more than 6 hours.
Auto Rental Collision/Loss Damage*: Up to 48 days of consecutive coverage when you charge the full amount of your rental car to your card. Limited to vehicles up to $65,000 in value. Insurance also covers theft or damage to personal effects up to a maximum of $1,000 for each person, per occurrence. Total benefits during each rental period are limited to a max of $2,000.
Hotel/Motel Burglary: N/A
Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance*: Up to $500,000 per insured person; entire cost of trip must be charged to the card to be eligible for insurance.
Purchase Protection*: Covers theft of or damage to items within 90 days of purchase with the card.
Extended Warranty*: Extends a purchased item's original manufacturer's warranty by up to one year. Lifetime maximum coverage of $60K for Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection combined.

For those who rent cars with some regularity, it’s worth noting that this is one of the rare cards in Canada that covers theft or damage to personal effects as part of its rental car insurance*. The same protection unfortunately doesn’t apply to the theft of items from your hotel room, which seems to be the only complete coverage exclusion from the card’s travel insurance suite.

The total amount of out-of-province emergency medical coverage is an impressive $2M (most policies only cover up to $1M)—that said, it’s only valid for the first 21 days of a trip, and it only applies to those under age 65*. The primary cardholder, their spouse, and dependent children are covered. You can pay out of pocket to Allianz, the card’s insurance provider, if you’d like an extension of the coverage period or if you’re a senior citizen in need of a separate emergency medical policy, but the out-of-pocket charge for that might be pricey.

If you’re over the age of 65 or if you frequently stay in hotels, in which case it’s highly recommended to have some form of hotel/motel burglary insurance, we recommend that you check out our list of Canadian travel rewards cards with strong travel insurance to see if there might be a better card out there for your needs.

Other Card Perks

  • Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges*
  • Get valuable benefits and offers for digital everyday services from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services
  • BMO Concierge Service*
  • BMO Roadside Assistance (must pay additional $69–$98 annually)*

Interest Rates and Fees

  • Annual Fee: $150 for primary cardholder; $50 per supplementary card
  • Purchase Interest Rate: 20.99%
  • Cash Advance and Balance Transfer: 23.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents) on Cash Advances; 23.99% on Balance Transfers
  • Foreign Transaction: 2.5% charge per foreign transaction
  • Missed Payment/Late Payment: Purchase interest rate and cash advance/balance transfer rate increase to 25.99% and 28.99% respectively if you have two late payments in a 12-month period

Eligibility Requirements

In order to qualify for the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* you must be at least the age of majority in your province or territory, and you’ll need a personal annual income of $80,000 or more, or a household annual income of $150,000 or more. BMO will expect an Excellent credit score, with no bankruptcies in the past seven years.

How Does It Compare?

 BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®*Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* CardAmerican Express Cobalt® Card
Annual Fee$150 primary; $50 additional$150 primary; $0 first additional and $50 each after that$155.88 ($12.99 monthly fee)
Welcome OfferGet up to 60,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*Earn up to $1,100* in value in the first 12 months, including up to 35,000 bonus Scene+ points and first year annual fee waived on your first supplementary card.¹ Offer ends October 31, 2023.Earn up to 30,000 Membership Rewards® points in the first year (conditions apply)
Rewards Earn Rates5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.*
3X Scene+ points for each dollar charged on all eligible purchases¹ at Sobeys, Safeway, IGA, Foodland & Participating Co-ops, and more; 2 points for every $1 spent in four distinct categories: other eligible grocery stores, dining, entertainment purchases, and daily transit purchases (including buses, subways, taxis and more); all other eligible purchases earn 1 Scene+ point per $1 spent.5 points per $1 spent on eligible eats and drinks, including purchases in grocery stores and food delivery; 2 points per $1 spent on eligible transit and travel purchases; 1 point per $1 spent on other everyday spending
Rewards Redemption ValuePoorAverageExcellent
Airport Lounge AccessComplimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes.
6 Complimentary airport lounge accessN/A
InsuranceGood/Fairly comprehensiveExcellent/Very comprehensiveGood/Fairly comprehensive
Foreign Transaction Fee2.5%0%2.5%

The Scotiabank Passport™ Visa Infinite* Card edges out the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* in a number of key categories. Its points are worth more when redeemed for either travel or a statement credit; its travel insurance suite has no significant weaknesses or gaps; it offers more free annual airport lounge passes; and it doesn’t charge foreign transaction fees. That said, as a Visa it won’t be accepted at some major stores, like No Frills and Canadian branches of Costco. It’s also missing some of the BMO card’s rental car benefits, like insurance coverage for personal belongings damaged or stolen in a rental car*.

The American Express Cobalt® Card lacks some of the BMO card’s added travel goodies, like airport lounge access, but it can help you really rake in rewards points at a much faster rate than you would with BMO. If you spend $6,000 per year on groceries and $3,000 per year at restaurants you’ll earn 45,000 points with the Cobalt. And Amex Membership Rewards® points are worth more than BMO Rewards points when the time comes to redeem them. That said, Amex is not as widely accepted by stores as Mastercard, which may limit the number of points you can potentially earn, depending on where you shop.

¹ Conditions Apply. Visit here for the Scotiabank Passport® Visa Infinite* Card to learn more.

Who’s the Card For?

If you’re a regular international traveller, you often find yourself in a rental car, and/or you tend to shop at stores that accept Mastercard, but not Visa (e.g., Costco and No Frills), the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* is probably a perfect fit for you. It will cover most of your travel needs and will help you earn rewards points at a decent clip.

But if you can live with a Visa or Amex, there are other cards out there that will either allow you to earn more rewards points on everyday spending or reap superior travel benefits, like better airport lounge access; more comprehensive insurance; and waived foreign transaction fees. And if you absolutely need a Mastercard for just a few merchants here and there, you can always elect to use a Visa or Amex as your primary travel card, while holding onto a no-annual-fee Mastercard as a back burner option.

Apply for the BMO Ascend™ World Elite®* Mastercard®* here

Related Articles:

*Terms and conditions apply

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.
American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.

Author Bio

GreedyRates is Canada’s go-to resource for all things personal finance. Our expert articles and videos cover every topic under the financial sun, including credit cards, credit scores, loans, bank accounts, budgeting, investing, RSPs, TFSAs, GICs, taxes, and more. Want our advice on a personal finance issue? Send us an email at [email protected] and we’ll gladly give you some free tips.

Article comments

Topo says:


I am a physician who has been using their World Elite Master Card for 3 years now. I make almost all my purchases with the card, and they’ve continued to increase my credit limit accordingly. I hadn’t run into any issues with them initially until the first couple of times I needed assistance to dispute unfair charges. The bank did little to help my cause. Not particularly satisfied, I continued with them anyways, mostly for the travel perks including lounge access.

Then things really got bad. Due to COVID, I hadn’t been able to use the lounge pass until recently when lounges finally reopened in my city (Toronto). I attempted to use the pass a few days ago and was shocked to hear that, actually, BMO neglected to renew its contract with the airport this summer. I ended up needing to pay for the lounge. I sent an angry message via my online account asking for compensation for the lounge cost, as it should’ve been included in my credit card anyways. I had used it at the same location in pre-covid days without problem. I also said that if they fail to resolve the matter appropriately, I wanted to move forward with canceling my card. The rep who messaged me back gave a standard message stating that with my World Elite I have access to “1000 airport lounges”….and basically provided no explanation as to what happened. Nor any compensation. They said to feel free to message them again if I still wanted to cancel the card.

And here, ladies and gents, is where things went from bad to ridiculous: every time I tried sending a message (to cancel the card) a 404 error showed up. At a loss, I ended up “disputing” the airport lounge payment in order to write down my desire to move forward with the cancellation. Another 404 message. Essentially anything I tried to do on that account took me to a 404 page as if they’re purposely stopping me from cancelling. I figured maybe if I accessed via my phone instead of my laptop, I may miraculously be able to send the message. Not so – in fact I suddenly ended up being locked out of my account. I spent hours calling various service numbers at BMO, first to try and access my online account again. And then to actually cancel my card and close my account. Both times I was told I had to “visit a branch and provide ID in order to proceed”. No explanation as to why, only that my account was “flagged” as such and they had no clue. I frustratingly told them that from the very beginning starting with my application for this card, I had never needed to step into a branch to “provide ID” in order to do anything. I am currently traveling and won’t be back home for another 2 weeks. Again, crickets on their end as to any suitable explanation.

So, now I’m abroad without access to my credit card account or any ability to monitor what the heck this fraudulent bank is doing to it until I return. I’m pondering whether to report it stolen or something just so they’d actually close the card. It’s apparent they’re putting up barriers upon barriers to stop me from canceling, and in the meantime just cementing my decision further to do so. I will never ever use any of BMO’s services again.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Topo,
That’s a ridiculously frustrating experience. You’d think a situation like this would be unfathomable with a big 5 bank but it’s experiences like these that reflect what these services are like in the real world. I hope that you’re able to find a safe way to access funds while you’re abroad and thank you for taking the time to share the details of your incident. I wonder if any of our readers have experienced the same with BMO? If you have, let us know!

DG says:

Thanks for writing the article.

I want to know what’s the main different of this card from the BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard.

I was in a dilemma which one to go for and then opted the cashback one because it offered free roadside assistance. Some feature of this card I know are better (like extended travel insurance coverage and free airport lounge passes) however I felt I won’t really benefit from them because of the pandemic situation right now.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi DG,
Your due diligence has uncovered the key differences between the two BM World Elite Options. With the BMO World Elite MasterCard, you can earn points to redeem for travel (which like you mention, aren’t as lucrative during a pandemic). With the BMO Cashback World Elite MasterCard on the other hand, you get cold hard cash back.

John says:

Have you tried calling BMO rewards when you have an issue? When you book a hotel room, you pay in point and bmo gives you a credit. When you go to the hotel you pay in full. If you pay with points and with cash for a stay it is a bit confusing. We called bmo from the front desk of the hotel, after over 1.5 hour we had to hang up. I have a screenshot of the call up to one hour and 15 mins. All that during business hour. Worst experience ever.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi John,
What an incredibly frustrating experience- thanks for sharing this with us. When you do end up getting a hold of customer service, remember to ask for compensation because 1.5 hours terrible.

Pravin says:

I would hold back off using any BMO credit cards for points right now. They have a new travel system and it has been a disaster. For instance, I used my points on their website for a value of almost $2000. However, the booking didn’t grab the points and after waiting over 3 hours to speak to someone, they said they had to do it manually. I thought it would take a few weeks at most but it seems that this is a very common issue for them right now and it takes about 3 months to get your money back. Basically, i’m set back $2000 for a couple of months. Their supervisor on the phone tried to make me feel better by telling me that I wasn’t the only one and alot of people are facing this issue. He proudly told me that people from April are now resolved and they’re working through cases from May now. When I signed up for this card many years ago, 100 points were worth a dollar, then it became 140 and now it is 150. The entire program has been devalued massively. The extreme difficulty in resolving an issue with your points together with how regularly it seems to be happening makes this one of the worst cards I’ve ever owned. It’s no point having perks you have to painfully jump through hoops to use. Me and my partner will be cancelling all our BMO products after this. I recommend other credit card companies where you are not tied to a bad redemption system. Also, the fact that BMO credit cards ad BMO rewards don’t work together is a huge issue since the bank can’t do much to help resolve your issue. Strongly recommend everyone stay away from BMO credit cards for this reason.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Pravin,
Thank you for sharing your experience and for the warning. Hope that your situation gets resolved quickly. When you’re on with customer service next, consider asking for compensation for your massive inconvenience- they may offer to refund you the annual fee. As you shop around for a replacement, check out our take on the Best Travel Credit Cards available right now. Hope you find something better that meets your needs.

Rahul Sharma says:

Just tried entering the Vancouver airports Plaza Premium lounge in the domestic terminal and the front desk told me that LoungeKey has terminated their association with MasterCard effective July 1, 2021. No email or notification from MasterCard either. And of course….paying the same yearly fee of $150. Will be calling MC to complain…

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Rahul,
Must have been a frustrating experience. Appreciate the heads up here- hope you get compensated for your inconvenience!

Rahul Sharma says:

Thanks Daniel. They offered a one-time annual fee rebate, the entire $150.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Rahul,
Appreciate the follow up- fantastic result! Does that mean you’ll be keeping the card going forward or will you be shopping around for a replacement that gets you better lounge access? If you’re keeping your options open, check out our take on the Best Credit Cards with Lounge Access. Safe travels!

Sarah lou says:

Question: I have a BMO airmiles world elite MasterCard and a BMO premium account. I get a rebate on annual fees for this credit card. The BMO world elite is also included to offer a annual fee rebate . If i also signed up for this card, would I qualify for both rebates for one premium checking account?

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Sarah,
As a BMO Premium banking plan member, you currently enjoy up to $150 rebate on the annual fee for an eligible BMO credit card. A rebate of $150 applies to the BMO World Elite Mastercard while a $120 rebate applies to the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard, BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard or BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card. There is a limit of one rebate per premium Plan, per person. Hope this helps.

Mary-Ann says:

Do not get this card – the hotel reward prices are a scam. The prices that initially come up are more or less expedia price including tax. Then they add “taxes and fees” that works out to be $35~37/night. If you read the fine print, this is the BMO rewards operating cost for online booking, as the listed hotel price includes the actual hotel tax and fees. The BMO rewards state that they charge for phone bookings – now they are charging this value per night. This is deceptive. I always compare the hotel prices before making BMO rewards booking, and I think they slid this cost in this year (2021).

BMO rewards state that online booking and redemption is free, and telephone redemption has a charge for $30.
The BMO rewards is deceptive charging over $30/night “taxes and fees” for the online booking. I will be filing a complaint soon on this deceptive practice. This card devalued so much and it is pretty much useless. The only thing worthwhile used to be hotel bookings, but now every single room cost $35/night more than booking through expedia due to their “secret fee”.

Daniel from GreedyRates says:

Hi Mary-Ann,
That certainly is concerning, especially if you’ve never encountered this fee before. While it shouldn’t be necessary, maybe they’ll refund the fee if you call in with your complaint. If this is going to be the norm rather than the exception, maybe it’s time for a different travel credit card? There are plenty of fish in the ocean.

R Mark Gould says:

My advice to anyone willing to listen is to avoid this card. The travel insurance provided by Allianz Global is worthless. Made me submit a detailed 20 page claim for airfare reimbursement due to COVID19 when they knew from the get-go that they would reject it because Air Transat was issuing time limited credits. Now that AT is offering refunds I was required to submit my request through BMO Rewards as they were the booking agent. Guess what? After 90 minutes on hold the young woman I finally spoke to told me they wouldn’t submit a request for a refund on my behalf unless I first agreed to pay them a $25 fee (28.25 with HST). I know it’s not a lot of money but after all that I have been through you might have thought they might waive the fee. No chance they said. BMO should be ashamed of their association with this outfit.

Daniel at GreedyRates says:

Hi Mark,
Thank you for sharing your experience. While the pandemic has thrown us all for a loop, it isn’t an excuse for the poor customer service you received. If things haven’t been resolved to your satisfaction, you could always try your luck by filing a complaint with the Better Business Bureau though I hope the $28.25 expense means that you were able to get your airfare reimbursed in the end.

Rahul Sharma says:

Looked at my recent credit card statement and there is further disappointment to see that points are now even more devalued. Before it was 140 points = $1 and effective May 5, 2021, it will be 150 points = $1. They will increase existing points balance by 7% to ensure that the value of your points already earned remains the same.

Aaron Broverman says:

Oh man,
I don’t know this for sure Rahul, but I would imagine that this devaluing has to do with the majority of people resisting travel due to the pandemic and the travel industry’s steady decline as a result. I would imagine that free flights is the last thing any airline wants to give away at this time, so though it sucks, making it harder to earn a free flight by devaluing the points makes sense given the time we’re living in.

JAMES says:


Aaron Broverman says:

Hi James
I would say if you don’t spend money on travel, entertainment or restaurants, then it’s better to get the BMO World Cash Back because the cash back is flat rate and doesn’t depend on category, it’s the same for all purchases. Of course, that’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.

Nate says:

Hi. I have a question. I have a Visa Eclipse and BMO WE, I’m wondering if you know if I can merge the 2 accounts?

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi Nate,
You obviously have to check with BMO on this, so call them before you do anything. However, I don’t think you can merge the two accounts. You can do a balance transfer though and transfer the balance on one of the cards onto the other card that you prefer. Obviously there are fees associated with this (usually 1% of the balance transferred) and there will be different interest rate on the balance transferred versus new purchases you make on the card. My advice would be to just pay off one and keep it open but empty to raise your credit score based on available credit and then just use the card you like best as your main credit card, pretending the other one doesn’t exist. Cancelling one card, could shrink your available credit and negatively affect your credit score once you pay one off.

william walsh says:


Aaron Broverman says:

Hey William,
More like it’s a good idea to read the credit benefit guide on the BMO World Elite Mastercard or any credit card with travel insurance so you can see the restrictions, exceptions and more that may restrict your coverage. Very few people do this before applying for a credit card even though a benefits guide is always available in .pdf format online. They really should go over the benefits guide before applying.

John Barogiannis says:

Hello, my situation is quite disturbing, I have been on the rewards site looking through the hotel portion to book a specific hotel in a specific area only to find that it’s not offered.. so I called to inquire about this and see if maybe I was doing something wrong or not.. the customer service agent on the travel side explained to me that if it’s not listed then that means it’s not available to redeem your points for so I said ok, then as an option if I call and book the hotel and pay them directly using my BMO WORLD ELITE MASTERCARD I can just “pay back” my purchase using my points right ?…. I was told no I cannot because if the hotel is not listed in our catalogue of hotels then they will not allow you to payback that purchase!! What ??? This just threw a monkey wrench into my entire plan

Aaron Broverman says:

Hi John,
The key to this would be whatever it says in the fine print of the Rewards program guide. It’s there that the program should say something like an eligible purchase includes participating hotels. That means that even though the hotel purchase is technically a travel purchase, it is not an eligible travel purchase because it isn’t in their catalogue. Therefore, it can’t be paid back or reimbursed with points. Always look for words like “eligible” or “participating” in the rewards details and then go to the definitions to find out what “eligible” means in this program’s case. Usually the rewards program details are available in PDF on the rewards program website.

Mian says:

I purchased a laptop for my grand father on his 89th birthday. He lives in Belgium and obviously the purchase was done in europe to be delivered to him. I am in Montreal though so while paying for the purchase my master card wont go. I called Master card the very first time for assistance. I had an “Elite” MC so to speak. It is really funny to think of all these divisions and perks now lol.
With the same problem going back and forth for 4 consecutive days, a hyper rude agent named Luciano responded to my call on the 7th of Oct around 16 p.m if not mistaken about the time. I chose English service but he took the call in French. He did change his language informing me very rudely that he spoke English too but it was very hard for me to comprehend because of his prononciation which I politely mentioned even though I was absolutely not at ease but considering it was about finance and business I had no choice but ask for another agent. Again politely. My request was ignored and he started asking me security questions ( He must have seen all the convos I had had with other agents for the last few days) I answered 4 of his questions and the 5th was a struggle for me. I asked him to repeat and I felt stupid cause I frankly had no idea what was it about because he wont even breath between the words spoken by him. Now getting restless, I insisted firmly this time that I was to be provided with another agent. Reply was, ” you need to answer security questions”
I hung up and recalled, this time it was a woman Shady, my first conversation was to quide me where to report the previous agent to which she promised she was to report by herself to his superviser on duty.
I got back to my credit card problem suddenly during the conversation she put me on hold for a good 15 minutes break and when she returned she
politely asked me to go to a near by bank with 2 pices of ID.

I was out of speach, I mean here I am looking for a solution to my problem and instead of finding a solution I have a little more on my plate as if that was not enough.

The banks by that time were closed. Today on the 8th I went to the bank only to find out the professional Luciano agent blocked my card and marked FRAUD in comments.

I suddenly realised who am I trusting my money with! I have a good credit history and I have always been very punctual, organised in my affairs with the card but if that is what they could offer in return too bad, I have cancelled my card. Good riddance! If MC sees this review I invite them to listen to all the phone convo with Luciano and Shady though I do have a huge doubt cause if they did non of their agents would behave this way. Well, I will certainly use all occasions to speak about my personal experience and my conclusions to people I know and going to know in life. I do believe this very peculiar customer service. I am glad I am not part of the thing anymore!

Aaron Broverman says:

Wow Mian,
I can understand why the bank would initially flag your purchase as fraud, but once you’ve confirmed your identity they should not question your purchase unless you’ve had other questionable purchases on your account, but it sounds like you don’t. Hopefully, your new bank trusts you a little more and once standard security checks get done, you’re not further questioned on your birthday present purchase for your grandfather in Belgium

Terry L'Hirondelle says:

Mastercard . Iv had a BMO mastercard for years. Recently I called to get my interest rate lowered I was on hold for 65 minutes. When I asked about getting my interest rate lowered the guy simply said ” that’s a no can do” I said well then maybe I should cancel my.card.his answer was..” yes I would be happy to do that for you. So I more BMO card forme. And when my motgage comes up for renewal I’m going to say ..” that’s a no can do”

Aaron Broverman says:

Ha ha ha Terry. I guess they called your bluff, huh? Anyway, it’s going to be tough to get any interest rate reductions during COVID when credit card providers are trying to squeeze any money they can from existing applicants in an environment where fewer people are actually applying for credit cards. Good luck with that mortgage. Most of the first mortgage deferrals granted in March are coming due again in November. Out of curiosity, which credit card are you thinking of replacing your BMO Mastercard with?

Jane says:

They deserve 0 points!
Before my hudband died, he inquired with BMO World Elite Mastercard whether I would be able to have his travel points after he passed, and was told, yes, no problem. That was the first “lie”. He should have been advised to goft the points to me before he died. When he did die, I contacted BMO, and they cancelled his card. That was the second error.
I should have “gifted” his points to me before his card was cancelled. I have now made 3 visits to the bank, 12+ calls to MC and World Elite. I have been told: no problem, but we need to call you back (NO call back); this is not possible; I’ll transfer you (followed by several transfers and two disconnects). This run-around has been going on for 3 months!! My husband’s account has been restored, but quite conveniently, the points have been removed. The 90-day limit is in less than 2 days. I firmly believe that BMO Mastercard World Elite is spinning this out to avoid transferring the points. I want to note that BMO has been very helpful. They are getting the same runaround as I.

Aaron Broverman says:

Oh Jane, I’m so sorry.
First of all, my condolences. Second of all, you can indeed pass down points, so I don’t know why Air Miles is giving you such a runaround. They should’ve been clear with you and your husband from the very beginning. Here’s the official policy for those who want to know:
“In case of divorce or relationship breakdown, death, emigration from Canada, duplication error, or with our authorization, you may with our prior consent and upon proper proof and payment of such fees as we may in our discretion impose from time to time, merge your Collector Number with the Collector Number of a family member or member of your household.”
A 2019 article from CTV news provides greater context by saying: “According to its terms and conditions, Air Miles states that beneficiaries are able to merge their own account with the deceased member’s or take over ownership of the account (if they don’t have one of their own) provided they submit a letter from the executor or administrator of the estate along with proof of death documents.”

Geoff says:

No ability to redeem points. Site down for weeks. No help calling in. No resolution. Earn points for years and then you cannot use them. Terrible product!

MattB says:

To balance the negative reviews, just wanted to say that I’ve had this card for about two years. I haven’t had any problems redeeming points through the BMO rewards portal, though I agree the cost of flights is higher than Expedia (this is to be expected). The lounge passes work (YVR, YYZ) and were enjoyable (before I had a kid/COVID struck). Not sure it’s the best bang for buck but those are my two cents.

Aaron Broverman says:

Your two cents are valuable MattB, Don’t sell yourself short. Thanks so much for your take. We appreciate it.

tockwood says:

Worst Rewards credit card and worst customer service ever
Applied credit card online. Got the card and was asked to go in the bank to activate. Never happened in any of my other credit cards. Went to bank and customer service rep kept trying to activate the card for 1.5 hrs and failed. She applied for another credit card . When I got the card and did the spending on first three months the required amount, I didn’t get the bonus points! Lounge is a joke! Tried to use the lounge at Pearson and it has a sign “Lounge reached the capacity” – Its a useless lounge. Tried to use the lounge in LaGuardia – Discovered that lounge is in the food court outside of check in area.
Stay away for this card – its a piece of junk

Aaron Broverman says:

Wow Tockwood,

What a rough experience. I’ve never heard of that happening to anyone else quite that way. I’m sorry you had such a rough one. Hopefully you’ll be happier with another card because I know many who’ve had good experiences with BMO World Elite, but I get that circumstances can conspire to sour some individuals off of it in remote cases.


Noticed 150 credit on my card. Called in to ask why. Took money from my bank account when they should not have. Explanation I got was unsatisfactory. Customer interrupted me twice trying to anticipate my questions. Cancelled this card as a result. I would say apply and get the rewards. Spend them. Then run away.

Aaron Broverman says:

Awww David, I’m sorry you had such a bad customer service experience. Hopefully you find a better card to work with for your needs.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Eric,

We know your struggle! The BMO World Elite Mastercard is still, even after the changes, one of the most impressive all-around credit cards available, but it’s now much closer in value to other cards. One of them is the card you mentioned—the TD First Class Travel Visa Infinite card. Both have nearly identical introductory bonuses, as you mention, so these can effectively go unconsidered in your comparison since both are valued at around $400. The main differences to look at are what rewards and perks you get over the card’s lifetime and what it’ll cost you past the first annual fee.

The TD card is less expensive at $120 per year versus the BMO card’s $150, and it also has a lower annual income requirement by $20,000 ($60k versus $80k). Now ask yourself how often you travel, and then how often you use Expedia. If you’re a fan of Expedia and its great booking ecosystem, then the (highly) accelerated rewards rate of 9 points per $1 spent makes the TD First Class Travel card pretty worthwhile. On the other hand, BMO lets you spend and earn more flexibly (less on travel and outside of Expedia for the accelerated rate), while also enjoying airport lounge access. In our opinion, paying the extra $30 per year is more than legit.



Worst service ever if you have to call…you can count on 20 minutes on hold each and every time you call! And when you send in a complaint they are “aware of the problem and working on it”. Here we are 2 years later with same problem…pathetic service!

Nate Siegel says:

Hey Sandra,

Thanks for posting your comment, it’s always good to get feedback on the issuers and banks we review, even if the feedback itself isn’t particularly good. The thing about BMO is that it’s a “Big Five” bank, which means you might wait a bit to get connected with a representative, but then they’re equipped to handle whatever issue you may have. With a robust department for fraud, billing, debt and more you’ll rarely encounter a problem that can’t be resolved quickly, unlike smaller card issuers (we won’t name names).

However, at the end of the day it’s your right as a consumer to switch cards, and if you’re looking for a replacement for the BMO World Elite Mastercard, then we’ve got just the card for you. Check out the MBNA Rewards World Elite card instead, which collects 2 point per $1 spent and has a huge amount of auxiliary rewards. You might also find the Rogers World Elite card suitable, with an industry-best flat rate of cash back at 1.75%. Check these out on our site and see if you can compare them against your BMO card. If you need help just let us know.


Russ says:

This card rewards system has been gutted , how can you still rate it good to excellent ? A little disappointing to think we are reading an unbiased review? You get 2 points per $ for most of your purchases, that are worth 40% less when booking travel. Less if you take cash back. I have two other choice rewards cards that give 2% back for travel, cash , or whatever ? And they have their own travel agency that will match any travel deal anywhere, anytime. No games . Don’t theses companies learn anything from the experiences of Airmiles, Aeroplan ,etc and all the other companies that got to greedy? And I have been a faithful user of BMO world elite card for 35-40 years and have never left a balance. Hope they enjoy what they took from me , but they won’t be taking anymore

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Russ,

Sorry to hear that you’re no longer a fan of the BMO World Elite Mastercard! If you’re looking at it from a travel point of view only, then its value has indeed suffered a bit, we admit. However, for many Canadians the BMO World Elite still represents one of the best all-around cards due to its generous bonus, and its high flat rate on all purchases like you mentioned. To put it into percentage terms, according to our Loyalty Program bible a BMO Rewards point is worth $0.007, so two points per $1 spent is the equivalent of 1.4%.

In our opinion, 1.4% in rewards on all spending—especially when these are the most flexibly redeemed—is a solid base. Add in the bonus, the airport lounge passes, insurance, and other perks and the card still represents one of the best in Canada. It’s just not as good as it used to be for some! It’s a shame this includes you, but may we suggest an alternative card to replace it with?

Something like the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite has similar perks, a better earn rate, but the addition of foreign transaction fee shelter (0.00% foreign transaction fees). Check it out and let us know if it floats your boat!


Bruce Murray says:

Be aware when booking flights using the online tool or directly (at a fee) with the BMO Rewards Centre you will be paying an inflated price compared to what offerings can be purchased on other travel sites or directly from the airline’s website. Maybe better rates for Hotels, but then many Hotels provide discounted rates when you sign up for a membership, which you will not be able to take advantage of through the Rewards Centre.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Bruce,

Thanks for the enlightening comment. Generally speaking, you’ll find that travel rewards programs aren’t designed to be places where you can both redeem points for travel and also find the lowest price bookings around. Travel rewards are meant to provide supplemental value to you by letting you slowly earn discounted travel over time, not do so at the same or lower prices as if you used cash. This is an almost universal downside to travel cards, which in turn is balanced out by fast rewards earnings on a plethora of purchase categories, and other luxurious perks that make travel more comfortable and expedient even when you’re using cash.

We think you’ll like the new Marriott Bonvoy card, which offers you the ability to earn points on virtually everything, and spend them on any travel with multiple carriers, but also get the status upgrades at great hotels worldwide and redeem points there too. Check it out and let us know what you think.


Debbie says:

I misunderstood the value of points for paying towards the card balance and am considering cancelling my application that I put through today. But they do have a car rental that is roughly 370000 points. With the bonus 35,000 I would be 200 short. What would the extra cost me – it says you pay cash for an points shortfall.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Debbie,

From the fine print it looks like you’ll need to have at least 80% of the reward’s value to redeem with points in order to “top up” using cash. If the car rental is 37,000 points and the bonus is 35,000, this is already almost 95%, so you can definitely purchase extra points to make the difference. However, two things come to mind. First, you should be aware that you won’t get the points immediately. At the least, you’ll need to meet a spending goal of at least $3,000 in your first three months, so if you need to rent the car for a trip occurring before then, you’re out of luck.

Second, we don’t know how much BMO will charge you to purchase those extra 2,000 points. According to our Loyalty Program Bible, one BMO point is worth around $0.007, so we’d expect to pay at least $14 to cover the difference (and maybe more). The best way to find out is to call BMO directly and inquire, either by navigating yourself to the place where Rewards points can be purchased, or by asking a general customer service representative. Good luck!


Helen says:

re: BMO world Elite Master card
If I book my flight directly with Airline company with the World Elite Master card, not through the BMO reward center, will I still be able to earn bonus reward points please ?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hello Helen,

Thanks for your interest in BMO’s great travel card, the World Elite Mastercard. We’re big fans of this card for the exact reason you posted about it—you can earn reward points regardless of what you spend money on. Rewards points can be spent on travel (obviously) but also merchandise, cash credits and gift cards as well, and to earn these points you just need to use the card. That’s it—it’s not restricted to earning only on travel-related purchases, so your airfare (booked anywhere) will collect rewards points for you.

The bonus of 35,000 rewards points is offered to those who spend at least $3,000 in their first three months, including any purchase category, so you’re good here too. Remember that the 3 points per $1 accelerated rate is only for dining and entertainment purchases, though. Hope that helps—enjoy your trip and rewards points!


Ian says:

“emember that the 3 points per $1 accelerated rate is only for dining and entertainment purchases”

Not true, most travel expenses will earn you 3 points (=2.1%). The problem, though, is that they may miss some travel or other eligible expenses if the merchant type, as per MasterCard, is not defined as provider of travel, dining or entertainment services. This happened A LOT to me, especially when paying for the services abroad. Overall, it only make sense to purchase in this 3 categories and use another card, like the free Rogers Word Elite for anything else.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Ian!

Thanks for the comments on our comments! We stand corrected and will fix the typo, but yes, remember that eligible travel-related spending also earns BMO Rewards points at a rate of 3 per $1. You’re right that going abroad with the card means you’ll incur foreign transaction fees on your purchases, but we assume that you’re talking about how the 3 points helps to offset these fees. This is true when the purchase is eligible, (2.10% redemption value vs. a 2.50% average fee) but if you’re trying to avoid all foreign transaction fees then you’re better off with the Rogers World Elite (like you said) or the Home Trust Preferred card.

The BMO World Elite card is better for those who purchase from Canadian businesses and want to use their rewards to fly abroad, where they’d use a different card (like either of the two above) for everyday purchases. Thanks again and best of luck finding your ideal card.


Carol Howard says:

My husband and I have been mastercard holders for more than forty years. These recent changes to decrease our benefits are causing us to switch to another card. We pay a hefty annual fee to receive all the benefits that World elite provides. We both turned 65 this year so I just found out that we no longer qualify for the health coverage we once had when leaving Canada. There even isn’t an option any longer to pay extra for this coverage for 65 years and up to 74. So fine you do not honour senior citizens. This is becoming the norm in big corporations. I guess none of you will ever get old. My suggestion to MC management is to give their customers who are 65 or older a senior discount on the annual fees. Why you ask? Because seniors are losing all medical coverage which is a big portion of the benefit package so why should we be paying the same for those who get it. Make sense?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Carol,

Thanks for your thorough comment! For good or bad feedback about the cards we review, it’s all welcome. We’re disappointed to hear that you and your husband are being left behind by the new BMO World Elite Mastercard changes, especially with the updated health insurance coverage that no longer covers you nor gives the option to buy extra insurance. What else to do but cancel it and find an alternative? Thankfully there are cards on the Canadian market that specialize in providing insurance for cardholders who are 65 and older. It’s called the Desjardins Odyssey World Elite card.

The Odyssey World Elite comes with $5 million in coverage for medical needs on your travels and covers those aged 65-74 for 15 consecutive days. Beyond 75 and you’ll need to call Desjardins and buy extra coverage, as you once could with BMO. It’s also relevant that your grandchildren (if any) will also be covered if they’re travelling with you. In addition, the card provides trip cancellation insurance, baggage insurance, common carrier accident insurance, and 2.00% cash back in Desjardins BONUSDOLLARS, which can be redeemed on virtually anything you could want.

Let us know how it looks, and if you’d like to consider any other suggestions. Thanks again for reading and commenting.


Jorge Bonatto says:

Does World Elite M/C or Visa Infinite covers “Lost Damage Waiver” for car rental?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Jorge,

For other readers of this comment, what Jorge is referring to with ‘Loss Damage Waiver’ is actually the standard collision damage waiver that comes with many travel cards. The terms are interchangeable. Regarding whether or not these two cards include it in their perks, you can see from our article that the BMO World Elite Mastercard does indeed include the car rental collision damage waiver, as well as insurance against theft or damage. The Visa Infinite card also covers damage to rental vehicles.

Keep in mind that when you see the World Elite or Visa Infinite moniker, you can expect the card to also have these perks, and others. This is the designation that Mastercard and Visa use for their upper-tier travel cards, which include a variety of insurance perks that are most relevant for travellers like yourself! Enjoy!


Dan says:

I have a brief story then a question, both of which m ay be helpful to people considering this card.
I went to my BMO branch to sign up for this card. I already had a BMO air miles MC. At the time I asked if I was eligible for the bonuses and the guy said yes. Uncertain, I called the help line and got the same info.
A few days later when I got my new card I looked on my account and saw a $150 charge for the annual fee.
So I called again and they told me that since it was just a switch over not a new application I was eligible neither for the $150 waiver nor the 30,000 points signup bonus. After some wrangling they told me they could waive the $150 but not give the points.
This to me seemed to be penalizing a long time cardholder (I’ve had a BMO card since 1990) and benefiting new members, and it is less problematic for them to keep reliable customers. But in any case they did not budge. So I switched back to my much less satisfying BMO air miles card.

I still wanted a better MC. However, now that I had the status of a former BMO World Elite Mc holder I would never be eligible for signup bonuses. So I called them again to see if I could get that status revoked so I could sign up anew. I planned to cancel my BMO MC entirely. They told me actually as a BMO card holder I would not have been eligible anyway, even if I’d cancelled my card and applied again.

That is the story, now here is the question.
In the course of discussing this with the staff on the phone, I learned that existing clients still get assorted bonuses tied to their spend level. But when I asked them for examples all they could tell me were stories about peopel with lesser cards being offered a waiver of the annual fee. This was no bonus. They alluded to bonus points and so on, but could not give specific examples because that was part of the promotion department, not the customer support.
Do you know what kind of occasional bonuses a BMO World Elite Mastercard holder could get? I still think it’s a good card and would like to know if it is the one for me, if I can convince them to wait ethe $150 fee. Any ideas?

LJ says:

Hi, trying to determine if we should go with a BMO World Elite Mastercard or RBC Visa Infinite Avion Card. We need one card for personal use, and one for small business use and would like both cards to build the same points. Mostly looking to use points for airline travel. Thanks for any advice!

GreedyRates says:

Hi LJ, thanks for the interesting inquiry! If you want a great travel card, you’re comparing two of the best with the RBC Visa Infinite Avion and the BMO World Elite. In our expert opinion, the BMO card is a more flexible and lucrative choice due to its lack of blackout dates, seating restrictions, and the fact that you can pay for taxes and fees with your rewards. This isn’t possible with the RBC Avion card, which also neglects to supply a decent “every purchase category” rate, at just 1 point per $1. BMO seals the deal by offering 4 free VIP airport lounge passes to the primary cardholder and his or her guests every year. We encourage you to compare the two cards more closely by reading our RBC Visa Infinite Avion card review.

In addition, BMO provides a true business card that complements the World Elite card very well. The BMO Rewards Business Mastercard also offers a lucrative welcome bonus and cancellation of the first year’s annual fee, and earns rewards in categories like gas, internet and phone bills, and office supplies. This way, you can earn at the highest rate possible for your personal and your business expenses, and use the points from both cards toward an awesome vacation. The powerful pair of credit cards might save you hundreds, or even thousands of dollars in travel costs with responsible, focused use.

You can learn more about the business card by reading our BMO Rewards Business Mastercard review.

GreedyRates Staff

Brian says:

quick question. do you need to book your trip thru the BMO travel website/ center to use the 4 lounge passes?

GreedyRates says:

Hey Brian, thanks for coming to GreedyRates with your question! The four free VIP airport lounge passes that cardholders get are a great perk, and essentially give out $200 in value every year. There are no strings attached, and cardholders receive their passes automatically each year to use on themselves or their travelling companions (we don’t think you can give them to acquaintances to use without you). However, you don’t have to purchase the tickets with your BMO World Elite Mastercard or use the BMO travel website to use the passes themselves. When redeeming the vouchers, you’ll likely have to print them from BMO’s online web portal and specify the date you’re going to use them. Check with BMO on this point to make sure, but regardless, there are no other restrictions. Enjoy!

GreedyRates Staff

Murray Porteous says:

I booked two regional air flights on my BMO MasterCard, but the airline has had its licence to operate suspended indefinitely after their second in four months crash killing more people (2 on the first, 12 on the second). The company’s statement says they are optimistic they will be back in operation in two weeks, however considering there will likely be criminal charges, we don’t believe their statement. Can we get a full refund of our ticket purchase if the airline cannot assure they can deliver the purchased flights and we need to book alternative travel?

Michael says:

Hi Murray, thanks for the interesting question. We’re not aware of which airline you’re referring to, but regardless, we are unable to do much here and recommend calling the airline’s customer service number. If their planes aren’t in the air and all flights are cancelled due to this unfortunate circumstance, we believe that all customers will likely be refunded without question. However, if your timeline is short and you need to immediately understand your flight’s status, you’ll either need to book new travel arrangements or simply believe in the airline’s optimistic 2-week target. You might also consider talking to BMO about the trip cancellation coverage, but this is not explicitly covered in their certificate so a representative may be able to provide more insights. We hope it gets sorted out and that you’re able to travel without too much trouble. Good luck!

GreedyRates Staff

Betty says:

I want a travel cc that comes with trip cancellation, trip interruption etc. I don’t need travel medical but if it comes with it great.

I currently have the mbna rewards card. It’s not really earning points fast enough. As this card is our primary card and we put all purchases on it.

Is there another card with annual fee that comes with better rewards points? I was thinking about TD as if u have an acct with them they waive the annual fee of the infinite card. But their rewards points is bunk

Rbc avion but they don’t pay for taxes

Mbna elite card annual fee of $89 but they don’t have trip cancellation nor trip interruption.

BMO elite card but from other people commenting on your review of the card they said higher prices for booking and charge a fee for travel agent and can’t book things separate

Is there a card that offers the insurance with great redemption and no hassle and can book anytime? And don’t over price the vacation?

Michael says:

Hi Betty, thanks for your question and the thorough description of your quest for the perfect travel card! We hope we can help. In our opinion, one of the most powerful and flexible travel cards is the Scotiabank Gold Amex card, as it allows you to collect points on a variety of expenses and redeem them retroactively on any travel-related purchases you make. This means you can use the card to buy tickets from any airline and book whatever hotel you like, then use your points to cover these expenses later. Additionally, it also fulfills your need to have trip cancellation and interruption insurance, but does cost $89 per year for these benefits. We think it’s worth it and encourage you to do some research. You can learn more by reading our full Scotiabank Gold Amex Card review, or you can apply directly for the card via this link. Safe travels!

GreedyRates Staff

Aaron says:

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/

Sean says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Gary says:

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?

Rockymj says:

We’ve always looked at the minimum balance requirement as in fact a trade off and treat it as interest earned. I.e. if you put $6000 in the bank account and don’t have to pay any other charges on that bank account, not paying the $150 per year for the CC is in fact a higher interest rate earned than if you had put that money in a savings account. But yes you do need to be able to treat that money as savings.

Craig says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Andrei Mankevich says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Richard says:

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,, 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.

GreedyRates says:

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

eurobound says:

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.


Nancy says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Logan says:

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.

Jake says:

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”

JadenJonas says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

JadenJonas says:

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!

GreedyRates says:

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.

Debby Halliday says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Debby says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Clive says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

N. L. says:

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.

Gary says:

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.

Angela says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Shel says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

cam says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Simon Mak says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Nemo says:

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

Thank you.

GreedyRates says:

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

Theresa says:

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)?

GreedyRates says:

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

marlaina blanche says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Manjot says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Cols says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Tejindar Randhawa says:

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.

Nick says:

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?


GreedyRates says:

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

Filomene says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Larry says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

Maria says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Jamie says:


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, 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?


GreedyRates says:

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

Roy C says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Joyce says:


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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Joyce says:

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!

GreedyRates says:

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

Nancy Mesa says:

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.

GreedyRates says:

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

Yushi says:

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?


GreedyRates says:

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).



John says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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 .


GreedyRates Staff

John says:

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 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!).

Geoff says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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

Geoff says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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.


Darryl says:

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?


GreedyRates says:

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,


Bane says:

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.

Alice says:

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.)?


GreedyRates says:

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

Alice says:

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?

GreedyRates says:

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,


Cory says:

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..

GreedyRates says:

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.

Val says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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.

Val says:

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 no need to buy extra insurance..if you get ill the credit card issuer will pay all bills?

GreedyRates says:

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

Val says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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

Val says:

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

GreedyRates says:

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).



Renee says:

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?


GreedyRates says:

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.