BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* Review
A credit card that has no annual fee and yet offers generous cash back for everyday purchases is a rare find on the Canadian credit card landscape. That’s why BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* has always been a coveted piece of plastic among Canadian consumers looking for a no-fee card with easy cash back earnings.
BMO has recently made a few changes to this popular cash back card. There are some adjustments to the earn rates (mostly positive), as well as modifications to the way cardholders can redeem cash back earnings. Here’s a look at the changes and at what stays the same (spoiler alert: BMO’s CashBack MasterCard remains a solid choice for your wallet).
In This Article:
BMO CashBack Benefits
- No annual fee
- Solid welcome offer
- The 3% cash back on groceries (up to $500 monthly) is the highest cash back on groceries in Canada without paying an annual fee!†
- Very flexible redemption options
- Grocery and recurring payment spending caps renew monthly
- Great balance transfer option
- Nice perks like discounts on rentals and extended warranty
Drawbacks of the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*
- The standard earn rate for purchases outside of groceries and recurring payments goes down to 0.5%*
- The top earn rates for groceries and recurring payments have a monthly cap
Welcome OfferGet up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months*, plus a $50 cash back bonus (when you spend $6,000) in your first year.
Cash Back Structure
As of May, cardholders will earn 3% (up to a monthly max of $500) cash back on groceries, 1% (up to $500 per month) on any recurring bill payments and 0.5% (no monthly max) on all other eligible purchases*.
This new cash back structure is now tiered but a lot more appealing—especially if you spend a lot on groceries or make numerous recurring payments.
Redeeming Cash Back
BMO made it even easier to redeem your cash back rewards. You can get your cash back from BMO MasterCard at any time from as little as $1. You can also set up automatic cash back redemptions into a BMO account (like a chequing, savings or BMO InvestorLine account) every time your cash back amount reaches $25. You can even choose to use your cash back rewards as a statement credit. This card’s varied methods of redemption offer incredible flexibility, especially compared with cash back cards that only let you redeem your points once a year or only once you reach a set minimum reward amount.
One feature that continues to make the BMO Cash Back MasterCard offers stand out from many other no-fee—and even premium—cash back cards, is its incredible balance transfer offer. Cardholders can take advantage of a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for their first nine months*. Note that there is a 2% transfer fee* and the interest rate on the remaining balance transfer amount goes up to a high cash advance 22.99% interest after the nine-month period ends (21.99% cash advance rate for residents of Quebec).
Other Notable Perks
Many more of the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*’s attractive extras are staying the same. These include:
- Receive a discount on car rentals*
- Free supplementary cards for a spouse or other relative of the primary cardholder.
- Enjoy 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada and 20% off shows in Las Vegas.*
- Additionally, all purchases made with the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* enjoy purchase protection and warranty extension. That means that items you charge to the card get 90 days of insurance against damage and theft, and warranties are extended for up to one additional year on top of what the manufacturer provides.*
- You also have the option to purchase identity/credit monitoring, identity theft assistance and balance protection.
Who’s the Card For?
This BMO Cash Back MasterCard is ideal for consumers looking for a cash back card with no annual fee who spend a lot on groceries and recurring payments. Frequent travellers will also appreciate the discount on rental cars. Certainly, there are premium cards with more bells and whistles, but then you pay for those extras with an annual fee.
How the BMO CashBack Compares
|Credit Card Name||Annual Fee||Promotion||Regular Cash Back Rate|
|BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*||$0||Get up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months, plus a $50 cash back bonus (when you spend $6,000) in your first year – that’s up to $175 cash back in your first year!*||3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases*|
|Tangerine Money Back||$0||NA||2% in 2 money-back categories, and 0.5% on all other purchases|
|SimplyCashTMPreferred Card from American Express||$99||10% cash back on all eligible purchases (up to $400 cash back) for the first 4 months of Cardmembership||2% on all spend|
As the above chart shows, the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* does have some competition when it comes to generous, no-fee cash back credit cards. SimplyCash Preferred Card from American Express’ standard earn rate on every single purchase can be appealing, though it doesn’t offer a balance transfer bonus. While Tangerine’s Money-Back card’s top earn rate is only 2%, there are no category caps and categories are also customizable, so it’s definitely smart doing a comparison of the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* and the Tangerine Money Back card before deciding what’s best for you.
BMO’s CashBack MasterCard For Students
It’s worth noting that BMO also has a BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* version for students. Like the standard BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*, the student version has no annual fee and a welcome offer of 5% cash back in the first 3 months (max of $125 cash back)*. The earn rates are 3% (monthly max of $500) cash back on groceries, 1% (to $500 per month) on recurring bill payments and 0.5% (no max) on all other eligible purchases*. It also features the same flexible redemption opportunities. The perks are also similar to the standard BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*.
*Terms and conditions apply
†Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of June 1, 2022
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