As mentioned a few weeks ago, I was getting a little travel hacking FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) when I saw that Robb Engen applied for 13 different credit cards in one year with the goal of travel hacking. Therefore I applied for two cards! Here is my BMO World Elite Mastercard Review.
I have seen the BMO World Elite Mastercard a few times and was contemplating signing up for it, but never took action. Finally after some travel hacking FOMO (or even rewards gift card FOMO because who am I kidding, how am I going to travel with two kids in tow), I decided to take the plunge and apply for the BMO World Elite Mastercard. I’m a pretty big fan of my 1.75% cash back Rogers Bank World Elite Mastercard and have been pretty impressed with World Elite Cards.
With the Lounge access (4 tickets), 35,000 BMO Reward Points, that’s already about a $400 to $450 value just for signing up and making $3000 in purchases over 3 months.
The Bonus Reward Offer:
- The BMO Mastercard World Elite card is offering 35,000 Bonus BMO Reward Points (worth about a $400 value)- you have to spend $3000 in the first three months.
- This bonus reward offer is valid for credit card applications between October 2, 2018 and October 31, 2019
- In addition (and of course, this is a requisite of mine for most cards that I apply to), the BMO World Elite Mastercard is waiving the $150 annual fee for the first year.
- 35,000 BMO Reward Points is equivalent to a short haul flight in economy class with a minimum ticket price of $250 at bmorewards.com
Earning BMO Reward Points
How do you earn BMO Reward points with the BMO World Elite Mastercard?
- You earn 3 BMO Reward Points for every $1 spend on travel, dining, and entertainment purchases
- Entertainment category includes theme parks, movie theatres, aquariums, tourist attractions, concerts
- Dining purchases include coffee shops, restaurants, fast food restaurants, and bars etc.
- Travel purchases include airlines, car rentals, cruises, and even timeshares.
- You earn 2 BMO Reward Points for every $1 spend anywhere else
What do you need to get approved? To get approved for the BMO World Elite Mastercard, you would need to have $80,000 personal or $150,000 household annual income.
BMO uses Equifax for credit reporting.
BMO World Elite Annual Fee
- The annual fee is $150 but then this is waived with First Year Free
- The fee is not waived for supplementary cards (an additional supplementary card is $50/year)
BMO World Elite Rewards
- If you travel a lot this is the card for you because of the 4 free lounge passes.
- You get Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey gives you VIP access and 4 additional free passes. LoungeKey has access to Plaza Premium Lounges which means free buffet food and drinks, each visit is worth about $31 to $52 depending on if you are using the Plaza Premium Lounge at the domestic or international terminal (on a quick check with Plaza Premium at YVR).
- 140 BMO Reward Points is equal to $1 off travel. Therefore, each BMO Reward Points value is around $0.70.
- You can use your BMO Reward Points to redeem for travel via the BMO Rewards portal or by calling the BMO Rewards phone number.
- You can also use your Reward Points to redeem for cash (a statement credit) whereby 15,000 points for a $50 statement credit which would make the 35,000 Bonus Rewards worth something like $117 (though it has to be in 15,000 point increments for redemption), so it would be $100.
- In addition, you can redeem your Reward Points for BMO investments or the BMO Investorline Account, whereby 15,000 Points is equivalent to a $100 investment. This would make the 35,000 bonus points worth about $200.
- The BMO Reward Points also can be redeemed for gift cards. The gift cards vary, but for 9900 BMO Reward points you can get a $50 gift card to The Hudson Bay company. Some $50 gift cards are over 10,000 BMO Reward Points. This would make the 35,000 Bonus points worth about a $150 The Hudson Bay gift card (with a few thousand points left over).
- So, in order of redemption “bang for your travel hacking buck” it would be Travel > Investments > Gift cards > Statement Credit
BMO World Elite Perks
- Out of Province and Out of Country Travel Medical Insurance: Up to $2 million coverage for first 21 days of travel if you are under the age of 65. If you are over age 65 and under age 74, then you can pay for optional travel medical insurance, but they do not cover you. If you are over 74 you don’t have the option of buying optional travel medical insurance. The day of departure counts as the first day. The travel insurance is provided by Allianz Global Risks Insurance Company.
- Delayed and Lost Baggage Coverage: This is only valid if you charge part or the full amount of your airplane ticket to this card. Up to $750 for the insured person (and up to $2000 for the trip) and for $200 for essential items if your baggage is delayed for more than 12 hours or if it is lost. There is a maximum $500 per item (e.g. a camera or jewelry) for example, if it was stolen or damaged. For the essential items purchases, they have to be made within 36 hours of arriving to your destination. When you purchase the $200 essential items, this will be deducted off the $750 total for damaged goods if this is found to be the case/ cause.
- Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey: As mentioned above, you get 4 free lounge passes. Each is worth about $27 USD (if you have membership which is included with the card). To use the lounge passes, you present your valid, eligible BMO World Elite Mastercard or the mobile access code which will be provided to you.
- Trip Cancellation and Trip Interruption Insurance: If you booked your trip using your BMO World Elite Mastercard, you can claim up to $2500 per individual person to a maximum of $5000. You do have to call the Operations Centre before 48 hours at your destination, to make sure they approve it.
- $500,000 of Common Carrier Travel Accident Insurance
- Purchase Security and Extended Warranty Protection: For items that you purchase on this card, if they are stolen or damaged within 60 days of purchase you are covered. Also for certain items that have a 12 month warranty, you may be eligible for another 12 months (extended warranty) if you purchased it with this card as well. There is a lifetime maximum of $60,000 per account.
- Car Rental Collision Damage Insurance for 48 days. To be eligible for this you will have to charge the car rental to the card or use the BMO Rewards to pay for the car rental. You will also have to decline the Collision Damage Waiver coverage that’s offered by the car rental company. The maximum MSRP price for the car is $65,000.
For further information, here’s a link to the super comprehensive BMO Cardholder Agreement and Benefits Package.
GENYMONEY.CA’S OPINION on the BMO World Elite Mastercard:
If I was over age 65 I would probably choose another travel card (if I were to stick with one primary travel card) because there isn’t travel medical insurance included in the card. If I was over 65 I probably wouldn’t qualify for this card anyway since the annual income requirement is $80,000 and I don’t know if I would have $80,000 in retirement annually as an individual (though who knows!).
I like that there are 4 Lounge Passes included (I have become a Lounge addict now, it’s super helpful prior to flights when you are hungry since airlines don’t feed you these days. Also, children under 2 are free with an accompanying Lounge Pass adult.
The BMO Rewards aren’t the greatest and let’s say we spent $1500 on every day regular purchases with this card over a year, that would be 36,000 points. Spending $18,000 would equate to a $150 The Hudson Bay gift card, or $250 in travel credit, or $100 in cash statement redemption. Without the sign up bonus this card isn’t that juicy but with the sign up bonus it’s not bad.
I used our points to get $200 worth of gift cards. Not the best redemption but it is the most utility for us right now since it’s hard to travel with two young kids in tow. Well, that’s it for my BMO World Elite Mastercard Review!
Hope you found this BMO World Elite Mastercard Review helpful!
Do you have the BMO World Elite Mastercard?
GYM is a 30 something millennial interested in achieving financial freedom through disciplined saving, dividend and ETF investing, and living a minimalist lifestyle. Before you go, check out my recommendations page of financial tools I use to save and invest money. Don’t forget to subscribe for blog updates, a free dividend yield spreadsheet, and the free Young Money Bootcamp eCourse.
10 thoughts on “BMO World Elite Mastercard Review”
You know I don’t have that card. But, I do have a BMO account with my local branch. They are pretty well represented in my area because they bought out one of our larger locally based banks. Have a great weekend. Tom
@Tom – I love BMO, I have the stock too. BMO is my main banking branch too (since I was like 12 haha). Have a great weekend!
I used to have BMO stock but after some decent gains. I sold them. I decided that since I don’t see value in the services BMO provides anymore why should I have their stock?
I’m now doing a cost-benefit analysis of whether or not keeping this BMO card is worthwhile. I don’t like paying the fee so if I decide not to keep this card I don’t think I’ll be keeping my BMO account either. I’ve been doing day to day banking with Tangerine and Simplii for about two years now…
@James- I don’t think keeping and paying the fee is worth it but that’s just me. Their points system recently got devalued. For me this is a ‘churn and burn’ card.
Thanks for the info about the gift cards. I picked this card up with the same promo and first year free. We are heading overseas this weekend so I wanted a card with some lounge visits…hopefully the kids don’t trash the place. There looks to be some decent value in gift cards. I found the BMO travel rewards site a bit pricier than other sites anyways so the better points redemption rate would be offset by paying a higher price.
Decent card for the extra perks but not worth the $150 annual fee. One thing to note about the income requirement, you can get it without having an 80k income. You can also qualify if you have $25,000 total spend within the last twelve months on all your other credit cards collectively, it’s somewhere in the FAQs on the application page.
@Leonides- Cool, great tip about the income requirement. The gift cards came very quickly, in priority mail. Hope you have a great time at the lounge and have a great trip.
Just for the lounge passes, I’m pretty sure I’ll be getting this card just before we head to Japan in March! Thanks for the great review. Too bad the points redemption isn’t the greatest, but hey—they’re essentially free so can’t complain!
PS How ya doin’ mama? Hopefully you’re managing to get a little more sleep lately.
@Chrissy- Two boys with a lounge pass- so worth it! I am doing okay thanks! I think it’s the toddler that is more tiring than the baby!
I was looking at this card recently but ended up applying for Scotiabank Passport Infinite. Maybe this will be my next card. We’ll see.
@Tawcan- How many this year so far? 🙂 I am a bit scared to look at my credit score so soon after applying for the two cards I just applied for.