BMO Air Miles Mastercard Review (Feb 2023)

December 12, 2022
Reviews

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard is a no-fee travel credit card issued by BMO, one of the largest credit card networks in Canada. The BMO Air Miles Mastercard offers an accelerated earn rate on qualifying purchases, including 3x Air Miles when purchasing at partner stores and 2x when purchasing at grocery stores.

With the BMO Air Miles Mastercard you can earn up to 800 bonus miles when you sign up, making it an excellent entry-level option for everyone who wants to get started in the credit card world. Additionally, you can get discounts when purchasing tickets for events in Canada and the US.

What Is The BMO Air Miles Mastercard

BMO Air Miles Mastercard is no-fee air miles rewards credit card that provides cardholders with air miles rewards on regular purchases. With the introduction of the 2x the miles accelerated earn rate in 2018, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard has become one of Canada's most popular no-fee air miles credit card options. 

Features and Benefits

  • Welcome Bonus: Up to 800 bonus miles points and 0.99% rate on balance transfers for the first nine months with a 2% transfer fee
  • Annual fee: $0 annual fee on the 
  • Interest rate: 20.99% on purchases & 22.99% for cash advances
  • Air Miles Rewards per $25 spent
    • 3x Miles for every $25 spent at participating Air Miles Partners
    • 2x Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store
    • Double miles for using your BMO Air Miles Mastercard and showing your air miles collector Card to participating partners
    • 1 Mile for every $25 spent on any other purchase category
  • Additional cardholder: Earn more air miles rewards by including an additional cardholder
  • Discount on car rentals: up to 25% discount on rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-a-Car locations
  • Purchase coverage: Purchase protection of up to 90 days and extended coverage on the original manufacturer's warranty by up to one additional year
  • Other benefits: 15% off on admission to Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada and 20% off on shows in Las Vegas
  • Eligibility requirements: To be eligible for the card, you:
    • Must be a permanent Canadian resident
    • Must not have declared bankruptcy in the prior seven years
    • Must have attained the majority age in the Canadian province of residence

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • No annual fee
  • Welcome bonus offer of up to 800 bonus miles points 
  • Generous balance transfer perks of 0.99% interest rate with a 2% fee on balance transfers within the first nine months
  • Air miles rewards of 3x Miles for every $25 spent on purchases at participating partners
  • Has no minimum income eligibility requirements
  • Additional air miles rewards for including additional cardholders to your account

Cons

  • Offers limited additional benefits besides air miles rewards
  • Its reward program is not the most straightforward of rewards programs.

How Does the BMO Air Miles Mastercard Work?

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard allows you to earn rewards on all your purchases and redeem these rewards for a wide range of products and services. The rewards earned are based on the amount spent on the card. However, they are calculated in this order:

  • 3x Miles for every $25 spent at participating Air Miles Partners
  • 2x Miles for every $25 spent at any eligible grocery store
  • 1 Mile for every $25 spent on any other purchase category
  • Double miles for using your BMO Air Miles Mastercard and showing your Air Miles Collector Card to participating partners

Here is an example of how many air miles rewards you can earn for different purchase amounts: 

Purchase amountEquivalent air miles*Possible redemption options
1,0201,472Luggage & travel bagsTrip from Vancouver to SeattleAir miles cash = $154.95
20092,144Phones & accessoriesTrip from Vancouver to Las VegasAir miles cash = $225.68
30072,816Sports MemorabiliaTrip from Toronto to OrlandoAir miles cash = $296.42
40053488Trip from Halifax to Fort LauderdaleAir miles cash = $367.16
5,0004,160Trip from Ottawa to YellowknifeAir miles cash = $437.89

*Note that the bonus miles were calculated based on the following assumptions.

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  • Purchases are made in the first year. Therefore, air miles rewards include 800 air miles bonus points
  • 20% of purchases are made at participating partners

Redeeming Your BMO Air Miles Rewards Points

Air Miles Rewards can be redeemed for over 800 products and services, which fall into three different categories:

  • Cash Rewards:  You can redeem your Miles online or in-store on everyday purchases at participating Cash Reward Partners
  • Travel Rewards: You can redeem your Miles by booking for flights, hotels, vacation packages, and car rentals.
  • Dream Rewards: You can redeem your air miles for special recreational moments such as spa passes and movie tickets.

Who are the Participating Partners for BMO Air Miles Mastercard?

The participating partners of the BMO Air Miles Mastercard include Shell, Budget, National car rental, and Global pet foods.

What Are the Additional Benefits of the BMO Air Miles Mastercard?

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard offers additional benefits, which are either included (at no extra cost) or a possible add-on option (for a fee). These benefits are:

  • Included benefits (at no additional cost)
    • Extended Warranty: This benefit helps you avoid buying optional extended warranty insurance on your purchases when you pay for the purchase with your BMO AirMiles Mastercard. This benefit is subject to limitations and exclusions and is only available for up to one additional year.
    • Purchase Protection: This benefit protects the items purchased with your BMO AirMiles Mastercard against theft or damage for up to 90 days from the date of purchase.
    • Zero Liability Protection for lost or stolen cards
    • Car rental discounts: Discount on rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent-a-Car location
  • Add-on options (for a fee)
    • BMO Roadside Assistance: Access to roadside services and emergencies ranging from towing, and jump-starts to lockout assistance
    • BMO Credit Card Balance Protection Enhanced: This benefit helps you protect the balance on your BMO Air Miles Mastercard in life events such as death, total disability, and job loss. The applicable fee is $1.00 for each $100 of your statement balance (plus taxes).

Summary

With a generous welcome bonus of up to 800 bonus miles and an introductory balance transfer rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for the first nine months, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard is a great option for getting air miles rewards with no annual fees in Canada. The best way to optimize the card is to make purchases as much as possible from participating partners so you can accumulate the most miles per dollar spent.

BMO Air Miles Mastercard FAQs

What Is an Air Miles Rewards Credit Card?

An Air Miles rewards credit card is a credit card that earns you air miles every time you make an eligible purchase. These air miles can be redeemed for various products and services. However, redeeming them for flights often yield the best redemption value.

What is the BMO Air Miles Mastercard suitable for?

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard is great for accumulating air miles rewards with no annual fees.

How do I Maximize my BMO Air Miles Mastercard?

You can maximize your BMO Air Miles Mastercard by making most of your purchases at participating partners to earn as many air miles rewards as possible.

Is there a limit to the miles I Can Accumulate with the BMO Air Miles Mastercard?

No, there is no limit to how many Miles you can get with the BMO Air Miles Mastercard.

How do I Qualify for the BMO Air Miles Mastercard?

To qualify for a BMO Air Miles Mastercard, you need to meet the eligibility requirements below:

  • Must be a permanent Canadian resident
  • Must not have declared bankruptcy in the prior seven years
  • Must have attained the majority age in the Canadian province of residence

There is no minimum income requirement for a BMO Air Miles Mastercard.

Is the BMO Air Miles Mastercard Worth it?

Yes, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard is worth it as there is no annual fee on the card, and it helps you earn air miles rewards on all purchases. 

Which Credit Bureau does BMO Check?

BMO checks credit reports from either Equifax or TransUnion credit bureaus

Can I have Several BMO Credit Cards at the Same Time?

Yes, having more than one BMO credit card at a time is possible.

How Do I Know How Many BMO Air Miles Rewards I Have?

You can check your air miles rewards summary on your monthly card statement. However, these rewards won't include Miles from bonuses or promotional offers.

You can also see your rewards when you sign in to your account online or through your Mobile banking application.

How Do I Redeem my BMO Air Miles Rewards?

Air miles rewards can be redeemed for over 800 products and services, from gift cards to electronic gadgets to kitchen accessories. To redeem your Air Miles rewards, visit airmiles.ca or call 1-888-AIR-MILES.

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