BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* Review

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Cash back credit cards are so popular that there are many arguments about the best cash back credit cards in Canada. Every bank has a cash back card since they’re extremely popular, but all of them are slightly different. In my BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* review, I’ll go over the annual fee, earn rate, sign up bonus as well as any additional benefits you’ll get so you can decide if this card is for you.

BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard Review

BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* benefits

  • $120 annual fee – First year free*
  • 10% cash back in your first 3 months up to $260 (up to $500 qualified spend in grocery, up to $300 qualified spend in transit, up to $300 qualified spend in gas and electric vehicle charging, up to $500 qualified spend in recurring bill payments, and up to $1000 qualified spend on all other purchases)
  • Earn 5% cash back on groceries
  • Earn 4% on transportation including rideshares and public transportation
  • Earn 3% on gas and electric vehicle charging
  • Earn 2% on recurring bills
  • Earn 1% on all other purchases
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey
  • Complimentary roadside assistance program
  • Concierge service
  • Travel insurance
  • Free global WiFi
  • Price protection
  • Extended warranty

The BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* saw some recent changes which are arguably for the better. Overall, the earn rates have most increased with groceries now giving you an insane 5% in cash back. The 4% back on transit is quite generous, while recurring bills give you 2% in cash back. All other purchases earn you 1% back. There’s an annual fee of $120, but it’s waived for the first year.

There’s usually an increased cash back offer when you sign up for the card, but it can be quite complicated. For example, even if you get 10% back on qualifying purchases, it might be broken down to each specific category. E.g., up to $500 spend on groceries, $300 on transit, etc. I much prefer welcome bonuses where the increased cash back just applies to the total spend.

What makes the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* unique is that it also comes with a free roadside assistance program (Dominion Automobile Association). This benefit is of good value and can offset the $120 annual fee, so this card is definitely worth considering if you’re looking to get a roadside assist membership. With these benefits, you can see why this card is one of the best BMO credit cards.

The Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey which also has a value of over $100 if you compare it to a Priority Pass membership which is US$99. Although you don’t get any free annual lounge passes, you can purchase them at the airport lounge for US$32 each.

The other additional benefits are pretty standard with the exception of travel insurance. You actually get a great travel insurance package which includes things such as travel medical, trip interruption, lost luggage, hotel burglary and more, but it does have some downsides to it. Your travel medical insurance only covers you up to 8 days of travel and there’s no included trip cancellation insurance. If travel insurance is important to you, consider getting one of the best credit cards with travel insurance

Interestingly enough, the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* purchase protection covers your purchases from theft, loss or damage up to 180 days. That’s double what just about every other credit card offers.

When your BMO cash back is paid out

What’s nice about the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* is that you have three different options when it comes to your cash back payout. Most people will choose a statement credit, but if you have a BMO bank account or an Investorline account with them, you can have your cash back deposited directly there.

The payout date of your cash back is also flexible. You can choose to have it paid out annually; when a recurring amount has accumulated (min. $50 & increments of $10); or you get a one-time lump sum (min. $50 & increments of $10).

How the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* compares to others

Right away, you need to compare the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* to the American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card. The Amex card has a similar sign up bonus of 5%, but you get six months and you can earn up to a total of $300 in cash back. Once the promotional period ends with the Amex card, you’ll earn 2% cash back on all purchases compared to BMO’s 1.5%.

You may be thinking that the American Express SimplyCash Preferred Card is the better choice, but the $99 annual fee is not waived for the first year and there’s no roadside assistance or airport experiences included. You do get Amex Invites and slightly better travel insurance included so that’s worth considering.

You also need to look at your spending. If most of your spending is on gas and groceries, then you should get the Meridian Visa Infinite Cash Back Card since it earns you 4% cash back all the time. This card also gives you mobile device insurance and price protection which can be incredibly valuable to some people.

If you prefer a credit card with no annual fee, then check out the Tangerine Money-Back Credit Card or the Tangerine World Mstercard. Both of these card allows you to pick up to three categories where you’ll earn 2% cash back and then all other purchases get you 0.5% cash back.

All of the comparable credit cards I’ve mentioned here and the BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* are on my list of the best cash back credit cards in Canada, so you really can’t go wrong with any of them. Just take a look at how much you spend, what categories you spend the most money on and what benefits you want with your credit card before deciding.

Final thoughts

My BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* review is positive. I like how you get a straightforward 1.5% earn rate on all your purchases and a roadside assistance membership which is rare for cash back credit cards. It may not have the highest earn rate out there, but you also don’t need to worry about different categories. This card is for people who want to be rewarded for keeping things simple.

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BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* Review

About Barry Choi

Barry Choi is a Toronto-based personal finance and travel expert who frequently makes media appearances. His blog Money We Have is one of Canada’s most trusted sources when it comes to money and travel. You can find him on Twitter:@barrychoi


  1. Steve S. on March 6, 2020 at 2:33 PM

    This will need to be updated since the card no longer covers trip interruptions and cancellation.

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