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®*

  • $120 Annual fee – First year free*
  • 10% cash back on all purchases for three months (up to $200)
  • 5% cash back on grocery purchases
  • 4% cash back on transit purchases
  • 3% cash back on gas and electric vehicle charging
  • 2% cash back on recurring bill payments
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases

The BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* has quickly become one of the more popular cash back credit cards in Canada. You’ll earn 5% cash back on groceries, 4% on transportation, 3% on gas and electric vehicle charging, 2% on recurring bills, and 1% on all other purchases. There’s an annual fee of $120, but it’s waived for the first year.

Although the welcome offer is usually quite generous, it’s more complicated than it needs to be. 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 all of your purchases.

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 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.

Having concierge service is nice, but most people won’t bother using it. One benefit that is very useful is the included Boingo Wi-Fi. Once registered, you can use Boingo Wi-Fi all over the world. Boingo Wi-Fi is usually found on airplanes, so you can surf while you fly.

BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* insurance

The BMO CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* comes with both travel and purchase insurance. However, like all insurance policies, you need to read the terms and conditions so you fully understand what you’re entitled to.

Travel insurance

  • Travel medical – $2,000,000 for 8 days
  • Trip interruption – $2,000 / $10,000 total
  • Flight delay – up to $500 / 6 hours
  • Delayed and lost baggage – $200 / 12 hours
  • Common carrier travel accident – $500,000
  • Auto rental collision / loss damage – 48 consecutive days / $65,000
  • Hotel/motel burglary – $750

For a cashback credit card, you get decent travel insurance. It 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

Purchase insurance

  • Purchase protection – 180 days
  • Extended warranty – 2 years

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.

As for the extended warranty, the certificate of insurance states that your manufacturer’s warranty can be extended by up to two years. That’s also double of what 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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