BMO World Elite Mastercard Review

The BMO World Elite Mastercard was easily one of the best travel credit cards in Canada, but after changes to the card earlier this year, many people wonder how it ranks now. In my opinion, it’s still a strong contender, but there’s no denying that the card has been devalued.

The card still offers some decent multipliers and good benefits which is why it’s still worth considering, but you really need to look at how it fits with your daily spending and travel habits before you apply. Read my BMO World Elite Mastercard review now for my full thoughts.

BMO World Elite Mastercard review

BMO World Elite Mastercard benefits

  • $150 Annual fee (first year free)
  • 35,000 Signup points after charging $3,000 in purchases  
  • $100 travel credit when used in the first 6 months of card membership (until Feb 28, 2019)
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and travel purchases
  • Earn 2 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Mastercard Airport Experiences membership provided by LoungeKey, plus four annual complimentary passes
  • Comprehensive travel insurance package included

The signup bonus of 35,000 points is worth $250 which is a touch higher than many of the other best travel credit cards in Canada. That being said, there is an annual fee of $150.

As of August 8, 2018, the BMO World Elite Mastercard (referral link) now comes with Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey and 4 free passes each year. LoungeKey is nearly identical to the previous Priority Pass program that was included. There are a few lounges that one has that the other doesn’t but generally speaking, I wouldn’t say one program is better than the other. Either way, the BMO World Elite Mastercard is one of the best credit cards with free airport lounge access.

Since lounge membership normally costs $99 USD a year and $32 per visit. You end with $227 USD in lounge passes which is worth more than the annual fee.

In addition, you get a comprehensive travel insurance package included. This credit card is aimed at travellers so I expect nothing less.

How BMO Rewards works

To claim $1 in travel, you need 140 points. Based on this, you end up with a 2.14% return per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and travel purchases. All other purchases get you 1.43% in points which is meh.

That’s not bad for travel purchases, but for dining, it’s a bit low. For example, the Amex Cobalt card gives you a 5% return on dining and the Scotiabank Gold American Express gives you a 4% return. Yes, those are Amex cards and your Mastercard would be accepted in more places, but it’s important to point out what else is out there.

Your points can also be redeemed for a statement credit. It’ll take 140 points to claim 50 cents so that means your ratio is even lower at .72 to 1.05%. If you’re going to use your points, use them for travel to maximize the value.

To use your points, you must book your travel through the BMO Rewards website. This is a bit annoying for some people, but the good news is that there are no blackout dates and you can use your points to pay for taxes.

If you don’t have enough points to make a full redemption, you can pay the remaining balance with your credit card.

Final thoughts

My BMO World Elite Mastercard review is positive. Although it’s not the best travel credit card in Canada, it’s not bad. The LoungeKey access and included travel insurance are easily worth more than the annual fee so you’re getting a lot of value here. Please use my referral link now if you plan on applying for the BMO World Elite Mastercard.

Apply Now for the BMO World Elite Mastercard
By |2018-12-29T19:05:01+00:00July 23rd, 2018|Credit cards, Personal Finance, Travel|


  1. mia October 3, 2018 at 2:07 pm - Reply

    I’ve had this card for a few years now, really liked it until they recently changed the rules a bit, so you’re getting a bit less velue/$. I was wondering what in your opinion is best travel card in Canada at the moment? When I find a better option I’m planning to try negotiating waving the annual fee or getting a credit in points, any experience with this? Thanks and btw great article!

    • Barry Choi October 3, 2018 at 3:01 pm - Reply

      Hi Mia,

      It depends on what you’re looking for. I like Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite card since it offers a decent earn rate, a high sign up bonus, 6 airport lounge passes, and no forex fees. You could likely get BMO to waive the fee or offer you points if you threaten to cancel the card, but you need to be prepared to do so if you don’t like what they say. Alternatively, you could check out my list of the best travel credit cards which focuses on sign up bonuses

  2. Rafael October 24, 2018 at 8:33 am - Reply

    If I get an additional card for my partner, will he/she also get a referral to LoungeKey and 4 free passes?

    • Barry Choi October 24, 2018 at 8:52 am - Reply

      Hi Rafael,

      Supplementary card members do not get lounge access passes

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