BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* Review

**This post may contain affiliate links. I may be compensated if you use them.

The BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* is easily one of the best Best BMO credit cards. It’s their flagship travel rewards credit card and comes with great benefits including lounge access, travel insurance, concierge service, extended warranty and more. It’s really no surprise why this card is so popular with travellers.

That said, with so much competition these days when it comes to travel cards, you really need to understand the fine details of what you get. Read my BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* review now for a deep of everything the card has to offer.

BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®*

  • $150 Annual fee – First year free*
  • Get 30,000 BMO Rewards points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and 2,500 points for each subsequent month in which you make at least $2,000 in purchases on your card, for 12 months
  • Earn 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on travel
  • Earn 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and recurring bills
  • Earn 1 BMO Rewards point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass, plus 4 annual passes

The sign up bonus of up to 60,000 points is in line with many of the other best travel credit cards in Canada. That said, it’s broken up into two parts. You’ll get 30,000 points when you spend $3,000 in the first 3 months, and 2,500 points for each subsequent month in which you make at least $2,000 in purchases on your card, for 12 months. That’s not bad for a card that has an annual fee of $150, which is waived for the first year.

As for the earn rate, it sounds good at 5 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on travel ($15,000 cap); 3 BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and recurring bills ($10,000 cap). All other purchases get you 1 BMO Rewards point per $1 spent. While that may sound good, it’s worth noting that BMO Rewards point is worth .67n cents. That means the card has one of the lowest base earn rates on the market.

What’s appealing about the BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* (referral link) is Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by DragonPass and 4 free passes each year. LoungeKey is nearly identical to Priority Pass which has a huge network of airport lounges all over the globe. If you frequently travel, then the included lounge access should be appealing.

Either way, the BMO Ascend 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. That said, Plaza Premium lounges recently left LoungeKey. This is significant since most airport lounges in Canada are operated by Plaza Premium. That means your lounge access is of limited use within the country. 

One benefit included with this card that often gets overlooked is the free Boingo Wi-Fi membership. Although you can get free Wi-Fi just about anywhere these days, you can use your Boingo Wi-Fi membership to get internet access on many planes. As in, you can surf while you’re in the air.

I personally think concierge service is a bit overrated since you still need to call them to describe what you want. In the same time, you could have bought the item or made reservations on your own. That said, if you’re trying to make reservations at a restaurant where English isn’t their first language, concierge service could be incredibly useful.

BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* Insurance

In my BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* review, I’m going to go over the comprehensive insurance package that you get. Not only do you get great travel insurance, but there’s also purchase insurance included.

Travel insurance

  • Travel medical – $5,000,000 for 21 days 
  • Trip cancellation – up to $1,500 per person / $5,000 total
  • Trip interruption – $2,000 per person / $10,000 total
  • Trip delay – $200 / Max 10 days
  • Flight delay – up to $500 / 6 hours
  • Delayed and lost baggage – up to $500 per person / $1,000 total / 6 hours
  • Auto rental collision / loss damage – 48 consecutive days / $65,000
  • Common carrier travel accident – $500,000

The BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* travel insurance is pretty comprehensive but one thing I want to point out right away is that you don’t get hotel/motel burglary included which I find a bit odd. It’s not really a dealbreaker, but considering this is BMO’s top travel credit card, it’s a bit surprising that you don’t get it.

That said, the rest of the travel insurance doesn’t disappoint. Those under the age of 65 get up to $5,000,000 in travel medical for trips up to 21 days. If you’re 65 or older, there is no coverage.

Your trip cancellation insurance is good up to $1,5000 per person but trip interruption only covers each person up to $2,500. The delayed and lost baggage insurance is pretty generous, while the auto rental collision/loss damage is pretty standard.

Here’s the most important thing about the BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* travel insurance. If you look at the terms and conditions, it states the following: “Coverage applies only when You charge the full or partial cost of Your Trip to the Primary or Family Cardholder’s Mastercard prior to departure.”

That means if you charge just $1 of your travel expenses to the BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* travel insurance, you would be covered. This is significant since most travel credit cards require you to charge 75%-100% of your trip expenses for your travel insurance to be valid.

Purchase insurance

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Although purchase protection and extended warranty are pretty standard for premium credit cards, I can’t state how important they are. With purchase protection, any purchases that are fully charged to your BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* will be covered for 90 days from loss, theft or damage. There’s been more than one occasion where I’ve bought something and shortly after I’ve lost it or it’s been damaged. With purchase protection, I’d be able to get it repaired or replaced at no cost. With the extended warranty, the manufacturer’s warranty is doubled up to one additional year which is obviously handy.

How BMO Rewards works

To claim $1 in travel, you need 150 points. Based on this, you end up with a 3.35% return on travel purchases, a 2% return on dining, entertainment, and recurring bills. All other purchases get you .67% in points which is meh. In case you’re wondering, the 150 points is not a typo. BMO devalued its points on May 5, 2021. It now takes 150 points instead of 140 points to claim $1 in travel.

That’s not bad for travel purchases, but it’s a bit low for dining. For example, the American Express 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.

You can redeem your BMO Rewards points for any travel purchase charged to your BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®*. Once the charge has been made, you would use the Pay with Points option found in your BMO Rewards account. Once redeemed, you’d see a credit applied to your account in 3 – 5 business days. For more information about BMO Rewards, read my BMO Rewards guide.

Redemption typeRedemption value
Travel.67 cents per point
Investments.67 cents per point
Merchandise.45 - .65 cents per point
Gift cards.40 - .45 cents per point
Statement credit.33 cents per point

Final thoughts

My BMO Ascend World Elite™* Mastercard®* review is neutral. The change in earn rate with spending caps is not something people will be excited about, especially since there are better options out there. That said, the 4 free lounge passes are certainly appealing.

BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information

*Terms and conditions apply

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. mia on October 3, 2018 at 2:07 PM

    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 on October 3, 2018 at 3:01 PM

      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 on October 24, 2018 at 8:33 AM

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

    • Barry Choi on October 24, 2018 at 8:52 AM

      Hi Rafael,

      Supplementary card members do not get lounge access passes

  3. Laura St Vincent on January 26, 2019 at 12:31 AM

    I’ve had this card for one month. Saw the inflated rates that you have to book at…. No thanks!!

    • Barry Choi on January 26, 2019 at 11:50 AM

      Hey Laura,

      BMO price matches if you call in.

      • Annette on July 4, 2020 at 11:43 PM

        What do you mean BMO price matches?

      • Mel on April 19, 2023 at 6:51 PM

        Have you had travellers comments about BMO master card world elite? I’m in Maui and my card is blocked…ok for security I guess. But there’s no way to do unblock it by phone no matter what. So what is it good for if you can’t fix problem when away!!!! So that’s it for me!

    • Mags on May 10, 2019 at 4:25 PM

      Hi, I have this card and no you don’t have to book at their high inflates rates, not at all. I have booked multiple trips through – including car rental just this week, and they will match what ever best deal you find on the web. Yes it does take a bit longer to book since you have to do it through their agent (so they can match the price)…but I really love this card. Family of four…booked flight to Europe on points, went to Caribbean on points and as I said, just rented cars for Europe on points. Love the lounge access! We go a bit early to the airport and feel like royalty! Yes the redemption rate was better before but I still think it’s worth it!!

      • Natalie Hagn on August 11, 2019 at 6:17 PM

        I was denied access to the Maple Leaf lounge at YUL. That was frustrating. Is that legitimate?

        • Barry Choi on August 11, 2019 at 9:17 PM


          This card gives you access to Plaza Premium lounges, not Maple Leaf Lounges.

  4. russ on February 23, 2019 at 12:47 PM

    I have had this card for 30 years , finally booked a trip to use points so now am getting rid of it (can’t get rid of it until your points are used) . They really butchered their reward system , hope it was worth it to them . And still advertising that you get 2 points for every dollar , what a farce . There is a multitude of good cards out there with 2% cash back , no games . I have two other choice reward cards and they are great . You would think companies would learn from the Aeroplane and Airmiles fiascos ???

    • Barry Choi on February 23, 2019 at 4:47 PM


      When they changed the points system, customers saw no devaluation as they received extra points. That being said, the new earn rate is definitely not as good as the old one.

  5. Gerald on March 3, 2019 at 4:39 PM

    I am approaching 1 mill in points on my BMO elite account. Do I lose all my reward points if I cancel my credit card? I am thinking of signing up for a card with positive first year incentives.Can the points be transferred to another program?

    • Barry Choi on March 3, 2019 at 7:55 PM


      Unfortunately, BMO Rewards has no transfer partners. You would indeed lose all your points if you cancel the card.

  6. Sylvia Bourgeois on March 26, 2019 at 7:56 AM

    I’ve had this card for years and just signed up for my LoungeKey account. The app doesn’t show any complimentary passes and my confirmation email states all visits are charged at 27USD. When you say four free annual passes, is that the membership (not the entry fee) you’re talking about?

    • Barry Choi on March 26, 2019 at 10:33 AM


      You card gives you the free annual pass AND 4 annual free passes. Check with BMO to see how the passes are credited to you.

  7. Patty Legace on April 13, 2019 at 10:52 AM

    Hi Barry. Specifically dealing with Toronto’s Lounge access, terminal three, are there time limits on how long you can linger there? We have to fight traffic to get to our flights, thought about leaving extra early from home and just holing up in the lounge itself. Would they kick you out if you stayed over 3 hours?


    • Barry Choi on April 13, 2019 at 11:09 AM


      Technically speaking, there’s a 2 hour limit, but it’s not like anyone is going around timing you. That being said, if they asked you to leave after 2 hours, they’d be within their rights. I’ve just never heard of any reports where that has actually happened.

      Note that Toronto’s T3 international departure hall has 2 different priorty pass lounges. There’s one that caters towards Asian guests which is better as it’s newer and is more spacious.

  8. Alexa on April 14, 2019 at 11:16 PM

    Am I able to get the signup bonus for this card if I’ve held (and cancelled/closed) the Air Miles BMO World Elite card within the last year?

    • Barry Choi on April 15, 2019 at 7:58 AM


      Yes, you shouldn’t have any issues getting the bonus since it was a different card you held.

  9. Lila on April 24, 2019 at 4:58 PM

    It say on my bmo banking plan that if I have a premium plan my annual fee for the credit card is waive. Too bad there have foreign currency marked up of 2.5%

    • Barry Choi on April 24, 2019 at 5:04 PM


      Yes, if the BMO World Elite Mastercard had no forex fees, it would be even more popular.

  10. Neil Lizotte on April 30, 2019 at 5:20 PM

    I am pissed off at BMO looking for a credit card company where your purchases are protected as with BMO there is no protection at all for online sales when you purchase thru an online form for which you get no copy of your purchase.

    I bought a CeeVoo Antenna online thru a form and then by phone because they had no options for Canada.

    BMO wants a copy of the purchase order, which they did not give me and if I would have ordered thru the form, there would be no copy of the purchase agreement, so no protection at all.

    Thanks for nothing BMO, no looking for a bank I can trust

    By the way The CeeVoo antenna is a scam

    Too bad BMO doesn’t keep up on scams

    • Barry Choi on April 30, 2019 at 6:48 PM


      To be fair, no credit card company would compensate you the money unless you have proof of purchase. As you stated, CeeVoo antenna is a scam so they probably know to not issue these receipts so you can’t perform a chargeback on your credit card.

  11. Neil Lizotte on April 30, 2019 at 9:35 PM

    I have proof of purchase, but they changed the product. Also how are over the phone sales and online sales protected?

    How do you get a copy of an online form, or should we record all calls for over the phone credit card purchases as well?

    They finally answered their phone and say the other antenna is from their parent company?

    Bait and switch scam is my opinion.

    As for BMO very poor

    • Will on June 26, 2019 at 4:24 PM

      Make a screen capture of your online form next time. That should serve as proof of purchase.

  12. Sam on June 28, 2019 at 6:09 PM

    Hey Barry, great review!

    So I noticed that if you sign up for their premium chequing account , they give you 150$ rebate towards world elite cards annual fees ( therefore making this card free every year). On top of that, being military I can get that premium chequing for 14$ a month instead of 30$ ( im already paying 14 a month with scotia anyways for my scotia one).

    So my question is, is it worth it to switch from my scotia gold amex to this card? Im really interested in the lounge access as well as the no annual fee, but what im hesitating on is the amex 4 points for every dollar spent VS this 3 points for 1 system.

    Let me know what you think!

    • Barry Choi on June 28, 2019 at 8:02 PM


      The Scotiagold Amex has a slightly higher earn rate. That being said, since you can get the BMO World Elite Mastercard for free, you might as well get it and use it just for the lounge passes.

  13. Sam on June 28, 2019 at 8:50 PM

    Yea I think I’ll just get it and keep earning with the Amex. I’ll literally just get the world elite for lounge passes

  14. JL on July 11, 2019 at 4:31 PM

    Hi Sam,

    I recently got the BMO World Elite card, and with my 4 lounge passes, is the anniversary date for reset based on the calendar year, or my own anniversary date?. Thanks.

    • Barry Choi on July 11, 2019 at 4:38 PM

      It’s based on your anniversary date

      • BMO cardholder on September 15, 2019 at 10:57 AM

        This is incorrect. The 4 lounge passes are renewed annually and not on your anniversary date. I made this mistake this year and was charged over $75 cad this spring after using the 4 comp passes in March then 2 passes in May. When I called to question the charges I was told the passes were renewed annually. I received bonus rewards points for the trouble.

        • Barry Choi on September 16, 2019 at 3:27 PM

          Interesting, I looked at the handbook and it just says annually. I assumed that meant per anniversary.

  15. MG on July 27, 2019 at 9:05 PM

    Hi, Barry, Thank you for answering those questions, very helpful.
    I am with BMO for years with premium chequing account. How do I sign up for 4 free lounge pass?

    • Barry Choi on July 28, 2019 at 12:22 PM


      You need to have the BMO World Elite Mastercard for you to get access to the free lounge passes.

  16. Dyanne on August 29, 2019 at 6:55 PM

    I have the BMO World Elite card in my name, but always travel with my husband. Does that mean he can’t come into the lounges with me? What if I got him a supplementary card? I think I read above that he doesn’t get in even with that?

    • Barry Choi on August 30, 2019 at 7:42 AM


      Your husband can get in as long as you’re travelling with him and you have an extra free pass available. Getting him a supplementary card would not get him access.

  17. SG on September 7, 2019 at 1:03 PM

    Hi Barry – I got the BMO World Elite card for the insurance coverage. If I book a flight through BMO Rewards and pay entirely with my points, will the trip still be eligible for trip cancellation/interruption coverage? Should I charge $1 of the cost to my World Elite card to make it an insured trip?

    • Barry Choi on September 7, 2019 at 4:01 PM

      The BMO World Elite Mastercard insurance is indeed quite generous. If you charge $1 to your card in travel expenses, you’re covered.

      • Sarah on September 13, 2019 at 12:53 PM

        Hi Barry,
        What would be considered travel expenses? Does it have to an air flight?Could it be gas on the way to the airport? A hotel on the trip?
        Since I will have my annual fee waived every year, I am thinking that I should get one of the Scotiabank cards for the better travel rewards. I spend money on food and bills and very little on dining and entertainment.
        Thank you so much for your very informative articles and advice!

        • Barry Choi on September 13, 2019 at 1:55 PM

          Hi Sarah,

          I’m assuming you’re referring to the travel purchases category where you earn 3 points per $1 spent? It would apply to any merchant that’s considered travel e.g. flights, hotels, travel agencies, tour operators. Gas stations are considered gas.

          Do you get the annual fee on the BMO card or a Scotiabank card waived? The Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card is one of the best all in one cards since it gives you a decent earn rate, good benefits and no forex fees.

  18. Sarah on September 13, 2019 at 9:12 PM

    Hi Barry,
    Sorry I wasn’t clear! I can get the BMO World Elite annual fee waived every year. I am wondering about the using the travel insurance? You suggested above that $1 of the trip be charged to the card to get the cancellation/interruption coverage for a trip. My understanding is that even a small part of the trip could be charged to the card to have this cancellation/coverage coverage kick in. Is this correct?
    You also suggested to someone that they get the card for the lounge passes alone as they would be free since the annual fee is waived.
    I am thinking that we would earn more points, looking at our spending, with the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite Card because we will be building a house(building materials), rarely eat in restaurants or go to concerts/movies, buy lots of groceries, gas and travel a fair amount (no forex with Scotiabank Passport). We do have a Home Trust Visa and only use it to save the foreign exchange when traveling or buying online out of country.
    Since we will get the one card annual fee waived, do you think it would be wise to get the Scotiabank and pay the annual fee while taking advantage of the lounge passes and perhaps the cancellation/interruption coverage that would come with the BMO World Elite?
    Thanks a lot! Sorry for the lengthy post!

    • Barry Choi on September 14, 2019 at 8:24 AM

      Hi Sarah,

      The BMO World Elite Mastercard has excellent insurance since their terms are so open e.g. charge any amount and you’re covered. You’re right in that you could charge $10, and trip cancellation would apply.

      If you don’t mind paying an annual fee, getting a card like Scotiabank Passport Visa could benefit you since it has a nice sign up bonus and you get 6 free lounge passes a year. Before your first anniversary, decide if you want to keep the card or cancel it. If you plan to cancel, do it before your annual fee kicks in.

  19. Sarah on September 14, 2019 at 8:59 AM

    Thanks Barry! Your insight is appreciated!

  20. YC on September 21, 2019 at 10:26 PM

    Hi Barry, regarding the lounge passes is given/credited on an annual basis. I wish to clarify what annual means. For example, if I joint BMO World Elite card in October, 2018, when and what month do I get the next 4 lounge passes, in 2019, or 2020? Thanks.

    • Barry Choi on September 22, 2019 at 8:45 AM


      You’d have to call BMO to find out exactly. I was under the impression that it was on the anniversary if your card membership so that would be October but some people have said it’s Jan. of the new year. I checked the handbook and it doesn’t say definitely what the answer is.

      • Sandy Berk on October 28, 2019 at 10:17 PM

        Hi Barry. I have a BMO world elite MasterCard but am only entitled to two passes. Does the benefit vary by province? I’m in Ontario.

        • Barry Choi on October 29, 2019 at 7:34 AM

          Hi Sandy,

          The BMO AIR MILES World ELite Mastercard gives you 2 annual lounge passes whereas the BMO World Elite Mastercard gives you 4 annual passes.

  21. John myroon on September 24, 2019 at 3:01 PM

    On a phone call August 21 2019 with MasterCard World Elite I was told I can redeem 14,000 points for $100, today September 24th I called and I was told 12000 points will get me $50. What is going on here? I lost half my dollar amount since the point system has changed and MasterCard claims no record of my conversation.

    • Barry Choi on September 24, 2019 at 9:23 PM


      14,000 points for $100 is in travel. You can claim 12,000 points for a $50 statement credit (not travel) which is why there’s such a difference. You’ll obviously want to use your points for travel to maximize your value.

  22. John myroon on September 24, 2019 at 11:03 PM

    When I first started with this credit card it was great because I could have access to all Airlines and get decent prices. Later on I was restricted to which airline’s I could book or not book and when I was able to book a flight was at a higher rate than I could get elsewhere. This credit card has gone downhill. Actually I have been paying Colby creditor card for my flights for last 2 years and haven’t used these points as they are worthless to me. Time to change to a credit card that doesn’t change their program (originally I got 2% on all purchases). Bye bye scammy BMO world elite MasterCard.

  23. ahmadreza nezami on September 25, 2019 at 5:11 PM

    The lounge access to BMO elite card is very cheap. I am right now in LAX airport and lounge access for this card is only
    till 10:30 am. This means most time of the day it is not usable.

    • Barry Choi on September 26, 2019 at 12:16 AM


      I’m guessing that’s something LAX implemented because there are too many crowds. It has nothing to do with Mastercard.

  24. Julie on October 2, 2019 at 4:50 PM

    Hi Barry, I have the BMO World Elite Card for two years and never know how to use the lounge access at the airport, and if I never use before, will the balance carry over year to year? And I usually travel with guess, can I bring guess with me? How many guess allow, and is there a charge for the guess?

    • Barry Choi on October 2, 2019 at 6:07 PM

      Hi Julie,

      First you need to create an account –

      The four annual passes do not carry over, but you can use them on guests. One pass per guest as well as for you. As long as you have passes, there is no charge. Once you run out of passes, it’s $32 CAD per visit, per person.

  25. Karl on October 3, 2019 at 10:40 PM

    BMO World Elite used to be a pretty good card and I spend a lot on it – until now. I am now looking for an off-ramp because the card and service has gone downhill and the travel booking experience is not great as there are always better prices and booking options available directly on the airline sites. I have examples of the BMO Rewards site not working at all and not providing any options whereas the airline sites have a plethora of options. BMO needs to do what Scotiabank is doing with their Passport Infinite card which is brilliant as it allows you to apply your credit to past purchases so you aren’t stuck booking through the bank’s credit card rewards vendor. I also have the Scotiabank Passport Infinite and it has a much lower fee, no supplementary card fee, more lounge visits as well as zero FX fee. Definitely a better option.

  26. Kulvinder Mahal on October 15, 2019 at 6:03 PM

    Hi Barry

    Does BMO charge you for the airport lounge visits or memberships fee if you cancel the card before the annual fee kicks in?

    • Barry Choi on October 15, 2019 at 8:00 PM


      No, you won’t get charged for the lounge visits or the annual fee for the second year as long as you cancel it before your anniversary. Obviously any unused lounge passes would be void as soon as you cancel your card.

  27. Verna on January 6, 2020 at 7:17 PM

    Hi Barry

    My husband has a BMO world elite mastercard and I just registered it on airport experiences website. It said that he has 2 free passes to lounges. We are travelling with another couple and I am wondering if we can take them as guest into the plaza lounge in Toronto. I know we will have to pay the cost ( can you confirm $32 CAD each) and would it be just charged to our credit card upon entering the lounge. Also is there a time limit on how long you can stay in the lounge area.

    • Barry Choi on January 6, 2020 at 8:22 PM


      You should be able to bring them as a guest. I believe it’s $32USD, not CAd but I could be wrong. The limit is technically for 3 hours but not one checks.

  28. Hoa on January 12, 2020 at 4:59 PM

    Can I give my free pass to friend going to thr lounge without me ?

  29. Krystal Morton on January 16, 2020 at 1:58 AM

    Hi! I have had the BMO world elite air miles m/c for years. On this forum, I am reading people are collecting BMO points of some sort with use of this card. Is the BMO world
    Elite air miles card the same as the BMO world elite card? I didn’t know there was a difference.

    • Barry Choi on January 16, 2020 at 7:49 AM

      Hi Krystal,

      They are two different cards. There’s the BMO World Elite Mastercard and the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard.

      The Air Miles version earns you Air Miles while the regular one earns you BMO Rewards points. Which one is more valuable depends on how you like to redeem your travel.

  30. Yves on January 19, 2020 at 11:52 PM


    I plan to use my aeroplan points for a filght to Venice and Hanoi.
    If I pay the taxes of the flight ticket with the BMO WE mastercard, will I be covered with the travael insurance, trip cancellation trop interruption, flight delay, Delayed and lost baggage ?


    • Barry Choi on January 20, 2020 at 7:53 AM


      Yes, you would be covered as long as you charge any amount to your BMO World Elite Mastercard.

  31. Anita on January 27, 2020 at 9:31 PM

    Will this card cover my car rental insurance in Ireland?

    • Barry Choi on January 27, 2020 at 10:01 PM


      You would need to check directly with BMO’s insurance provider for that answer

  32. carol on January 31, 2020 at 3:35 PM

    Hi Barry

    Looking for senior’s coverage and just looked up BMO World Elite insurance policy before signing up and it looks like it only covers medical if you are 65 and under now.

    • Barry Choi on January 31, 2020 at 9:49 PM


      You’re right. I’m not sure if this is a recent change or I just screwed up.

  33. Carol on February 1, 2020 at 9:11 AM

    I’m sure it was correct originally when you wrote it but it seems they change these benefits regularly. National Bank’s says “10 days for over 65” which is great compared to others (and OK for me) but despite what it sounds like, it is a bit deceiving as after a long search to find the insurance policy, it seems it’s capped at 74. NB also says it gives access to the Lounge in Montreal (not sure if that’s of any benefit when you live in the other Provinces) but again, the small print says “for international travel”.

    BNS says 10 days for 65 or older but the policy is dated 2017 so will check that out to see if they cap it as well. Of course (as you indicated) it may be better to purchase separate insurance if you are over 65 for better coverage. Insurance is a big deal as we get older when travelling!! Many thanks again for your great site and all the information.

    • Barry Choi on February 1, 2020 at 9:16 AM


      Yeah I would advise just getting a separate policy, it’s just more secure and you can find out exactly what you’re covered for at the time of purchase.

  34. Jen on February 2, 2020 at 11:25 AM

    If I booked a hotel (3-star or higher) with BMO world elite MasterCard, is the breakfast free according to Mastercard Luxury Portfolio ?

    • Barry Choi on February 3, 2020 at 10:15 AM


      It depends on the hotel but generally speaking, you only get complimentary upgrades, early check-in and late checkout.

  35. Jake on February 28, 2020 at 10:31 AM

    Does my BMO Mastercard Elite travel insurance apply to BMO Reward trips?

    • Barry Choi on February 28, 2020 at 11:52 AM


      As long as you paid the remaining balance with your BMO World Elite Credit Card, you’re good.

  36. Andre on March 3, 2020 at 10:28 AM

    Is Scotia bank Visa Passport Infinite better than BMO world Elite I was planning on switching what do you recommend? I like the Fact that Scotia has no foreign exchange rate. I

    • Barry Choi on March 3, 2020 at 10:31 AM


      Scotiabank has arguably a better rewards program, but you could argue the BMO World Elite Mastercard has better insurance and the first year is free.

      Forex is also a huge benefit of the Scotiabank card but there are credit cards with no annual fee that don’t charge forex fees.

      You kind of need to look at everything offered and decide what’s best for you.

  37. Andre on March 3, 2020 at 11:25 AM

    Can you give me a list of “no annual fee that don’t charge forex fees.” I was looking at Rogers but I see there program is being downgraded in June 2020.

  38. Gary Sottiaux on March 12, 2020 at 3:51 PM

    I have a BMO World Elite Master card. I have booked airfare and hotels for a holiday in Netherlands next month for my wife and I. The airfare was paid using my Reward points and the hotels on my Master card. Due to the current issues with travel, I am concerned the trip may be cancelled. If that happens, can I claim the points used for the flight reservation and the cost of lost hotel bookings?

    • Barry Choi on March 12, 2020 at 4:21 PM


      AYou would only be able to make a claim if Amsterdam has a travel advisory.

  39. Chris on May 8, 2020 at 8:16 PM

    Hi Barry,
    I have had a BMO World Elite Mastercard for 8 years and have used the complimentary passes that were a benefit of this card several times.
    However, in March 2020 I visited a LoungeKey airport lounge (Heathrow) but on my next statement I noted a charge, even though I had not been to an airport lounge for over 18 months.
    I disputed the charge with BMO and was told there are no complimentary passes with this card.
    When did this change and were you aware of that?
    Thanks, Chris

  40. Annette on July 5, 2020 at 12:09 AM

    Is there a direct comparison showing detailed numbers for BMO world elite Mastercard vs Scotiabank Passport Visa benefits, insurance, etc?

  41. Annette on July 5, 2020 at 3:57 PM

    Thank you very much! Great info gained.

  42. Alan on July 13, 2020 at 9:06 PM

    Hi Barry

    I have the world elite and plan to use Paytm to pay property tax charged to the MC. Can I use the BMO rewards to pay the balance once the bill is posted? (Points to pay CC balance)?

    • Barry.Choi on July 14, 2020 at 6:14 AM

      Hi Alan,

      BMO Rewards does allow you to use points to claim a statement credit. In case you didn’t know, Paytm recently increased their fees so using them to pay your property taxes may not be worth it.

      • Alan on July 15, 2020 at 2:39 AM

        Thanks. The property is rental so the charges are deductible. I have a great number of points and will be cancelling the card since the only value was the (4) lounge key passes. The Scotia Visa has 6 Priority Pass passes and has no FOREX so I should not be carrying two cards with passes especially when there is no travel for at least 2021.

  43. Noel on October 4, 2020 at 10:48 PM

    Hi Barry. Thanks for all the great info, and especially for replying to comments.
    I have always saved my BMO World Elite points just for travel, because of the 1.4% return compared to the much lower return for either merchandise or statement credit. However, I recently noticed on their rewards site (under the “invest” section) that they are offering $100 for 15000 points redeemed, as long as it goes into one of three types of BMO bank accounts. This is a 1.33 % rate of return for cash, which is way better than what you would get for a statement credit, although it seems like it’s pretty much the same thing (since I could just use the money in the account to pay my statement). Is there something I’m missing? I don’t currently have a BMO bank account, but one of the account types that is eligible for the offer has no monthly fees, so it’s not like I’d be losing out that way.
    Just wondering your thoughts on this.
    (BTW, I was only able to see the $100-for-15000 points offer when I was signed into my account; the info is not there when I am not signed in.

    • Barry Choi on October 5, 2020 at 6:17 AM


      In the past, using points for the invest section usually only applied to things such as RRSP, TFSA, Investorline etc.

      Is there now a regular bank account that it applies to? The $100 for 15,000 points may also just be a limited time offer.

  44. James Lin on September 13, 2021 at 9:14 PM

    Hi Barry. Big fan of your site. It could be worth mentioning that Lounge Key and Priority Pass recently lost access to Plaza Premium lounges, which makes those 4 free passes much less valuable. I have this card, and am planning to cancel it for that reason.

    • Barry Choi on September 14, 2021 at 8:59 AM

      Hey James,

      I had been meaning to update this with the change, but frankly, I’ve been too lazy.

      Smart of you to cancel. With the removal of Plaza premium, your lounge passes are almost useless in Pearson (unless you’re flying T3) and Vancouver.

  45. Topo on November 4, 2021 at 12:22 PM


    I am a physician who has been using their World Elite Master Card for 3 years now. I make almost all my purchases with the card, and they’ve continued to increase my credit limit accordingly. I hadn’t run into any issues with them initially – but that was because I hadn’t had any issues needing to be dealt with period. But I remember the first couple of times I needed assistance (to dispute unfair charges), the bank did little to help my cause. Not particularly satisfied, I continued with them anyways, mostly for the travel perks including lounge access.

    Then things really got bad. Due to COVID, I hadn’t been able to use the lounge pass until recently when lounges finally reopened in my city (Toronto). I attempted to use the pass a few days ago and was shocked to hear that, actually, BMO neglected to renew its contract with Toronto’s Pearson Airport this summer. I ended up needing to pay for the lounge. I sent an angry message via my online account asking for compensation for the lounge cost, as it should’ve been included in my credit card anyways and I had used it at the same location in pre-covid days without problem. I had also said that if they fail to resolve the matter appropriately, I wanted to move forward with canceling my card. The rep who messaged me back gave a standard message stating that with my World Elite I have access to “1000 airport lounges”….and basically provided no explanation as to what just happened nor any compensation. They said to feel free to message them again if I still wanted to cancel the card.

    And here, ladies and gents, is where things went from bad to ridiculous: every time I tried sending a message (to cancel the card) a 404 error showed up. At a loss, I ended up “disputing” the airport lounge payment in order to write down my desire to move forward with the cancellation. Another 404 message. Essentially anything I tried to do on that account took me to a 404 page as if they’re purposely stopping me from cancelling. I figured maybe if I accessed via my phone instead of my laptop, I may miraculously be able to send the message. Not so – in fact I suddenly ended up being locked out of my account. I called various service numbers at BMO, first to try and access my online account again. And then to actually cancel my card and close my account. Both times I was told I had to “visit a branch and provide ID in order to proceed”. No explanation as to why, only that my account was “flagged” as such and they had no clue. I frustratingly told them that from the very beginning starting with my application for this card, I had never needed to step into a branch to “provide ID” in order to do anything. I am currently traveling and won’t be back home to “step into a branch” until another 2 weeks. Again, crickets on their end as to any suitable explanation.

    So, now I’m abroad without access to my credit card account or any ability to monitor what the heck this fraudulent bank is doing to it until I return. I’m pondering whether to report it stolen or something just so they’d actually close the card. It’s apparent they’re putting up barriers upon barriers to stop me from canceling, and in the meantime just cementing my decision further to do so. I will never ever use any of BMO’s services again.

    • Barry Choi on November 4, 2021 at 1:35 PM

      Hey Topo,

      All very valid points.

      In regards to the lounge access. Plaza Premium lounges (which are in almost every Canadian airport) recently left Priority Pass and Mastercard Airport Experiences.

      So technically, it wasn’t BMO’s fault. That said, you’re not wrong as the lounge passes are almost useless in Canada now.

      I’ve been advising my readers to switch to the American Express Gold Rewards Card since they specifically give you Plaza Premium passes.

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