The BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* was easily one of the best BMO credit cards. It’s their flagship travel rewards credit cards and comes with great benefits including lounge access, travel insurance, concierge service, extended warranty and more.
What people love is that the sign up bonus is typically generous and it has a strong earn rate. But is that enough for you to sign up? Read my BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* review now for my full thoughts.
BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* benefits
- $150 Annual fee – Fee waived in the first year
- Get 25,000 BMO Rewards points as a welcome bonus
- Get 5,000 points on your first anniversary
- 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 4 annual complimentary passes
- Comprehensive travel insurance package included
- Free global WiFi
The signup bonus of 25,000 points is in line with many of the other best travel credit cards in Canada. You do get an extra 5,000 points on your anniversary which is handy. Although there is an annual fee of $150, it’s waived for the first year and you get 10,000 points on your anniversary.
The BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* (referral link) also 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.
That said, Plaza Premium lounges recently left the Priority Pass network. Unfortunately, most of the Canadian airport lounges are operated by Plaza Premium (especially in Toronto and Vancouver). That means your lounge passes won’t go very far when you’re flying out of Canada.
Either way, the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* is one of the best credit cards with free airport lounge access. For reference, the 4 free annual passes are worth about $140 each year.
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.
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.
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 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.
BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* travel insurance
- Travel medical – $2,000,000 for 21 days
- Trip cancellation – up to $2,500 per person / $5,000 total
- Trip interruption – $2,000 per person
- Flight/trip delay – up to $500 / 6 hours
- Delayed and lost baggage – up to $750 per person / $2,000 total / 12 hours
- Auto rental collision / loss damage – 48 consecutive days / $65,000
- Common carrier travel accident – $500,000
The BMO 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 $2,000,000 in travel medical for trips up to 25 days. If you’re 65 or older, there is no coverage.
Your trip cancellation insurance is good up to $2,5000 per person but for some reason trip interruption only covers each person up to $2,000. Again, not a dealbreaker, but a bit odd. 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 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 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.
You would think this wouldn’t be an issue, but it can be a major problem when you’re partially booking a flight on points. For example, I fly WestJet on a regular basis and often offset my costs with my WestJet Dollars. I could use my WestJet World Elite Mastercard to pay my remaining balance so my travel insurance is valid, but that card doesn’t come with trip cancellation. Instead, I use my BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* to pay the balance so I get comprehensive travel insurance. For this reason alone, the BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* is one of the best credit cards with travel insurance in Canada.
How BMO Rewards works
To claim $1 in travel, you need 150 points. Based on this, you end up with a 2% return per $1 spent on dining, entertainment, and travel purchases. All other purchases get you 1.33% 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 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.
To use your points, you must book your travel through the BMO Rewards website which gives you access to flights, hotels, rental cars, rail tickets, vacation packages and cruises. 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. There are also no minimum points required to make a redemption. If you find a lower price on airfare or vacation packages, BMO Rewards will price match it.
If you don’t have enough points to make a full redemption, you can pay the remaining balance with your credit card. For more details about BMO Rewards, check out my full guide. Here’s a quick look at what your points are worth for the various BMO Rewards redemptions.
|Redemption type||Redemption value|
|Travel||.67 cents per point|
|Investments||.67 cents per point|
|Gift cards||.50 - .63 cents per point|
|Merchandise||.45 - .65 cents per point|
|Statement credit||.33 cents per point|
My BMO World Elite™* Mastercard®* review is positive. It’s one of the best travel credit cards in Canada and has some of the best travel insurance available. The LoungeKey access and included passes are easily worth more than the annual fee so you’re getting a lot of value here.
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