With the announcement that Sobeys will soon dump their longtime partnership with Air Miles, I wondered aloud if there was any gas left in the proverbial tank of the aging Air Miles program.
It looks like Air Miles has at least a few tricks up its sleeves, and that it’s decided to double down on its partnerships with BMO, leading to an all-time-high offer of up to 5,000 bonus Air Miles on the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard.
BMO Air Miles Welcome Bonuses
The Bank of Montreal has traditionally been one of the most consistent Air Miles loyalty partners. Whilst big-name companies like the LCBO have switched over to Aeroplan, and the aforementioned Sobeys family of grocery stores will migrate to Scene+, BMO remains steady in the Air Miles camp.
(Perhaps this is because both feel a bit beleaguered and out of their depth in their continued struggle for relevance.)
Therefore it’s a breath of fresh air that, at long last, BMO is offering a signup bonus on the Air Miles co-branded credit cards which is one of the most competitive among Canadian credit cards.
As part of their “standard” welcome bonuses, the basic no-fee card will net you 1,500 Air Miles upon spending $1,500 in the first three months, worth $157.50 in pure Cash Rewards on groceries at chains like Metro or gasoline at partners such as Shell.
Meanwhile, the World Elite comes with an annual fee waiver (a savings of $120), plus a hefty 3,000 bonus Air Miles, worth $315, after spending $3,000 in the first three months.
All-Time High: 2,000 Bonus Air Miles!
To quote the late great Billy Mays: “But wait, there’s more!”
Get your approval using this link prior to July 6, 2022, and you can be eligible for an extra bonus of 2,000 Air Miles – another $210 in value!
All you need to do is use your new BMO Air Miles MasterCard at a participating Metro location in Ontario – or use Metro’s online grocery services. Once you’ve completed this transaction, you get your additional 2,000 Air Miles.
This gives the basic BMO Air Miles Mastercard a total welcome bonus of 3,500 Air Miles ($367.50 in value), while the World Elite version offers a total of 5,000 Air Miles (worth $525)!
Of course, to take full advantage of this offer, you have until August 7, 2022 to make your qualifying purchase. I wouldn’t be too worried, as there seems to be a Metro on every corner of my native Toronto.
Even if you don’t live in the GTA or Ontario itself, then this might be a good time to just buy a box of chocolates for Metro’s order pickers or maybe arrange a little something for a local food bank.
The possibilities are endless, and that’s assuming you don’t want have any friends or family in Ontario to shower with impromptu generosity.
Is There Value Left in Air Miles?
Thus far, I’ve alluded to the Cash Rewards value of Air Miles because this is what BMO itself advertises. To me, this belies a tacit acknowledgement on the part of BMO and the Air Miles program as a whole that the original purpose of Air Miles as a loyalty reward to “fly for free” has now become obsolete.
Quick recap: there are two types of Air Miles points you can choose to collect. On one hand, there are the Cash Rewards found in BMO’s marketing materials, which offer a flat value of $10 per 95 Air Miles (equivalent to $10.5 per Air Mile) when redeemed at partner brands such as Metro.
On the other hand, there are Dream Rewards, which can be (in theory) redeemed for merchandise, travel experiences such as Disney park tickets, or flights.
When one considers our most recent analysis of Air Miles as a travel currency, you’ll note that flying anywhere requires a very large sum of points, and such redemptions often come with hefty fuel surcharges to boot.
So: is there value in taking advantage of BMO’s offer? I definitely think so – if you stick to the Cash Rewards side of things.
Don’t get me wrong, it’s not impossible to redeem your Air Miles for Disney park passes or even something silly like merchandise, but the best and simplest path to value are the Cash Rewards advertised so heavily by BMO itself.
BMO and Air Miles have a limited-time welcome offer that gives you an extra 2,000 Air Miles on top of the standard bonuses upon making a purchase in-store or online at Metro grocery stores in Ontario.
Factoring in the limited-time bonus, this means that you can earn a total of 5,000 Air Miles on the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard, which represents an easy $525 in value. Make sure to apply via the dedicated link by July 6, 2022.
It’s great to see another high welcome bonus that can be earned for relatively little effort. At the same time, I can’t help but feel we may not be able to enjoy even a limited version of the Air Miles program for much longer.
The company’s clients dwindle in number each quarter, so how long will it be before Air Miles collectors cannot easily find places to redeem at all?
Until next time, earn and burn your Air Miles faster than they lose their partners.