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The New BMO eclipse Visa Infinite & Visa Infinite Privilege Ricky November 6, 2020

The New BMO eclipse Visa Infinite & Visa Infinite Privilege

BMO Bank of Montreal has launched two brand-new Visa credit cards under the new “BMO eclipse” brand: the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* and the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege*.

These products represent the first time that BMO is partnering with Visa to issue credit cards Canada, as the bank has exclusively issued Mastercard products up until now. Let’s go over all the details you need to know.

In This Post

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – Highlights

Let’s begin with some of the key highlights:

  • The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite is a new product geared towards urban millennials, whereas the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege is a new product geared towards more established, higher net-worth individuals.
  • The two cards will feature a unique vertical design, and the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege will be a metal credit card.
  • The two cards will earn BMO Rewards points, which can be optimally redeemed at a ratio of 140 points = $1 (0.71 cents per point) against travel purchases via the BMO Rewards portal.
  • Both cards will offer the ability to earn 5x BMO Rewards points in select categories, placing them among Canada’s top-earning credit cards in the categories of dining, groceries, gas, transit, travel, and drugstore purchases.
  • As an introductory offer, adding a supplementary card can boost the earning rate by 10% or 25% on the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite and BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege, respectively, resulting in maximum earn rates of 5.5x or 6.25x BMO Rewards points, respectively.
  • The cards will offer annual lifestyle credits which can be redeemed against any purchase you desire – effectively, they can be thought of as statement credits that offset against the annual fee.

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – Bonuses & Fees

Priced at an annual fee of $120, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite offers a welcome bonus of 40,000 BMO Rewards points, distributed as follows:

  • 25,000 BMO Rewards points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
  • 15,000 BMO Rewards points 12 months after account opening

You’ll note that the final 15,000 BMO Rewards are only granted after you renew the card for another year. Therefore, if you’d like to try out this product during the first-year-free period before paying the second year’s annual fee, then during this time you’ll earn a minimum of 28,000 BMO Rewards points (25,000 points from the initial bonus, plus at least 3,000 points from meeting the minimum spend).

Remember, BMO Rewards points are worth 0.71 cents per point (cpp) when redeemed against the cost of travel booked via the BMO Rewards online portal (at the rate of 140 BMO Rewards points = $1).

(They can also be redeemed at 0.5cpp against any statement purchase at the rate of 200 BMO Rewards points = $1, but the value in doing so is clearly not as strong, so you should always aim to use your BMO Rewards points to book travel, if possible.)

Therefore, the total signup bonus of 40,000 BMO Rewards points can be redeemed as $285.71 worth of travel; meanwhile, the bonus you earn in the first year of 28,000 BMO Rewards points can be redeemed as $200 worth of travel.

The card is also offering a first-year waiver on the $120 annual fee, which improves the value of the offer even further. Supplementary cards can be added for an annual fee of $50 apiece, and as we’ll discuss below, there’s a very compelling reason to add at least one supplementary card to the account.

Next up: priced at an annual fee of $499, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege offers a welcome bonus of 50,000 BMO Rewards points, distributed as follows:

  • 35,000 BMO Rewards points upon spending $5,000 in the first three months
  • 15,000 BMO Rewards points 12 months after account opening

Similar to above, you’ll note that the final 15,000 BMO Rewards are only granted after you renew the card for another year. Therefore, if you’d like to try out this product during the first year before paying the second year’s annual fee, then during this time you’ll earn a minimum of 40,000 BMO Rewards points (35,000 points from the initial bonus, plus at least 5,000 points from meeting the minimum spend).

Considering BMO Rewards points’ valuation of 0.71cpp as outlined above, the total signup bonus of 50,000 BMO Rewards points can be redeemed as $357.14 worth of travel; meanwhile, the bonus you earn in the first year of 40,000 BMO Rewards points can be redeemed as $285.71 worth of travel.

The card’s annual fee of $499 may appear intimidating at first glance; however, read on below to see how this can effectively be reduced to only $99 for your first year of card membership.

Supplementary cards, which will be key to unlocking maximum value from the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege, are subject to an annual fee of $99 apiece.

Finally, on a disappointing note, both cards will continue to charge the industry-standard 2.5% foreign transaction fee on purchases made in a foreign currency.

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – Earning Rates

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite launches with the following earning rates:

  • 5 BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on dining, groceries, gas, and transit (on up to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year)
  • 1 BMO Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Meanwhile, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege launches with the following earning rates:

  • 5 BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on travel, dining, groceries, gas, and drugstores (on up to the first $100,000 in purchases per calendar year)
  • 1 BMO Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases

For greater clarity, the bonus categories are defined as follows, and are limited to purchases made in Canada:

  • “Dining” includes restaurants, bars, and cafes, as well as food delivery services like Uber Eats and meal-kit companies like Hello Fresh and GoodFood
  • “Groceries” includes any grocery store or supermarkets, but excludes wholesale retailers like Costco or general-goods retailers like Walmart
  • “Gas” includes all gas stations
  • “Transit” includes subways, metros, buses, commuter rail, ferries, taxis, and rideshare services
  • “Travel” includes flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacations packages
  • “Drugstores” includes drugstores and pharmacies

Since BMO Rewards points are valued at 0.71cpp as outlined above, the return of 5x BMO Rewards points on both cards can also be thought of as a decently competitive 3.57% return on their respective bonus categories.

While the Amex Cobalt and Scotia Gold Amex do offer a stronger effective return on dining and groceries (i.e., a “true” 5% return or more), the new BMO eclipse cards outperform in the gas, transit, and travel categories. And as Visa products, their overall acceptance in Canada will be much stronger as well.

However, despite these strengths, it must be noted that for purchases outside of the bonus categories, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite and BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege only offer 1 BMO Rewards point per dollar spent. This is therefore equivalent to a 0.71% return on spending, so these cards wouldn’t really be the strongest choice for day-to-day spending outside of their bonus categories.

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – Supplementary Card Boost

Moreover, if you add a supplementary card to your BMO eclipse Visa Infinite or BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege account, you’ll receive a 10% or 25% boost to the earning rates, respectivelywhich is the first credit card feature of its kind in Canada.

As a result, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite would then offer the following elevated earning rates, on spending by both the primary and supplementary cardholders:

  • 5.5 BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on dining, groceries, gas, and transit (on up to the first $50,000 in purchases per calendar year)
  • 1.1 BMO Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases

Considering the valuation of 0.71cpp, this corresponds to a 3.93% effective return on spending in the bonus categories, which is the highest fixed return on transit purchases offered by any Canadian credit card!

And on the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege’s side:

  • 6.25 BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on travel, dining, groceries, gas, and drugstores (on up to the first $100,000 in purchases per calendar year)
  • 1.25 BMO Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases

At the valuation of 0.71cpp, this corresponds to a 4.46% effective return on spending in the five bonus categories. That’s by far the best fixed return you’ll get on travel, gas, and drugstore purchases among any Canadian credit card!

In particular, it’s worth highlighting that the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege, boosted with a supplementary card, may well represent the single best fixed return on travel purchases among all Canadian credit cards.

Its closest challengers are the HSBC World Elite’s 3% baseline return, as well as the Amex Gold or Amex Platinum which offer 2x MR points on travel, but there’s a strong case to be made that the supercharged 4.46% earning rate of the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege can beat them out.

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – Annual Lifestyle Credit

The primary perk that’s being introduced by the BMO eclipse series of credit cards is the annual lifestyle credit, which is a fancy way to describe a statement credit that simply rewards you for being you.

Indeed, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite will offer a $50 lifestyle credit, while the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege will offer a $200 lifestyle credit. Both of these credits will be triggered automatically once every calendar year whenever you make a purchase of at least $50 or $200. That’s how simple it is!

(Note that only a single purchase of at least $50 or $200 will trigger the credit; cumulative purchases totalling those amounts won’t qualify.)

Best of all, you’ll note that the lifestyle credit is available once per calendar year, meaning that if you apply now in 2020, you’ll be able to take advantage of one lifestyle credit in 2020 and another lifestyle credit in 2021 – for a total of $100 or $400 in statement credits on the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite or BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege, respectively – all before having to pay an annual fee for the second year.

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – Travel Benefits

The higher-end BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege comes with a few heftier travel perks to justify its $499 annual fee. As a cardholder, you’ll get a Priority Pass membership with six complimentary lounge visits per year, which can be used in any combination: six lounge visits as a solo traveller, three visits as a couple, etc.

You’ll also benefit from Visa Infinite Privilege’s dedicated travel and lifestyle perks, such as priority airport services in Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto Billy Bishop, as well as access to the Visa Infinite Privilege Concierge and unique dining and wine events through the Visa Infinite network.

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – Insurance Coverage

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite is meant to be a lifestyle-oriented card, so its travel insurance perks aren’t that strong: there’s emergency medical insurance and car rental damage protection, but no trip cancellation, trip insurance, or flight and baggage delay insurance.

Meanwhile, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege has a more powerful set of travel insurance benefits given its premium position in the travel rewards market.

The most powerful part of the Visa Infinite Privilege card’s travel insurance benefits is that all of these benefits are valid as long as you charge the full or partial cost of the trip to your card.

This is a benefit which is unique to BMO’s suite of travel credit cards (including the BMO World Elite Mastercard and BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard as well), making it an ideal card for whenever you’re travelling on points or award tickets.

As long as you charge the taxes and fees of your booking to the card, you’re fulfilling the “partial cost” criterion, and therefore eligible to receive insurance coverage on your trip.

New BMO eclipse Visa Cards – How Much Value Can You Get?

Let’s run the numbers on exactly how much value you can get from the new BMO eclipse Visa cards if you apply today.

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite is waiving the annual fee of $120 for the first year. As we established above, during that first-year period, you’d receive a minimum of 28,000 BMO Rewards points upon meeting the spending requirement, which are worth $200 when redeemed for travel via the BMO Rewards portal.

Then, consider the fact that you’d be able to unlock a $50 lifestyle credit in 2020 and another $50 lifestyle credit in 2021, all before the second year’s annual fee is due. That increases your total value in the first year is $300, which is entirely yours to keep as you try out the card and make use of its powerful 5x earning rate on dining, groceries, gas, and transit.

If you’d like to add a supplementary card to unlock the 10% boost to the earning rate, that would cost you $50 for the year. You’d still be up by $250, while getting to earn 5.5x BMO Rewards points, or an outstanding 3.93% real return, on the aforementioned bonus categories.

Then let’s think about the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege. Its annual fee of $499 may seem like a big obstacle at first glance, but when you factor in the welcome bonus and the lifestyle credits, you’ll be coming out ahead in the first year!

As we established above, during this time you’ll earn a minimum of 40,000 BMO Rewards points upon meeting the spending requirement, which are worth $285.71 when redeemed for travel via the BMO Rewards portal.

Then you get to enjoy two sets of the $200 lifestyle credit – one for 2020 and one for 2021 – before the second year’s annual fee is due. Add in that $400 in value, and your total gross gain is $685.71; offset the $499 annual fee, and your net gain is $186.71.

Even though the card has a $499 annual fee, you’re actually coming out ahead by $186.71 while you try out the card during the first year and test-drive its best-in-class earning rates, lounge passes, and Visa Infinite Privilege perks!

You may well be interested in adding a supplementary card to unlock the 25% boost to the earning rate, which would cost you $99 for the year. In this case, you’d still be coming out ahead by $87.71 for the first year, all while getting to earn 6.25x BMO Rewards points, equivalent to a stunning 4.46% effective return, on travel, dining, groceries, gas, and drugstore purchases.

As you can see, although the full welcome bonuses are not delivered until 12 months after account opening, you can still derive extremely high value from the all-new BMO eclipse Visa Infinite and BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege even if you’re simply looking to try out the products for the first year to see if they’re a good fit for your needs.

Apply Now

You can find the detailed summary of both new products at their dedicated resource pages for each card: the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite and the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege.

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite requires a minimum annual personal income of $60,000 or household income of $100,000 to be eligible. By applying today, you can unlock $250–300 in net value in the first year, depending on whether or not you choose to add a supplementary card for the 10% earning boost.

The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege requires a minimum annual personal income of $150,000 or household income of $200,000 to be eligible. By applying today, you’ll unlock $187 in net value – or if you choose to add a supplementary card for the 25% earning boost (and achieve a 4.46% return on the bonus categories), you’ll still find yourself coming out ahead by $88.

If you’re interested in either or both these new products, I’d be grateful if you considered applying via the Prince of Travel affiliate links below, which goes a long way towards supporting the website:

 

princeoftravel.com/apply/BMOeclipse

 

princeoftravel.com/apply/BMOeclipseVIP

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24 Comments
  1. Avatar
    Peaceonearth1

    Ricky – Don’t see how you could get the $50 or $200 Lifestyle credit twice without paying a second Annual Fee of $120 or $499 as the credit is only posted to your account once each year and at the end of the year.

    For example, if I signed up for the Privilege version of the card today at $499/year on 10 Nov 2020, and met the annual minimum required spend in one month, I would get the $200 credit for 2020 on my first statement in Jan 2021.

    Now the 2021 $200 Lifestyle credit wouldn’t be applied before 10 Nov 2021 which would mean that I would have to renew the card at $499 again in order to get that second $200 Lifestyle credit on my first statement in Jan 2022.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Customers who sign up in 2020 will receive a credit they can use in 2020 (i.e., as soon as they get the card) and another one as of January 1, 2021.

      1. Avatar
        Peaceonearth1

        Read the detailed Terms and Conditions and you are correct! Also spoke to several BMO Credit Card reps.

        The Lifestyle Credit, $50 or $200 depending on which card you choose, will be credited to your account on the 2nd statement after the qualifying expense is incurred.

        1. Ricky
          Ricky

          Glad to hear it!

  2. Avatar
    Jack

    According to a BMO employee you cannot double dip – “The credit only triggers once per calendar year in January, regardless of card activation. That is very clear in our memo.”

    Can you double check with BMO? It what the employee said is true, it would be very misleading for a lot of people.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Confirmed that customers who sign up in 2020 receive one credit in 2020 and another in 2021.

      If you know who this BMO employee is, let me know so that their memo can be corrected. 🙂

      1. Avatar
        Jack

        Thanks for the confirmation Ricky, appreciate it!

    2. Ricky
      Ricky

      Thanks for the heads up, I will double check again but the confirmation we received last night was very clear that the double dip for 2020 and 2021 was on. But I’ll double check.

  3. Avatar
    James

    I just applied for BMO Airmiles WE, and got a phone call for income verification due to the current Covid situation, i was told they want to make sure people still have their jobs/income. Should i be applying for this card so soon after not being approved for the Airmiles, one is a MC and the other is a Visa but both from BMO, not sure whos actually doing the income verification in this case?

  4. Avatar
    Jane

    The VIP card is very intriguing when combined with an AU and a BMO investment account. Essentially a 4.2% cashback card on multiple categories on up to 100k spend.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Good point – or even when combined with a penchant for mercurial car rentals.

      1. Avatar
        Wobble Double

        Hey Jane! Do you mean you could feed your BMO investment account with your credit card AND get the 4% cashback on those transactions?

  5. Avatar
    Jay

    can you confirm on the lifestyle credit double dip? upon a second reading of the terms & conditions, people don’t appear to be in consensus that they will grant the 2020 lifestyle credit before year end.

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Confirmed – the annual lifestyle credit is based on calendar year and resets on January 1. The double-dip is well and alive.

      1. Avatar
        Jay

        used your affiliate link, keep up the good work 🙂 and hope the double dip pulls through

        1. Ricky
          Ricky

          Thanks Jay, I appreciate your support!

    2. Ricky
      Ricky

      Will do. It was confirmed to affiliates that the credit would double-dip, but I see that it’s now a little ambiguous.

  6. Avatar
    Francis Gagnon

    Very similar with new desjardins world elite remise crédit card. 4% groceries 3% restaurant entertainment and transit 1% all others catégorie. And you can put all points without penalties on everything. Bonus dollars. But they cut the insurance for 3 days. Desjardins world elite Odyssey of 60 Days.

  7. Avatar
    Shawn

    How is this card compared to the upcoming TD/CIBC Aeroplan VIP card?

    1. Avatar
      Vince

      I find it very unfortunate that they don’t offer any airline perk, such as the TD/RBC luggage fee waver and priority boarding with Air Canada.

    2. Ricky
      Ricky

      Stay tuned for an upcoming comparison post… probably next week.

  8. Avatar
    Ken

    Pretty decent returns overall for each card; and with the supplementary card added. However, are the returns confined to the BMO Rewards ecosystem?

    All in all, perhaps not enough here to bump my 4% cash back card I use for grocery/gas

    1. Ricky
      Ricky

      Yes, the returns are confined to the BMO Rewards ecosystem. For the BMO eclipse VIP, it’d depend on how much a cardholder values the return on travel purchases of up to 4.46%, since there are other cards with strong returns on dining, groceries, and gas, as you’ve noted.

  9. Avatar
    Rav

    This still has 2.5% foreign transaction fee uff

Ricky

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