The BMO Air Miles Mastercard is a fine entry point for anyone who’s looking to collect Air Miles with a lower income, a newer or weaker credit history, or a desire to avoid paying annual fees. There’s also a version of the card for students.
Bonuses & Fees
As a welcome bonus, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard offers 800 Air Miles upon spending $1,000 within the first 90 days. The welcome bonus won’t blow you away, but it’s not bad for a beginner card with no annual fee.
The card has no annual fee, making it a good choice to keep open as a free primary or backup credit card, all while supporting the longevity of your credit history. You could also downgrade to this card after collecting the bonus on a higher-tier BMO Air Miles credit card to preserve your account history.
Authorized users can be added for no fee as well.
The BMO Air Miles Mastercard has a two-tier earning structure. You’ll earn:
- 3 Air Miles for every $25 spent at Air Miles partner retailers
- 2 Air Miles for every $12 spent at grocery stores
- 1 Air Mile for every $25 spent on all other purchases
These are far from the best earning rates on the market, and are quite mediocre even compared to other no-fee credit cards.
Unless you’re specifically aiming to collect Air Miles with a no-fee credit card, there are much more valuable points currencies towards which you could put your daily spending.
Air Miles are redeemed in two categories: Cash Rewards and Dream Rewards. You can set your preference on the Air Miles website in any ratio (e.g., 95% Cash Rewards, 5% Dream Rewards), but keep in mind while you can change this later, the miles cannot be reallocated.
Cash Rewards can be redeemed at a rate of 95 Air Miles = $10 (10.5 cents per point) at participating merchants, including the Sobeys and Metro grocery chains.
Dream Rewards are best redeemed for travel, including short-haul flights, hotels, car rentals, and attraction tickets. You should always aim to redeem Dream Rewards for at least 10.5 cents per point against the cash price, as otherwise you would’ve been better off collecting Cash Rewards instead.
Perks & Benefits
As a no-fee card, the BMO Air Miles Mastercard comes with a limited set of perks.
You’ll enjoy a 25% discount at select National and Alamo Rental locations, as well as BMO-specific discounts for 15% off Cirque du Soleil’s Canadian tours and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.
Insurance benefits on the BMO Air Miles Mastercard are also fairly small-scale.
The card does not offer any types of travel insurance; instead, its coverage is limited to extended warranty (doubling the manufacturer’s standard warranty, up to one additional year) and purchase protection (against accidental damage or theft within 90 days).