The BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard is a must-have card for avid Air Miles collectors, as it offers a competitive earning structure along with perks such as an instant 15% discount on all flights redeemed through Air Miles.
Bonuses & Fees
Currently, the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard offers a welcome bonus of 2,000 Air Miles upon spending $3,000 in the first three months.
The annual fee, normally $120, is waived for the first year.
I generally value Air Miles at around 15 cents/mile (providing that you choose to earn Dream Rewards instead of Cash Rewards), making this offer worth $300 in my books. This is among the best Air Miles signup bonuses on any co-branded credit cards out there, so it’s definitely worth applying for this card to boost your balances if you’re an Air Miles collector.
Supplementary cards on the BMO Air Miles World Elite can be added for a fee of $50 per card.
The BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard allows you to earn 1 Air Mile per $12 spent on any purchases on the card. You’ll also get 3 the Air Miles for every $12 spent at participating Air Miles Reward Partners, such as Sobeys and their brands. At all other grocery stores, earn 2 Air Miles for every $12 spent.
While not the most valuable rewards to earn on a day-to-day basis, if you’re looking to top-up your Air Miles balance to redeem them for something, it can make sense to put some of your spending on this card.
Another good occasion to use the card would be during an Air Miles promotion like Shop the Block or Air Miles Mega Miles, when you might get bonus Air Miles simply for using your co-branded credit card to make purchases.
Compared to other loyalty programs, it can be relatively tough to plan an Air Miles redemption properly due to the lack of a formal award chart, varying prices, and constantly changing availability.
There are two categories you can choose your Air Miles to go in to, and these cannot be retroactively changed: Cash Miles and Dream Miles.
Cash Rewards are typically redeemed at the point of sale in participating stores, but can also be redeemed online for vouchers. The value is fixed at 95 miles = $10; however, certain stores often have special redemption offers where they give you bonus Air Miles simply for redeeming your existing ones.
In the Dream category, Air Miles allows redemptions for a few different travel options, including flights, hotels, and car rentals.
The absolute best redemption value is for round-trip last-minute flights within North America, where the cash price will be ridiculously high and the number of miles required remains fairly reasonable, allowing you to extract value up to 40cpm.
Perks & Benefits
First off, the card offers a Mastercard LoungeKey membership, which allows you to access the airport lounge and relax before your flight at the cost of US$27 per lounge visit.
The main attraction of the card, however, is the Air Miles-related benefits. You’ll start off with an instant 15% discount when redeeming Air Miles for flights within North America. Short-haul flights within North America represent one of the best-value uses of Air Miles, and the 15% discount amplifies the value even more.
Furthermore, the 3,000 Air Miles you earn as part of the signup bonus will count towards Air Miles Onyx status, getting you halfway to the 6,000-mile threshold just by getting the card.
You’ll also have access to additional Air Miles offers, which can be helpful during Air Miles promotions. Overall, with all these Air Miles-related benefits on offer, this is the must-have card if you’re an Air Miles aficionado.
The BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard offers an outstanding insurance package, including:
Emergency medical insurance for the first 15 days on out-of-province trips
Trip cancellation / interruption insurance for up to $2,500 per insured person and $5,000 per trip overall
Flight delay benefits of up to $500 per trip for reasonable expenses incurred on a flight delay of six hours or more
Car rental insurance and Collision Damage Waiver benefits, which allow you to save on the insurance fees that car rental companies usually charge
The most powerful part of the insurance, though, is that all of these benefits are valid as long as you charge the full or partial cost of the trip to your BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard.
This is a benefit which is unique to the BMO World Elite series of credit cards, making it an ideal card for whenever you’re travelling on points (be it Air Miles or any other points program). As long as you charge the taxes and fees of your trip to the card, you’re fulfilling the “partial cost” criterion and therefore eligible to receive insurance coverage on your trip.
With its comprehensive insurance coverage, the BMO Air Miles World Elite is arguably worth applying for purely for the award travel coverage alone.
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