The BMO CashBack Mastercard is a solid choice for anyone who prefers cash back and spends a fair amount every month at grocery stores. Its 3% return on groceries is outstanding for a no-fee card, and the flexibility of BMO’s cash back redemption options also counts in its favour.
However, the excellent 3% earning rate only applies on the first $500 in groceries per month, so you may wish to compare this card against other options if your spending volume is higher.
Bonuses & Fees
As a welcome bonus, the BMO CashBack Mastercard offers 5% cash back on the first $500 spent within the first three months, up to a total of $25 in cash back rewards.
The card has no annual fee, making it a great choice to keep around 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 CashBack credit card to preserve your account history.
It’s also free to add authorized users.
The BMO CashBack Mastercard earns cash back at the following rates:
- 3% cash back on groceries
- 1% cash back on recurring bill payments
- 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.
A 3% return on groceries is a ridiculously high rate for a no-fee card, and even higher than many premium cards out there. The 1% cash back on recurring payments is also a fairly competitive rate for a no-fee product.
However, you’ll only get the bonus rates on your first $500 spent per month. The card isn’t great for high spenders, but if you’re in the market for a card with no annual fee, you’re probably pretty budget-conscious to begin with.
The 0.5% cash back rate for uncategorized purchases is rather uninspiring, but it isn’t too far off of the value of the rewards on BMO’s other no-fee cards. All other things being equal, cash back is certainly a more versatile rewards currency, and a strong grocery category only sweetens the deal.
There are three ways to redeem your cash back on the BMO CashBack Mastercard:
- Deposit into a BMO chequing or savings account
- Deposit into a BMO InvestorLine account
- Redeem as a credit against your credit card’s statement
Any of these three options can be requested at any time when you’ve earned at least $1 of cash back. You can also set up automatic payments, which will automatically trigger one of the above three redemption options every time you reach $25 of cash back.
BMO’s cash back redemption options are relatively flexible compared to its peers, many of which only allow you to claim your cash back earnings once a year.
Perks & Benefits
As a no-fee card, the BMO CashBack Mastercard comes with relatively few 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 CashBack Mastercard are also limited.
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).