Bonuses & Fees
The brand-new 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
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).
The card comes with an annual fee of $499; however, read on below to see how this can effectively be reduced to only $99 for your first year of card membership. Supplementary cards can be added for an annual fee of $99 apiece.
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).
Therefore, the 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.
BMO Rewards points 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.
The BMO eclipse Visa Infinite 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:
- “Travel” includes flights, hotels, car rentals, and vacations packages.
- “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.
- “Drugstores” includes drugstores and pharmacies.
The 5x return on these five categories is among the strongest in Canada, putting the BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege (as well as its Visa Infinite counterpart) right up there alongside the Cobalt Card and the Scotia Gold Amex as the only 5x-earning Canadian credit cards.
Since BMO Rewards points are valued at 0.7cpp as outlined above, the return of 5x BMO Rewards points can also be thought of as a very competitive 3.57% return on these categories.
Moreover, as an introductory benefit, if you add a supplementary card to your BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege account, you’ll receive a 25% boost to the earning rates, which is the first credit card feature of its kind in Canada. As a result, you’ll enjoy the following elevated earning rates:
- 6.25 BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on dining, groceries, gas, and transit
- 1.25 BMO Rewards point per dollar spent on all other purchases
In this case, you’re getting an effective 4.46% return on spending in the five bonus categories – that’s by far the best fixed return you’ll get on travel, gas, and drugstores among any Canadian credit card!
However, on purchases outside of these five categories, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege only offers 1 point per dollar spent. This is therefore equivalent to a 0.71% return on spending, so this wouldn’t really be the strongest card for day-to-day spending outside of the bonus categories.
Perks & Benefits
In terms of perks and benefits, you’ll get a Priority Pass membership with six complimentary visits per year to Priority Pass’s 1,300+ global airport lounges, which can be used in any combination: six lounge visits as a solo traveller, three visits as a couple, etc.
There’s also select benefits under the Visa Infinite Privilege brand, 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.
However, this card’s standout benefit is a $200 annual lifestyle credit, which is a statement credit that you automatically receive once every calendar year upon making a purchase of at least $200. That’s how simple it is – spend $200, get $200!
Essentially, the lifestyle credit can be thought of as a way to offset the card’s $499 annual fee. Best of all, the lifestyle credit is available once per calendar year, meaning that if you apply now, you’ll be able to take advantage of a $200 lifestyle credit in 2020 and another $200 lifestyle credit in 2021 – for a total of $400 in statement credits – all before having to pay an annual fee for the second year.
You can effectively try out the card for the first year while only paying a net fee of $99 – and you’ll get to try out the card’s welcome bonus, best-in-class earning rates, lounge passes, Visa Infinite Privilege perks, etc.
Like BMO’s other premium travel credit cards, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege boasts an outstanding insurance package, including:
- Emergency medical insurance of up to $5 million for the first 22 days (for travellers aged below 65) or the first three days (for travellers aged 65 and older) on out-of-province trips
- Trip cancellation insurance for up to $2,500 per insured person and $5,000 per trip overall
- Trip interruption insurance for up to $5,000 per insured person and $25,000 per trip overall
- Common carrier accident insurance of up to $500,000
- Car rental insurance and Collision Damage Waiver benefits, which allow you to save on the insurance fees that car rental companies usually charge
- Flight delay insurance
- Baggage delay, loss, and damage insurance
- Hotel burglary insurance
The most powerful part of the 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 BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege.
This is a benefit which is unique to BMO’s suite of travel credit cards, 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 trip to the card, you’re fulfilling the “partial cost” criterion and therefore eligible to receive insurance coverage on your trip.
Furthermore, as a card geared towards the modern frequent traveller, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite also comes with the following additional perks:
- Mobile device insurance that covers you in the case of loss, damage, or theft of your mobile device for up to $1,000
- Extended warranty benefits that automatically triples the manufacturer’s warranty up to a maximum of two years
- Purchase security insurance that insures your items against theft or damage within the first 120 days after purchase
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