Bonuses & Fees
The BMO World Elite offers a welcome bonus of 30,000 BMO Rewards points, distributed as follows:
25,000 BMO Rewards points upon spending $3,000 in the first three months
5,000 BMO Rewards points 12 months after account opening
Furthermore, the card is currently offering a first-year waiver on the $150 annual fee, which improves the value of the offer even further.
Historically, the BMO World Elite has offered higher signup bonuses, so the current offer is quite middling.
BMO Rewards points are worth 0.67 cents per point (cpp) when redeemed against the cost of travel booked via the BMO Rewards online portal (at the rate of 15,000 points = $100). Therefore, the signup bonus of 30,000 BMO Rewards points can be redeemed as $200 worth of travel; throw in the $150 savings on the first-year annual fee, and the offer is worth $350 in total.
However, you’ll note that the final 5,000 BMO Rewards are only granted after you renew the card for another year. Therefore, if you’re the type who simply wants to try out the card during the first-year-free period without paying the second year’s annual fee, then you’ll walk away from this card with only 25,000 BMO Rewards points.
The card has a straightforward earning structure:
3 BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on travel, dining or entertainment, up to $50,000 per calendar year
2 BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on all other purchases
Since BMO Rewards can be redeemed at the rate of 0.7cpp, these earning rates are equivalent to a 2.1% and 1.4% return, respectively.
These are respectable returns on a premium card, although some might choose to earn more valuable points currencies through a product like the American Express Platinum Card instead (since BMO Rewards points can only be redeemed at a fixed value, rather than transferring out to higher-value airline partners).
However, the BMO World Elite still makes for a solid Mastercard option to keep in your wallet alongside an Amex product as well.
Perks & Benefits
In terms of perks and benefits, this card offers four annual complimentary lounge passes with Mastercard LoungeKey, which allows you to access the airport lounge and relax before your flight (either on four occasions for a solo traveller, two occasions as a couple, etc.) Additional lounge visits will cost US$27 apiece.
The lounge passes are similar to what’s offered by the BMO Air Miles World Elite, although the regular World Elite gives you four lounge passes rather than two.
The BMO World Elite Mastercard offers an outstanding insurance package, including:
Emergency medical insurance of up to $2 million for the first 21 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 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. 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 World Elite is arguably worth applying for purely for the award travel coverage alone.
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