The Essential Guide to

BMO Rewards

Last updated: September 12, 2022
Best ways to earn:
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card: Up to 90,000 BMO Rewards points
BMO World Elite Business Mastercard: Up to 70,000 BMO Rewards points
BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard: Up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points
BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card: Up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points
BMO Rewards Mastercard: 10,000 BMO Rewards points
Best ways to redeem:
150 BMO Rewards points = $1 towards any travel
Redeem for BMO Experiences

As a rewards currency with a fixed redemption value, BMO Rewards are often overlooked in favour of other Canadian points currencies.

Despite this, BMO Rewards still fills a niche in the travel rewards landscape. For example, there are many circumstances in your travels where you’re perhaps saving your airline or hotel points or a higher-value redemption, but still need to pay for your travel expenses.

As is the case with most fixed-value points programs, BMO Rewards won’t be your go-to program for luxury travel, but it’s always there to preserve your hard-earned dollars.

Earning Points via Signup Bonuses

The only way to earn BMO Rewards is from the bank itself, via its suite of BMO Rewards-earning credit cards.

BMO Credit Cards
Credit Card Best Offer Value
70,000 BMO Rewards points $670 Apply Now
Up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points
First Year Free
Up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points $320 Apply Now
Up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points
First Year Free
Up to 60,000 BMO Rewards points $221 Apply Now
10,000 BMO Rewards points
$0 annual fee
10,000 BMO Rewards points $77 Apply Now
Up to 90,000 BMO Rewards points $74 Apply Now

Earning Points via Daily Spending

Beyond signup offers, you can, of course, earn points via daily spending on the above credit cards. The rates are as follows:

  • BMO Rewards Mastercard:
    • 2 points per dollar spent at participating National and Alamo Car Rental locations
    • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard:
    • 5 points per dollar spent on travel, up to $15,000 annually
    • 3 points per dollar spent on dining, entertainment, and recurring bill payments, up to $10,000 annually per category
    • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
  • BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Card:
    • 5 points per dollar spent on dining, groceries, gas, and transit, up to $50,000 annually
    • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
    • 10% more points when you add a supplementary card ($50 per year)
  • BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege Card:
    • 5 points per dollar spent on travel, dining, groceries, gas, and drugstores, up to $100,000 annually
    • 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases
    • 25% more points when you add a supplementary card ($99 per year)
  • BMO World Elite Business Mastercard:
    • 4 points per dollar spent at gas stations, on office supplies, and on recurring cellphone and internet payments, up to $50,000 annually
    • 1.5 points per dollar spent on all other purchases

Purely from the perspective of earning points, the BMO eclipse Visa cards stand out far above the rest for 5x earnings on dining and groceries. The Privilege variant in particular stands out as the only card in Canada that earns 5x on travel spending.

However, given the higher flexible value of American Express Membership Rewards points, it’s arguably better to put that spending on the American Express Cobalt Card instead. Of course, if you’ve already maxed out the 5x category spend on your Cobalt Card, then pivoting to a BMO eclipse Visa could indeed be a valuable move.

Redeeming BMO Rewards Points

Like most points currencies, BMO Rewards points can be redeemed for a variety of rewards, including travel, gift cards, merchandise, experiences, and cashing out into a BMO investment account.

Travel represents by far the most optimal use of your BMO Rewards points, offering a redemption value of 150 points = $1, or 0.67 cents per point (cpp). In order to achieve this redemption rate, you can book with any travel provider and then apply your BMO Rewards points as a statement credit.

To apply your points, sign in to your BMO Rewards account, and click on the “Pay with Points” tab. A list of transactions that are eligible for redemptions will appear.

Simply click on the purchase against which you’d like to apply your points, and then choose from the sliding scale. For all travel bookings, you can use a sliding scale to determine how many BMO Rewards points you’d like to use, and you always have the option to pay the remainder in cash.

If you book directly with hotels or airlines, your purchase will be eligible for elite status qualification with that hotel or airline. Avoid booking with online travel agencies for hotel bookings if you’re pursuing elite status, as you won’t receive any elite perks or qualifying nights if you do.

However, there are still some types of hotels where it’d make sense to use BMO Rewards points. For example, if you’re staying at an independent boutique hotel that isn’t part of a major chain and doesn’t have an elite status program, then you could use your BMO Rewards points to book the hotel and still end up saving cash.

Another way to earn maximum value out of your BMO Rewards points is through a BMO investment account, into which you can redeem points for deposits in increments of 15,000 BMO Rewards points = $100. This is identical to the travel redemption price, and BMO will deposit cash directly into your investment account.

If you redeem BMO Rewards points for gift cards and merchandise, you’ll only get a subpar average redemption value of about 0.54–0.56 cents per point.

With both of these options, it’s worth waiting for a promotion, such as holiday sales, Black Friday discounts, and more. BMO will often have sales for 15% off redemptions.

The last way to redeem BMO Rewards points is directly as statement credit, at a rate of 15,000 points = $50, or 0.33 cents per point. Needless to say, this is a terrible way to redeem your points.

Instead, if you’re looking to redeem your BMO Rewards for cash, you can always make a car rental booking and cancel it in order to obtain a statement credit instead.

Conclusion

An often-overlooked program in the Canadian Miles & Points landscape, BMO Rewards are perhaps best known for their simplicity in earning and redeeming.

Rather than transferring your points to a frequent flyer program and hunting for availability, simply go ahead and book any flight, hotel, or car hotel the same way you would with cash and offset the cost directly with your points knowing that you are redeeming for optimal value.

Travel and a BMO Investment Account will be the optimal ways to redeem your BMO Rewards points, and the only ways that we’d recommend you use up these points.

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