The BMO World Elite Mastercard has an increased bonus which is worth taking a look at. The current offer runs until March 31, 2019, and is the highest bonus that has come around in a while.
BMO World Elite Mastercard
You can earn 35,000 BMO Rewards points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. The first year annual fee of $150 is waived. As well, you can earn a $100 statement credit for on any travel purchases within the first six months. This is as good as cash since it covers any transactions with “airlines, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, passenger railways, travel agencies and tour operators.”
Previous public offers have been between the 20,000-35,000 point range, with or without an annual fee waiver. The travel statement credit is new. Overall, this bonus is one of the highest I’ve ever seen. With the limited variety of credit cards available, it is well worth a credit inquiry. Of the two credit bureaus in Canada, BMO pulls Equifax. You can pick up your Equifax credit report and free credit score from Borrowell for free.
Additional Reading: Applying for a New Card: Which Credit Bureau Gets Used?
The BMO World Elite Mastercard earns three points per dollar on travel, dining, and entertainment, and two points per dollar everywhere else. You can redeem 140 points per $1 in travel booked with BMO Rewards, which makes each point worth 0.7 cents. This used to be higher but is in line with the industry as many cards are reducing the value of their rewards.
The card also provides 4 complimentary lounge access passes via Lounge Key. I don’t have Lounge Key as my Priority Pass comes with unlimited access thanks to my American Express Platinum Card. However, this may be useful if you don’t travel often. I fly out of YVR, so I use my lounge membership on each and every trip, unless I cut things too close.
This card can also be used on PayTM, a free bill payment service that makes it easy to earn additional rewards. Since PayTM only accepts Mastercard without a fee, you can use this card to pay for things like taxes and utilities which don’t normally accept credit cards. This should also make it pretty easy to meet the minimum spend.
The card also offers strong insurance benefits with 21 days of emergency travel insurance. After the first year, note that the BMO Premium Plan Checking account also waives the annual fee on this Mastercard. This means you can keep this card permanently free if you open one of those accounts next year. BMO often offers bank account signup bonuses which makes it an even better deal. I picked up $300 with one of those promotions that last year.