The BMO World Elite Mastercard currently has an increased offer, advertised as a $500 value in the first year. This ends tonight, February 28th.
The BMO World Elite Mastercard has a welcome bonus of 35,000 points after spending $3,000 in the first three months. These points would be in the BMO Rewards program, redeemable for travel at a fixed rate. This is equivalent to $250 in travel bookings, made through the reward program’s travel agency.
This isn’t as flexible as cards such as the Scotiabank Passport Visa Infinite, which allow you to book your own travel and use points as a credit. However, flights are generally the same price across most ticketing channels with the same mileage earning rates.
As well, there is a $100 statement credit available when you charge $100 on travel related purchases within the first six months onto your card. This is as good as cash since it covers any transactions with “airlines, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, passenger railways, travel agencies and tour operators.”
This is the highest publicly available offer I’ve seen for this card. My contacts at BMO have told me that the offer will be decreasing tomorrow, so the time to apply is now. When applying, BMO uses Equifax to verify eligibility. You can pick up your Equifax credit report and free credit score from Borrowell for free, if you haven’t already.
Insurance Coverage on Award Tickets
The other reason to apply for the BMO World Elite Mastercard is their unique travel insurance benefit. Premium credit cards usually offer coverage if certain issues arise during your trip, like a flight cancellation. However, many products require the full amount of the booking to be charged onto your card. This is a major issue when redeeming points.
The BMO World Elite Mastercard is unlike any other credit card in Canada. Under the eligibility clause for these benefits, the cardholder agreement is as follows:
Coverage applies only when You charge the full or partial cost of Your Trip to the Primary or Family Cardholder’s Mastercard prior to departure.
This should cover you on award tickets, provided other eligibility requirements are met. This clause also does not invalidate claims if you use other payment methods in addition to your BMO Mastercard, like a gift voucher. For most readers who primarily travel on award tickets, this benefit should provide huge value.
This clause is relevant to the following benefits:
- Flight Delay* – Up to $500 per account, per trip
- Baggage Insurance* – Up to $750 per person, $2,000 per account
- Car Rental Benefits* – Including Collision Damage Waivers
Keep in mind you can permanently keep this card free; The BMO Premium Plan Checking account waives the annual fee on this Mastercard. Finally, BMO often has a cash bonus when signing up for this bank account. Last year, I picked up $300 during one of these promotions.
There are multiple reasons to get the BMO World Elite Mastercard, including the improved bonus ending tonight. I plan to get this card shortly, and have already suggested this card to most of my friends and family. With the welcome offer, there are few reasons not to try out this card for the first year free of charge.