Wednesday, August 21, 2013

BMO World Elite MasterCard being enhanced as of September 1st!

As I mentioned yesterday, watch for changes to come to a few Canadian credit card this September and here is the first of them that we are going to bring you.

A pretty strong card in its own right that came 5th place in the "Travel Points Credit Card with annual fee" category in our 2013 Top Travel Rewards Credit Card rankings, the BMO World Elite MasterCard is getting a slight revamping as of September 1st.

Thanks to Rewards Canada reader Michael D. for passing along this information from a letter he received:
Just got a letter from BMO that Effective September 1 ... the redemption rate will now be 2% for every dollar vs 1.9%. Also they are giving free additional cards. Also you will now get 2 BMO points for ever dollar to make it easier to understand the redemption. 100 BMO points will = $1

These aren't huge changes but the fact that they are all good is huge given the negative news from many programs over the past few months!

Free additional cards is a great new feature considering the primary card costs $150 (this is now exactly the same as another top card, the American Express Gold Rewards Card)

The redemption rate moves to 2% from 1.9% while not huge it does make this card even better. This redemption rate is because of the card now offering 2 points per dollar instead of 1 and that the method of redemption of BMO Rewards Points is now less complex. Before the changes the card offered 1 point per dollar but that 1 point was worth 1.9% due to a somewhat complex redemption process.  The new redemption process as mentioned will be 100 points = $1 (no more trying to calculate what your points are worth at that 1.9% rate) as 1 point will equal a 1% return and since the card will earn 2 points on all eligible spending you actual rate of return is 2%.

The only possible negative aspect of this change is that the sign up bonus gets highly devalued if they don't increase it as of September 1st. The current sign up bonus is 15,000 points which is currently marketed as a $285 travel credit (using the 1.9% value) but because of the new redemption rate of 100 points = $1 that 15,000 points will only equal a $150 travel credit (or with this special link where you get 20,000 points or $200). I wouldn't be surprised if we see the sign up bonus move to 25,000 or 30,000 points as of September 1st to accommodate the new redemption rate but then again because of the new feature that supplementary cards are free the may not as the reduced value of the sign up bonus would compensate for that new benefit.

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