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Monday, July 27, 2020

Earn rate changes coming to the no fee BMO AIR MILES Mastercard this November


Back in May BMO announced changes to their no fee BMO CashBack Mastercard and now they have announced similar changes to their no fee BMO AIR MILES Mastercard. There is quite a bit of advance notice for these changes as they won't take place until November 2020. These changes do only affect the no fee version of BMO's AIR MILES Mastercard as the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard will remain unchanged.


The only changes happening to the card are on the everyday earn rates and they actually get better for shopping at AIR MILES partners and slightly worse everywhere else.

These are the current earn rates for the card that will be in place until November:
- Get 2x the Miles for every $20 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners
- Get 1 Mile for every $20 spent everywhere else


The new earn rates that will kick in in November and be reflected on your December statement are as follows:
- Get 3x the Miles for every $25 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners
- Get 1 Mile for every $25 spent everywhere else

As you can see the new earn rates are 3x miles for every $25 at participating AIR MILES partners and this is something to note. It is not all AIR MILES partners that you get this earn rates it is strictly those listed on the AIR MILES site as those participating. The partners at the time of posting are as follows:

Then all your spending outside of the above listed partners will earn 1 miles for every $25 spent.

So how does this compare to the card's current rates? Well the 3 miles for $25 at participating partners is a boost to your earning but to get that boost you have to now spend $25 instead of $20. The old earn rates of 2 miles for $20 essentially gave you 0.1 miles per dollar spent and the new rate is 0.12 miles per dollar so that is effectively a 20% boost in earning but I do stress that you now have to spend $25 but that is cumulative. So if you have two Shell purchases of $12.50 in one month you'll earn the 3 miles however anything less and you won't earn the 3x miles. For all other spending the math is quite simple here, you only earn 1 mile for every $25 spent instead of the current $20 which translates to a 20% devaluation. That's a pretty big drop considering most spending on this card probably doesn't happen at the 13 partners listed above.

Overall I would have to consider this a devaluation to the no fee BMO AIR MILES Mastercard. Sure the 20% boost at the participating partners is great but not everyone needs office supplies or home reno items on a regular basis nor do some people have pets so that drops four partners off the list - and car rentals - not much of that happening now and even for the foreseeable future so really the boost is good for 6 partners in total. Which leaves most spending on this card not being at partners with the 3x accelerator and that spending will net you 20% less miles come this November.

Learn more about and apply for the BMO AIR MILES Mastercard here.

Below is the most current offer for the card. It may not reflect the discussion above.

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