BMO World Elite MasterCard Review

This is the review in full as it appears on the main Rewards Canada site and is the updated version from Dec 30, 2013

the middle of March 2010 BMO came out with a new MasterCard offering to compete with
the Visa Infinite cards issued by other banks in Canada. Until now BMO has only
offered Gold or Platinum versions of the various MasterCards they issued. One
can assume BMO came out with this card for several reasons. The first is that
BMO needs to keep its higher end clientele from jumping ship from their current
line of cards to the premium Infinite cards offered by banks like CIBC and RBC.
The second reason would be to try and pull some of the current Visa Infinite cardholders
away from those other banks, particularly if they are BMO bankers to start with.


World Elite tag is MasterCard’s premium card offering much like Visa’s Infinite/Signature
branding and is a step up from the World MasterCard. To the best of our knowledge, the BMO World Elite was the first
World Elite card offering in Canada. With World Elite comes extra benefits and
enhancements like Concierge service, extra insurance benefits, exclusive concert/theatre
packages and more. These features are what bring the card in-line with the other
premium cards in Canada. Much like the RBC Avion Visa, the BMO World Elite MasterCard allows you to redeem for any travel in any class (flights, hotels,
cruises etc.) for a varying amount of points via BMO’s own travel agency.

Related: See how the BMO World Elite stacks up against its competition on Rewards Canada’s Travel Points Credit Card with Annual Fee Comparison


The BMO World Elite comes with a heftier $150 primary card annual
fee versus
the average $120 for the Visa Infinite cards. If you apply for this card
by Mar 3, 2014 you will have the annual fee waived in the first year.
The card offers a 30,000 point welcome
bonus which is worth $300 in travel with the newly revised redemption
rate. Supplementary
cards run $50 which is the same for almost all of the
Infinite/Platinum/Gold travel
credit card offerings from other banks. The interest rate on the card is
which is slightly higher then the competitors but most people who have
this card
will be paying off their monthly balances in full.


The BMO World Elite earns
2 points for every dollar spent on the card for purchases. Since it
offers a straight 2 points per dollar (a 2% return) the card does not
any category multipliers like some of its competiors.


On the redemption side, BMO originally made it tough to find out what
the redemption
ratios were for travel unless you are an actual cardholder.
However this has changed as they let you know now that the card offers a
2% return on your spending (prior to September 2013 it was 1.9%) This
positions it near the
top of the Travel Points Credit Card category as it matches
cards like the Capital One® Aspire Travel™ World MasterCard®, the CUETS
World Elite MasterCard and mbna Rewards World Elite MasterCard. The BMO World Elite
ahead of the TD Visa Cards which have a 1.5% return, Diners
Club at 1.7%
and many other travel points and hybrid cards at 1%. There
does not seem to be a minimum amount of
points that you need to redeem at one time so this card can be
advantageous in redeeming for seat sale fares. As an example,
between Toronto and Ottawa or Montreal often dip below $50
each way
and come in under $200 with taxes which means, you could
redeem as little
as 20,000 points for the flights (or $10,00 in spending)
versus 15,000 with CIBC AeroGold Visas
or RBC Avion Visas ($15,000 in spending). When redeeming with
this card you want to try to do it online as BMO Rewards will charge you
$29.95 for bookings made over the phone.For non-travel redemptions the
World Elite MasterCard
offers a 1% return (100 points = $1)

and Benefits

The BMO World Elite comes with a whole host of features and benefits, the majority of which are standard for cards of this level. It has the standard Travel Accident, Flight Delay and Car Rental insurance. The one insurance it has that most of its competitors do not is Trip Cancellation insurance. This benefits covers up to $2,500 per insured person to a maximum of
$5,000 per account. The ScotiaGold Passport Visa, TD First Class Infinite and
American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum cards are the only other cards that have
this type of insurance as standard.

The card also offers free Priority
Pass membership which allows access to over 600 business class lounges Worldwide.
Normally the pass costs $99 per year plus your entry fee into each lounge of US$27.
This feature is also found on the American Express AeroplanPlus Platinum and Diners
Club MasterCards. The difference with the BMO World Elite is that it also
gives you four complimentary lounge access passes valued at a total of US$108.

is good about this card

The redemption ratio of 2.0% gives this
card a high mark as it matches other top cards in the Travel
Points category as is right in line with the average rate of return on
many airline cards for economy class seats. The trip cancellation
insurance and the Priority Pass
benefits that include the three free lounge visits are also a
plus feature for
this card.

What is not so good about
this card

The biggest downfall I can find with this card is that
they charge booking fees for redeeming you points for travel
bookings that are made by phone. They also have a $25 fee for change
or cancellations to your reward bookings over and above any
fees charged by the
actual travel supplier. For other rewards like financial or
merchandise rewards,
online orders are free and phone in orders are charged
$10+tax. The annual fee
is also higher then the card’s direct competitors who offer
similar features and


Overall the updated BMO Rewards World Elite MasterCard is
much stronger offering than when it first came out and is a comparable
match to its direct competitors. Booking fees on phone in rewards, a
higher annual
fee, and no ability to book travel directly from any
provider makes this
card fall short of ones like the Capital One® Aspire Travel™
World MasterCard®, the TD First Class Visa Infinite and the
Diners Club MasterCard. The biggest benefits behind this
card are the 2% redemption
ratio and the four complimentary Priority Pass lounge passes
that are not offered
by other cards. If you bank with BMO and want to keep all
your financial holdings
with BMO, spend a lot on your card each year and travel a
lot then this card makes
for a very good choice.

We would like to hear your thoughts on the new BMO World Elite MasterCard by commenting below!

Related Links:

BMO World Elite MasterCard on

Rewards Canada’s Canadian Travel Credit Card Comparison including the BMO World Elite MasterCard 

Other cards to consider if you are looking at this

American Express Gold Rewards

Capital One® Aspire ™
Travel World MasterCard®

CIBC Aventura Visa Infinite

CUETS World Elite MasterCard

Diners Club Club Rewards MasterCard

Scotiabank Gold American Express

TD First Class Infinite Visa