BMO Rewards, the proprietary credit card redward program from BMO is known as one of the less flexible programs when it comes to redeeming for travel. The reason behind this is that you are limited to booking travel via BMO Rewards to ensure you get the most value out of your points. BMO does have a Pay with Points feature where you can mimic other proprietary credit card program’s book any travel any way you want and redeem points against charge option but with a lot lower value. Now, BMO has launched a limited time promotion where you can use less points with their Pay with Points option when redeeming towards any travel purchase.
Right now you can go out and purchase any travel on a BMO that earns BMO Rewards points and then redeem 175 points for $1. Basically you are receiving a 12.5% discount on the regular Pay with Points rate of 200 points to $1. It still falls short however of the 150 points to $1 redemption when redeeming for travel via BMO Rewards.
Ideally if you have an upcoming travel to book you’ll want to compare prices if you were to book via BMO Rewards so you can redeem at 150:1 or directly with the merchant and redeem at 175:1. You’ll only want to do the latter in several cases: The price is significantly cheaper whereby you actually use less points at 175:1 versus a more expensive booking via BMO and redeeming at 150:1 or the travel you are looking at booking isn’t available via the BMO Rewards travel portal. It also an option to help pay for a travel purchase while travelling since booking via BMO Rewards requires you to redeem at time of purchase (which if you are at a train station about to buy some train tickets may be tough to do via BMO Rewards) this option will you redeem afterwards with that 12.5% savings.
The offer is good for travel purchases that are classified as:
car rental agencies, hotels/resorts, cruise lines, passenger railways ,
timeshares, travel agencies and tour operators made on your card(s)
between November 17, 2021 and March 31, 2022. Also note the purchase
must be made by the primary cardholder to take advantage of this
This offer should work with any of the following BMO’s cards that earn BMO Rewards points:
- BMO World Elite™* MasterCard®*
- BMO eclipse Visa Infinite* Card
- BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege* Card
- BMO Rewards® MasterCard
- BMO Rewards® Business Mastercard®*
Wrapping it up
Overall this is an OK offer – I mean it’s better than redeeming at a 200 to 1 ratio but I feel since it is limited time BMO should have just matched their main travel redemption rate of 150 to 1 to get some good uptake on it. Yes, it would steer people clear of booking via BMO Rewards who then loses out on commissions and phone in booking fees but hey it’s only for a few months and it’s not like the bank is hurting for cash so to give them up for a few months could have been a even better move on their part.