Good news today for holders of BMO AIR MILES credit cards as they’ll soon be earning more miles for grocery purchases made anywhere. This comes not too long after the news that the Empire group of grocery stores (Sobeys, Safeway, FreshCo etc.) were leaving the AIR MILES and thus effectively removing a big chunk of the partners the BMO AIR MILES cards had as their accelerated earn rate locations.
One of the primary features of the BMO AIR MILES credit cards for the past couple of years has been an accelerated earn rate for using the cards at select AIR MILES partners. A good portion of those partners were the Empire Company Limited stores across Canada that included Foodland, IGA, Safeway, Sobeys and others. So as soon as the announcement came out they were leaving AIR MILES the BMO cards were set to go from 6 to 16 partners you could earn the extra miles at down to 1 to 10 depending which province you resided in.
I covered this in more detail in my article on the BMO AIR MILES cards needing a revamp which you can read here: The BMO AIR MILES Mastercards are due for another revamp
Here is one thing I said back in that piece on June 15th:
They need to go to general accelerated
earn rates for the cards or even a flat rate earn like they had before.
By general accelerated earn rates I mean an overarching earn for
categories such as grocery, dining, travel etc.”
And now we have it for grocery and hopefully we’ll see it for other categories as well.
The new earn rates
As of August 1 BMO AIR MILES Mastercards will earn double the AIR MILES Rewards Miles on all grocery purchases regardless of the retailer except for Metro. Metro will continue to be part of the 3x miles partner accelerator rate.
These will be the earn rates for the three BMO AIR MILES Mastercards at all grocery stores:
- BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* MasterCard®* – 2 miles for $12
- BMO AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* – 2 miles for $25
- BMO AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Business Mastercard®* – 2 miles for $12
UPDATE: Thanks to our reader Adam M. we have learned this 2x multiplier on grocery stores will be capped at $500 per billing cycle! This is an unfortunate twist to this news but doesn’t surprise me since this is BMO we are talking about.
Wrapping it up
It’s good to see BMO and AIR MILES make this adjustment to their cards this quickly after the news from last month. The BMO AIR MILES card portfolio needed it to remain competitive and to continue to appeal to their existing cardholders. 2x times miles may not be good as the 3x cardholders have been receiving at Empire stores but at least now cardholders aren’t limited to those stores and will be able to earn more miles across a wider variety of locations including Loblaw’s various stores, Save-On Foods and others.