BMO Cashback Mastercard is one of the top tier credit cards in Canada. In case you don’t know, BMO or Bank of Montreal is one the largest Canadian Banks and often considered one of the five big banks along with RBC, CIBC, BNS, TD and Scotiabank.
The cashback card is ideal for individuals looking to earn a decent cashback rate on daily purchases, flexible redemption offers, ad no annual fee.
If you ask me, I personally like the cashback credit cards over points cards (Aeroplan or Air Miles). With the cashback credit cards, you know exactly how much cash back you’ve earned and when best to utilize it. With a points card, you always need to do the conversion and it can get tricky especially to know the best technique to utilize the points for maximum gain. For example, booking a flight ticket or redeeming points towards paying off the bills or to purchase gifts.
While you can get the cashback credit card from any of the major banks in Canada, there is something unique to the way BMO offers its services and we’re to discuss that.
In this article let’s take a deeper dive to find out everything the credit card has to offer and is it right for you and your family. Let’s get started.
Why Should you get the BMO Cashback Mastercard?
First of all, BMO is a very reputable Canadian Bank. BMO’s products are very popular and millions of people use them every single day for shopping and purchases. But is it the best credit card when compared to others offered?
BMO cashback credit card is best for individuals who spend a lot on groceries and recurring payments and who would love to earn decent cashback on all of their purchases.
BMO Cashback Mastercard is also ideal for frequent travellers who will always appreciate discounts on car rentals. You need to ensure that you’re getting the maximum gain every time you use the card.
As this is a no-fee card, you have nothing to lose. If you have the BMO app on your phone, you can always check the cashback earned and redeem it anytime you want to. That’s the advantage you get with BMO.
In case you want to earn more cashback, you always have the option to move to a higher tier BMO credit card. But, you’ll have to pay the annual fee. So, make sure you really want to upgrade. For example: if your average monthly spending using the card is around $800, you can do the quick math and make sure how much you’ll end up earning the cashback and compare it.
Also, in your monthly credit card statements, you can see the categories of spending. You can in fact set limits per spending to cap the expenses. You can look at this data by logging in online too. It’s extremely beneficial to analyze where you are spending more and cut short the over-spendings.
Most importantly, this card is best for individuals and families who already make use of other BMO products. And just like every other credit card, it’s decent for individuals who are well-disciplined and responsible.
So How Good Is The Cashback Rate?
With the BMO Cashback credit card, you’ll earn cashback every time you swipe your card or make a purchase using the credit card.
As a cardholder, you’ll earn the below cashback rates: (depends on the type of purchase you make)
Standard cashback rate of 3% on all grocery items up to the maximum of $500 each month
Cashback of 1% on all recurring payments up to the maximum of $500 each month (cell phone bills, utilities etc.)
Furthermore, during the promotional period (for the first 90 days) a bonus of 5% Cashback is offered on all purchases up to total spending of $2000 (max of $100 in rewards).
Note that, the cap of $500 is really a limiting factor. But, for the average Canadian family, $500 per month should be sufficient for grocery and recurring bill payments, but you never know. For larger families with more expenses, you might be looking for something else to better suit your needs or by limiting your expenses.
Features Of The BMO Cashback Mastercard
With no annual fee, BMO Cashback Mastercard offers some of the best features to compete with rivals.
The features include:
Purchase APR of 19.99%
Cash advances of 22.99%
Balance transfer of 22.99% right after the promotional offer of 1.99% ends
Credit Score ranging from Fair-Good (Ideally 650+)
Minimum Personal Income requirement of $15,000
Benefits Of The BMO Cashback Mastercard
1. No Annual Fee
BMO does not charge any annual fee, so getting this card won’t cost you anything.
2. Substantial Welcome offer
You’ll get the welcome offer of 5% cashback in the first 90 days of getting the card. This promotional cashback is limited to a maximum of $100 which implies a total of $2,000 in spending.
3. Decent cashback on purchases
BMO offers a range of cashback and this depends on what you are spending on.
On all grocery purchases up to $500, BMO offers 3. 3% cashback.
For payments of the recurring bills, BMO offers a 1% cashback.
Furthermore, at the end of the promotional period, 0.5% cashback is offered on all other purchases.
4. Flexible Redemption Option
With the BMO Cashback Mastercard, you can redeem your cashback anytime and multiple times a year. This is quite unlike other Canadian banks that have a specific period when customers can redeem their cashback.
For example, with the CIBC Visa Infinite Dividend Card (which is. cashback card again), you can only redeem your cashback once per year in the December Statement.
5. Balance Transfer rate
Within the first 9 months of being a cardholder, a balance transfer rate of 1.99% is offered on all transactions.
However, a transfer fee of 1% applies to each transaction.
6. As a BMO Mastercard holder, you’ll get to enjoy an extended warranty and purchase protection anytime a transaction has been made using the card.
7. Last but not least, credit card holders are also offered discounts at car rentals either at National Car Rental or Alamo Rent A Car locations.
The discount can be up to 25%. Remember, discounts are also extended to the Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada and off reside shows in Las Vegas 15% and 20% discount respectively
Cons Of The BMO Cashback Mastercard
Once the promotional offer expires, standard rates on recurring payments and other purchases excluding groceries are reduced to 0.5%
A monthly earn rate limit of $500 is placed on groceries and recurring payments, which is fairly less for families
BMO Cashback Mastercard lacks comprehensive insurance coverage. So if you’re looking for better insurance coverage, you’re probably better off looking elsewhere
In comparison with the other no-fee credit cards out there, BMO does not offer the best cashback rates
BMO’s Cashback Mastercard does not offer a lot of cashback for the money spent (purchases/grocery). So if you’re the type who spends big using the credit card or anything above $1,200 per month, then this is not the ideal credit card for you
Redeeming the Cashback earned
Please note that before you can redeem the cashback, you must have earned a minimum of $50 or more at least.
Once the above condition is met, you can then:
Have the cashback amount to be deposited into either of your BMO chequing or savings account
Use the cashback balance towards a statement credit to finance your credit card bills
Apart from choosing the cashback payment methods, you can also choose how often you’d like the cashback money to be deposited. For example – Either annually or monthly
The beauty of this BMO cashback system is that it applies to all BMO cash back credit cards such as the BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard.
Comparing BMO Cashback Mastercard with others
BMO Cashback Mastercard really offers a good deal because it is a no-fee card.
Its benefits which range from a decent cashback reward to its flexibility in its cashback cannot be overemphasized.
However, the BMO Mastercard isn’t the holy grail as there are alternative credit cards that can substitute the credit cards.
Please note that these credit cards do not supersede the BMO Mastercard in every aspect.
Let’s have a look at some of these alternatives
1. Tangerine Money-Back Credit card
The Tangerine Money-Back Credit card is also a no-fee card like the BMO Mastercard.
However, it offers a flat cashback rate of 2% on three different spending categories. It also offers a balance transfer rate of 1.95%.
Qualifying for this credit card won’t be a problem as it has a low personal income requirement of $12,000.
2. Tangerine World Mastercard
This is another great product from Tangerine and just like the Money-Back Credit card it offers a flat Cashback rate of 2% on three categories.
However, there are additional perks that come with the World Mastercard. These benefits include insurance coverage for mobile devices, a balance transfer rate of 1.95% for the duration of the first 6 months, rental car discounts and so lot more.
Qualifying for this card requires you to earn a minimum annual personal income of $60,000.
3. SimplyCash Card from American Express
SimplyCash Card unlike the others mentioned above is not a no-fee credit card.
An annual fee of $99 is charged on the card.
As a new cardholder, you get to earn a cashback rate of 5% for the first six months. However, this 5% cashback rate is only applicable to eligible purchases.
After the first six months, the cashback rate is reduced to a flat rate of 2% on all purchases.
An additional perk to this card is the zero restriction on the amount of cashback a cardholder can earn. This card also offers 9 different types of insurance to its cardholders.
4. Home Trust Preferred Visa card
The Home Trust Preferred Visa card is also a no-fee credit card just like the BMO Mastercard.
It offers an unlimited cashback on all purchases at the rate of 1%.
What really gives the Home Trust Visa card an edge over others is the savings in fees on all foreign transactions. You get to save 2.5% on all foreign transactions made with this card.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the process of activation of a new BMO Cashback Mastercard?
Here’s how you can activate your BMO Cashback Mastercard:
Once you receive your credit card through the mail, go to bmo.com/activate and then input your card number to have it activated.
What is the process involved in accessing the BMO Mastercard account through online banking?
You must first log into the BMO online banking with your credit card number
Choose your BMO Mastercard account from the select panel (left menu).
Can credit card purchases be made via the mobile device?
Yes, you can always make purchases using your mobile device.
Make sure to link your BMO credit card to Apple Pay or Android Pay depending on the OS your mobile device runs on. You can then make valid purchases through the mobile phone.
Is it possible to add another cardholder to my account?
All you have to do as a primary cardholder is to log in to your BMO Online Banking and make a request to add another user.
Then you need to request via a secure form that will be provided online.
What to do if my credit card ever gets lost or stolen?
If you can’t find your credit card contact BMO online to report the lost or stolen card.
To do so just log in to the BMO Online Banking, click on the My Accounts page, and then select Lost or Stolen Card from the catalogue of options.
How can I change my credit card PIN? How frequent?
You can always change your credit card PIN any time you feel it has been compromised.
To change your PIN, walk into the nearest BMO branch.
You can also call customer care at 1-800-263-2263.
How can I make changes to my BMO credit card limit?
As the primary cardholder, you can always make changes to your credit card limit by logging into BMO online banking.
Follow the below steps to increase your credit card limit:
Login to the BMO Online Banking.
Click on the Mastercard account. (or the Credit Card account)
Look for the toolbar option at the top “Credit Limit Change” to make the necessary changes
Can my credit card pay bills automatically?
Yes, you can.
You can always make bill payments with your BMO Mastercard automatically. It is not only safe and secure, it is also a great way to reap cashback rewards on all spending/s.
What are BMO Credit Card Alerts?
This is one of the services provided by BMO that allows primary cardholders to monitor all activities around one’s account.
What are the available credit card alerts for primary cardholders?
1. Minimum Payment Due
This alert is sent to account owners to notify them of an impending minimum payment.
Account owners have the choice to set the alert 1 to 10 days before the payment is due.
2. Posted Payment
Account owners are notified with this alert whenever a payment has been posted on their account.
3. Approaching Credit Limit
Credit card owners get the chance to set an amount just below their credit limit.
The approaching credit limit alert then notifies owners when their spending reaches the set threshold.
4. Authorized Transaction
Asides from setting a threshold below the credit limit, account owners also have the choice to set a specific threshold amount on transactions.
When this threshold reaches, account owners receive the authorized transaction alert.
For example, you can decide to get an alert anytime a purchase of more than $50 is made with your BMO credit card.
5. Security Alerts
In the case of any suspicious activity noticed on your credit card, you get the security alert asking you to either ascertain the transaction or report it as fraudulent.
Is there any cost applied to receiving BMO Credit Card alerts?
The BMO credit card alert is free for all customers.
BMO is treating this service as a complimentary one for both new and existing customers.
What should I do if I eventually change my mobile number or email address?
In this case, you will need to update your contact details.
To do that, log in to the BMO Online Banking then Click on the “My Profile & eDocuments tab” to get the “My Alerts” link.
How possible is it to get a cash advance?
To get cash advances on the credit card, simply walk into any BMO branch closest to you.
You can also request for the cash advance at over 1 million Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Canada.
Owing a no-fee credit card will always be a good idea especially one like the BMO Cashback Mastercard which offers a good cashback of 3% on grocery purchases.
The flexibility BMO offers in redeeming the cashback is also on par/excellent. With the annual household food expenses expected to hit an all-time high of over $12,500, the BMO cashback credit card will definitely be good.
Yes, there are limiting factors such as the grocery and recurring payment caps when using the BMO MasterCard but it isn’t such a big deal.
For you to get the best out of the BMO Cashback Mastercard, the intelligent play for you will be to have another no-fee cash-back card to switch once the $500 cap on the grocery and/or recurring bills categories have been reached.
Thanks for reading! Let me know your thoughts and comments below.
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Sagar Sridhar is a personal finance blogger from Canada. His genuine passion for personal finance coupled with his unique style of writing is what stands out. Professionally, he is a computer engineer, agile certified and has a master’s degree in Project Management. His writing has been featured or quoted in the leading Canadian publications such as Credit Canada and many other personal finance publications. While he is juggling between his day job and blogging, he is the main author on this blog and has miles to go before making the final pit stop.