BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Review

BMO Cashback World Elite MasterCard Review
  • Annual Cost
  • Earn Rate
  • Perks and Rewards
  • Customer Service
4.1

BMO Cashback World Elite Review Summary:

With the most generous earn rate on groceries we’ve seen among cashback cards, a great selection of bonus categories, and an excellent welcome bonus, the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is an ideal card for putting money back in your pocket with every purchase.

In this BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard review, we lay out everything you need to know about this card and show you how it compares to two other cashback World Elite Mastercards: the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard and the Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard.

Pros

  • Excellent bonus earn rates
  • Generous welcome bonus
  • Travel insurance
  • A great selection of perks

Cons

  • $120 annual fee
  • Caps on bonus category earning
  • No emergency medical insurance coverage for cardholders aged 65 and up.

We love a card that pays us to use it – especially when it gives us bonus earnings for categories like groceries, gas, and bills! Our BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Review breaks down which purchases earn you what percentages. It runs through the fine print on this premium cashback card, outlines the perks and insurance coverage, and shows how the card holds up in comparison to the other cashback World Elite Mastercards (spoiler: it holds up very well indeed).

Here’s what you need to know:

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Review: The Key Numbers

Annual Fee: $120 ($50 per additional card)—first annual fee for main cardholder waived.
Cashback credit cards range in fees, and earn rates tend to increase as the fee goes up. If you’d like more information on no-fee cashback cards, take a look at our list of the top Free Cashback Credit Cards in Canada or our Tangerine World Mastercard Review.

Minimum Income: $80,000 personal or $150,000 household.

Interest Rate: 20.99% on purchases, 22.99% on cash advances (21.99% for residents of Quebec)

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Welcome Bonus

If you open a card before October 31, 2021, you’ll receive 10% cashback on purchases made in the first 3 months and have the annual fee waived in the first year.

The 10% cashback bonus applies to a qualified spend up to $2,600 (for a maximum of $260 cash back) with spending caps in specific categories. 

Receive 10% cash back on:

  • Up to $500 in qualified grocery purchases ($50 value)
  • Up to $300 qualified transit fares ($30 value)
  • Up to $300 in qualified gas or electric charging purchases ($30 value)
  • Up to $500 in recurring bill payments ($50 value)
  • Up to $1000 on everything else ($100 value)

The caps on spending during the 10% cashback promotional period are a good example of why it pays to read cardholder agreements in full before you make a final decision on a card. However, it’s still a generous welcome bonus and worth more than double the annual fee.

BMO World Elite Earn Rate

Once the welcome bonus period is over, BMO offers cashback on a wide range of bonus categories, with the highest reward rate for groceries that we see from a cashback World Elite Mastercard or from the best of the cashback Visa Infinites.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • 5% cash back on groceries: up to $500 spent each month
  • 4% cash back on transit: up to $300 spent each month on ground transit—ferries, commuter railways, taxis, bus lines, etc.
  • 3% cash back on gas and electric vehicle charging: up to $300 spent each month on eligible vehicle fuel purchases
  • 2% cash back on recurring bill payments: up to $500 spent each month on recurring bill payments
  • 1% cash back on all other purchases (and on bonus categories once you’ve passed the maximum bonus earning limit), with no limit on how much cash back you earn each month.

While BMO’s cashback rewards are technically unlimited, it pays to read the fine print—because the bonus earnings are not. You can see from our list that each bonus category has a spending limit. Once you pass that limit, your rewards earning drops to the standard 1% cashback.

Still, if you max out every bonus category monthly, it’s $56 in your pocket every month, not including welcome bonus earnings or everyday 1% cashback earnings. As far as we’re concerned, the spend caps aren’t a deal breaker, they’re just something you should be aware of before you sign up.

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Travel Insurance Coverage

The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard has a comprehensive travel insurance package with emergency medical benefits, common carrier accident insurance, and rental car coverage.

BMO’s travel insurance coverage includes: 

  • Out-of-province/out-of-country emergency medical benefits (for travellers under 65 only, up to $2 million coverage for 8 consecutive days)
  • Rental car collision damage coverage (up to 48 days, total value of $65,000)
  • Rental car personal effects insurance (up to $1,000 per person, per occurrence, to a maximum of $2,000 per rental period)
  • Trip Interruption insurance (up to a maximum of $2,000 per person and a total of $10,000 per account per trip)
  • Flight Delay insurance (up to a maximum of $500 per account per trip if the flight is delayed by more than 6 hours)
  • Lost or Stolen Baggage insurance (up to $750 per person to a maximum of $2,000 per account per trip)
  • Delayed Baggage insurance ($200 if bags are delayed for 12 hours or more)
  • Common carrier travel accident insurance (up to $500,000 coverage)

Travellers over age 65 should note that they are not eligible for BMO’s out-of-province/out-of-country emergency medical benefits. All other coverage applies to cardholders, regardless of age.

BMO Cashback Mastercard Perks & Benefits

The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard provides numerous perks. Our favourite is the airport lounge access (for a fee per visit, but still—having lounge access can be priceless!).

The perks include:

  • Up to 25% off car rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rental Car locations
  • 24-hour access to experienced concierge staff
  • Airport lounge access with complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by Loungekey. Lounge access fees are $32 USD per person, per visit.
  • Extended warranty coverage (maximum extension of 2 years with a lifetime maximum of $60,000 per account)
  • Purchase protection (180 days from date of purchase to a lifetime maximum of $60,000 per account)
  • Complimentary Boingo Wifi hotspot access
  • Exclusive offers for cardholders

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard vs. Other Cashback World Elite Mastercards

Our BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard review wouldn’t be complete without a comparison to other Cashback World Elite Mastercards on the market. Let’s see how it stacks up against

the RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard and the Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard.

At $120 annually compared to RBC’s $99 and Desjardins’s $100 fees, the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is the most expensive card—but in this case, you get what you pay for.

The BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is the only card of the three that offers a welcome bonus, and that bonus is worth up to $260—more than double the annual fee (which is also waived in the first year). 

Winner by a mile: the BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard.

The RBC Cash Back Preferred World Elite Mastercard offers unlimited cashback rewards on all purchases… but the earn rate is only 1.5%, making it the worst of the three in terms of cashback. Desjardins is much closer to BMO’s earn rates, offering:

  • 4% cashback on groceries
  • 3% cashback on restaurants and entertainment
  • 3% cashback on public transportation
  • 1% cashback on everything else.

The bonus earning numbers for the Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard aren’t quite as high as the BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard, but there don’t appear to be any spending limits on the bonus categories. Because of this, the Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard may provide better total cashback earnings, depending on what you’re spending your money on, and how much. Winner: it depends on your spending habits, but possibly Desjardins.

Finally, the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard was an easy winner in the perks and insurance category. RBC’s card hardly offers any travel insurance at all, while Desjardins offers only 3 days of emergency medical coverage.

Our editorial team unanimously agrees that the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is the best card in the cashback World Elite Mastercard category. It’s slightly more expensive and has spending caps on its bonus categories, but when you consider every aspect of the card together, the perks, insurance, and welcome bonus make it the clear winner for us.

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Review: Do Your Research

Before you begin your credit card search, we recommend taking a close look at your needs, wants, and spending habits so you can determine how to maximize your rewards. Please remember that the best card for you is just that—the best card for you.

If you’re likely to spend far more in groceries than BMO’s spend cap allows, or if travel insurance isn’t really your thing, another card like the Desjardins Cash Back World Elite Mastercard may be better for you. It will ultimately depend on what you’re looking for.

How to apply for the BMO Cashback World Elite Mastercard

Personal Requirements: You can apply for this card if you are a Canadian resident who has reached the age of majority in your province/territory of residence and if you haven’t declared bankruptcy in the past 7 years.

Required Minimum Income: $80,000 personal annual income, or $150,000 household income

Predicted Credit Score Requirement: 760-900 (Good to Excellent)

BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Review: The Verdict

If you’re looking for impressive cashback rewards and excellent perks, the BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard is a great choice. The card has a generous welcome bonus and comprehensive insurance coverage (especially for travellers under 65). The bonus earning spend limits are not ideal, but taken as a whole, the card is a great value for the annual fee.

Our final BMO CashBack World Elite Mastercard Review verdict: This card will put money back in your pocket while allowing you to enjoy some premium perks and travel insurance. Our editorial team agrees that this card is well worth considering—especially since the annual fee is waived in the first year.

Meg

Meg Goodmanson is a writer, editor, virtual assistant, credit card expert, and lifelong learner-of-things. A self-proclaimed nerd, Meg’s favourite thing is collecting information and presenting it in an interesting and helpful way—especially if it helps her travel for free!
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