BMO AIR MILES Mastercard Review

Sign Up Bonus Points
minimum spend of $1,000 in the first 3 months
1000
Annual Fee
$0
Purchase Interest Rate
19.99%
Min Personal Income Required
$15,000
Recommended Credit Score
740 850 670 739 580 669 0 579
Fair_Good
Limited Time Exclusive Offer: Get up to 1000 AIR MILES Bonus Miles.* Then get 1 reward mile for every $20 in purchases*.*Terms and conditions apply.

Looking for that elusive rewards credit card with a hefty sign-up bonus and no annual fee? We got you covered. Want that no annual fee credit card to come with awesome rewards opportunities? How about access to Canada’s largest loyalty program with over 10 million active members, and one of the country’s richest earn rates? Check.

The BMO Air Miles Mastercard remains one of Canada’s most popular no fee loyalty credit cards, with its superb sign-up offer of 1000 Air Miles – and absolutely no annual fee. Not now, not ever.

The 1000 welcome bonus miles for the BMO Air Miles Mastercard is worth about $53 if you redeem for travel. It’s also a great no-fee MasterCard to accumulate rewards in Costco!

Even if you have another “favourite” credit card in your wallet already, why not give one of Canada’s most popular credit cards and loyalty programs a try?

BMO Air Miles MasterCard Travel Hacking Secret

Long gone are the days when Air Miles were only good for toasters and blenders. Air Miles can now be used for instant cash rewards, travel or merchandise. You can double dip getting miles with your credit card AND your Air Miles collector card to earn miles doubly fast. And you can get bonus miles with your card at retailers like Shell!

However, when doing our research, we found an unexpected revelation. With Air Miles rewards, you can hack your way to one of the highest travel earn rates of any rewards credit card in Canada, let alone a no annual fee card.  The trick is to redeem for short-haul flights at the last minute. Doing so will earn you upwards of 2.55% in value from your BMO Air Miles MasterCard – that’s $2.55 per $100 spent!

For example, in our research a flight from Toronto to Boston booked 2 days before departure cost $664 (excluding taxes & fees), which we were able to book for 1300 Air Miles – worth 51 cents a mile ($664/1300)!  Divide 51 cents by $20 (1 air miles per $20 spent on the credit card)  and you get $2.55 in rewards for every $100 spent on your BMO Air Miles MasterCard – unparalleled redemption value.

Compare BMO Air Miles Mastercard’s earn rate of 2.55% to the 2% earn rate offered by many of Canada’s top premium travel cards that come with a $150 annual fee and the value is obvious.

So the BMO Air Miles MasterCard is not only offering a great 1000  Air Miles sign-up bonus, it also offers one of the best reward earn rates per dollar spent. By the way, if travel isn’t your thing, feel free to use Air Miles Cash Rewards to redeem at the till with so many of Air Miles’ retail partners like Sobeys and Metro. Plus you can consolidate debt onto the card with a low 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers for the first 9 months after you sign up.

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1000 Air Miles Welcome Bonus Offer
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BMO Air Miles MasterCard Benefits

Here are some of the additional perks that help this card stand-out from the pack:

  1. 1000  Bonus Air Miles welcome bonus – no minimum spend
  2. No Annual Fee There is no annual fee on this card – ever
  3. Earn Double Rewards Use your BMO AIR MILES MasterCard and AIR MILES Collector Card at an AIR MILES sponsor to earn reward miles from both
  4. Earn on Everything Earn 1 Air Miles rewards for every $20 spent on the credit card
  5. Free Additional Cards With no annual fee, you can get as many authorized users on your card as you’d like to help you accumulate Air Miles even faster!
  6. Discounts Get up to a 25% discount at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car
  7. Insurance double manufacturer’s warranty up to a year and automatically insure items against theft or damage for 90 days from date of purchase with your card
  8. Low 1.99% interest rate on balance transfers in the first 9 months

Worth It?

With the sign-up bonus now at 1000  Air Miles (no minimum spend requirement) with no annual fee, this card offers superb value. With no annual fee, there’s absolutely no risk putting another card in your wallet, and you’re getting $53 of house money to play with. Free is always worth it.

Better Offers?

To our knowledge, there is no better no fee Air Miles credit card offer than the 1000 mile sign-up bonus offered by the BMO Air Miles MasterCard right now. If you have a better offer, feel free to share, but as for now, we think this is the best in the Canadian marketplace today.

Article comments

20 comments
Dianne says:

I have never had an air miles MasterCard. How do I get the preferred rate 12.99 % ?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Dianne!

Thanks for the comment, but we’re a bit confused about which card you want. BMO offers several different Air Miles cards such as the BMO Air Miles Mastercard (the one mentioned in the article above) but also a card called the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard, offering 12.99% APR on purchases and cash advances. If you want either card you can apply via the links in this comment, but there are no BMO cards that offer both a low purchase/cash advance rate plus the ability to earn Air Miles. However, there’s little harm in getting both, given their low annual fees! Hope that helps a bit.

GreedyRates

Monica says:

I had a BMO air miles credit card and cancelled about a year ago. If I apply again, am I eligible for the bonus points?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Monica,

Thanks for posting your question to GreedyRates. Judging from the fine print it looks like you won’t be eligible, because the very first line of the disclaimer states that the “800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles offer is limited to new accounts.” Also, “Existing BMO AIR MILES Mastercard customers who cancel their card during the Offer Period, and existing BMO Mastercard customers who transfer into this product during the Offer Period are not eligible.” Accordingly, BMO has made it clear that only those applicants who have never had the card before will get those 800 miles.

However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get a different Air Miles card and earn those bonus miles. There are tons of Air Miles cards out there that have nice introductory bonuses, including ones that don’t require a high income or credit score. The Amex Air Miles card offers 500 Miles as a bonus, for example. If you’re just looking for a basic card that’ll help you boost your Miles earnings then this will work. Otherwise, let us know if we can make suggestions on cash back or rewards cards—there’s lots that will complement your travel card perfectly.

GreedyRates

Joanne B says:

We’ve had this card for years. It once offered travel insurance but this seems to no longer be the case. Thoughts?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Joanne!

Thanks for the comment about the BMO Air Miles Mastercard. The card does not have travel insurance, as you discovered, but if you’d like a similar card with these benefits then check out the BMO Air Miles World Elite Mastercard. You’ll still earn Air Miles, but at BMO’s highest rate available, and also avail of complimentary membership to Mastercard’s LoungeKey program, which offers entrance into worldwide airport lounges. Finally, you’ll appreciate the card’s comprehensive travel and medical coverage for 15 days.

If you have the Air Miles card and want to make the switch, you’ll be able to do so more easily than most. Simply call BMO and they can swap the two cards for you, assuming that you meet the minimum income eligibility requirement of $80,000 (or $150,000 household). The existence of the World Elite card is likely why the regular Air Miles card no longer has travel insurance, as the bank wants to direct customers towards its better (and more expensive) card for these kinds of perks.

GreedyRates

Philip B. says:

Hello, can I stack sign up bonus from different BMO cards ?

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey there Philip,

Promotions that are typically un-stackable are things like low-interest balance transfer deals, but bulk rewards points gifts can sometimes be obtained simultaneously. However, this isn’t the case with BMO’s Air Miles cards, which we assume you’re referring to in your comment. The first clause in the fine print states, “800 AIR MILES Bonus Miles offer is limited to new accounts…Existing BMO AIR MILES Mastercard customers who cancel their card during the Offer Period, and existing BMO Mastercard customers who transfer into this product during the Offer Period are not eligible.”

We also checked with other BMO cards that aren’t in the Air Miles family, such as the World Elite Mastercard, which had a similar (but deeply buried) snippet of fine print. This means that you’re ineligible for new BMO promotions if you currently have a BMO account or card, and even if you cancel it during your application you’re probably still ineligible. Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but at least you didn’t apply and get dinged for no reason! Thanks again for coming.

GreedyRates

Terry V. Pipe says:

You had a special 500 bonus air miles for 3 purchases of $20.00 or more when paying by BMO Airmiles Mastercard for the month of October. How soon will I get my bonus 500 air miles.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hi Terry,

Nice job picking up the BMO Air Miles Mastercard! It’s one of our favorite no-fee travel cards and does a great job at collecting air miles. One way is through the bonus you obtained when you signed up, which should be coming your way very soon. Typically it takes 2-3 statement periods for a bonus to reflect in your online bank, and since you signed up in October you may need to wait until December before the miles make it to your account. Have patience and keep us informed!

GreedyRates

Gloria says:

I have a BMO MasterCard elite with airmiles should I switch.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Gloria,

If you’re interested in the BMO Air Miles Mastercard and want to know how it stacks up against your World Elite Mastercard, we’ll do a quick comparison for you. If you choose the Air Miles Mastercard then you’ll pay no annual fee versus the World Elite’s $120, and will also get the 500 Air Mile bonus. Keep in mind that if you cancel your World Elite card, your Air Miles account will remain as it was. You’ll also be able to take advantage of the nice double-dip hack featured above, but there are some downsides. The World Elite earns twice as many miles per dollar, and already gives you a 15.00% discount on Air Miles flights in North America.

Add in the Priority Pass to VIP airport lounges (which we hope you’ve used!) and two free annual vouchers, and the Air Miles Mastercard probably ends up a small underdog against the World Elite. What puts the World Elite that much further ahead is its insurance coverage.

Ultimately, the choice is yours, but you might benefit by applying for the Air Miles card and only using it for short-haul flights, and for the 500-Mile bonus of course. You’ll be using the same Air Miles account regardless, so you don’t need to worry about which card to use for which purchase.

GreedyRates Team

chris says:

when using the BMO airmiles card, do you get any discount through any car rentals in Canada?
thanks in advance.

The GreedyRates Team says:

Hey Chris,

Thanks for your post. When you use the BMO Air Miles Mastercard to rent a car, you will get a discount off the price of your rental of up to 25%, like you would with most other Air Miles cards (but not all). We’re also happy to report that you’ll get a double bonus in the form of 2x Air Miles on these purchases at a wide variety of rental dealerships across Canada. BMO cardholders renting vehicles at Alamo, Budget, and National Car Rental get both these benefits, making it one of the most lucrative cards for those who frequently drive on vacations or business trips abroad.

Thanks again,
GreedyRates Staff

Uma says:

Sir we have a airmiles bmo credit card, when we shop they are not accepting the airmiles in the card. Can you please let us know how to use those airmiles in our purchase.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Uma! Thanks for your question. When you say that ‘they don’t accept Air Miles for the purchase’, do you mean on merchandise or on flights? Air Miles are a great reward, but are generally used for travel rewards such as flights, and can’t be used as currency for goods or services outside of the Air Miles program. Just respond back to this comment, whenever you like, and tell us what kind of purchase you’re trying to make with Air Miles. We will be glad to help!

GreedyRates Staff

John says:

Air miles is not really any good.
shell only gives you 1 air mile per $35 not 20 like advertized
when redeeming air miles they charge you fees so you do not get much of a deal

I got the BMO air miles card but after redeeming my air miles and gettting dinged substancially for fees i will use another rewards card

Not at all impressed

GreedyRates says:

Hi John,

Thanks for the comments! Not sure we agree on the Shell observation though. When making a purchase at Shell, you would get 1 Air Miles reward per $20 spent on your BMO Air Miles MasterCard, plus using your Air Miles collector card, you would get another 1 AIR MILES reward on a minimum 15 litre fuel purchase in a single transaction and/or 1 AIR MILES reward mile for every $10 purchased in-store. Where is the 1 air mile per $35 you refer to?

GreedyRates Staff

Geoff says:

But the 1 point per $20 of spend is less than the Amex Air Miles card at 1 pt per $15 of spend – and it is also no fee.

GreedyRates says:

Hi Geoff,

We don’t think you should choose one or the other. We think you should choose both for the following reasons.

The Amex no fee Air Miles card is 1 pt per $15 of spend at Air Miles partners, 1 pt per $20 of spend everywhere else – that gives an advantage especially at Air Miles grocery and gas partners. The downside of Amex is acceptance. If you’re a die hard Air Miles collector, and want a no fee card, you should get both the Amex and Mastercard no fee cards, so you’ll always be in a position to receive and maximize your rewards. The other benefit is the free 500 Air Miles bonus for the Amex card, plus the free 800 Air Miles bonus for the BMO MasterCard. It costs no more to have the two cards than the one, and you’ll have more Air Miles for it.

Hope that helps,

GreedyRates Staff