Effective May 3, 2022, BMO will be making changes to its travel rewards credit card, the BMO World Elite Mastercard. It will now be called the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard.
Let’s see what changes, and what stays the same.
BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard: Changes
In addition to the name change, there will also be changes to the earning categories.
Right now, with the BMO World Elite Mastercard, you earn:
- 3 points per dollar on travel, dining and entertainment purchases
- 2 points per dollar on all other purchases
Starting May 3, with the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard, you will earn:
- 5 points per dollar on travel purchases (up to $15,000 per calendar year)
- 3 points per dollar on dining and entertainment (up to $10,000 per calendar year)
- 3 points per dollar on recurring bill payments like your streaming services, phone bills, or memberships (up to $10,000 per calendar year)
- 1 point per dollar on all other purchases
Then, if the maximum annual amount of purchases per calendar year is reached, you will earn 1 point per dollar.
Here is a table summarizing the changes:
|Recurring bill payments||2||3|
If your expenses are primarily in travel, you are a winner with the new card. With the trend of Revenge Travel, you’ll probably be spending more on travel in the coming years!
For your dining and entertainment purchases, you will get the same earning rate as today. For recurring bill payments on this Card, you will earn 1 additional point per dollar.
However, you will lose out on all other purchases: 1 point per dollar instead of 2.
Knowing that a BMO Rewards point has a value of 0.67 cents, this means that this card will offer you between 0.67% and 3.35% (instead of 1.34% to 2.01% before May 3, 2022).
Facing the competition
Getting 0.67% rewards on all other purchases for a World Elite Mastercard is very low.
Compare that to the HSBC World Elite® Mastercard®: the latter offers 3 points per dollar on all purchases (1.5%) and 6 points per dollar on travel purchases (3%). And no conversion fees on foreign currency transactions.
Or with the National Bank’s World Elite Mastercard®, which offers between 1.5 and 2 points per dollar on all purchases (1.5 to 2%). And up to $250 in annual credits for specific travel expenses.
In short, if your expenses are mainly outside the categories offered by the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard, you’ll be better off with another credit card.
BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard: What's the same
If you are a BMO World Elite Mastercard credit cardholder, nothing will change on your account. There will be a new look to the card and you will keep the old physical card until its expiration date.
The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard will continue to offer :
- 4 free airport lounge passes per year
- Outstanding insurance for your travel and purchases
- World Elite benefits (Free Wi-Fi, Paid access to partner lounges, etc.)
You’ll need to do your own calculations to see if this new BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard is right for you based on your needs.
Right now, we have an exclusive offer for Milesopedia readers for the BMO World Elite Mastercard.
By applying for this Card now, you won’t pay an annual fee for the first year and will enjoy the new earning rates starting May 3, 2022.