Earn $300 Cash Back + First-Year Free with this Welcome Offer!
Amex Bmo Air Miles Featured 1

Comparing: The Two Best AIR MILES Credit Cards in Canada

To the point

Are you hesitant? Here's a comparison between the best credit cards for AIR MILES miles collectors in Canada.

In Canada, the AIR MILES loyalty program is partnered with two institutions: American Express and BMO.

These two institutions therefore issue AIR MILES credit cards allowing AIR MILES Collectors to earn CASH rewards and/or DREAM Rewards for each of their purchases.

While those institutions offer both AIR MILES credit cards for consumers and for businesses, two AIR MILES credit cards stand out as the most popular:

Welcome bonus

The welcome bonus offered by each of these credit cards varies according to promotions. However, there are important differences between the two cards!

american express air miles platinum

With the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card, you can earn a welcome bonus of 3,000 AIR MILES after charging $1,500 in purchases to your card during the first 3 months.

However, the fee still has to be paid for the first year ($120).

bmo am world elite mastercard rgb fre – for online

With the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*, you can earn a welcome bonus of 2,000 AIR MILES after charging $3,000 in purchases to your card during the first 3 months.

In addition, the first year is free, a savings of $120.

DRAW MATCH

The welcome bonus for the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card is more generous than the one for the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*.

However, the fact that American Express, unlike BMO, does not waive the first year’s fee balances this comparison.

Earning points

american express air miles platinum

With the AIR Platinum Credit Card MILESMD* American ExpressMD, you can earn 1 AIR MILES mile per $5 of purchases at grocery stores, gas stations, restaurants and bars, as well as for local transportation.

Everywhere else, you can earn 1 AIR MILES mile per $10 of purchases.

bmo am world elite mastercard rgb fre – for online

With the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*, you can earn 1 AIR MILES mile for every $10 in purchases, including at Costco.

This card does not have purchase categories allowing you to earn more miles.

Advantage: American Express

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card wins this duel by allowing you to collect twice as many miles compared to the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* for many everyday purchases such as groceries, gas, local transport, or expenses in restaurants and bars.

Using points

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card and the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* are both part of the same rewards program: AIR MILES.

Thus, in terms of using the miles, you must comply with the rules of the program:

  • A fixed value for CASH Rewards (10.5 cents per mile – outside the promotional period at Jean Coutu for example)
  • A variable value for DREAM Rewards (8 to 40 cents per miledepending on your use)
DRAW MATCH

Both cards are quite similar on this aspect; the use rate is almost the same.

Annual fee

american express air miles platinum

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card has an annual fee of $120.

Each additional card is free.

bmo am world elite mastercard rgb fre – for online

The BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* has an annual fee of $120.

Each additional card costs $50.

Advantage: American Express

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card wins this duel, since it has no annual fee for the extra cards.

However, if you do not plan to add any additional card , either card will cost you $120 per year. Remember that the first year is free with the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard.

Minimum income

bmo am world elite mastercard rgb fre – for online

The BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* requires a minimum personal income of $80,000 or a combined income of $150,000.

Advantage: American Express

Net advantage for the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card, which is accessible to more people.

Acceptance

american express air miles platinum

You will be able to use the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card at all stores who accept American Express, such as grocery stores like Metro, Super C, Safeway, Walmart, as well as all service stations and many restaurants or home food delivery services.

bmo am world elite mastercard rgb fre – for online

You will be able to use the BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard at all stores who accept Mastercard (virtually every business in Canada). You can also use it at Costco or Walmart.

Advantage: BMO

Net advantage for the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*: you can use it anywhere, even at Costco.

However, if you shop at Metro, Super C, Safeway or are used to going to restaurants that take American Express, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card may be best for you.

Insurance

american express air miles platinum

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card offers these insurances:

  • $100,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Purchase Warranty (90 days)
  • Purchase Protection Warranty (1 year)
bmo am world elite mastercard rgb fre – for online

The BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* offers these insurances:

  • $500,000 Travel Accident Insurance
  • Car Rental Theft and Damage Insurance
  • Purchase Warranty (90 days)
  • Purchase Protection Warranty (1 year)
  • Out-of-province hospital insurance
  • Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Trip Interruption Insurance
  • Departure flight delay insurance
  • Baggage insurance in case of delay
  • Lost or Stolen Baggage Insurance
Advantage: BMO

From an insurance perspective, the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* significantly outperforms the American Express one. Especially since this card is one of the few credit cards in Canada that offer travel insurance no matter the amount paid on the card .

The benefits

american express air miles platinum

The American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card offers several benefits:

  • an annual exchange of travel credit (up to 750 miles)
  • access to American Express online promotional offers
  • access to the Front Of The Line service to buy tickets for shows before the general public
bmo am world elite mastercard rgb fre – for online

The BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®*offers several benefits:

  • 2 complimentary passes to airport VIP lounges
  • 15% discount on airline tickets on all AIR MILES flights in North America
  • Free and unlimited Boingo Wi-Fi access
Advantage: BMO

If you regularly travel within North America using your AIR MILES miles, the BMO® AIR MILES® World Elite®* Mastercard®* has the exclusive benefit of a 15% discount on flight rewards. This can make a big difference, especially for families.

Conclusion

As I said in the introduction, these are the two most popular credit cards for AIR MILES members. However, they are quite different in many aspects.

If your goal is to get more AIR MILES miles for your regular purchases, the American Express® AIR MILES®* Platinum Credit Card is the one you need.

However, if you would like a card that will also be useful for shopping at Costco or for your travel – especially because of the insurance and benefits offered – the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard is an excellent choice.

Don’t forget that applying for one card does not prevent you from applying to the other one! It’s a way to earn more AIR MILES!

Best Credit Card Offers

Leave a Reply

Suggested Reading