Now that the flights to Europe have been booked, let’s look at renting a car with BMO Rewards points from Nice Airport on the French Riviera.
Rent a car with BMO Rewards points
My main card for everyday spending is the BMO World Elite MasterCard. My wife and I have been using it for almost 3 years now and have accumulated many BMO Rewards points.
A significant portion of these points was earned through the generous sign-up bonus (30,000 points), the other through our everyday spending thanks to the 2% accumulation rate this card offers (2 points / dollar at all stores).
On the BMO Rewards online site
I first did my search from the BMO Rewards site. Compared to other sites, BMO offered me very good rates online for a fairly complex rental:
- Rent from Nice airport
- Returning the vehicle to Strasbourg
- For a duration of 11-12 days
- With a vehicle spacious enough to accommodate our luggage, the stroller, the car seat…
My choice is a Renault Scenic (the equivalent of a Dodge Caravan).
The BMO website offered me the following airport-to-airport rates:
665 for a mid-size vehicle is pretty reasonable. The rental company being Europcar, it is easy to check if my price is correct by visiting directly the website of this rental company.
The rate displayed on Europcar.fr is 1233 euros for the same route and the same category of vehicle!
Looking around on various sites, I can’t find anything cheaper than BMO – except on sites I don’t trust.
The problem: I don’t want to return the car to Strasbourg Airport… but to the Strasbourg train station! And the BMO site does not work when I select this destination. So I had to call BMO Rewards.
No waiting to reach a BMO Rewards representative. In fact, AIMIA – the company that manages the Aeroplan program – also manages the BMO Rewards program.
Once the problem was explained, the advisor also told me that it was not possible to choose the Strasbourg station… but that he would try with another travel provider.
And indeed, with the other provider it works and the rate is even lower than what I had done by myself from the site. In fact, AIMIA / BMO use many different travel providers and cannot display them on the BMO Rewards site.
The final cost of my car rental in France will therefore be CA$599.76, or 59,976 BMO Rewards points, which will be deducted immediately from my BMO Rewards account.
Why I prefer to book through BMO Rewards
If you’re a BMO World Elite MasterCard holder like me, it’s great to use your BMO Rewards points for a car rental.
Indeed, this card offers excellent insurance coverage, which allows you to refuse those – often very expensive – proposed by the rental companies. The terms and conditions of the card’s insurance contract state that in order to be covered, you must have paid for the entire car rental with your card (either in cash OR in BMO Rewards points).
Now imagine that I would have used points/miles from another program (Aeroplan, British Airways…): it would have been impossible for me to have insurance coverage with a credit card! At least not with the BMO World Elite MasterCard.
The total cost of this car rental in France
In total, this car rental will have cost me 59,976 BMO Rewards points, points that were obtained through the 30,000 point ($300) sign-up bonus for the card, which I had obtained for free during a promotion. I was able to save nearly $600 here!
|Program||Points / miles||Additional costs|
|BMO Rewards||59 976||–|