The Bank of Montreal (BMO) is one of the most popular banks in Canada, coming in at number four for the highest total assets in the country. Being such a powerhouse, it’s no wonder BMO has a lot to offer its customers. From cash back credit cards to travel rewards and balance transfer options, you would be hard-pressed not to find an option that could suit your needs.

Known for having great AIR MILES offers and extra perks, BMO has a wide selection of offerings that set them apart from other providers. We’ve taken the time to summarize the top nine BMO credit cards in Canada, to help make your decision a little easier.

Our top picks

Credit card Great features Annual fee

1. BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*

AIR MILES, travel insurance, travel perks $120 (Waived year 1)

2. BMO® World Elite™ Mastercard®*

BMO Rewards points, travel insurance, travel perks $150 (Waived year 1)
3. BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* Cash back, travel insurance, travel perks $120 (Waived year 1)

4. BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®*

No fee, cash back

$0

5. BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES®† MasterCard®*

Grocery

$0

6. BMO®* Rewards Mastercard®*

BMO Rewards points

$0

7. Shell CashBack MasterCard® from BMO

Gas

$0

8. BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®* for Students

Student

$0

9. BMO® Preferred Rate Mastercard®*

Low-interest rate

$20 (Waived year 1)

*Conditions apply.

1. BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®*

The BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* is offering new cardholders 2,000 bonus AIR MILES when they spend at least $3,000 within the first three months. Cardholders can enjoy exclusive VIP access and two annual passes with a complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey. Plus, BMO will waive the $120 annual fee for the first year.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will see $610.00 in AIR MILES points within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least 10 years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$120

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 2,000 bonus AIR MILES when they spend at least $3,000 within the first three months.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn 1 Mile for every $10 in credit card purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 5,840 AIR MILES
Monetary value= $730.00
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $120
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $610.00

*Annual fee is waived for the first year. Also, we put the value of an AIR MILE at 12.5 cents; however, redemption value varies depending on how you choose to spend your MILES.

You can redeem your points for:

AIR MILES are transferred to the AIR MILES Collector number associated with BMO® AIR MILES®† World Elite®* Mastercard®* once a month and are redeemed through the AIR MILES program.

  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Events and attractions
  • Travel

Insurance:

  • BMO AIR MILES World Elite Travel and Medical Protection
  • Collision damage waiver on rental cars
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Zero Liability

Other perks:

  • Enjoy VIP access with a complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey and two annual passes.
  • Take 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.
  • Double dip on points when you use your AIR MILES Collector card at participating partner stores.
  • Get 15% off flights in North America when you book with AIR MILES reward MILES and enjoy no blackout dates.

2. BMO® World EliteTM Mastercard®*

Get 35,000 bonus points when you sign up for the BMO® World Elite™ Mastercard®* and spend at least $3,000 within the first three months. Cardholders can enjoy complimentary membership to Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, with exclusive VIP access, and four passes per year. Plus, BMO will waive the annual fee for the primary cardholder for the first year.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will see $670.87 in BMO Rewards points within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least 10 years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$150

Each additional supplementary card has a $50 annual fee.

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn 35,000 bonus BMO Rewards points when they spend at least $3,000 within the first three months of card membership. Plus, BMO will waive the annual fee for the primary cardholder for the first year.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Get three BMO Rewards points per dollar spent on travel, dining, and entertainment purchases.
  • Get two BMO Rewards points per dollar spent everywhere else.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 117,266 BMO Rewards points
Monetary value= $820.87
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $150
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $670.87

*Annual fee is waived for the first year.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Vacation packages
  • Hotels
  • Rental cars
  • Cruises
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Turn points into a statement credit
  • Redeem a minimum of 15,000 points toward a $100 financial reward in your BMO investment account

Insurance:

  • BMO World Elite Travel and Medical Protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Enjoy the complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, with VIP access, and four annual passes.
  • Cardholders receive 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada, and 20% resident shows in Las Vegas.

3. BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®*

New cardholders of the BMO® CashBack® World Elite®* Mastercard®* can get 5% cash back for the first three months, up to $4,000 in total purchases. Plus, BMO will waive the annual fee for the first year. This card offers members membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey and a complimentary Roadside Assistance Program.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will see an extra $596.00 in their wallet within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Excellent: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least 10 years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on your existing credit cards for the past six months.

Annual fee:

$120

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can get 5% cash back for the first three months, up to $4,000 in total purchases.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Get 1.5% cash back on everything else you buy.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $716.00
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $120
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $596.00

*Annual fee is waived for the first year.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Deposit your cash back into your BMO chequing or savings account.
  • Deposit your cash back into your BMO InvestorLine account.
  • Apply your cash back as a statement credit.

Insurance:

  • BMO World Elite Travel and Medical Protection
  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Enjoy membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey, and the complimentary Roadside Assistance Program.
  • Save up to 25% on rental cars at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car, and get 15% off tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada.
  • Access the BMO Concierge service around the clock.

4. BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®*

The BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®* offers members 5% cash back for the first three months*. After that, earn 3% back on grocery purchases, 1% back on recurring bill payments, and 0.5% back on everything else you buy. Earn even faster by adding additional cardholders for free.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian will have $594.34 within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can get 5% cash back for the first three months. You will earn the regular 3% cash back rate on grocery purchases, up to $500 per billing cycle, with a bonus rate of an additional 2% back on your first $500 spend over the first three months. You will also receive the regular earn rate of 1% cash back on recurring bill payments up to $500 per billing cycle, with a bonus rate of an additional 4% cash back on your first $500 spend over the first three months. For all other purchases, you will receive the regular earn rate of 0.5% cash back, with a bonus of an additional 4.5% back on your first $1,500 spend over the first three months.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian would see a bonus of $91.57 from the welcome offer.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, up to $500 in total purchases per month.
  • Get 1% cash back on recurring bill payments, up to $500 spent per billing cycle.
  • Get 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $594.34
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $594.34

You can redeem your points for:

  • Deposit your cash back into your BMO chequing or savings account.
  • Deposit your cash back into your BMO InvestorLine account.
  • Apply your cash back as a statement credit.

Insurance:

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Zero Liability

Other perks:

  • Cardholders can get up to 25% off car rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations.
  • Receive 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada, and 20% resident shows in Las Vegas.

5. BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES®† MasterCard®*

The BMO® Sobeys AIR MILES®† MasterCard®* rewards loyal Sobeys and Foodland shoppers as they pick up their groceries. Earn two miles for every $20 spent at these stores and participating AIR MILES Partners. Earn one mile for every $20 spent everywhere else.

Based on our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian can earn $422.97 in AIR MILES points within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can receive 800 bonus AIR MILES when they spend $1,000 within the first three months.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn two AIR MILES for every $20 spent at participating AIR MILES Partners.
  • Earn two AIR MILES for every $20 spent at Sobeys and Foodland.
  • Earn one mile for every $20 spent everywhere else.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 3383 AIR MILES
Monetary value = $422.97
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $422.97

*We put the value of an AIR MILE at 12.5 cents, however, redemption value varies depending on how you choose to spend your MILES.

You can redeem your points for:

AIR MILES are transferred to the AIR MILES Collector number associated with your BMO Sobeys AIR MILES Mastercard once a month and are redeemed through the AIR MILES program.

  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Events and attractions
  • Travel

Insurance:

  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty
  • IDefence Identity Theft Assistance
  • Zero Dollar Liability

Other perks:

  • Cardholders have access to Mastercard Global Services for year-round help for lost or stolen cards, emergency cash advances, and applicable card benefits worldwide.
  • Access BMO pay-as-you-go RoadAssist across Canada and the U.S. and have the charges billed conveniently to your card.

6. BMO®* Rewards Mastercard®*

Apply for the BMO®* Rewards Mastercard®* before October 31, 2020, and earn up to 20,000 bonus BMO Rewards points. Earn 10,000 points when you make your first purchase and get another 10,000 points when you spend at least $1,000 within the first three months. Not only that, access a low introductory interest rate of 1.99% on balance transfers for the first nine months and pay a 1% fee on the amount transferred.

You could have $408.80 in BMO Rewards points within 24 months, according to our Best of Finance methodology.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can earn up to 20,000 bonus BMO Rewards points. Receive the first 10,000 points after you make your first purchase. Get the additional 10,000 when you spend at least $1,000 within the first three months.
  • Access a 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for nine months with a 1% fee on amounts transferred.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn one BMO Rewards point for every dollar you spend.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = 58,400 BMO Rewards points
Monetary Value: $408.80
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $408.80

You can redeem your points for:

  • Travel
  • Vacation packages
  • Hotels
  • Rental cars
  • Cruises
  • Merchandise
  • Gift cards
  • Turn points into a statement credit
  • Redeem a minimum of 15,000 points toward a $100 financial reward in your BMO investment account

Insurance:

  • Purchase assurance
  • Extended warranty
  • Zero Liability

Other perks:

  • Receive double the BMO Rewards points and up to 25% off car rentals at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations worldwide.
  • Enjoy 15% off tickets to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.

7. Shell CashBack MasterCard® from BMO

For a limited time, the Shell CashBack MasterCard® from BMO is offering new members an additional $50 back when they make their first purchase. And, cardholders will earn 1% cash back for the first six months. Regularly earn 1.5% back when you fill up at Shell locations across Canada and 0.50% back on everything else.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian could see a return of over $340.50 within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardholders can get a bonus of $50 cash back when they make their first purchase. Plus, earn 1% cash back for the first six months.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Earn 1.5% back per dollar spent at Shell locations in Canada.
  • Earn 0.5% back per dollar everywhere else.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $340.50
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $340.50

You can redeem your points for:

  • CashBack rewards appear as a statement credit.

Insurance:

  • Purchase security
  • Extended warranty

Similar options:

There are three additional Shell Mastercard options, including the Shell AIR MILES®† Mastercard, Shell CashBack World Mastercard, Shell AIR MILES World Mastercard, with a range of features including travel insurance, car rental damage waiver, and alternative rewards options.

8. BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®* for Students

The BMO®* CashBack Mastercard®* for Students offers cardholders 5% cash back for the first three months*. After that, earn 3% back on grocery purchases, 1% back on recurring bill payments, and 0.5% back on all other purchases, even textbooks and supplies purchased with the card.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average Canadian student will get $335.91 back within the first two years.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$0

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • New cardmembers can get 5% cash back for the first three months. You will earn the regular 3% cash back rate on grocery purchases, up to $500 per billing cycle, with a bonus rate of an additional 2% back on your first $500 spend over the first three months. You will also receive the regular earn rate of 1% cash back on recurring bill payments up to $500 per billing cycle, with a bonus rate of an additional 4% cash back on your first $500 spend over the first three months. For all other purchases, you will receive the regular earn rate of 0.5% cash back, with a bonus of an additional 4.5% back on your first $1,500 spend over the first three months.

According to our Best of Finance methodology, the average student would see a bonus of roughly $84.53 cash back from the promotional offer.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Rewards:

  • Get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, up to $500 in total purchases per month.
  • Get 1% cash back on recurring bill payments, up to $500 spent per billing cycle.
  • Get 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.

Earning potential:

How does this card stack up to other rewards credit cards? We crunched the numbers using our Best of Finance methodology to see how much an average Canadian could earn over a 24-month period.

Rewards earned over a 24-month period = $335.91
Annual fee (x2 for 24-month period) = $0
Total earned over a 24-month period (rewards minus annual fee) = $335.91

*Our student rate is based on half the monthly spending of the average Canadian.

You can redeem your points for:

  • Deposit your cash back into your BMO chequing or savings account.
  • Deposit your cash back into your BMO InvestorLine account.
  • Apply your cash back as a statement credit.

Insurance:

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty

Other perks:

  • Enjoy discounts on car rentals at participating National Car Rental and Alamo Rent A Car locations.
  • Cardholders receive 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada, and 20% resident shows in Las Vegas.

9. BMO® Preferred Rate Mastercard®*

The BMO® Preferred Rate Mastercard®* offers members a low-interest rate of 12.99% on purchases and cash advances. Cardholders can also take advantage of the 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for nine months. A 1% fee does apply to the amount transferred. Plus, BMO will waive the $20 annual fee for the first year.

Credit score requirement for approval:

Good: You’ve had a credit card or loan for at least six years. You’ve had good credit for the last seven years (no bankruptcies or no defaults on credit as a result of failing to pay debts back to creditors). You haven’t opened a new credit card account, loan, or line of credit in the last nine months. You’ve made the minimum payments on my existing credit cards for the past three months.

Annual fee:

$20

Limited time offer/bonus:

  • Take advantage of the 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for nine months. A fee of 1% of the amount transferred does apply.

Sign-Up Bonus Expiry Date: October 31, 2020

Earning potential:

Although this card doesn’t offer travel perks or cash back, cardholders can take advantage of the low introductory interest rate on balance transfers and the low-interest rate on purchases and cash advances.

Insurance:

  • Purchase protection
  • Extended warranty
  • Zero Dollar Liability

Other perks:

  • Get 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring Canada and 20% off resident shows in Las Vegas.
Hayley Vesh

Hayley Vesh is a creative, resourceful, and knowledgeable content producer who is passionate about financial literacy, storytelling, and generating ideas. She writes about credit cards, savings, debt management, and personal finance. In her spare time, Hayley can be found wandering in the woods, hunting for second-hand treasures, or curled up with a steeped tea and a good podcast.

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