Mark it in your calendars; a wave of changes are coming to travel rewards credit cards this November. Starting at the beginning of the month, cardholders of BMO AIR MILES no annual fee credit cards can expect to see changes to the earn rates at participating AIR MILES Partners and on everyday purchases everywhere else.

Learn what this means for current and prospective cardholders.

Which BMO AIR MILES credit cards are changing?

While the following no-fee cards may look like they are geared toward gas or grocery purchases, they all feature the same earn rates, interest rates, and current promotions.

The BMO AIR MILES no-fee credit cards include:

Presently, cardholders earn:

  • Two Miles for every $20 they spend at participating AIR MILES Partners
  • One Mile for every $20 they spend elsewhere

Plus, new cardholders can also get 950 AIR MILES Bonus Miles when they spend $1,000 in the first three months of opening the account. That’s a $100 value in Cash Miles. This offer expires on November 2, 2020.

Not only that but when cardmembers present their AIR MILES Collector card at check-out, they can also double-dip on rewards.

But, not for long. BMO is mixing things up, starting in November 2020.

Soon, cardholders will earn:

  • Three Miles for every $25 they spend at participating AIR MILES Partners
  • One Mile for every $25 they spend elsewhere

And, yes, cardmembers can still benefit from showing their Collector card as well.

These new earn rates reward members for shopping at partnered retailers over general purchases. This means, if cardholders deliberately plan their spending, they could earn more than before.

Use the RATESDOTCA credit card comparison tool to see how the BMO AIR MILES no-fee credit cards compare to others on the market.

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How to shop at AIR MILES Partners

AIR MILES Partners vary by region; however, the following are some examples of retailers in Ontario.

Spending category Retailers
Gas Shell
Grocery Sobeys, Foodland, Metro, Safeway, Urban
Fresh, IGA
Pharmacy Jean Coutu
Home improvement Rona, Lowe’s, Reno Depot
Car rental Budget, Alamo, National Car Rental
Other Staples, Global Pet Foods, LCBO

Members can also earn Miles through airmilesshops.ca at hundreds of favoured brands, including Amazon.ca, Disney+ and eBay. For a full list of AIR MILES Partners, visit the website.

How many AIR MILES can you earn?

If the average Canadian uses their BMO AIR MILES no-fee credit card for gas and groceries at AIR MILES Partners and spends the rest of their $2,000 budget at other retailers, they will see a difference of under $4 with the changes.

Here is a comparison of the earns rates of the BMO® AIR MILES®† Mastercard®* using our Best of Finance methodology.

Before November 2020:


  • 2 Miles per $20 spent at Partners
  • 1 Mile per $20 spent elsewhere

After November 2020:


  • 3 Miles per $25 spent at Partners
  • 1 Mile per $25 spent elsewhere

Spending per month:


Gas (AIR MILES Partner)

  • $250 x 0.1 = 25 Miles

Grocery (AIR MILES Partner)

  • $500 x 0.1 = 50 Miles

Other

  • $1,250 x 0.05 = 62.5 Miles

Spending per month:


Gas (AIR MILES Partner)

  • $250 x 0.12 = 30 Miles

Grocery (AIR MILES Partner)

  • $500 x 0.12 = 60 Miles

Other

  • $1,250 x 0.04 = 50 Miles

Miles earned in the first year:

  • 137.5 x 12 = 1,650 Miles

Miles earned in the first year:

  • 140 x 12 = 1,680 Miles

Cash Miles value:

  • 1,650 x 0.105 = $173.25

Cash Miles value:

  • 1,680 x 0.105 = $176.40

This calculation doesn’t include any welcome bonuses or promotions. Cardholders can expect to earn more when they shop using their Collector card in addition to their AIR MILES credit card and by frequenting AIR MILES Partners often.

The value of an AIR MILE

Currently, AIR MILES Collectors can use 95 Cash Miles for a $10 value, which is equal to roughly 10.5 cents per Mile. Dream Miles have a value of approximately 17.2 cents per Mile, although they typically require a larger balance to redeem.

Bonus AIR MILES

In addition to regular earning rates, members can enjoy plenty of promotions and deals through AIR MILES. Find offers from cereal to gas and even beer.

Currently, some top promos include:

  • Shell: For a limited time, earn five times the miles at Shell. This offer expires on December 31, 2020.
  • Mega Miles: The Mega Miles event just ended; however, cardholders can score bonus Miles for shopping at multiple Partners during this annual promotion.

Stay up to date with AIR MILES offers by signing up for emails or downloading the app. That way, you can accelerate your points by shopping strategically.

In other news

According to a recent announcement by Air Canada, the new and improved Aeroplan program launches on November 8, 2020.

Rates, product information, and rewards estimates are subject to change at any time and do not constitute financial advice. Information in this article is accurate as of the date this posting, September 14, 2020.

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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