What’s so special about the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard? When it comes to a low-interest credit card, there’s a trade-off to be made. Usually, to save money on interest charges, you have to say goodbye to rewards and other benefits that come standard on most cards. The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a unicorn that gives you a great rate and still lets you keep the features you love. You won’t earn cash back or other rewards, but you’ll save money in more ways than one. The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard helps you pay off credit card debt faster and shop with confidence too! No wonder it’s one of the best low-interest cards in Canada.
Annual Fee: $20
Welcome Offer: 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months, annual fee waived for the first year
Interest Rate: 12.99%
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard Welcome Offer
For new customers, the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard offers an introductory interest rate on balance transfers. You’ll get 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months, subject to a 2% transfer fee. However, the balance transfer promo rate does not apply to balances transferred from other BMO credit cards. BMO will also waive the $20 annual card fee for the first year if your application is received before December 6, 2022 and don’t have a past or current BMO credit card.
Who is eligible for the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard?
The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard eligibility requirements are pretty standard. While there is no specific credit score requirement disclosed, rule of thumb is at least an average credit score of about 660 and up. This card doesn’t take household income into consideration; you’ll need to have a personal income of at least $15,000 a year to qualify. And as always, you need to be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident, the age of majority in your province, and have no bankruptcies in the past 7 years. Approval is never guaranteed and you need to consent to a credit check upon application.
Rates and Fees
The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard offers a competitive rate almost half that of most other cards on the market. Purchases are subject to the standard card rate of 12.99%. Cash advances, Mastercard cheques, and other cash-like transactions are subject to 15.99%. New customers get a promotional interest rate of 0.99% on balance transfers for 9 months. After that, the rate will adjust back to the standard 12.99%. The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard also comes with a $20 annual card fee. However, that fee is waived for the first year for new customers who apply before December 6, 2022.
Pro tip: You can ditch the annual card fee altogether if you also have a BMO Performance Chequing Account.
What about the perks?
Ok, so you won’t get cash back or other rewards with the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard. That’s ok because the low interest rate, cheap annual fee, and the first year free make up for it. But that’s not all. You don’t have to sacrifice features like purchase protection or extended warranties, which are standard on most other credit cards. That’s great news for the shoppers who want to protect their purchases without paying an arm and a leg for insurance add-ons through a retailer.
Purchases made with your BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard are insured against theft or damage up to 90 days from the date of purchase. Your card purchases also get extended warranty protection that doubles the manufacturer’s warranty up to 1 additional year. If you’re a tech enthusiast into the latest gadgets or need to make a big-ticket purchase, this card will save your bacon if something happens. Knock on wood.
One of the great things about BMO credit cards is the ability to customize features to your needs. They offer à la carte protection add-ons for an extra cost. Here’s what you can add to your BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard:
- Credit Alert costs $19.99 per month and includes a summary of changes to your credit file every 3 months, and an updated credit score once a month.
- InfoProtector 360 costs $9.99 per month and includes lost wallet protection, assistance if your identity is stolen, backs up and registers important documents and financial information, monitors that information for unauthorized use, and provides critical alerts about your destinations while travelling abroad.
- BMO Credit Card Balance Protection costs $1.00 per $100 of your credit card balance each month and helps you with payments to protect your credit in the event of a job loss, disability, or death. It can also protect your balance up to $20,000. You may even qualify for an additional benefit if you welcome a new addition to your family. Conditions and restrictions apply.
- BMO Roadside Assistance ranges from $69 to $98 per year, depending on the package, and covers you anywhere in continental North America for things like tow trucks, flat tires, battery boosts, and more.
Who is the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard for?
If you pay your credit card balance off in full each month, then move along; nothing to see here. But if you’re stressed about credit card debt or sick of choosing between low-interest or handy card features, you’ve come to the right place. The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a great card for anyone looking to pay off their balance faster, protect their purchases, or both.
The balance transfer offer might not be the best in town, but the annual card fee is super low and the first year is free for new customers. There’s also the opportunity to ditch that fee altogether if you switch your banking to BMO with a Performance Chequing Account. The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard gives you the flexibility to save money on interest charges without giving up the kind of credit card features you’ve come to love.
Remember, you won’t earn rewards like cash back, points, or travel miles. But if you carry a balance month to month, those money-saving rewards are wiped out with pricy interest charges. In that case, you’re better off swapping your rewards card in favour of a low-interest card instead. You’ll save money and get out of debt faster; win-win. Once you pay off that balance for good, you can switch to a BMO card with better rewards and more benefits.
BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard Rating
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About The Author: Heidi Unrau
Heidi Unrau is the senior Finance Journalist at Hardbacon. She studied Economics at the University of Winnipeg, where she fell in love with all-things-finance. At 25, she got her first bank job as an entry-level teller. She moved up the ranks to Credit Analyst, Loans Officer, and now a Personal Finance Writer. In her spare time, you'll find her hiding in the car listening to Freakonomics podcasts, or binge-watching financial crime documentaries with a pint of Häagen-Dazs. When she's not chasing after her two little boys, she's in the hot tub or arguing with her husband over which cash back card to use for date night. She’s addicted to coffee, crypto, and obsessively checking her credit score on Borrowell.
Fun Fact: Heidi has lived in five different provinces across Canada, loves her free Tangerine bank account, and will never cut back on Starbucks. Like ever.
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