There are many customer loyalty programs available to Canadians. It’s impossible to enjoy the full benefits of every program, so be careful when you decide which one is right for you.
This article focuses on BMO Rewards, the loyalty program offered by the Bank of Montreal. This major financial institution was founded in 1817 and now has over 1,100 branches across Canada. By offering a variety of credit cards linked to its program, BMO aims to build loyalty and reward its customers.
How Do I Earn BMO Rewards Points?
The only way to earn BMO Rewards points is by using one of the BMO credit cards associated to the program. There are four personal credit cards and two for businesses. We’ll come back to their main characteristics later in the text.
To maximize your rewards, we recommend that you pay for all your daily purchases with your BMO credit card. You can even authorize automatic payments for some bills directly on your card, such as your cell phone bill. You can also ask for an additional card and give it to a family member. Of course, since this is your credit card account, it’s important to give the additional card to someone you trust, such as your spouse. This way, you earn points faster.[Offer productType=”CreditCard” api_id=”5ff3e0a918430b1206c2fae4″]
What Can I Do with BMO Rewards Points?
BMO Rewards points can be redeemed in four different ways: for travel, investments, gift cards or products, and statement credits. To make the most of your benefits, it’s best to redeem your points for travel, as the points value is at its highest.
Unlike some other loyalty programs, BMO Rewards puts no limit on the number of seats or hotel rooms available. You can use your points to purchase airline tickets, book hotel rooms, rent a car, book a cruise, buy a vacation package and make almost any other travel expense.
How to redeem points for travel? First, book your trip with the supplier of your choice using your credit card. You then have 90 days to access your BMO Rewards account and choose the Pay with points feature. You will have to select your Air Canada flight reservation (or any other airline) from the list to complete the exchange. The good news is that you’ll still earn BMO Rewards points on travel expenses covered by the Pay with points option.
With a redemption rate of 150 points per $1, each point is worth approximately 0.67 cents or $0.0067 in rewards. As mentioned above, this is the program’s greatest asset. In addition, some BMO credit cards offer travel insurance and access to airport lounges.
Pay with Points
The majority of your BMO credit card purchases are eligible for Pay with points. This way, you can use your points to pay for almost any purchase, even if it’s not a trip. Only certain transactions, such as interest charges, minimum payments on your credit card statement and cash advances, are not eligible for the points-based payment option.
With this option, the exchange value is 200 points for $1. You have to apply your points to purchases made within the last 90 days.
If you decide to use your points to invest in a BMO savings or investment account, the minimum amount required is $100. Accounts that can be used to receive your reward are the BMO Premium Rate Savings Account, the BMO Smart Saver Account and accounts opened with BMO Investorline, the self-directed brokerage platform.
Articles and Gift Cards
BMO Rewards offers a catalog of products so you can shop and redeem your points directly. The points value depends on each item, so simply compare it with a retailer’s price to find out which is more advantageous. If you’d like a reward but don’t have enough points, you can buy the points you need up to a maximum of 20% of the purchase price.
You can also use your points to purchase gift cards. Whether you want to spoil your loved ones or shop at your favorite stores, the possibilities are endless: Apple, HomeSense, Starbucks, and more. The points value will also depend on the gift card you choose.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible for someone who doesn’t already have an account to see the prices of the products and the gift cards. It’s a bit of a shame, since it doesn’t encourage potential customers to apply for a credit card to participate in BMO’s rewards program!
The Best Credit Cards for Earning BMO Rewards Points
To take advantage of the BMO Rewards loyalty program, you must hold one of the four credit cards for individuals: the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite card, the BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege card, the BMO Rewards card and the BMO Ascend World Elite card. There are also two cards available for businesses: the BMO World Elite Business Mastercard and the BMO Rewards Commercial Mastercard.
Rewards rates, annual fees, eligibility criteria and various benefits depend on each card. You’re sure to find a card that suits you and meets your needs. In order to make an informed decision, we invite you to use our credit card comparison tool. It’s a free, customizable tool that gives you suggestions based on your consumption habits.
|Card||Points accumulation||Other advantages|
|BMO eclipse Visa Infinite||5 points for every $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, gas and transportation||$50 annual lifestyle credit;|
10% more points by adding an authorized user
|BMO eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege||5 points for every $1 spent on groceries, restaurants, pharmacies, gas and travel||Annual lifestyle credit of $200;|
25% more points by adding an authorized user;
Visa Airport Companion membership and six free airport lounge visits per year
|BMO Ascend Mastercard World Elite||5 points for every $1 spent on travel;|
3 points per $1 spent on restaurants, recurring bill payments and entertainment;
1 point for every $1 spent in other purchase categories
|Mastercard Travel Pass membership provided by DragonPass and four free passes per year;|
Out-of-province/country emergency medical coverage up to $5 million for 21 days
|BMO Mastercard Rewards||1 point for every $1 spent||No annual fee;|
25% off car rentals at National and Alamo
The program is quite simple. In fact, you can earn points on all your daily expenses. All you need is a BMO Rewards credit card. By the way, you’ll be happy to know that points never expire. Your points are valid as long as you hold your card and your account is in good standing. If you close your account, Bank of Montreal gives you 90 days to redeem your accumulated points.
|How to earn BMO Rewards points||– Use a BMO credit card associated to the program |
– Pay all your daily expenses with your card
– Offer an additional card to your spouse
|What to do with your BMO Rewards points||– Travel |
– Invest in BMO savings and investment accounts
– Buy gift cards and catalog products
– Pay with points (statement credit)
|BMO Rewards credit cards||– BMO Rewards Mastercard |
– BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite
– BMO Eclipse Visa Infinite Privilege
– BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
– BMO Business World Elite Mastercard
– BMO Rewards Commercial Mastercard
|Program features||As long as the account is active, points never expire.|
|Program benefits||– Interesting points value in exchange for travel |
– Earn points quickly, as the card can be used for all your daily expenses
In Canada, most banks offer rewards programs designed to build customer loyalty. No matter your habits and needs, if you analyze the different programs a little, you’re sure to find one that suits you.
Don’t forget to look beyond the rewards when applying for a credit card. In fact, even if the rewards are often attractive, you need to make sure that the card you choose offers a good interest rate. Some cards also offer other considerable benefits, such as various types of insurance. This is also true of some BMO Rewards cards.
When you look at the different aspects of the BMO Rewards program, it’s easy to see why it’s so popular!
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