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BMO Air Miles World Elite MC

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  • Aug 22nd, 2021 1:52 pm
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[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
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BMO Air Miles World Elite MC

I wanted to ask what folks here thought of the BMO Air Miles World Elite MC?

I currently have an Amex Simply Cash, a CTFS WE card (limited rewards with that one), and a BMO Air Miles MC (one of the university affinity ones so that my undergrad institution gets a small amount from everything I spend).

Today I received an email offering me an upgrade to the BMO Air Miles World Elite card and, before I accept the offer, I wanted to ask about other's experiences with the card. Are the rewards decent enough to justify the $120 annual fee (waived for the first year)?

Basically I am just looking for opinions on this particular card before I agree to accept their offer.
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Sr. Member
Nov 22, 2012
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NS
SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: I wanted to ask what folks here thought of the BMO Air Miles World Elite MC?

I currently have an Amex Simply Cash, a CTFS WE card (limited rewards with that one), and a BMO Air Miles MC (one of the university affinity ones so that my undergrad institution gets a small amount from everything I spend).

Today I received an email offering me an upgrade to the BMO Air Miles World Elite card and, before I accept the offer, I wanted to ask about other's experiences with the card. Are the rewards decent enough to justify the $120 annual fee (waived for the first year)?

Basically I am just looking for opinions on this particular card before I agree to accept their offer.
If you shop much at AM partners, it is a good card when free. It is not worth the annual fee unless you can get good value from flight rewards. For me, it was difficult to find decent rewards flights before Covid-19 halted travel so I switched to collecting cash miles.

Here are the AM reward values if you redeem for AM Cash (95 AM = $10): Earn 3 AM per $12 spent (2.63% return) at AM partners, Earn 1 AM per $12 spent elsewhere (0.88% return).

From my experience, BMO does tend to offer more bonus offers with the World Elite AM MC compared to the no-fee AM MC.

BMO has also been generous in waiving the annual fee several times when I called to downgrade my card.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
777 posts
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jevonb wrote: If you shop much at AM partners, it is a good card when free. It is not worth the annual fee unless you can get good value from flight rewards. For me, it was difficult to find decent rewards flights before Covid-19 halted travel so I switched to collecting cash miles.

Here are the AM reward values if you redeem for AM Cash (95 AM = $10): Earn 3 AM per $12 spent (2.63% return) at AM partners, Earn 1 AM per $12 spent elsewhere (0.88% return).

From my experience, BMO does tend to offer more bonus offers with the World Elite AM MC compared to the no-fee AM MC.

BMO has also been generous in waiving the annual fee several times when I called to downgrade my card.

Thanks.

I figured I might be able to get them to reduce or waive the fee if I were to call in or pop into my branch.

Also, I returned to finish my PhD in January so they have given me a discount on my monthly fees. They didn't give me free student banking as that would have required me to downgrade my account, but they did cut the fee for my account in half. I was thinking that the same might apply to the annual fee for the WE, or I might be able to use that to persuade them to waive it.

Once travel restrictions are lifted I will have to fly to the UK, and will likely have to do so again by the spring. I also have to go to Calgary next July. So those are three trips I will have to take within the next year. Hopefully I will be able to get some benefits from the card when I am traveling.
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If it’s first year free, I’d definitely take it.
You can always go back to the regular AM after the first year if you find it doesn’t work for you.
[OP]
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Jul 31, 2017
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coolintheshade wrote: If it’s first year free, I’d definitely take it.
You can always go back to the regular AM after the first year if you find it doesn’t work for you.

And from what @jevonb says above, they seem to waive the fee on the WE card if you tell them you want to downgrade.
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: And from what @jevonb says above, they seem to waive the fee on the WE card if you tell them you want to downgrade.
Not always the case. I've had a few AM WE cards over the years, and I've never been able to get an AF waived.
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Jul 3, 2021
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I think airmiles is the best travel reward system you can’t actually travel with, I tried for years to get enough points years ago to travel but at least I got luggage with my points
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Rfdinyyc wrote: I think airmiles is the best travel reward system you can’t actually travel with, I tried for years to get enough points years ago to travel but at least I got luggage with my points
The sweet spot for Air Miles is short haul flights that would normally cost quite a bit in dollars.
As an example, I recently redeemed Calgary to Victoria for 765 miles plus $80. A paid ticket was around $360. I therefore received $280 value for 765 miles. The welcome bonus for this card is 3000 miles, so at this particular valuation that's worth just over $1000. I'm sure you could do better. And that's with first year free.
Newbie
Jan 25, 2017
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: I wanted to ask what folks here thought of the BMO Air Miles World Elite MC?

I currently have an Amex Simply Cash, a CTFS WE card (limited rewards with that one), and a BMO Air Miles MC (one of the university affinity ones so that my undergrad institution gets a small amount from everything I spend).

Today I received an email offering me an upgrade to the BMO Air Miles World Elite card and, before I accept the offer, I wanted to ask about other's experiences with the card. Are the rewards decent enough to justify the $120 annual fee (waived for the first year)?

Basically I am just looking for opinions on this particular card before I agree to accept their offer.
I got this offer too and I accepted it right away. They are basically offering you the world elite benefits for free for a year so why not? You can also get 500 bonus Air Miles with a $1k minimum spend. Very very rare that there is bonus miles available (albeit a small amount) for a product switch to existing cardholders.

Is this card worth keeping long term as a everyday spend card? If you can get good value out of flight rewards and use the 15% discount on miles required for flights within North America then yes. Otherwise, no.

Now, if you are serious about collecting Air Miles for flights and are ok with a credit hit and new trade line on your credit report, you can use the link on airmiles.ca to do a NEW application for this card and that would get you FYF and 3k Air Miles. (1k on first purchase and 2k once you spend $3k within the first 3 months)

So, in conclusion, this is an offer that I think you should accept regardless. If you won’t get value in paying the annual fee or keeping $6k in a BMO premium plan account after the 1st year is you can always downgrade again.
Last edited by MountainView11 on Aug 11th, 2021 1:33 pm, edited 1 time in total.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
777 posts
329 upvotes
MountainView11 wrote: I got this offer too and I accepted it right away. They are basically offering you the world elite benefits for free for a year so why not? You can also get 500 bonus Air Miles with a $1k minimum spend. Very very rare that there is bonus miles available (albeit a small amount) for a product switch to existing cardholders.

Is this card worth keeping long term as a everyday spend card? If you can get good value out of flight rewards and use the 15% discount on miles required for flights within North America then yes. Otherwise, no.

Now, if you are serious about collecting Air Miles for flights and are ok with a credit hit and new trade line on your credit report, you can use the link on airmiles.ca to do a NEW application for this card and that would get you FYF and 3k Air Miles. (1k on first purchase and 2k once you spend $3k within the first 3 months)

So, in conclusion, this is an offer that I think you should accept regardless. If you won’t get value in paying the annual fee or keeping $6k in a BMO premium plan account after the 1st year is you can always downgrade again.

I ended up accepting, then realized they are charging 20.99% interest on the card as opposed to the 19.99% on my current card.

I will need to travel to the UK a 2-3 times over the next 18 months. I never fly within North America, but do have to go to Calgary next summer for a few days right after the Stampede ends so I could take advantage of this card for that trip.

Could you explain what you meant by "keeping $6k in a BMO premium plan account"? I wasn't aware of any such requirement.
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: I ended up accepting, then realized they are charging 20.99% interest on the card as opposed to the 19.99% on my current card.

I will need to travel to the UK a 2-3 times over the next 18 months. I never fly within North America, but do have to go to Calgary next summer for a few days right after the Stampede ends so I could take advantage of this card for that trip.

Could you explain what you meant by "keeping $6k in a BMO premium plan account"? I wasn't aware of any such requirement.
Woah. Don't carry a balance on this (or any ... ) card. The interest rate shouldn't matter. Pay off in full each month and use a line of credit if necessary. But don't carry a balance at either 19.99% or 20.99%.
This card comes with travel insurance provided you charge your flights to the card, so it would be very useful for your upcoming trips to the UK.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
777 posts
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tofinoguy wrote: Woah. Don't carry a balance on this (or any ... ) card. The interest rate shouldn't matter. Pay off in full each month and use a line of credit if necessary. But don't carry a balance at either 19.99% or 20.99%.
This card comes with travel insurance provided you charge your flights to the card, so it would be very useful for your upcoming trips to the UK.


I generally don't carry a balance, but sometimes expenses crop up which necessitate it for a couple of months.
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Jun 15, 2005
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: I generally don't carry a balance, but sometimes expenses crop up which necessitate it for a couple of months.
Have you thought about applying for the MBNA Lakehead card? You can take a balance transfer out for 10 months that will only cost you 1%. Or the MBNA Trueline card which is 12 months for 3%.
mbna-cards-bt-promos-2210803/

Store that money in a savings account and dip into it for those months when your expenses creep up.

I don’t like the thought of anyone having to pay 20% rates.
[OP]
Sr. Member
Jul 31, 2017
777 posts
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Arkaine wrote: Have you thought about applying for the MBNA Lakehead card? You can take a balance transfer out for 10 months that will only cost you 1%. Or the MBNA Trueline card which is 12 months for 3%.
mbna-cards-bt-promos-2210803/

Store that money in a savings account and dip into it for those months when your expenses creep up.

I don’t like the thought of anyone having to pay 20% rates.

No, but it doesn't happen often enough for it to be a big issue for me.

My point was more that they give 19.99% on no fee cards, but raise that to 20.99% when you are paying $120 per year (except for years in which that fee is waived).

As for the Lakehead card, that is just an affinity card. Any benefits will be available with other cards they offer. I had a regular BMO Air Miles card but switched to the University of Waterloo card so that my alma mater would get something from what I was spending. But in all other respects, the two cards were the same. I believe that is true for all other affinity cards.
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote:
As for the Lakehead card, that is just an affinity card. Any benefits will be available with other cards they offer. I had a regular BMO Air Miles card but switched to the University of Waterloo card so that my alma mater would get something from what I was spending. But in all other respects, the two cards were the same. I believe that is true for all other affinity cards.
I’m not gonna detail this thread, but I’ll say the MBNA Lakehead card is special because it’s the only one that offers BTs of 0%/1% for 10 months at signup.
Anyways, off topic and it doesn’t sound like the profits of BTs interest you.
Take care
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Jan 25, 2017
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SkynyrdsInyrds wrote: I ended up accepting, then realized they are charging 20.99% interest on the card as opposed to the 19.99% on my current card.

I will need to travel to the UK a 2-3 times over the next 18 months. I never fly within North America, but do have to go to Calgary next summer for a few days right after the Stampede ends so I could take advantage of this card for that trip.

Could you explain what you meant by "keeping $6k in a BMO premium plan account"? I wasn't aware of any such requirement.
You can get the annual fee of this card waived year after year by keeping $6k in a BMO Premium Plan Chequing Account. So after your first year free is up you either pay $120 annual fee or keep $6k in the checking account to get the fee waived. Or you can try and negotiate a fee waiver.
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Jan 25, 2017
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I just received my upgraded card. Two data points to share with everyone:

Unlike what is stated in the T&C, the annual fee is charged and rebated on the same statement. The T&C stated that it would be rebated in two months. Back when I had the BMO Rewards World Elite MC with the Premium Plan Checking account, the annual fee rebate was always applied two statements after the annual fee was charged.

You STILL get the 2 complimentary airport lounge passes, valid up until December 31, 2021. But after that there will be no complimentary lounge access and you will have to pay the US $32 per visit.

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