BMO Airmiles World Elite

4.8 / 5

At a Glance

  • Jaw dropping earn rate
  • Big discount for North America travelers
  • Comprehensive insurance

Hits

  • Sits alone as top Air Miles earn rate card
  • Only card offering 25% discount on ALL North American flights booked with Miles !
  • Excellent Insurance

Misses

  • $120 Fee
  • High income requirements

25% Discount Anywhere in North America

BMO Airmiles World Elite Review

The Skinny

Very rarely do we appoint an annual fee credit card as the best in a particular category. Generally there are good enough no-annual fee alternatives, or first-fee waiver cards, that customers are able to try a card before committing. However, in the Airmiles category, BMO Airmiles World Elite is so superior to the alternatives, in our opinion, that despite the annual $120 fee we cannot but proclaim this card the Checkmate Checkrate AirMiles card of 2019. With a high income requirement, this card is not for all of us, but if you check the boxes do not give this card a miss.

Welcome Bonus

First things first, upon activation 2,000 Airmiles points are yours, good for a free flight within North America. AMEX offers some lower annual fee Airmiles alternatives with 2,000 point welcome bonuses – but you will be required to spend $1,500 within three months. So this one is a toss up.

Requirements

  • $80,000 individual
  • $150,000 household

Earn Rate

This is where the BMO is jaw-droppingly good. First, it is the only card offering one point per $10 spent – the best alternatives are again AMEX premium cards, which offer a standard one point for $15, with one point per $10 on gas, groceries, drugstores and Air Miles sponsor purchases. No fee alternatives give only one per $20.

Even more impressive, however, is the 25% discount on flight redemptions anywhere in North America for BMO card holders. To truly appreciate the added value, it bears a few examples.

We checked two return flights in April, a Toronto-New York flight, which was 1,300 points, and a Toronto-Miami flight, 2,800 points.

Credit CardMiles DiscountRequired PtsEarn Rate Total Spend Required
New York
BMO Airmiles 25% 975 $10=1 $9750
AMEX Air Miles Platinum NA 1,300 $15=1 $19,500
BMO Sobey’s No Fee NA 1,300 $20=1 $26,000
Credit CardMiles DiscountRequired PtsEarn Rate Total Spend Required
Miami
BMO Airmiles 25% 2,100 $10=1 $21,000
AMEX Air Miles Platinum NA 2,800 $15=1 $42,000
BMO Sobey’s No Fee NA 2,800 $20=1 $56,000

This is a very stark illustration of the massive benefits to BMO World Elite Airmiles customers, and we would suggest that any serious Air Miles collector get this card before booking another flight.

BMO AirMiles World Elite Benefits

Insurance

The BMO Airmiles World Elite has put together an excellent insurance package. Note the uncommon inclusion of trip cancellation, a welcome component for parents of young children who are often trip busters.

Emergency Medical Insurance

InsuranceBenefit
Emergency Medical Insurance Up to $2M, first 15 consecutive days of each trip, up to 65 years for cardholder, spouse and children.
Trip Interruption Coverage on charged trips only. Up to $2,000 per person, covers one way economy airfare back to departure point.
Rental Theft and Damage Covers non-refundable portion of your trip if the need to cancel due to death, illness or injury to immediate family member - $2,500 per person, up to $5,000 total. Card must be used to purchase full or partial cost of trip.
Lost Baggage Charge a full/partial trip on your card for coverage up to $500 per person for lost/stolen luggage
Flight Delay Receive reimbursement for up to $500 due to flights delayed over six hours.
Rental Theft and Damage Up to a maximum of $65,000
Rental Personal Effects Benefits Coverage up to $1,000 for theft or damage of items whilst within the rental card

Additional Bits and Bobs

Extended Warranty and Purchase Protection

Use the card to pay for purchases and get a manufacturer’s warranty extended by 50% up to an additional one year. You will also enjoy purchase protection, with items automatically insured against loss or theft for 90 days from purchase date.

Lounge Access

You will enjoy complimentary Priority Pass membership as long as you hold the Airmiles World Elite, as well as two free passes per year. Additional passes can be purchased for $27 each – the retail value of the membership and free passes comes to $150 per year, more than the annual card fee.

Closing Balance

If you are an Airmiles collector, suck it up and spend the $120 annual fee and get yourself an amazing travel card in the BMO Airmiles World Elite. You get best-in-market-and-not-even-close earning and redemption value, comprehensive insurance for you and yours, and lounge access to boot, which itself covers the annual fee.

25% Discount Anywhere in North America

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