BMO Cashback MasterCard Review

4.34

$0

Annual Fee

$360

Annual Rewards

5% Cashback + $50

Intro Offer

$0

Annual fee

$360

Annual rewards

5% Cashback + $50

Intro offer


Pros


  • No annual fee
  • 3% cashback on groceries
  • 1% cashback on recurring bill payments
  • 0.5% cashback on all other purchases
  • Purchase protection and extended warranty coverage
  • Access to MasterCard’s Priceless Experiences

Cons


  • Minimum $15,000 annual income requirement
  • Lower cashback rate on non-grocery/non-bill purchases
  • Foreign currency conversion fee of 2.5%
  • Limited to BMO customers only
  • Some cashback competitors offer higher earning rates

Performance test results

At DollarWise, for each credit card we test 7 different factors including the rewards, value for money, perks, insurance, strengths and weaknesses of the card.

You can see our full testing methodology here to learn why we’re the most trusted source for credit card reviews.

The BMO Cashback MasterCard has earned a 4.34 DollarWise Rating out of 5. This score is based on a weighted average of the two highest scoring factors (excluding acceptance and approval).

Rewards

Fees

Perks

Interest rates

Insurance

Acceptance

Approval

The highest scoring categories for the BMO Cashback MasterCard are fees and rewards.

These factors are weighted 70% to the highest scoring factor and 30% to the second highest score to get an overall review score.

This weighting allows us to judge cards on their merits and the customers they are designed for.

For the BMO Cashback MasterCard the most important factors for scoring this card are its fees and rewards.

Rewards

With the BMO Cashback MasterCard, here’s the rates at which you earn rewards for different spending categories per dollar you spend:

Bills1%
Pharmacy1%
Gas1%
Groceries3%
Restaurants1%
Specific Stores1%
Travel1%
All Other Spend1%

Calculating your annual rewards

We estimate that spending $2,000 per month with the BMO Cashback MasterCard would earn $360 in rewards over the year.

Our performance testing research uses an accurate estimation of the average Canadian households spending patterns to predict the rewards a card will earn.

We found that you’d earn this per category:

Bills$42
Groceries$180
All Other Spend$138

Our study investigating the value found that each dollar spent on the BMO Cashback MasterCard is worth up to $0.01, depending on how you redeem.

This $360 in rewards value puts the BMO Cashback MasterCard in the top 50% of credit cards in Canada based on rewards earned.

The average credit card in our database earns $337 in rewards for the same spend that the BMO Cashback MasterCard earns $360 in rewards value.

We can compare this card to other options by looking at the earn rate by category.

This earn rate is the percentage return that you would get when you spend on this card, assuming you redeem at the predicted maximum value.

For example, if a card earned 5 points per dollar on gas and each point is worth up to $0.02, then the earn rate is 5 points multiplied by $0.02 each, divided by the dollar you spent.

In this example, that’s a 10% earn rate on gas.

SpendThis CardAverage
Bills1.00%1.25%
Pharmacy1.00%1.17%
Gas1.00%1.48%
Groceries3.00%1.71%
Restaurant1.00%1.53%
Store1.00%1.94%
Travel1.00%1.19%
Other1.00%1.08%
Above, we’ve calculated the earn rate for the BMO Cashback MasterCard for every spend category and compared it to the average for all Canadian credit cards.
Redemption methodAnnual rewards
Apply to statement credit$364
Make investments$364
Cash rewards$364

For an annual spend of $24,000, we estimated annual rewards value at up to $360.

That’s equivalent to a 1.50% return on spending.

The BMO Cashback MasterCard has an annual fee of $0. After deducting this, we predicted net annual rewards of $360.

This puts it in the top 30% of credit cards for net rewards after fees.

In comparison, the average card earns net annual rewards of $254.

Fees

The BMO Cashback MasterCard has a $0 annual fee.

The average card charges $85. So, the BMO Cashback MasterCard is in the bottom 50% of cards based on the cost of the annual fee.

Perks

We manually review the perks of each credit card to determine how they compare to other cards.

The BMO Cashback MasterCard scored a 2.2 out of 5 for perks, putting it in the top 30% of cards.

The average card scores 1.6 out of 5 for perks.

Interest Rates

Purchase20.99%
Cash Advance22.99%
Balance Transfer22.99%

The average (median) credit card has a purchase interest rate of 19.99% and so the BMO Cashback MasterCard charges 1% more than the average.

For cash advances it costs 22.99% compared to the average of 19.96%.

Testing the BMO Cashback MasterCard with a $2,000 starting balance, you can see in the graph how the 1% more in interest rates impacts the interest over a year, compared to the average card.

Insurance coverage

InsuranceThis CardAverage
Extended Warranty1 year1 year
Purchase Protection90 days90 days

We scored it 0.0 out of 5 for insurance.

It offers 2 types of insurance, whereas the average card has 5 types of coverage.

Approval and qualifying

Do I qualify?
Estimated Credit Score560 – 659
Personal Income$15,000
Household Income$0
Fees
Annual Fee$0
Extra Card Fee$0
Card typeMasterCard

We scored it 3.5 out of 5 for approval.

We predict that you will require a credit score of at least 560 to qualify for the BMO Cashback MasterCard, while the average card requires 652 to qualify.

This puts it in the top bottom 30% of cards by approval difficulty.

The personal income requirements are $15,000, while the average card requires $23,896.

This puts it in the top 30% of cards by the income required to qualify.

The BMO Cashback MasterCard is a popular credit card choice among those looking to earn cash back on their everyday purchases. In this review, we will analyze the earning potential of this card, detail four notable benefits, and discuss two major drawbacks that consumers should consider before applying.

Finally, we will provide additional information to give a comprehensive outlook on the card.

Earning potential

The BMO Cashback MasterCard allows cardholders to earn unlimited cash back on every purchase with no cap on the total amount earned. The reward rates for different spending categories are as follows:

  • 3% cash back on grocery purchases
  • 1% cash back on recurring bill payments
  • 0.5% cash back on all other purchases

Benefits

  1. Simplicity in Rewards: The first major advantage of this card is its simplicity, as cardholders will not have to deal with a complicated rewards program or carefully track their spending in specific categories.
  2. High Grocery Cash Back: The second advantage is the impressive 3% cash back rate on groceries, which is one of the highest in the Canadian market for this category and a major selling point for families or individuals who frequently cook at home.
  3. No Annual Fee: The third advantage is that there is no annual fee for the card, making it suitable for individuals who prefer not to pay for a credit card membership.
  4. Global Acceptance: The fourth advantage is the card’s wide acceptability, as it can be used anywhere MasterCard is accepted – making it ideal for both domestic and international purchases.

Drawbacks

  1. Low Non-category Cash Back: A significant drawback of this card is the relatively low 0.5% cash back rate for purchases outside of grocery and recurring bills. Those with diverse spending habits may not be able to maximize their cash back rewards within these limited categories.
  2. Limited Card Perks: Another drawback is the lack of additional perks, such as travel benefits or extended warranty coverage, which are commonly offered by other cash back cards with annual fees.

Additional information

The BMO Cashback MasterCard offers new applicants a welcome bonus of 5% cash back in the first three months, up to a maximum of $100. Cardholders will also have access to basic security features such as purchase protection and zero liability for unauthorized use.

In conclusion, the BMO Cashback MasterCard is a solid choice for those who prioritize earnings on grocery purchases and prefer a simple, no-annual-fee card. However, individuals with varied spending habits or those seeking additional card perks may want to explore other options within the Canadian credit card market.

Not the right fit? You could consider the BMO Preferred Rate MasterCard. Or, if you’re looking for other options check out the BMO Rewards MasterCard, and the BMO Cashback World Elite MasterCard.

FAQ

The BMO Cashback MasterCard allows you to redeem your cashback rewards for various attractive options. You can use the cashback earned in the form of:

  • Statement credit: Apply your cashback amount directly to your credit card statement to offset your balance.
  • Direct deposit: Deposit your cashback directly into a BMO checking or savings account.
  • Investment: Apply your cashback rewards to eligible BMO investment accounts.
  • Mortgage principal: If you have a BMO mortgage, you can use your cashback to reduce the principal amount owing on your mortgage.
  • Travel: Redeem your cashback rewards for various travel-related expenses, such as flights, hotels, and car rentals.
  • Merchandise: Spend your cashback on a wide range of products available through the BMO Cashback online catalogue, including electronics, home items, accessories, and more.

The BMO Cashback MasterCard credit card has a foreign transaction fee of 2.5% on purchases made in a currency other than Canadian dollars. This fee is applicable to both online and in-person transactions made abroad or with merchants that process payments in foreign currencies.

The BMO CashBack MasterCard does not have a minimum income requirement, making it accessible to a wider range of applicants.

Key benefits

  • Issued by Bank of Montreal (BMO)
  • MasterCard network
  • Credit limit determined by income and credit score
  • $0 annual fee
  • Interest rate: 19.99% on purchases
  • Cash advance rate: 22.99%
  • Balance transfer rate: 22.99%
  • Grace period: 21 days
  • Automatic cashback redemption every January
  • Card customization options available
  • Contactless payment (tap-and-go) enabled

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