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The best BMO credit cards in Canada for 2023

Natasha Macmillan, Business Unit Director - Everyday Banking

May 17, 2023

Explore the best variety of BMO credit cards, tailored to meet your unique needs. Compare, choose, and apply today for a card that matches your purchasing habits.

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Natasha Macmillan

The best BMO credit cards in Canada

Bank of Montreal (BMO), one of Canada’s big five banks, offers over a dozen personal credit cards with a wide range of benefits.

Whether your financial priorities are earning cash back, saving points towards travel, or a low interest rate, it’s easy to find a card that’s suited to your personal needs and spending habits. Below, we break down our picks of the best BMO credit cards for 2023. 

Best BMO credit card for cash back's take

The BMO Cash Back World Elite Mastercard offers a flat cash back rate of 1% on all credit card purchases and you can earn even more on bonus categories such as 5% cash back on groceries (up to $500 per billing cycle), 4% cash back on transit (taxis, ride share and public transit), 3% cash back on gas and 2% on recurring bills


  • Welcome offer -earn up to 10% cash back in your first three months and have the $120 annual fee waived in the first year.
  • Top of the line card flexibility as there's no limit on how much cash back you can earn and you're free to redeem your rewards in increments as little as one dollar
  • Complimentary roadside assistance with free basic members of the Dominion Automobile Association
  • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Airport Experiences provided by LoungeKey
  • Strong travel insurance coverage including trip interruption, cancellation or delay, and emergency travel medical

Best BMO no-fee credit card's take

For those looking to save big at the supermarket checkout, BMO’s entry-level rewards card, the BMO CashBack Mastercard, has no annual fee or income requirements – letting you consolidate your past debts and pay them off faster while earning cash back for buying food and essentials at your favourite grocery chain.

Their current welcome offer allows you to earn earn up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months. . After that, you'll still get an impressive 3% cash back on grocery purchases, making this an ideal card to use for your weekly food shopping.


  • Earn 3% cash back on groceries - a very competitive earn rate for groceries for a no-fee card in Canada
  • Flexible cash back redemption options including putting it towards your card statement or investing with BMO's InvestorLine
  • Redeem cash back for as little as $1 and you can can set up automatic deposit for reward totals of $25 or more

Best BMO travel credit card's take

The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard is a popular card for frequent travellers seeking a Mastercard and tend to spend big on going out and airfare. With this card, you’ll get airport lounge access, full suite of travel insurance, perks and flexibility in redemption. BMO Points can be redeemed for flights, as well as hotels, vacation packages, and car rentals at a rate of 150 points for $1 (or about 0.67% per point). 


  • Welcome bonus: earn up to 70,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.
  • Earn three points per dollar on restaurant, entertainment purchases, and recurring bills, and one point per dollar on everything else
  • Considered to have one of the best insurance packages on the market; full suite of insurance including $2 million in out-of-country insurance (versus the standard $1 million in coverage offered by most other cards)
  • 24/7 concierge services and complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass with four annual complimentary passes
  • Great flexibility offering cardholders the ability to redeem points for flights on virtually any airline with no blackout dates (points can be used to cover taxes and fees as well)


  • Minimum personal income of $80,00 and annual fee of $150 may be prohibitive to some users

Best BMO low interest credit card's take

The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is another great credit card option for those looking for a credit card with a low interest rate and additional benefits. The card has a $29 annual fee, but it offers a competitive interest rate on purchases and balance transfers (13.99). Additionally, the card comes with extended warranty and purchase protection, which can provide peace of mind when making purchases.

One of the standout features of the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is its special welcome offer, which can provide additional value for new cardholders. The card also offers Zero Dollar Liability, which protects you from unauthorized purchases made with the credit card.

Overall, the BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard is a good option for those looking for a credit card with a low interest rate and additional benefits.


  • Welcome offer - earn a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months with a 2% transfer fee and we'll waive the $29 annual fee for the first year 
  • Includes Zero Dollar Liability protecting cardholders against unauthorized purchases
  • Purchase interest rate of 13.99 is among the lowest in Canada and also applied to balance transfers as well
  • The balance transfer promotional period is also longer than those offered by most other credit cards (nine months versus the typical six months), giving you more time to pay down any outstanding debt
  • Includes free extended warranty which doubles the manufacturer’s warranty up to one year and purchase protection


  • Has a higher promotional rate for balance transfers, but the offer lasts for a longer period of time

Best BMO student credit card's take

The BMO CashBack Mastercard - Student is a no annual fee rewards credit card that offers particularly strong returns on everyday essentials from grocery stores and supermarkets. 

This credit card has the trio of features that most appeals to students: 1. no annual fees 2. the ability to earn straightforward rewards, and 3. no income requirement.

Since this is a cash back credit card, students won’t have to think about the complexities or limitations of loyalty points programs, and can instead get an injection of cash. This can be particularly valuable for students who want to focus on saving on their everyday purchases rather than racking up points for discounted flights. 



  • No annual fee
  • 3% cash back on groceries makes it one of the best no fee cards to own for that spending category
  • Great welcome offer - ${_rh.creditCards.bmo-cashback-mastercard-student.descriptions.badge_bonus
  • No income requirement - perfect for students on a fixed income
  • Cash back system is more straightforward than points
  • Redeem cash back for as little as $1 at a time
  • Offers purchase and extended warranty protection and discounts on rental cars from eligible National and Alamo agency locations.


  • 1% cash back rate on recurring bills and 0.5% on everything else isn’t particularly compelling
  • Bonus categories each have a monthly cap of $500 (but reset monthly)


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