BMO World Elite MasterCard Devalues Its Rewards Points

BMO World Elite MasterCard

I just received a piece of mail from BMO mentioning some changes that will be made to the BMO World Elite travel credit card. This type of notice translates into negative news 99 percent of the time, so I was expecting bad news.

On the surface, to make it look like a good news, BMO says you will earn 50 percent more points. This card used to give 2 points for each dollar spent on all purchases. That was a flat 2 percent return on everything, as each point was worth 1 cent. However, starting January 15, 2018, each point will be worth 0.714 cents. That’s a drastic devaluation. This only applies to the “everything else” category, as BMO is giving 3 points on 3 specific categories: travel, dining, and entertainment. The rate of return on these categories will be 2.14 percent, which is slightly better than what they had before on all categories.

Once these changes kick in, it would not make sense to use this card to purchase items in the “everything else” category. For the 3 accelerated categories it will provide a good rate of return even better than the 2 percent offered before.

These changes do not affect me personally because I do not use this card to make any purchases. My sole purpose to keep this card is to have lounge access. BMO World Elite provides Priority Pass annual membership ($99 US) and 4 passes ($27 US x 4) every year, which I value at a total Canadian $265. So even after paying the $150 annual fee per year, I am on the plus side for $115 Cad.

Whichever credit card you use, do the math to see if it make sense for you to keep it. I have a video on the above explaining further which can be viewed here:

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