Credit Cards

BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* Review

Overall Ranking

4.5/5

Overview

Annual Fee

5/5

Welcome Offer

5/5

Flexible Redemption

5/5

Earn Rate

3/5

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* offers a lucrative welcome bonus. Get 5% cash back on purchases in your first 3 months*. After the Welcome Offer ends get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.* Redeem cash back any way you like: deposit into your BMO chequing or savings account, put it into your InvestorLine account, or apply the credit to your monthly statement. Other perks include car rental discounts*, shopping protection, and a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months (2%* transfer fee).

Editor's Note

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About the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* Card

The no annual fee BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* is BMO’s entry-level cash back offering. After the Welcome Offer ends get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.* The 3% cash back on groceries* (an area in which consumers tend to spend significantly) is the most generous cash back offer on groceries in Canada for a card without an annual fee. The generosity is dampened somewhat by the card’s $500 earning cap on groceries per statement period.

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* card’s current welcome offer ups its appeal. Get 5% cash back on purchases in your first 3 months*. Even sweeter for new cardholders carrying credit card debt on other cards is BMO’s offer of a 0.99% introductory interest rate on Balance Transfers for 9 months (with a 2%* transfer fee). Attractive standard extras include purchase protection*, warranty extensions*, and rental car discounts*.

Card Features & Benefits

Hands-down, the standout feature of the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* card is its cash back earn rates. After the Welcome Offer ends get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.* That 3% makes it the top-earning, no-fee card for groceries in Canada†.

  • Earn 3% cash back on eligible groceries (up to a max of $500 in spending per statement period)*
  • Earn 1% cash back on recurring bill payments (up to a maximum of $500 in spending per statement period)*
  • Earn 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other card purchases*
  • $0 annual fee

The sign-up bonus for new cardholders is one of the card’s most enticing features. Get 5% cash back on purchases in your first 3 months*. Plus, a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months (2%* transfer fee).

Other Perks

Perks for no-fee cards in Canada tend to be slim, but the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* card has a few notable extras.

  • Car Rental Discounts*
  • Items charged to your card get purchase protection (90 days of damage and theft insurance) and warranty extension (one year of additional warranty protection)*
  • Enjoy 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows touring within Canada and 20% off Las Vegas shows.*
  • Free supplementary cards for qualifying family members*
  • A nice perk that doesn’t get enough attention is the incredibly flexible way cardholders can redeem their cash back. Cardholders can request cash back at any time for as little as $1. You can also set up automatic recurring deposits (with a minimum amount of $25) into your BMO chequing or savings account or have it deposited into your BMO Investorline account. These options are impressive when you consider that many cash back credit cards only let you redeem cash once a month or just once a year.

Pros and Cons

The BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* card’s earn rate of 3% for groceries* is the highest cash back on groceries in Canada without paying an annual fee!† Other features like rental car discounts, extended warranties, and purchase protection are useful perks. The generous welcome offer — which includes boosted cash back earnings and a good balance transfer option — makes this card hard to beat in the no-annual-fee credit card category.

However, the card loses some of its allure due to cash-back caps on groceries and the ho-hum .5% cash back rate given on all other types of purchases.

  • $0 annual fee

  • Generous welcome offer-- Get 5% cash back on purchases in your first 3 months*. Plus, a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for 9 months (2%* transfer fee).

  • After the Welcome Offer ends get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.*

  • Most flexible redemption options for any credit card in Canada (even compared to premium cash back cards)

  • Extra perks like discounts on rentals and Cirque du Soleil tickets, as well as purchase protection and extended warranty*


  • Standard earn rate for purchases outside of boosted categories is only 0.5%

  • Monthly cap of $500 each in grocery purchases and recurring bill payments

  • Cap of $125 for the cash back welcome offer

How Does the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* Compare?

There are only a handful of other no annual fee credit cards in Canada that offer cash back, but the biggest rival to the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* card is the SimplyCash® Card from American Express. In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.

Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and 1.25% cash back on all other eligible purchases.

SimplyCash® Card from American Express

American Express Canada Credit Cards logo

In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.

    Our recommendation would be to carry both credit cards in your wallet and use them strategically to maximize your cash back rewards. For instance, use the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* exclusively on all purchases for the first 3 months to reap the reward of the 5% cash back welcome offer*. After that, continue using it for grocery purchases (3% cash back*) and recurring bills (1% cash back)*. Once you reach the maximum $500 category spending limits, switch to the SimplyCash® Card from American Express. That way, you’re covering all your bases and getting an excellent earn rate without shelling out a dime for annual fees.

    BrandAnnual FeeWelcome OfferEarn RateUnlimited Cash Back?Learn More
    BMO CashBack® Mastercard®*$0Get 5% cash back on purchases in your first 3 months*.After the Welcome Offer ends get 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases.*Unlimited cash back on 0.5% category only*Visit Site
    SimplyCash® Card from American Express$0In your first 10 months as a new SimplyCash® Card from American Express Cardmember, you can earn a $10 statement credit for each monthly billing period in which you spend $300 in purchases on your Card. This could add up to $100 in statement credits in the first 10 months. Terms and conditions apply.Earn 2% cash back on eligible gas purchases in Canada, 2% cash back on eligible grocery purchases in Canada (up to $300 cash back annually), and 1.25% cash back on all other eligible purchases.Yes; no limit to the amount of cash back you can earn at the base rateVisit Site

    The Verdict

    It’s hard to go wrong with a no-fee cash-back card, especially one with an outstanding 3% cash-back on grocery purchases*. And you’ll undoubtedly appreciate the flexibility in redeeming your cash back. Yes, the caps for the grocery and recurring payment categories are annoying, but they’re not dealbreakers. Given that the total household food expenditure is expected to hit $12,667 annually, you can earn back quite a bit of cash if you use your credit card. To get the most out of the BMO CashBack® Mastercard®* card, a smart option is to switch to another no-fee, cash-back card with a grocery and/or recurring bills category once you reach that maximum $500 category spending limit.

    *Terms and conditions apply.

    BMO is not responsible for maintaining the content on this site. Please click on the Apply now link for the most up to date information.

    †Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of June 1, 2022.

    American Express is not responsible for maintaining or monitoring the accuracy of information on this website. For full details and current product information click the Apply now link. Conditions apply.



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