Many credit card companies have been changing their rewards programs lately. TD, Tangerine, and Scotiabank were among the institutions that adjusted how consumers could use, and benefit from, their rewards credit cards in 2017.
BMO is the latest company to announce changes. Cardholders got hit with new redemption rules as of this Monday, with changes also being made to some of BMO’s credit cards.
First, the downgrade
The one that stands out most? It will now take more rewards points to redeem a dollar in travel rewards. Before Monday, cardholders could redeem a dollar with 100 points; now, it will take 140 points.
To honor the purchasing power of points earned before Monday, BMO will be giving out extra points to cardholders, in addition to reducing the cost of redeemable merchandise and gift cards by up to 20%. But in the long run, the devalued points won’t be as beneficial to cardholders as they used to be.
Now, the good news
The final change is a nice one: cardholders will be able to use their BMO Rewards to pay down their credit card balances.
BMO introduced individual changes to each of its cards, in addition to the blanket adjustments listed above. Most of them are new introductory rewards rates and fees, and apply only to new cardholders.
We’ve rounded up a list of the changes below.
- Earn three BMO Rewards points for every dollar spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases, up to $50,000 in purchases per year.
- Get an exclusive 15% Flight Discount on all Air Miles flights in North America with no blackout periods.
- Get 35,000 welcome points after you spend $3,000 in the first three months (the previous welcome bonus was 25,000 points).
- Get three BMO Rewards points for every $1 spent on travel, dining and entertainment purchases.
- Get two points for every $1 spent everywhere else.
- The annual fee has changed from $35 to $0.
- The common carrier insurance that was a feature of the card is now discontinued.
- Get a 3.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for nine months.
- Get 500 Air Miles Bonus Miles when you sign up.
- Get a 1.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for nine months.