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Published March 22, 2024
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BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard Review 2024: Is It Worth It? 

The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard is a solid choice for globetrotters who earn BMO Rewards points and spend big on travel.

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4.5

NerdWallet Rating

Great for frequent travellers looking for a flexible rewards program and don’t mind paying an annual fee.

Cardholders can earn 5x BMO Rewards points on eligible travel purchases and enjoy complimentary Mastercard Travel Pass membership, rental car discounts and travel insurance.

Learn more about how we evaluate cards.

    The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard is a rewards credit card with an annual fee of $150. Cardholders can redeem BMO Rewards points for travel bookings, merchandise, investment accounts and more.

    BMO Ascend™ World Elite® Mastercard®


    $150

    20.99% / 23.99%

    1x-5x Points

    Up to 90,000 Points
    Card details
    • Welcome offer: Get up to 90,000 points and the annual fee waived in the first year for both the primary cardholder and authorized users.*
    • 5x the points for every $1 spent on eligible travel purchases,* 3x the points for every $1 spent on eligible dining and entertainment purchases and recurring bill payments,* 1 point for every $1 spent everywhere else.*
    • Now get the highest rewards points for travel of any premium flexible travel card in Canada!†
    • Complimentary membership in Mastercard Travel Pass provided by DragonPass,* with four annual complimentary passes.
    • Access over 1 million Wi-Fi hotspots around the world – all at no added cost, and no added fees or roaming charges.*
    • Get valuable benefits and offers for digital everyday services from a variety of on-demand apps and subscription services.
    • Points you can use to cover all flight charges & taxes.*
    • Fly on any airline, with no blackout dates.*
    • Best-in-class travel and medical insurance (unlimited trips per year).*
    • BMO Concierge Service.*
    • Unlock Mastercard Travel Rewards cashback offers when you travel and shop outside of Canada.
    • *Terms and conditions apply.
    • †Statement based on a comparison of the redeemable value of the non-promotional travel rewards points earned on premium flexible Canadian credit cards as of May 3, 2022. “Flexible” is defined as points earned when you purchase travel anywhere and “premium” refers to cards with an annual fee of ≤ $150 or has an income requirement of ≤ $150,000 annual individual income.
    • 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.

    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard full review

    The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard earns between one and five BMO Rewards points per CAD spent, depending on the type of purchase you make. The card comes with an impressive suite of travel insurance and perks, such as $5 million in travel medical coverage and four free airport lounge passes per year.

    Benefits of the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard

    Drawbacks of the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard

    As a travel rewards card, the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard drawbacks include:

    Who should get the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard?

    People who spend big on travel will get the most out of this card’s highest earn rate (5x), free airport lounge membership, travel insurance coverage and rental car discounts.

    Is the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard worth it?

    The BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard may be worth it if you pay for airport lounge access and insurance when travelling — the card’s free DragonPass membership and four free passes, $99 and $140 USD, respectively, plus the complimentary travel insurance, can save you money. 

    BMO customer ratings

    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard eligibility

    Who qualifies for the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard?

    To apply for the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard, you must:

    Approximate credit score needed for approval

    Canadian credit card issuers rarely disclose required credit scores, which makes it hard to know your chances of approval when comparing credit cards. However, higher scores generally mean better chances of approval, and that’s true regardless of the type of credit you’re applying for.

    Want to learn more? Visit our “What Credit Score is Needed for a Credit Card?” page.

    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard rewards

    Earn up to 90,000 BMO Rewards points.

    • Get 45,000 points when you spend $4,500 in the first three months. 
    • Get another 3,750 points when you spend at least $2,500 each billing cycle (from the fourth and fifteenth month of opening the account), up to 45,000 points. 

    Get the first year’s annual fee waived ($150 value).

    Offer expires May 31, 2024, as of this writing.

    • Earn 5x BMO Rewards points on eligible travel purchases.
    • Earn 3x BMO Rewards points on eligible entertainment, dining and recurring bill payments.
    • Earn 1x BMO Rewards points on everything else. 

    According to the BMO website, 150 BMO Rewards points is worth $1 when redeemed for travel-related purchases. One way to cover the $150 annual fee is by earning roughly 23,000 points per year and using them on travel purchases – a value of $153.

    How to apply for the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard

    Follow the below steps to apply for the BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard online:

    1. Click the Apply Now button on the card’s landing page. If you do not have a Canadian address, you will need to book an appointment with the bank and apply in person. 
    2. Agree to the terms and conditions and click Next. 
    3. Enter your personal information, such as name, date of birth and contact details. 
    4. Enter your SIN, if applicable.
    5. Enter employment details and any other financial information requested. 
    6. Review and submit your application. 

    The online application takes roughly seven minutes to complete.

    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard vs BMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard

    If you’re looking for a travel credit card from BMO but aren’t married to the idea of BMO Rewards points, you might consider the BMO AIR MILES World Elite. The cards have similar annual fees, but differ in the rewards they earn. While BMO Rewards points can be redeemed for travel bookings and merchandise, as well as used to fund investment accounts and pay for purchases, AIR MILES can be redeemed for cash rewards, merchandise and travel bookings.

    BMO Ascend World Elite MastercardBMO AIR MILES World Elite Mastercard
    Annual fee$150.$120.
    Minimum annual income$80,000 (individuals) or $150,000 (households).$80,000 (individuals) OR $150,000 (households).
    Rewards
    • 5x BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on travel.
    • 3x BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on entertainment, dining and bill payments.
    • 1x BMO Rewards points per $1 spent on everything else.
    • 3x AIR MILES points per $12 spent at eligible AIR MILES partners.
    • 2x AIR MILES points per $12 spent at eligible grocery stores.
    • 1x AIR MILES points per $12 spent everywhere else.
    Benefits
    • Annual fee is waived if you have BMO Premium Chequing Account.
    • Free Mastercard Travel Pass membership provided by DragonPass, and four free passes per year.
    • 24-hour concierge service.
    • 25% discount at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car.
    • 15% discount at Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada. 20% discount at residency shows in Las Vegas.
    • Free access to Boingo Wi-Fi, with over 1 million hotspots worldwide.
    • BMO Rewards points can be redeemed for cash and placed in a BMO investment account.
    • Annual fee waived if you have a BMO Premium Chequing Account.
    • Free Mastercard Travel Pass Membership provided by DragonPass.
    • 24-hour concierge service.
    • 25% discount at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car.
    • Free access to Boingo Wi-Fi, with over 1 million hotspots worldwide.

    Reasons you might want a different card

    You may want to consider a different card if you:

    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard facts

    BMO Ascend World Elite Mastercard
    Card typeRewards credit card.
    Fees and interest rates
    Annual fee$150 (free for the first year, and rebated permanently if you have a BMO Premium Chequing Account).
    Regular/purchase APR20.99%.
    Penalty APR24.99% (25.99% after May 3, 2024) if you miss two payments within 12 months (27.99% for cash advances and balance transfers).
    Cash advance APR23.99% (21.99% for Quebec residents).
    Cash advance fee1% or $5 per transaction.
    Balance transfer APR23.99%.
    Balance transfer feeUp to 5% of the transaction amount.
    Foreign transaction fee2.5% of the transaction amount.
    Rewards and benefits
    Intro offerUp to 90,000 points and the first year’s annual fee waived. Offer expires May 31, 2024 as of this writing.
    Reward earn rates
    • 5x points on travel.
    • 3x points on entertainment, dining and bill payments.
    • 1x points on everything else.
    Other perks
    • Annual fee is waived if you have BMO Premium Chequing Account.
    • Free Mastercard Travel Pass membership provided by DragonPass, and four free passes per year.
    • 24/7 concierge service.
    • 25% discount at National Car Rental and Alamo Rent a Car.
    • 15% discount at Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada. 20% discount at residency shows in Las Vegas.
    • Free access to Boingo Wi-Fi, with over 1 million hotspots worldwide.
    Insurance coverage
    Travel accidentUp to $500,000.
    Travel medicalUp to $5 million per insured person per trip.
    Flight delayUp to $500 if the flight is delayed more than four hours.
    Lost, damaged or delayed baggageUp to $1,000 for lost or damaged luggage. And up to $500 if luggage is delayed for more than six hours.
    Trip cancellation and interruptionUp to $5,000 if your flight is cancelled and up to $2,000 if your trip is interrupted.
    Rental car theft/damageFor up to 48 days.
    Extended warranty and purchase protectionYes.

    Methodology to choose the best rewards credit cards

    NerdWallet Canada selects the best rewards credit cards based on overall consumer value as well as their suitability for specific kinds of consumers. Factors in our evaluation methodology include each card’s cash-back earning rates, rewards structure (such as flat-rate or bonus categories), annual fee, redemption options, promotional APR period for purchases, bonus offers for new cardholders, and noteworthy features such as insurance, loyalty bonuses or the ability to choose one’s own rewards categories.

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