A credit card that has no annual fee and yet offers generous cash back for everyday purchases is a rare find on the Canadian credit card landscape. That’s why BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* has always been a coveted piece of plastic among Canadian consumers looking for a no-fee card with easy cash back earnings.

BMO has recently made a few changes to this popular cash back card. There are some adjustments to the earn rates (mostly positive), as well as modifications to the way cardholders can redeem cash back earnings. Here’s a look at the changes and at what stays the same (spoiler alert: BMO’s CashBack MasterCard remains a solid choice for your wallet).

Pros and cons



  • No Annual Fee: A rare find in Canada for a cash back card

  • A generous 3% cash back on groceries (up to $500 monthly)

  • Easily redeem from $1, set up automatic redemptions, or use as a statement credit

  • Additional perks include discounts on rentals, free supplementary cards and show discounts



  • Outside of groceries and recurring payments, the standard earn rate drops to 0.5%

  • Monthly caps on top earn rates for groceries and recurring payments

  • A 2% balance transfer fee applies

  • The interest rate on the remaining balance transfer amount increases after the introductory period

Welcome offer

Get up to 5% cash back in your first three months*, plus a $50 cash back bonus (when you spend $6,000) in your first year.

Cash back structure

Cardholders earn 3% (up to a monthly max of $500) cash back on groceries, 1% (up to $500 per month) on any recurring bill payments and 0.5% (no monthly max) on all other eligible purchases*.

This new cash back structure is now tiered but a lot more appealing—especially if you spend a lot on groceries or make numerous recurring payments.

Redeeming cash back

BMO made it even easier to redeem your cash back rewards. You can get your cash back from BMO MasterCard at any time from as little as $1. You can also set up automatic cash back redemptions into a BMO account (like a chequing, savings or BMO InvestorLine account) every time your cash back amount reaches $25. You can even choose to use your cash back rewards as a statement credit. This card’s varied methods of redemption offer incredible flexibility, especially compared with cash back cards that only let you redeem your points once a year or only once you reach a set minimum reward amount.

Outstanding perk

One feature that continues to make the BMO CashBack® MasterCard® offers stand out from many other no-fee—and even premium—cash back cards, is its incredible balance transfer offer. Cardholders can take advantage of a 0.99% introductory interest rate on balance transfers for their first 9 months*. Note that there is a 2% transfer fee* and the interest rate on the remaining balance transfer amount goes up to a higher rate.

Other notable perks

Many more of the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*’s attractive extras are staying the same. These include:

  • Receive a discount on car rentals.*
  • Free supplementary cards for a spouse or other relative of the primary cardholder.
  • Enjoy 15% off admission to Cirque du Soleil shows in Canada and 20% off shows in Las Vegas.*
  • Additionally, all purchases made with the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* enjoy purchase protection and warranty extension. That means that items you charge to the card get 90 days of insurance against damage and theft, and warranties are extended for up to one additional year on top of what the manufacturer provides.*
  • You also have the option to purchase identity/credit monitoring, identity theft assistance and balance protection.*

Who’s the card for?

This BMO CashBack® MasterCard® is ideal for consumers looking for a cash back card with no annual fee who spend a lot on groceries and recurring payments. Frequent travellers will also appreciate the discount on rental cars. Certainly, there are premium cards with more bells and whistles, but then you pay for those extras with an annual fee.

How the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* compares

Credit Card Name Annual Fee Promotion Regular Cash Back Rate
BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* $0 Get up to 5% cash back in your first 3 months, plus a $50 cash back bonus (when you spend $6,000) in your first year – that’s up to $175 cash back in your first year!* 3% cash back on grocery purchases, 1% cash back on recurring bill payments and 0.5% unlimited cash back on all other purchases*
Tangerine Money Back $0 If you're approved, you’ll earn an extra 10% back on up to $1,000 in everyday purchases made within your first 2 months.* 2% in 2 money-back categories, and 0.5% on all other purchases

The Tangerine’s Money-Back card’s top earn rate is only 2%, there are no category caps and categories are also customizable, so it’s definitely smart doing a comparison of the BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* and the Tangerine Money Back card before deciding what’s best for you.

BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* for students

It’s worth noting that BMO also has a BMO CashBack® MasterCard®* version for students. Like the standard BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*, the student version has no annual fee and a welcome offer of 5% cash back in the first 3 months (max of $125 cash back)*. The earn rates are 3% (monthly max of $500) cash back on groceries, 1% (to $500 per month) on recurring bill payments and 0.5% (no max) on all other eligible purchases*. It also features the same flexible redemption opportunities. The perks are also similar to the standard BMO CashBack® MasterCard®*.

*Terms and conditions apply

Statement based on a comparison of the non-promotional grocery rewards earn rate on Canadian cash back credit cards as of January 4, 2023.

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.

About our author

Sandra MacGregor
Sandra MacGregor, Freelance Contributor

Sandra MacGregor has been writing about finance and travel for nearly a decade. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications like the New York Times, the UK Telegraph, the Washington Post, Forbes.com and the Toronto Star. She spends her free time travelling, and has lived around the globe, including in Paris, South Korea and Cape Town.


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