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BMO Cash Back Credit Card review: A cord-cutter’s dream?

A game changer for people who spend handsomely on streaming services

 /  12 min
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At Bankrate we strive to help you make smarter financial decisions. While we adhere to strict , this post may contain references to products from our partners. Here's an explanation for and how we rate our cards. The content on this page is accurate as of the posting date; however, some of the offers mentioned may have expired. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

Snapshot

3.8

Bankrate rating
Info
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5

Bottom line

The rewards rates on this card make it one of the best for streaming and TV subscriptions. But unless you shell out for cable or satellite TV, you may be able to use the BMO Cash Back Credit Card best as a second rewards card since other cards offer wider-reaching categories.

3.8
Rating: 3.8 stars out of 5
Bankrate score
Info
Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Recommended Credit

$200

Intro offer

Info

1% - 5%

Rewards rate

Info

$0

Annual fee

21.24% - 28.24% Variable

Regular APR

BMO paid for the creation of the content on this page. However, the information is based on our unbiased opinion, and the provider did not have any input into the review.

BMO Cash Back Credit Card Overview

At first glance, the BMO Cash Back Credit Card looks like a solid cash back credit card. It charges no annual fee, features a solid rewards rate on some everyday purchases and comes with a short intro APR offer on balance transfers. The card stands out for its rewards on streaming, however.

Unlike most other cards that offer rewards on streaming, the BMO Cash Back Credit Card also earns bonus rewards on traditional cable and satellite TV services. Plus, your rewards aren’t limited to a specific list of streaming, cable and satellite TV subscriptions. This flexibility, combined with the card’s higher-than-average rewards rate, makes the BMO Cash Back Credit Card easily one of the best credit cards for streaming services.

But streaming bonus categories usually aren’t as lucrative as other everyday spending categories. And though the card carries a decent rewards rate on gas and groceries, it comes with a quarterly spending cap. It also lacks the bonus category variety you can find on other no-annual-fee cash back cards.

While the BMO Cash Back Credit Card could offer a lot of everyday value, especially if you spend heavily on streaming and TV services, other cards with more versatile cash back categories may be more lucrative overall.

  • Credit Card Cash Back

    Rewards

    • 5 percent cash back on eligible streaming, cable TV and satellite services
    • 3 percent cash back on up to $2,500 of eligible gas and grocery purchases each quarter (then 1 percent back)
    • 1 percent cash back on all other purchases

    Expert Appraisal: Good
    See our expert analysis

  • Rewards

    Welcome offer

    • $200 cash bonus after spending $2,000 within your first three months of account opening

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Apr

    0% intro APR offer

    • 0 percent intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within the first 90 days
    • No intro APR offer on purchases
    • 21.24 percent to 28.24 percent ongoing variable APR

    Expert Appraisal: Unimpressive 
    See our expert analysis

  • Credit Card Search

    Rates and fees

    • No annual fee
    • 3 percent foreign transaction fee
    • 4 percent fee (or $10 min, whichever is greater) on qualifying balance transfers
    • Late payment fee up to $39
    • Returned payment fee up to $39

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

  • Congrats

    Other cardholder perks

    • Cellphone protection
    • Master RoadAssist® Roadside Service
    • Extended warranty

    Expert Appraisal: Typical
    See our expert analysis

BMO Cash Back Credit Card pros and cons

Pros

  • Checkmark

    This card offers perhaps the highest, unlimited rewards rate on streaming services, cable and satellite TV year-round for no annual fee.

  • Checkmark

    It can be easier to switch to since this card offers an intro balance transfer APR.

  • Checkmark

    While you do have a quarterly spending cap, you’ll earn 3 percent cash back on two popular everyday expenses: gas and groceries.

  • Checkmark

    Paying your monthly cellphone bill with this card insures your phone for up to $400 if it’s damaged or stolen (up to $600 per covered card per 12-month period minus a $50 deductible).

Cons

  • Rewards on streaming, cable and satellite subscriptions aren't usually very valuable unless you have a hefty cable or satellite TV bill.

  • Several no-annual-fee cash back cards offer a more rewarding roster of bonus categories.

  • Its cellphone protection and perk list is weaker than competitor cards.

  • The welcome offer's spend requirement is well above the typical three-month spend compared to rival cards.

Why you might want the BMO Cash Back Credit Card

The BMO Cash Back Credit Card has a lot to give, especially to streaming and TV aficionados. You’ll get one of the highest reward rates on these purchases with this card, along with some pretty standard (but helpful) cardholder perks.

Rewards: A jackpot for high streaming and cable budgets

This card’s standout feature is its generous rewards rate on streaming, cable TV and satellite purchases. The BMO Cash Back’s offering in this category is hard to beat, and it's noteworthy to get a rewards rate this high for no annual fee. People who dedicate a sizeable chunk of their budget to these purchases will likely get the best bang for their buck with this card.

Rates and fees: Easy to avoid with responsible card use

While the BMO Cash Back doesn’t skip many standard credit card fees, it does make them fairly easy to avoid if you manage your credit responsibly. The late payment and returned payment fees of up to $39 are even a couple dollars cheaper than what you’d find on other cards. You can avoid interest charges by paying your bill in full every month, and the foreign transaction fee shouldn't be an issue if you pair the BMO Cash Back with a no-annual-fee travel card that doesn't charge for foreign transactions.

Other cardholder perks: Typical but helpful additions

There aren’t many standouts in terms of card perks for the BMO Cash Back, but the few perks it does tout can be mighty. The most noteworthy is its cellphone protection coverage. By paying your monthly cellphone bill with your card, you can get reimbursed up to $400 if your phone is damaged or stolen (subject to a $50 deductible). You can file up to two claims per year for up to $600 in total coverage. This may not be the strongest coverage around, but cellphone protection perks are somewhat hard to come by on credit cards so it could still be a worthwhile addition. 

Why you might want a different cash back card

While a terrific card to earn on streaming services, the BMO Cash Back does have some drawbacks. Its welcome offer doesn't match rival cards and you can find stronger intro APR offers elsewhere.

Welcome offer: Higher than average spending requirement

A welcome offer will often be a great incentive for getting a new card, but the welcome offer on the BMO Cash Back falls a bit short. You can earn a $200 cash back bonus after spending $2,000 within your first three months. Although $200 back is typical for a no-annual-fee cash back card welcome offer, most competing cards only require a $500 to $1,000 spend in the same time frame to qualify for a sign-up bonus of this caliber. A $2,000 spend across three months should still be within reach for many cardholders, but it isn’t the most accessible spend requirement.

Intro APR offer: Not competitive among cash back cards

You can receive a 0 percent intro APR for 12 months on balance transfers made within the first 90 days, after which a 21.24 percent to 28.24 percent variable APR applies. While a year of 0 percent interest could be a big help if you need to pay off debt, it’s not the longest intro APR offer out there (some cash back cards come with intro APR periods of 15 or even 18 months). It’s also disappointing that the card doesn’t offer a 0 percent intro APR on purchases, so interest charges will immediately apply if you carry a balance after a new purchase.

The balance transfer fee is also relatively high. You’ll pay a 4 percent fee ($10 minimum) on all transferred balances. While that’s better than the 5 percent fee some cards charge, several competing balance transfer cards only charge a 3 percent balance transfer fee.

How the BMO Cash Back Credit Card compares to other cash back cards

The BMO Cash Back Credit Card is a great choice if its combination of grocery, gas and TV subscription rewards match your spending habits.

However, many people spend far more on groceries, gas and other necessities than on TV services. Although the BMO Cash Back Credit Card may be the best option for home entertainment fans, several other cards may earn more cash back overall.

Image of BMO Cash Back Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on BMO's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 5%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Blue Cash Preferred® Card from American Express
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on American Express's secure site

Annual fee

$0 intro annual fee for the first year, then $95.

Intro offer

Earn $250
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 6%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info
Image of Capital One SavorOne Cash Rewards Credit Card
Bankrate Score
See Rates & Fees , Terms Apply
Apply now Lock
on Capital One's secure site

Annual fee

$0

Intro offer

$200
Info

Rewards rate

1% - 8%
Info

Recommended Credit Score

Good to Excellent (670 – 850)
Info

Best cards to pair with the BMO Cash Back Credit Card

The best cards to pair with the BMO Cash Back are no-annual-fee credit cards that fill in the gaps of the BMO Cash Back while offering a few more well-rounded perks and benefits. 

Who is the BMO Cash Back Credit Card right for?

The BMO Cash Back is definitely a strong choice for anyone whose top monthly spending is on home entertainment as well as those who can avoid the high APR on balances. 

Bankrate’s Take — Is the BMO Cash Back Credit Card worth it?

The BMO Cash Back Credit Card offers one of the best year-round rewards rates on streaming, cable and satellite TV subscriptions and a solid rate on both groceries and gas, so it could be a good fit if you want a simple no-annual-fee rewards card.

Depending on your spending habits, though, a card that offers rewards on a wider variety of purchases in addition to groceries — like dining or travel — may be more lucrative.

How we rated this card

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150+
cards rated
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50+
rewards programs valued
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1800
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Credit Card Reviews
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perks evaluated

We rate credit cards using a proprietary card scoring system that ranks each card’s estimated average rewards rate, estimated annual earnings, welcome bonus value, APR, fees, perks and more against those of other cards in its primary category.

Each card feature is assigned a weighting based on how important it is to people looking for a card in a given category. These features are then scored based on how they rank relative to the features on other cards in the category. Based on these calculations, each card receives an overall rating of 1-5 stars (with 5 being the highest possible score and 1 being the lowest). 

We analyzed over 150 of the most popular rewards and cash back cards to determine where each stacked up based on their value, cost, benefits and more. Here are some of the key factors that influenced this card’s overall score and how the score influenced our review:

Frequently asked questions

Written by
Ashley Parks
Former Editor, Credit cards

As a Bankrate credit cards editor, Ashley Parks is fascinated by the ways people can make credit cards work for them when armed with the right knowledge.

Edited by Editor II, Credit Cards

* See the online application for details about terms and conditions for these offers. Every reasonable effort has been made to maintain accurate information. However all credit card information is presented without warranty. After you click on the offer you desire you will be directed to the credit card issuer's web site where you can review the terms and conditions for your selected offer.

Editorial Disclosure: Opinions expressed here are the author's alone, and have not been reviewed or approved by any advertiser. The information, including card rates and fees, is accurate as of the publish date. All products or services are presented without warranty. Check the bank’s website for the most current information.