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American Express Airmiles Basic Credit Card VS. BMO Airmiles Gold Mastercard

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Recently I was asked which Credit Card is better the Free American Express or the BMO Gold Mastercard. Although I have an Air Miles Credit Card Calculator I think this is great question as it can show you the flexibility of some cards! It also shows you why you might choose a yearly fee on your credit card vs no yearly fee. Anyway, here's my thoughts on this situation... .

For a basic air miles credit card the No Fee American Express Credit Card is an ok card. It doesn't provide many bells and whistles but it does allow you to collect at a rate of 1 airmile for every $20 spent and has no yearly fee!

The BMO Gold Mastercard costs $99 per year and allows you to collect at 1 for every $15 spent. It also has quite a few more bells and whistles including Collision Damage Waiver coverage for car rentals, warranty protection and 25% discount on AIR MILES flights worldwide!

The last feature (25% Discount on AIR MILES flights worldwide) is the biggest one to take into consideration. If you ARE planning to take a flight (using your air miles) than the BMO credit card is worth it otherwise you might want to select a different card where you can either collect faster or for free. See all the air miles credit cards here.

Saving 25% on your Air Miles flight
For example, If you are traveling from Vancouver, BC to Toronto, Ontario it'll cost you between 3125 (low season) or 4255 (high season) Air Miles. Now if you save 25% on those flights it'll only cost you 2344 or 3191 Air Miles. That's a savings of 781 or 1063 Air Miles!

To collect that same amount of miles on a free credit card you'll need to spend $15,620 or $21,620 (1063 airmiles * $20/airmile). That's a lot of money! So by spending $99 for your BMO Gold Mastercard your credit card will pay for itself quickly!

The key point is to make the yearly fee worth it you MUST be booking a flight using your air miles. If this isn't the case than another credit card might be better suited for your needs. You should also be careful that you don't just hold onto the card year after year if you aren't planning to book a flight with your air miles.


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