BMO Credit Card FAQs
How do I access my BMO Mastercard account via online banking?
1. Sign in to BMO Online Banking using your BMO debit or credit card number (or follow the simple steps to register your card).
2. Select your Mastercard account.
How do I activate my new card?
Once you receive it in the mail, please visit bmo.com/activate and enter your card number.
How do I change the credit card limit on my card?
If you are the primary cardholder, you may request an increase or decrease to the credit limit on your BMO Mastercard, follow these steps:
1. Sign in to BMO Online Banking.
2. Select your Mastercard account.
3. Follow the prompts from the top toolbar option "Credit Limit Change"
Can I pay bills automatically with my card?
You can pay bills automatically with your BMO Mastercard. It's safe, secure and a great way to earn rewards on payments you're making anyway. Visit bmo.com/mastercard-pay-my-bills.
How do I add another cardholder to my account?
To add an additional cardholder to a BMO Credit Card account, the primary cardholder may sign into BMO Online Banking and submit a request to add an authorized user with the secure form provided.
To add an additional cardholder to your BMO Prepaid Travel Mastercard account, please visit your nearest BMO branch to complete the request.
Can I change my PIN? How do I do that?
You can change your credit card PIN at any BMO Bank of Montreal® ATM. We recommend that you choose a PIN that cannot be easily guessed by others. You should change your PIN periodically for extra security.
Where can I get a cash advance?
Get cash advances at any BMO Bank of Montreal branch or at more than 1 million Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) worldwide24
What are my options for a lower interest rate?
The BMO Preferred Rate Mastercard gives you our biggest savings with a low annual fee and a lower interest rate than other BMO credit cards at 12.99%.
Is there coverage available to protect my card balance?
Protect yourself and your family in case of unexpected events by protecting the balance on your BMO Mastercard (up to $15,000*) with BMO Credit Card Balance Protection**. This coverage also helps maintain your credit rating. Costs $0.94 per $100 (plus applicable taxes) of your total average daily balance.
*Benefits reduce at the age of 70.
**Not available with BMO U.S. Dollar Mastercard
Can I make credit card purchases using my mobile device?
Yes, you can make purchases with your phone with one easy tap. Simply add your BMO credit or debit card to Apple Pay or Android Pay, depending on what mobile device you have.
What is a dispute?
A dispute occurs when a customer has done business with a merchant or transacted at an ATM but questions the validity, value or lack of service of a specific transaction on their account. Learn more.
What is a chargeback?
A "Chargeback" is a reimbursement to you for the amount of a credit card charge pending the outcome of your dispute case. Learn more.
What is classified as potential fraud?
An unauthorized charge on your credit card where you have not provided your credit card number or PIN (when applicable) by telephone, online or in person is considered a potential fraudulent transaction. Learn more.
What is a pre-authorized payment?
A pre-authorized payment is a recurring or automatic payment that takes the guess work out of figuring out when your bill payments are due and the amount owing. When you authorize a biller through PowerSwitch® to setup pre-authorized payments, the biller will deduct the amount owing on a recurring basis from your BMO Mastercard or chequing account. You avoid late fees or penalties for missed payments, and keep your account in good standing.
What is PowerSwitch and why should I use it to manage my pre-authorized payments?
BMO® PowerSwitch is a free service provided by Davis & Henderson (D+H) that helps customers transfer their Pre-Authorized Payments from a different financial institution as well as set up new Pre-Authorized Payments from their new BMO chequing account and credit card. D+H notifies your Pre-Authorized Billers of the switch so you don’t have to.
Plus, when you add automatic payments to your BMO CashBack or AirMiles Mastercard, you can also collect additional rewards just for paying your bills.
Please note some billers, including financial institutions, do not accept the use of PowerSwitch service for transfers, including pay cheques. D+H will notify you if this happens. Financial institutions that do accept PowerSwitch may request confirmation of the transfer from you.
What happens to my recurring payments if my BMO Mastercard is lost, stolen or updated?
Once you have received and activated your replacement BMO Mastercard, use PowerSwitch to quickly update your existing pre-authorized payments. We’ll notify your billers.
How do I set up PowerSwitch for my recurring payments?
To set up PowerSwitch, sign on to BMO Online Banking with your credit or debit card and:
PowerSwitch is also available through your BMO branch or you can call a BMO Customer Contact Associate at 1-800-263-2263.
Can I change automatic payments from a BMO bank account to a BMO credit card and vice versa?
Of course you can. Use PowerSwitch to change a pre-authorized payment to a BMO Mastercard from your BMO bank account. You can also transfer a pre-authorized payment to a BMO bank account from a BMO Mastercard if you have an existing pre-authorized debit agreement with the biller.
How much does it cost to use PowerSwitch?
PowerSwitch is free! There are no additional fees to use PowerSwitch to setup, transfer or update your pre-authorized payments.
What information do I need to provide to set up PowerSwitch?
Provide PowerSwitch with your name, address, debit or credit card number and expiry date, and biller account numbers and we’ll contact the biller to update their records.
How long does the PowerSwitch process take?
It only takes a few minutes for you to set up PowerSwitch. All your billers will be notified the next business day. Depending on the billing cycle, it may take several days for the new or updated pre-authorized payment to take effect.
What happens if a biller won’t accept PowerSwitch?
If a biller can’t complete the PowerSwitch process, they’ll contact D+H and let them know what the issue is (e.g. wrong biller account number or closed account). D+H will contact you to let you know the concern.
What if I want to cancel a pre-authorized payment?
To cancel any existing pre-authorized payments you will have to contact your billers directly.
Reward points and benefits
AIR MILES FAQs
How can I qualify for the AIR MILES®† debit program?
You can earn Reward Miles on your lead account* when you have the AIR MILES bank plan
I use two different accounts for my debit purchases. Will the debit purchases on both accounts be combined to calculate my Reward Miles?
Only debit purchases made from your lead account* in the AIR MILES bank plan are eligible. AIR MILES plan customers earn at a rate of 1 AIR MILES Reward mile for every $30 Spent
If you are unsure which account is the lead account, review your BMO bank statement, visit your local branch or call 1-800-363-9992.
Why am I only going to earn one Reward Mile for every $30 spent on my debit card with the AIR MILES Plan when I earn one Reward Mile for each $15 purchase on my BMO AIR MILES World Mastercard?
Earning Reward Miles on your debit purchases is not meant to replace purchases you would have normally used your BMO AIR MILES World Mastercard for. In order to maximize the Reward Miles you can earn, we encourage you to continue using your Mastercard. For situations where you would not normally use your Mastercard or for purchases at merchants that do not accept credit cards, your debit card is available for you to use as an alternative so that you can get rewards for all purchases at no additional cost to you.
Do ATM withdrawals qualify for the 1/$30?
No, only debit purchases qualify.
Do I qualify for this program with my Discontinued banking Plan?
Discontinued Plans do not qualify to earn AIR MILES Reward Miles for debit purchases.
How can I find out how many AIR MILES Reward Miles I earn through BMO?
Your Everyday Banking statement(s) will include an AIR MILES Summary for AIR MILES collectors. The AIR MILES Summary will display the amount of Reward Miles earned on debit purchases for the stated time period. The AIR MILES Summary will not include AIR MILES Reward Miles earned from bonus or promotional offers.
Your BMO AIR MILES Mastercard monthly statement will also display the number of AIR MILES Reward Miles earned in the same statement period.
All rewards, including promotional offers, can be viewed on your AIR MILES Collector Summary statement and/or through airmiles.ca.
If you have questions about the Reward Miles you have earned from BMO you can also visit your local branch or call 1-800-363-9992.
Will I earn Reward Miles on debit card purchases from any merchant?
Yes. All the purchases you make using your debit card will contribute to your overall monthly spend, regardless of where you use it. It is not limited to purchases made at other AIR MILES Sponsors. Refer to question #1 above to see how you can qualify.
How do debit returns at a merchant impact my monthly Reward Miles?
Your monthly Reward Miles are based on your total debit purchases less your total debit returns for the month. Refer to question #1 above to see how you can qualify.
If I make a debit purchase at a merchant who is an AIR MILES Sponsor, will I receive Reward Miles on both my debit purchase through my Everyday Banking account and from the Sponsor?
Yes, if you present your AIR MILES Collector Card to the merchant at the time of purchase, you will qualify to earn Reward Miles from the Sponsor and your debit purchase will be part of your monthly total BMO debit spend that will qualify to earn rewards. Refer to question #1 above to see how you can qualify.
How does the AIR MILES Reward Program compare to some of the offers from other banks?
The Reward Miles you earn from BMO are ongoing and the program applies to existing and new customers. You will continue to earn Reward Miles on a monthly basis and depending on the amount of purchases you make and other products you have, you can quickly surpass the value of the competitor offers. The other banks' reward offers are typically a one-time only offer for new customers, and there is no ongoing benefit to you. Depending on the program, there may also be set up requirements and conditions like pre-authorized debits or pre-authorized credits. In addition, with AIR MILES Reward Miles you have the benefit of redeeming your Reward Miles for more than 800 items, giving you the opportunity to redeem for something you really value.
What can I redeem AIR MILES Reward Miles for?
There are over 800 products and services you can redeem your Reward Miles for. They range from travel to gift cards, to merchandise, leisure and entertainment items. For full details of all the reward options, AIR MILES Collectors can visit airmiles.ca or call 1-888-AIR-MILES.
- Digital cameras
- Nintendo DS1
1. Merchandise Rewards include all taxes, shipping and handling costs. All Rewards offered are subject to the Terms and Conditions of the
2. iPod is a registered trademark of Apple Inc. Apple is not a sponsor of, nor a partner in, this promotion.
BMO Rewards FAQs
How can I earn BMO Rewards points?
With the BMO® World Elite Mastercard®*, you can earn:
- three (3) points for every $1.00 spent on eligible travel, dining and entertainment purchases up to a maximum of $50,000 annually in these categories*
- two (2) points for every $1.00 spent everywhere else*
With the BMO® Rewards™ Mastercard®*, you can earn:
- one (1) point for every $1.00 spent on the card*
* You will earn points on net purchases only. See the BMO Rewards Agreement for more details.
Where can I find my BMO Rewards points balance?
To see your points balance log in to www.bmorewards.com and view your online points statement.
Who can redeem points on a BMO Rewards number?
The primary collector number is the individual who first signs up for a BMO® World Elite Mastercard®** or BMO® Rewards™ Mastercard®**. The primary collector is the only person who is automatically authorized to redeem BMO Rewards points. To add another individual, the primary collector can fill out the Primary Cardholder Authorization Form, available on www.bmorewards.com under the My Profile tab. This form must be completed and signed and is to be returned to the BMO Rewards Centre by fax at 416 207-5267 or 1 866 991-8411 or by PDF via e-mail at email@example.com. Requests will be processed within 2 business days.
Where do I make my travel reservations and redeem points?
BMO Rewards points can be redeemed two ways, online or through our expert travel professionals. Use our online search tool under the Travel section to help you find your special retreat. Or you can call 1-866-991-2835 to reach our BMO Rewards Centre travel professionals who will help you book your next vacation, flight, car rental, cruise, hotel and more.
What can I book through the BMO Rewards Centre?
We can handle all your travel needs, from flights to hotels, cruises, car rentals to vacation packages and more. You can search and book online 24/7 or you can call the BMO Rewards Centre at 1-866-991-2835 during regular business hours to speak to a travel professional.
What if I don't have enough BMO Rewards points for the full cost of my trip?
We want you to get where you want to be. To make it easier, you can use some, all, or none of your points to pay for your travel plans. Just charge the difference (no minimum amount of points required), or the entire trip, to your BMO Rewards credit card.
I am unable to book my flight/hotel/vacation package online. How do I complete a booking?
If you are unable to book your flight/hotel/vacation package online for any reason please call 1-866-991-2835 and a BMO Rewards agent will be able to assist with your booking. Where online travel requests may not be completed, the agent booking fee of $29.95 plus applicable taxes will apply.
Are there booking fees and/or cancellation fees?
You can use your points to cover the booking fees. There is no online booking fee. A fee of $29.95, plus applicable taxes, will be charged per phone booking. A $25 change/cancellation fee applies for each change or cancellation to your travel arrangements. Supplier change/cancellations fees can also apply and will be displayed at time of booking based on your specific travel reservation. Booking fees, change/cancellations fees are non-refundable.
How do redemptions for Merchandise and Gift Cards work?
To see your points balance log in to www.bmorewards.com and view your online points statement.
- Log in and redeem online. Check out the online catalogue and see what you can redeem your points for. From electronic gadgets, glittering jewellery, sporting gear to kitchen accessories it's all available in our online catalogue. You can also call us at 1 866 991-2835 to redeem your points or to get answers to your reward queries.
- When you've finished and found what you want to redeem your points for, click on the "check out" button and finish your order. Confirm your order before you check out. Make sure that the shipping address is correct and that you've chosen the right size, colour, destination or amount – we want you to be totally satisfied.
- Your order is important, to you and to us. We know that you want your order as soon as possible, and you can track your order status within your Online Statement when you log in. Just give us 48 hours to get your order processed, and you can check as often you want.
- Your order will be delivered as fast as possible, but you should allow 3 to 6 weeks time to receive it. If you order several items, we may ship them separately. And of course when ordering for holidays or special occasions, remember to order early, just in case. While we are as accurate as possible, we cannot be responsible for delays or other situations beyond our control.
- When your order arrives, please inspect it right away and if there is any damage, DO NOT sign for it. Tell the delivery person you are refusing the shipment. Make sure that the waybill corresponds to the number of packages if you have ordered multiple items. Should you find that you have signed for damaged goods or are missing parts for your ordered merchandise, call us at 1 866 991-2835 right away to arrange for a return. You have 30 days from signing to return an item unused in its original packaging to receive a points credit. You will be charged for the return shipping cost for discretionary returns. Should the merchandise item be damaged, defective or needing parts, call us at 1 866 991-2835 for a return authorization or missing part request.
- On occasion our suppliers and manufacturers change pricing, models, colours and many other things. If this happens to an item you have ordered, we may have to substitute an item. We will do our best to fill your order but we reserve the right to change point amounts, shipping times and descriptions. If we do have to substitute items, we will let you know as soon as we can. If we cannot find a suitable substitute, we will inform you. Bear in mind that suppliers and manufacturers do not always inform us of changes until after your order is placed.
- If you see something that you would like to redeem your BMO Rewards points for but you don't have enough, you can still redeem**. You can top up your points, up to a maximum of 20%. So, if that new handbag or golf club is 5,000 points, you only need to have 4,000 – you can purchase the last 1,000 points with your BMO Rewards credit card. Returning items ordered this way doesn't change. Points are returned to your account and your BMO Rewards credit card will be refunded. Start browsing and see what appeals to your desires.
* Points are earned on net purchases only. See the BMO Rewards Agreement for more details.
** Gift cards are not eligible for points top up. Points top-up can only be purchased with your BMO Rewards credit card. Points top-up only applies to merchandise redemptions.
Is there a redemption fee for merchandise redemptions made through the BMO Rewards Centre?
On-line redemptions for merchandise rewards (including gift cards), financial rewards or charity donations are free of charge. A charge of $10.00 plus applicable taxes will be applied to phone orders for merchandise rewards (including gift cards) and financial rewards.
What is BMO Perks™?
BMO Perks is a new program BMO is introducing that presents you money-saving opportunities. BMO will send you emails containing bonus reward offers or cash rebate discounts that are relevant to you based on your shopping history. This program is free for eligible BMO Mastercard customers; all you have to do is make a purchase with your BMO Mastercard that meets the criteria in your BMO Perks offer.
How do I join BMO Perks?
If you have consented to receive emails about promotions, announcements, events and offers from BMO, have a personal BMO Mastercard card, and previously provided us with your email address, you automatically qualify to receive BMO Perks offers. If you're not sure of the email address we have on file for you, you can call our Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-263-2263 (BMO World Elite Cardholders can call 1-866-991-4769). To check on your consent to market you may contact us through the numbers provided or visit the Subscription Centre. You can easily opt in or out of the program at any time by going to the Subscription Centre.
How does BMO Perks work?
When you receive an email from firstname.lastname@example.org with your offers, you simply use your BMO Mastercard to make the required purchase at the merchant in your offer. There's no need to print and/or present any email or coupons. The redemption credits will appear on your next BMO Mastercard statement and AIR MILES Reward Miles will appear within 30 days of the qualifying transaction.
Is my personal information protected?
With BMO Perks, your personal and financial information always remain secure. For more information on how we protect your information please visit Our Privacy Code. The emails you receive from email@example.com will never ask you to provide personal or account information. For more information and tips on how to protect yourself online, read Protecting Yourself.
When do I get my BMO Perks rewards?
Your AIR MILES Reward Miles and/or cash rebate discount will be posted to your account within 30 days of the qualifying transaction.
How are rewards selected for me?
BMO Perks offers are selected for you based on your BMO Mastercard spending history. To make your rewards as relevant as possible the BMO Perks program uses anonymized transaction data that is associated with your BMO Mastercard to determine the best offers for you.
Which merchants/retailers are participating in this program?
There are a wide variety of national, regional, and local retailers across a variety of categories participating in the program.
How can I get AIR MILES offers?
If the BMO Mastercard connected to your email address is part of the AIR MILES program then you will receive AIR MILES offers when AIR MILES merchants match up with your purchasing habits.
How long will an offer be available for?
Each individual offer will have an expiry date included in the offer details.
What happens when I return the goods or services that qualified for the redemption?
Participating retailers have a variety of return policies that should be consulted before returning any item.
Are BMO Perks transferrable?
BMO Perks are not transferrable and can only be redeemed on the BMO Mastercard linked to the email address that received the offer.
Can I opt-out from the BMO Perks program?
You may unsubscribe from BMO Perks at any time using the unsubscribe link included in the offer email or by visiting the Subscription Centre and clicking on the BMO Perks email type. You can also call the Customer Contact Centre at 1-800-263-2263 (BMO World Elite Cardholders can call 1-866-991-4769).
Can BMO resend the BMO Perks offers by email to me again?
If I have multiple BMO Mastercards with the same email address how will I know which card to use?
If you make the required purchase on any of the BMO Mastercards linked to your email address it will qualify you to receive the redemption credit or AIR MILES Reward Miles.
How do I enroll in the CashBack program?
There’s no need to enrol. Once you have received and activated your card you will begin to earn CashBack.
How do I register for the CashBack redemption website?
To begin, go to www.bmocashback.com. To register you will need your BMO® Mastercard®* card number, date of birth and postal code.
Please note: The CashBack redemption website is only available to the primary BMO® Mastercard®* cardholder.
Why am I being asked for my email?
Your email is required in order to send you important information such as CashBack redemption confirmation emails, and password reset emails.
What if I already have an email on file with BMO?
Emails change from time to time and we would like to ensure we are communicating with you at your preferred email address.
I provided my preferred email address when I registered. Recently you sent an email to both of my addresses. Why did this happen?
If the email on file with BMO does not match the email provided to register on the CashBack redemption site, we will send emails to both accounts in order to ensure that the actions taken were indeed requested by you, the primary cardholder.
How do I ensure that I receive any promotions, bonus offers or other marketing material?
Simply opt-in to receive marketing material from BMO by clicking the box found beneath your email. This can be completed upon initial registration or any time after.
Where can I find my CashBack balance?
There are two quick and easy ways to track your CashBack balance:
- 1. Log in to the www.bmocashback.com site
- 2. Check your CashBack balance on your monthly BMO® Mastercard®* statement.
To keep you informed of your CashBack activity, your Online Statement will include a record of your balance up to the billing date. Any CashBack earned after the billing date will be included in your next month’s statement.
How can I earn CashBack?
With your BMO CashBack Mastercard, you will earn CashBack on all your purchases*. The CashBack earn rate depends on the BMO CashBack Mastercard you were approved for.
* You will earn CashBack on net purchases only. See the CashBack Terms & Conditions for more details.
Who can redeem the CashBack earned?
The primary cardholder is the individual who first signs up for a BMO® Mastercard®*. The primary collector is the only person who is authorized to redeem accumulated CashBack.
Can the primary cardholder direct their CashBack earned to someone else’s account at BMO?
No, the CashBack earned must be directed to an account in the primary cardholder’s name.
Where can I redeem my CashBack?
Your choice of CashBack redemption options include:
- Direct deposit into a:
- BMO savings accounts
- BMO chequing accounts
- BMO InvestorLine accounts
- credited to your BMO Mastercard statement
Note: CashBack can only be directed to the aforementioned BMO accounts. Depositing into other institutions is not available.
When can I redeem my CashBack?
Choose your CashBack redemption frequency:
- When a recurring amount has accumulated (min. $50 & increments of $10)
- One-time lump sum (min. $50 & increments of $10)
Are there any eligibility or threshold requirements?
Redemption program eligibility:
- A minimum of $50 Cashback must be accumulated in order to receive a payout prior to the end of year. The minimum does not impact the end of year payout.
- Direct deposits must be to an existing BMO account in the name of the primary cardholder.
What if I do not have a BMO Chequing/ Savings/Investorline account?
You will need to open at least one of these account types in order to be able to deposit your CashBack.
This can be done by visiting a BMO branch, booking an appointment on bmo.com, or by completing an online application at bmo.com.
Does this mean I can only get my CashBack on my statement in January?
No, you can still conduct a one-time payout to your statement if you have met the minimum $50 threshold or if you have met the self-selected dollar amount threshold throughout the year.
Where can I find information on the Terms and Conditions for CashBack?
Most information can be found in the BMO CashBack Terms and Conditions you received with your card. Select the Terms and Conditions link at bmocashback.com.
Is my credit card number safe?
Yes, our customer’s information is safeguarded and governed by both our privacy practices. For more information on privacy, please view the link found on bmo.com or bmocashback.com.
Where can I find my BMO Chequing, Savings and/or InvestorLine account information?
If you are registered for Online Banking, you will find the information by clicking on the account you would like to deposit into, and then clicking on the Account Details tab. Here you will find the 7-digit account number (Chequing, Savings or InvestorLine), as well as the 5-digit transit number required. Enter this information on the BMO CashBack redemption site to begin redeeming.
Do all BMO CashBack card programs have access to the redemption site?
The exclusions are U.S. Dollar CashBack Mastercard and Small Business CashBack Mastercard cards.
What is the difference between Marketing Materials and Special Offers?
Marketing materials include details on product improvements, enhancements and changes. Special offers are limited-time campaigns.
Do I need to re-register or make any updates to My Profile on the CashBack Redemption site if my card is lost, stolen or renewed?
No action is required on your part. You can continue to log in with the Username and Password you have set up.
I currently reside in the US; will entering my Zip Code in the Postal Code field to register allow me to proceed?
Yes, as long as your Primary address on our system is your address in the United States.
Will the bmocashback.com website work on any browser?
When using the website, we recommend using the following browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Internet Explorer 10 or later (for Windows 7 or later), Microsoft Edge for Windows 10, and Safari.
When will my redemptions appear on my account?
This will depend on the option you have selected:
- one-time redemption
- BMO Chequing, Savings or InvestorLine account: 5 business days
- BMO Mastercard statement: 3 business days
- recurring redemption: on your statement date after the threshold is met
- annual payout: on your statement date each December (will appear on the January statement)
If I have set up a recurring redemption, can I make changes to my request?
No, you cannot change an existing scheduled recurring redemption. You will need to cancel it and set up a new one.
Can I make a one-time redemption if a recurring redemption is scheduled?
Yes, you can complete a one-time redemption even if a recurring redemption is scheduled. If the one-time request reduces your CashBack reward total and your reward balance will not cover your scheduled recurring redemption, the recurring redemption will be processed when your reward balance is sufficient to cover it.
Where will my year-end payout be made?
The default will always be a credit on your BMO Mastercard statement. If you have selected a recurring redemption, your CashBack rewards will be paid out as you requested: Direct Deposit into your Chequing, Savings or InvestorLine account, InvestorLine or credit on your BMO Mastercard statement.
Will I be timed-out of my session if I step away from my computer or device?
Yes, the timeout will occur after 15 minutes.
What are the benefits of BMO Credit Card Alerts?
BMO Credit Card Alerts makes it easy to keep track of your credit card account activity and to monitor your account for suspicious transactions.
How are BMO Credit Card Alerts delivered?
BMO Credit Card Alerts are delivered to you through email or text message.
What credit card alerts are available?
Receive an alert, based on your preference, 1 to 10 days before your minimum payment is due if you have a balance owing, or if you have not made your minimum payment yet.
Receive an alert when a payment is posted on your account.
Approaching Credit Limit
Set an amount below your credit limit and receive an alert any time your available credit approaches this threshold.
Receive an alert when a transaction is made for a specific threshold amount. (e.g. I want to receive an alert anytime a purchase over $75 is made on my BMO credit card)
Get notified of any suspicious activity on your Credit Card account, and either verify the transaction or immediately report it as fraudulent.
How do I enroll or modify my credit card Alerts?
It’s easy. Simply sign into BMO Online Banking using your BMO debit card or credit card. Click the “My Alerts” link under the “My Profile & eDocuments tab”.
- In “My Alerts” select “Alert Preferences” to choose your alert delivery method (i.e. email, text or both).
- On the same screen you may also configure your alert settings such as a “do not disturb” window, language or to temporarily suspend your alerts. Once completed you can return to the “My Alerts” page and select the alerts you wish to enable.
- In “My Alerts”, select the alerts, threshold and delivery method for the alerts you wish to receive.
Once you have set-up your preferences you can change them at any time.
How much does BMO Credit Card Alerts cost?
BMO credit card alerts is a complimentary service for our valued customers. Refer to your wireless service plan to determine if any charges from your mobile carrier apply when receiving text messages.
What happens if I change my email address or mobile phone number?
Sign into BMO Online Banking using your BMO credit card. Click the “My Alerts” link under the “My Profile & eDocuments tab” and simply update your new contact details.
Are my alert messages secure?
Yes. BMO will never send your entire account number, password or any other personal identification information in an alert message. And we will never ask you to send or provide us with personal information such as your address, account number or password by text message, email or prerecorded/artificial voice call. If you receive an alert asking for personal information that appears to be from BMO, please do not respond and instead contact us immediately.
Once I make changes to my alert preferences, how quickly will those changes take effect?
Alert type changes will take effect immediately. If you make changes to your mobile phone number, you’ll need to reply “YES” to the verification text message BMO sends shortly after the update.
I enrolled in Alerts. Why am I not receiving them?
First, be sure to confirm your alert preferences in Online Banking. If you’re still not getting your alerts, try doing the following:
- Confirm that all your contact method information is accurate. If you’re selected email, make sure the alerts aren’t going to your junk mail folder.
- Ensure that your alerts have not been “turned off” or “suspended” in your Manage Preferences page.
- If the contact method is SMS/ text, ensure your mobile device is capable of receiving text messages and the settings on your device are set appropriately.
If you’re still having trouble receiving alerts, you can always contact us and we’ll be happy to help.
What is the difference between pending and posted transactions?
Pending transactions are transactions made on your credit card that have been authorized but not yet been posted to your account. The value of these transactions is adjusted against your available credit but will not be reflected in your current balance until these transactions are posted to your account.
Posted transactions are completed transactions that appear on your account and are reflected in your current balance.
How do pending transactions affect my available credit and current balance?
The value of a pending transaction is adjusted against your available credit but will not be reflected in your current balance until the transaction is posted to your account.
Why does the amount displayed in my pending transactions differ from what I actually paid?
Transaction amounts displayed for pending transactions may differ from actual purchase amounts. This is common with merchants such as hotels, gas stations or car rental companies who charge a pre-authorized amount (hold) against your credit until the actual amount is known. The final purchase amount will display when the transaction is posted to your account, usually within 3-5 business days.
How long does it take for a pending transaction to post to my account?
It may take up to five business days for a pending transaction to post to your account. Once posted, the transaction will be removed from pending and will appear in your transaction history under posted transactions.
Why is the same transaction showing as pending and posted?
Sometimes a transaction may appear as both pending and posted transaction while it is being processed. It does not necessarily mean that you will be charged twice. It can take up to 5 business days for a transaction to disappear from pending transaction history. You will only be charged for the amount of the posted transaction.
Will all pending transactions post to my account?
A pending transaction may never post to your account if the transaction is cancelled or if the merchant does not complete the transaction or process it in time.
Can pending transactions be disputed?
Pending transactions cannot be disputed until they are posted as these transactions might change or get cancelled while being processed.
You can dispute a transaction once it appears in your Transaction History or on your statement as a posted transaction.
What should I do if I see a transaction that I don’t recognize?
You have the right to dispute any credit card transaction that you feel was charged to your account fraudulently or in error. If there is a transaction posted to your account that you don't recognize or want to dispute, sign in to BMO Online Banking and make an online disputed transaction request or call 1-866-991-4769 within 30 days of the statement date and we will investigate on your behalf.
If the transaction is pending, you need to wait for it to be posted in your Transaction History as a posted transaction before submitting a disputed transaction request.
Will all of my BMO Mastercard transactions appear as pending transactions before posting?
Some transactions may only appear as posted transactions. For example, transactions such as interest fees are posted directly to your account.
Why can’t I see pending transactions on my BMO Small Business Mastercard?
This capability is currently not available on our Small Business Mastercard.
If I make a purchase in foreign currency on my Canadian Mastercard, which currency will the pending amount be in?
Purchases made in a currency other than Canadian Dollars will appear in Canadian dollars as a pending transaction. The Canadian amount, including the exchange rate, will appear when the transaction is posted.
Will pending transactions be included when I download my account details?
No, only posted transactions will be shown.
Credit Card Resource & Advice
ABCs of Credit Score
Understand your credit score and credit report.Credit score vs. credit report
A credit score is a numeric representation of your creditworthiness, while a credit report details your credit history. Think of your credit score as being a snapshot of how financially responsible you are when it comes to paying back your debt and paying bills on time.
- In Canada, credit scores range from 300 to 900 points (with 900 being top marks).
- One of the most popular types of credit scores is the FICO credit score, though other brands such as Beacon and Empirica can produce credit scores, as well.
- If you have a low credit score or no credit score, it may be difficult to get approved for a credit card, loan or mortgage.
What is a good credit score?
Credit scores are typically broken down in the following way:
- Poor (300 – 559)
- Fair (560 – 659)
- Good (660 – 724)
- Very good (725 – 759)
- Excellent (760+)
If you’re wondering what makes a good credit score, a solid benchmark is 700 or above. The higher your credit score, the better. In other words, the higher your credit score, the more likely you’ll be approved for lending products such as credit cards, a mortgage, etc.
How do I check my credit score and credit report?
In Canada, there are two credit bureaus: Equifax®* and TransUnion®†. These credit bureaus can administer a free credit report, which is a comprehensive report that illustrates how much you owe and when you opened accounts, as well as your personal information such as name, date of birth and social insurance number. If you’d like to know how to check your credit score, you can get it from the same credit bureaus as your credit report.
Why should I check my credit score?
Before you apply for a credit card, mortgage or any other type of loan, you’ll want to check your credit report to make sure everything is correct.
Checking your own credit score and credit report does not affect your credit. That’s a myth. Checking your own credit report is considered a "soft hit". However, a "hard hit" does affect your credit – these credit checks could be from credit card applications, rental applications, and more.
How is my credit score calculated?
The main factors that contribute to your credit score calculation include:
- Payment history: Do you pay your bills on time? Your credit score will be affected if you have late or missed payments, if you have accounts with a collection agency, or if you have declared bankruptcy.
- Credit utilization: How much of your available credit limit have you used? The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada recommends using less than 35 per cent of your available credit.
- Length of your credit history: How long you’ve had your accounts can affect your credit score.
- Number of inquiries: If you apply for credit too frequently, it can set off alarm bells for lenders.
- Types of credit: It can help to have different types of credit, such as a credit card and a loan.
Who can check my credit score and credit report?
You may be surprised by how often your credit is checked and used by others to determine if you are creditworthy.
According to the The Financial Consumer Agency of Canada, lenders, landlords and employers can use your credit report with your consent. In some cases, your credit report may be used if you are applying for insurance, or even a job.
How do I establish credit history?
Establishing your credit history can be tricky. You need to get approved for a loan or credit card to establish credit – but how can you get approved if your credit score is low or non-existent?
You could apply for a student credit card or a secured credit. Credit cards typically have limits, but with a secured card, the limit is set by how much money you put down as a deposit. Speak to a BMO advisor to find out which credit card is right for you.
The key for secured and unsecured credit cards (or any other type of loan or financial payment) is to pay on time. Paying on time, 100 per cent of the time, illustrates that you are financially responsible and can pay back what you borrowed.
How do I improve my credit score?
Curious about how to improve your credit score? Consider the following:
- Pay your bills on time: Consider setting up automatic payments to ensure you never miss a due date.
- Use credit responsibly: Keep your balance fairly low, relative to your credit limit. Avoid maxing out your credit cards every month.
- Don’t cancel all of your credit cards: Cancelling a credit card could affect the length of your credit history, which could potentially hurt your credit score.
- Check up on your credit: Keep tabs on your credit report and credit score, and be sure to follow-up with the credit bureaus if there are any errors.
What BMO credit cards can I apply for?
BMO offers a variety of cards. Now that you have information about credit scores, you can browse BMO Mastercards here.
Find out how your credit limit is determined
Your credit limit is the maximum amount you can charge to your credit card. For example, imagine you have a credit card limit of $6,000. You shouldn’t hold more than $6,000 in purchases (i.e. your balance) at any given time.
Tip: To help improve your credit score, the Financial Consumer Agency of Canada recommends using less than 35 per cent of your credit limit. So if you have a credit limit of $6,000, you may want to keep your balance under $2,000 at any given time.
How is my credit limit determined for my credit card?
Your credit limit is generally based on three things: your income, your existing debt, and your credit history.
If you have a good credit history, you’re more likely to receive a higher credit limit. That’s why it’s important to pay down debt, pay your bills on time, and always keep your balance under the approved limit.Can I go over my credit card limit?
You may make purchases and cash advances up to your credit card's pre-set credit limit.
If you go over your limit, a penalty may apply. It’s also important to remember that exceeding your limit can affect your credit score. If you require a higher credit limit, you may want to request a credit limit increase.
Note: As you use your card, you are continually borrowing against your credit limit and packing it back. So on any given day, your available credit will change depending on your current outstanding balance.
How do I request a credit limit increase?
If you’re looking for a credit limit increase or decrease, you may request one online if you are a primary account holder. Simply:
- Sign in to BMO Online Banking
- Select your Mastercard account
- Choose "Credit Limit Change" and follow the prompts
If you prefer to chat, you can give us a ring at 1-800-263-2263. In either case, you may be asked to provide details on your income, assets and/or credit obligations, depending on your request.
Why wasn’t I approved for a higher credit limit?
Your credit limit will depend on your income, existing debt and credit history.
- If you have a high credit score, you’re more likely to be approved for a higher credit limit.
- If you have a low credit score, you might be approved for a credit card, but since you pose a bit more risk, you’ll start with a lower credit limit.
Simply being approved for a credit card may help you start to strengthen you credit history, as long as you use your credit responsibly. Creditors will see you’ve been approved, are making regular payments, and are able to pay back what you’ve borrowed. Over time, this can help you improve your credit score and, in turn, make it possible to request a credit limit increase in the future.
I’m starting to build up my credit history. Which card is right for me?
You may want to apply for a student credit card, a low-fee credit card, or a card that offers rewards that are important to you (whether that’s cash back in your account, AIR MILES Reward Miles, or other perks).
Try using our compare credit cards tool to save time and make it easy to see what’s available.
Applying for a card and using it regularly will help you build your credit history. Keep in mind that it’s important to always use your card responsibly:
- Pay your credit card bill on time
- Pay your credit card bill in full
- Keep well within your credit limit
- Request a free credit report to see how you’re doing
What you should know about Student credit cards
A credit card is more than just a charge card. While it's great for emergencies, your card is also the start of building a good credit history. Here's what you need to know to get the credit card smarts you need to make the most of your card.Ink the deal.
Sign your card as soon as you receive it.Know your limit.
The credit limit on your card helps protect you from overspending.
While you can apply to have your limit increased, keep in control of your spending habits. If you know you won't be able to resist splurging on the latest must-have, ask to have your credit limit reduced.Be loan smart.
While getting a cash advance on your card is great for emergencies, you'll be charged interest from the moment the cash is in your hands.Pay it off.
Try to pay your entire balance every month or more than your minimum balance due. Since interest is charged on the unpaid portion of your bill, it can add up fairly quickly.Build a good history.
Start building a good credit score by paying your balance or minimum monthly payment on time. A bad credit rating can have a negative impact when you want to get a loan, buy a car or condo or even get the job you've been after.Protect your identity.
Save yourself (and your credit) from identify theft. When making online purchases, make sure the website has security features so that your information doesn't fall into criminal hands. If you're sharing your credit card information over the phone, ensure the merchant is reputable. Lastly, don't share your credit card with friends -- any slip up can put your credit at risk.Be choosey about your card.
Credit card rewards, features and benefits are incorporated into your card's annual fee. To get the best value, choose a card that lets you earn rewards without paying an annual fee.Get the right fit.
Choose a card that gives you the most bang for your buck. BMO SPC Mastercard gives you exclusive discounts at thousands of SPC Card retail locations across Canada without paying an annual fee. A BMO SPC AIR MILES Mastercard lets you earn AIR MILES Reward Miles without paying an annual fee. AIR MILES Reward Miles can be redeemed for movie tickets, the latest gadget, flights or tickets to an upcoming show. If, on the other hand, you'd rather realize annual savings, a BMO SPC CashBack Mastercard will put money back in your pocket for every purchase you make.Prevent a credit crisis.
If you find that you can't pay your minimum balance every month, or you rely on cash advances to get you through the week, have lost track of how much you owe or have no idea when you'll be out of debt, you may be headed for a credit crisis. Speak to a credit counsellor at your college or university or check the yellow pages for a not-for-profit credit-counselling agency near you.What's required
To apply for your BMO SPC Mastercard, you must:
- Be a permanent Canadian resident
- Be of age of majority in your province or territory
- Be a student between the age of 18 and 24 at a recognized college or university
- Earn annual income from employment, scholarship/grant, student loan or family allowance
Once you've met these requirements, your next step is to apply. How much time does the online application take?
It shouldn't take you more than five or ten minutes to complete a BMO SPC Mastercard online application.Have the following info ready:
- Your last pay stub that includes the name and address of your employer and your gross monthly income
- Your permanent address (such as your parents' house) and your address while in school if it's different
- Your AIR MILES Collector Number if applying for a BMO SPC AIR MILES Mastercard. Don't worry if you don't have an AIR MILES Collector Card yet: we'll automatically enroll you in the AIR MILES Reward Program
- A letter of reference
- A parent's signature
Credit Card Disputes and Chargebacks FAQ
- What is a dispute?
A dispute occurs when a customer has done business with a merchant or transacted at an ATM but questions the validity, value or lack of service of a specific transaction on their account.
- What is a chargeback?
A "Chargeback" is a reimbursement to you for the amount of a credit card charge pending the outcome of your dispute case.
- What is classified as potential fraud?
An unauthorized charge on your credit card where you have not provided your credit card number or PIN (when applicable) by telephone, online or in person is considered a potential fraudulent transaction.
Possible types of credit card disputes
There are a number of possible reasons for charges to be disputed. Depending on the nature of the dispute, it could be for the full or partial amount. Here are some common reasons a charge may be disputed:
- Non-Receipt of goods and/or services
- Goods and/or services not as described
- Duplicate charge/Double billing
- Incorrect transaction amount
- No-show for accommodations
- Cancelled recurring billing
- Unauthorized additional charges
- Incorrect currency
- Missing credit transaction
- Cash disbursement from an ATM is less than amount posted to account
How do I prepare for a dispute?
- We are able to begin the dispute process once the credit card charge appears on BMO Online Banking or on your BMO credit card statement.
- We strongly recommend you contact the merchant prior to disputing a charge. The merchant contact information can often be found within the transaction description. This could save you time as often merchants are willing to assist in resolving the situation directly with you. In some cases, we may require that you first attempt to resolve your dispute with the merchant prior to us handling your dispute.
- Contact us within 30 days of your account statement date if you have a dispute inquiry as we are limited by the amount of time we have to dispute a charge.
- Gather all supporting documentation such as receipts/contracts/invoices/emails that pertain to the charge. This may be requested as part of the dispute process.
- Some disputes of credit card charges can be opened through BMO Online Banking at bmo.com. Once you have logged in and selected your BMO Mastercard account, you can then choose to "Dispute a Charge" in the options associated with your BMO Mastercard. Otherwise, you are able to open a dispute of a credit card charge by calling 1-800-263-2263.
I have opened a dispute. What’s next?
- What do you need from me?
To assist you with your disputed credit card charge, we may send you a credit card dispute form that you will need to fill in and send back in order for us to gain additional details and authorization to speak on your behalf to the merchant. You may be asked to provide supporting documents such as receipts/contracts/invoices/emails etc. in order to proceed with your dispute case.
- Do I have to pay the charge while it’s in dispute?
Once we have proceeded with opening the dispute case, you will not need to pay for the charge during the dispute process.
- Will I be charged interest on the disputed transaction?
You will not be charged interest on the disputed transaction during the dispute process.
- How do I know if the dispute is successful?
Once we have opened your dispute case and submitted it to the merchant, the merchant has 45 days to respond once they have been notified. If the merchant does not respond within 45 days, the case is closed in your favour. If the merchant does respond within 45 days, a specialist will contact you to review what the merchant has presented.
- What is the next step if unsuccessful?
If the merchant responds to challenge your dispute case, a BMO representative will contact you to review the information presented by the merchant and to discuss potential options. If we are unable to proceed with the dispute on your behalf, the dispute case will be considered closed or resolved. You can still attempt to resolve your dispute with the merchant even after the dispute is closed.
Hints and Tips to protect myself
- Be cautious when providing your credit card number online for free trials or free offers. Read the terms and conditions carefully. There could be additional charges or automatically enrolled paid subscriptions. If you press accept or provide your credit card number, this is considered your consent.
- Research the merchant before agreeing to provide your credit card number.
- Be cautious in providing your credit card number as a result of pop-ups, ads on social media, texts, or email solicitation. These are common channels in which your credit card number may be obtained by merchants. A few examples of why your credit card number may be requested include:
- pop-ups indicating you’ve won a prize
- well-known brands being sold for extremely discounted prices which may be counterfeit
- easy ways to make money from home by subscribing to online stock or currency brokerage sites
- Always read terms and conditions for possible hidden charges and return policies to see if the merchant allows for full refunds if the customer is not satisfied with the product. Accepting or providing your credit card number is considered your consent.
- We recommend keeping all receipts/invoices/emails/contracts etc. for your reference.
- Contact the merchant prior to disputing the charge. The merchant contact information can often be found within the transaction description.
- If a purchase is made with your credit card and the item is not what was expected or as described, it may be possible to dispute the charge if the item is in your possession.
- Research the merchant before agreeing to provide your credit card number.
- If you have a recurring transaction with a merchant, you must cancel with the merchant to stop the automatic renewal. This is not considered fraud. BMO is unable to stop the payments to the merchant.
- In the event of an ongoing dispute, if you are contacted by the merchant and asked to reach an amicable solution, please request valid proof of the agreement for your records.
- Gambling transactions are considered cash-like transactions and therefore will incur cash advance interest charges and cash advance fees
- Differences in foreign exchange charges and credits could be explained by the exchange rates and mark-up fees. Please see our cardholder agreement for more information. http://www.bmo.com/pdf/Cardholder_Agreement.pdf