A cashback credit card can be an incredible tool for any small business to have at its disposal, but is the BMO CashBack Business Mastercard the right card for you? Our BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review is here to give you the last little bit of guidance you need to make your final decision.
Cycle cashback rewards back into your business with an affordable credit card that puts small businesses first.
|You Are Interested If||You run a small business and want a credit card that is secure, reliable, and allows you to easily reinvest your rewards into your operations.|
|Brief Description||The BMO CashBack Business Mastercard is a free cashback card that is available to even the humblest of small businesses and offers fair rates and benefits on top of that.|
|Main Requirements||All you really need to be considered for this card is good credit and to be the owner of a small business. You’ll also need to provide some sort of documentation about your business, the exact nature of which varies depending on whether you are representing a sole proprietor, a partnership, a corporation, or an unincorporated business.|
|Card Type||This card is a cashback card meant for business use only.|
Fees and Interest
|Purchase Interest Rate||Regular purchase balances will be charged 19.99% annual interest after the monthly grace period runs out.|
|Cash Advance||You can use this card to get some money up-front, but unless you pay it back right away, it will cost you 22.99% in interest each year.|
|Balance Transfer||You may be able to transfer the balance from another credit card to this one, but you’ll be paying 22.99% interest on that balance afterwards.|
|Income Requirements||Because it is targeted at businesses, there is no income requirement for this card; an applicant’s credit matters more instead.|
|Household Income Requirements||Because this is strictly a business credit card, household incomes cannot be factored into whether or not an application will be accepted.|
|Annual Fee||This is a no-fee card, so business owners will pay no initial fees to use it.|
|Welcome Bonus||New applicants can receive 6% cashback on all bonus categories (gas, office supplies, and cell phone and internet bills) for their first four months or up to a total of $125 in rewards.|
|How To Earn Points||Under normal circumstances, you’ll earn 1.5% cash back on the bonus categories listed above and a further 0.75% on everything else.|
|Benefits||This card is covered with BMO’s extended warranty program, Mastercard’s usual purchase protection, and zero-liability protection against unauthorized purchases.|
About BMO CashBack Business MasterCard
The first thing we want to go over in this BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review is the set of interest rates that you’ll be paying on outstanding balances you charge to this card. For typical purchases, you can count on paying 19.99% in additional interest charges. Cash advances and balance transfers are available as well, but at 22.99% interest instead. These rates are entirely standard for cards of this type – they will still cost you a fair amount in interest if you let a balance ride for too long, but you can rest assured that you won’t be paying any more than what any competitors would charge you in the same situation. That said, no business should ever be relying on credit cards to supplement a lack of cash finances, so you should rarely find yourself carrying a balance from month to month and the interest rates here should be a minimal concern at best.
The highlight of this card (and thus, of this BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review) is, of course, the cashback reward rates it offers. We’re pleased to report that although they are not the highest available in terms of all Canadian credit cards, they are nevertheless quite good. You’ll earn 1.5% on all office supplies, recurring cell phone or internet bill payments, and gas purchases charged to this card, as well as a flat 0.75% on all other purchases. Those bonus categories line up perfectly with what most businesses are likely to be spending their money on, making it incredibly easy to rack up the extra cashback rewards each month. Every office obviously needs office supplies, and virtually all of them also have cell phone and internet bills to pay. While the gas category is the least universally applicable of the set, it will still be useful to a large majority of the people who would be interested in this card. Many businesses require some degree of travel, and even just a little bit of light spending in the gas category adds up fast. Most will actually be able to spend quite a lot here, and if you’re careful to buy your gas exclusively or near-exclusively from Shell, you’ll boost your bonus rate by another 0.25%.
Now that we’ve examined the reward rates a little more couldn’t go any further in this BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review without examining exactly how much you stand to benefit from this reward system. We’ll begin with the welcome bonus, since that will provide an immediate and significant boost to most cardholders’ rewards. With it, you’ll get an astounding 6% cash back on all bonus category purchases in the first 4 months. This bonus applies uniformly across all the categories and can add up to a substantial amount of cash rewards coming to you in a short amount of time. This tops out at just $125 in cash back earnings, making it a little less exciting than it would otherwise be, but at least most businesses can count on maxing this amount out quite easily. Once you hit this threshold, the rewards will still be coming in, but they will slow down considerably. Assuming a fairly modest $3,000 monthly budget (say $1,000 in gas, $700 in cell phone and internet bills, $300 in office supplies and $1,000 in other purchases) would earn you $450 over a single year at the usual 0.75% base rate and 1.5% bonus rate. This is nothing major, but it’s a welcome small extra injection of cash for any small business. You can also boost it slightly higher by shopping for your gas exclusively at Shell stations, where you’ll earn 1.75% cash back on gas purchases instead of just 1.5% as usual.
This card may not include any actual insurance coverage or fun perks, but BMO has made sure to include a handful of extras that will matter more to business owners than either of those things ever could. The protection it offers on purchases is invaluable, particularly in terms of its liability waiver features’ ability to guard against employee card abuse. Business cards like this are often distributed to employees to help cover their authorized expenses, such as hotel stays or supply purchases. Even if you trust your employees wholeheartedly, it’s always best not to take chances when dealing with large amounts of money like this. Further, an employee can misuse a card without necessarily meaning to do so; if there was a complication or delay in communication regarding a certain purchase, you may still find yourself needing to dispute a charge or two in spite of the fact that the purchaser had no ill intent.
There are a few other small benefits we’d like to point out in this BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review. BMO’s standard purchase protection coverage and zero-liability policy for unauthorized purchases makes it easy to feel confident about your credit card security. As an added bonus, their slightly extended 25-day grace period helps to give you a slightly more robust cushion against potential interest charges just in case you have a hard time coming up with enough money to fully pay off your balance right away.
We don’t want to make this BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review sound unmitigatedly positive; there are still a few things you need to watch out for. One major limitation is that this card is for business use only; everyday consumers will not be able to access it for personal use no matter how much they want it or how impressive their income or credit score might be. If you don’t own a business, you may as well forget about this card for the time being. Even if you do own one already, you’ll need to be able to provide some proof of that, which not all business owners will easily be able to do – many sole proprietors do not acquire official paperwork for their enterprise right away, as it is not always required by Canadian tax law. Make sure that you have all the necessary documentation available to you before you start seriously considering this credit card as an option.
The one other major drawback to this card that we want to mention in our BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review is the way in which cashback rewards are given out here. The cashback system for this credit card relegates the rewards to a credit on one of your BMO CashBack Business Mastercard statements every year instead of actually awarding you the money as liquid funds. This is both a good and a bad thing. On the one hand, this keeps things very simple for you, since you don’t have to worry about redirecting the cash back into the business once it is transferred to you – it will already have been applied to the company’s bills and expenses. On the other, this also limits your ability to do other things with it directly, such as fund a holiday party or company giveaway as a way to boost morale among your workers. You can still do these things with the cash rewards you receive if you’d like, but you’ll have to spend the money for them before the rewards come through so that they will show up on one of your credit card statements, something that not all business owners will be comfortable doing. It won’t be a deal-breaker for most potential applicants, but it’s something to consider if you have a strong preference for a more flexible cashback system.
To sum up what we’ve covered so far in our BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review, this is a very well-rounded cashback business credit card option that few people will have trouble getting. As a free card, it obviously cannot be expected to offer top-tier rates and benefits, but it covers the essentials very well and should provide a moderate amount of rewards for most business owners. It is very safe, easy to use, and will cost you nothing at all if you keep on top of your payments (as you should). It offers only the fundamental features of a basic cashback credit card, but it does a very good job of making sure that everything it offers will provide the most value to cardholders.
The Bank of Montreal (the full name of BMO) has been operating in Canada since before Confederation. Not only do they now serve millions of customers in the present day, but they’ve also branched out into wealth management and commercial banking in addition to personal banking, expanding their assets into an empire worth billions of dollars. They have more than enough resources to provide excellent customer service, and because of that, you can expect to be able to reach them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and in either English, French, Mandarin or Cantonese.
What We Think
To finish off our BMO CashBack Business Mastercard review, we want to relay our own verdict on this card directly to our readers. This is a very accessible business credit card with good security and fair interest rates in spite of its lack of extras. The reward rates on it will never make a huge difference to your bottom line, but you’re sure to
spend enough on the bonus categories to collect a tidy sum in credits at the end of the year. The fact that it’s a BMO card makes it a great choice for business owners who are concerned about whether they will be able to get the level of service they need to keep their business fully operational at all times; no matter when you need a little help from them, they’ll be ready to answer your call.
The main deciding factor in our estimation of this card is whether or not you think your business is well-established enough to be approved for a more upscale credit card. If you have some significant income or assets behind you, you can probably get a better deal than what this card has to offer. If you’re just starting out, though, we won’t hesitate to say that this card is one of the better business card options out there for Canadian entrepreneurs.