One of our top no annual fee cash back credit cards is the .

With 1% cash back on every purchase, a good welcome bonus, the ability to redeem your rewards whenever you want them, and a great balance transfer offer of 1.99% for 9 months…it’s not hard to see the appeal of this card.

But some changes are coming to this card in May that you may want to pay attention to.

BMO CashBack Mastercard changes

So what’s changing?

There’s quite a bit changing in the rewards department of this card, both in how you earn them and how you redeem.

Earn rates

Let’s start with the earn rates, the most important thing everyone cares about. Right now, this card earns 1% unlimited cash back on every purchase.

Starting with your June statement, here’s what your new earn rates will look like:

  • 3% cash back on groceries, up to $500 monthly,
  • 1% cash back on recurring bills, up to $500 monthly, and
  • 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

It’s losing its simplicity, but also gaining in other areas.

Spend $500 per month on groceries, and that’s $180 cash back every year in that category alone, plus your earnings on everything else.

In fact, based on our typical $2,000 monthly spend, these earn rates don’t change anything. Right now, with 1% cash back on everything, you would earn $240 in a year.

Now? Your typical annual rewards are slightly increased to $243. And our typical spend only has $350 in groceries and $300 in recurring bills, well under the monthly maximum of $500 for each category.

Redeeming your cash back

Redeeming your cash back is about to get better.

How you redeem now

The card is already a breath of fresh air when it comes to redeeming cash back credit card rewards. Right now, you can redeem once $50 is accumulated, a lot more flexible than most cash back cards that only give you rewards once per year.

Plus you can choose to get your rewards in the form of statement credits, depositing them into a BMO chequing or savings account, as well as putting them in a BMO InvestorLine account. Most other cards just give your rewards as statement credits, no other options possible.

How you’ll redeem after the changes

Now? It’s going to be even easier to redeem your rewards.

You still get the same great options for redeeming your rewards, but now you can start redeeming sooner.

In fact, it’s almost like you don’t have a limit at all – you can start redeeming when you have as little as $1 saved up.

Or you can setup an automatic deposit when you reach a predetermined amount. Just note this amount has to be at least $25.

Want to learn more about these changes? You can view them here.

Credit card pairings

The only real downside to these changes is earning 0.5% cash back on all other purchases.

But that’s no reason to cancel your card (especially since it’s no fee).

Instead, keep your , and consider pairing it with one of these 3 no fee cards. You’ll start getting some serious cash back, all for no annual fee.

But if you do want to replace your card, these options all make great replacements as well.

Credit Card Earn Rates Why it pairs well with the BMO CashBack Mastercard Apply Now
American Express SimplyCash * 1.25% cash back on all purchases * Increase your base earn rate to 1.25% cash back on everything, no caps Apply Now
Tangerine Money-Back Mastercard * 2% cash back on up to 3 categories of your choice
* 0.5% cash back all other purchases
* Earn 2% cash back on up to 3 additional categories of your choice Apply Now
Home Trust Preferred Visa * 1% cash back on eligible purchases * Increase your base earn rate to 1% cash back on eligible purchases and get no fx fees Apply Now

To replace your base earn rate, the should be your top choice.

Why? You’ll earn 1.25% cash back on all of your purchases – no caps to worry about. Plus, you’ll earn 2.5% cash back in the first 3 months on your first $6,000 in spend.

And if Amex acceptance concerns you, you’ve got your BMO Mastercard to fall back on as well.

The doesn’t have a high base earn rate (it’s the same at 0.5%), but it does give you a different way to boost your cash back.

How? You can earn 2% cash back on 2 categories of your choosing, and this goes up to 3 if you deposit your rewards into a Tangerine savings account.

What categories are there? There are 10 for you to choose from:

  • groceries,
  • recurring bills,
  • furniture,
  • drug stores,
  • restaurants,
  • home improvement,
  • hotels,
  • entertainment,
  • gas, and
  • public transportation and parking.

Choose 2 (or 3) categories that are different than what BMO offers, and you’re looking at 4 or 5 categories where you’re earning at least 1% – all for no annual fee.

And for a few more perks, you can look at the instead.

It has the same rewards, no annual fee, and a few more perks. Just keep in mind it has high income requirements of either $60,000 personal or $100,000 household.

If you often find yourself shopping in currencies other than CAD, then look at the for some no fx fee savings.

You’ll earn a flat 1% cash back on all your eligible purchases. Plus you’ll save on any purchase made in foreign currency, since the card waives the standard 2.5% fx fee. Just note you won’t earn cash back on fx purchases.

It also comes with complimentary roadside assistance and car rental insurance to top it off.

Your turn

Another week, another credit card change. At least these ones are more interesting and not negative.

What are your thoughts on the changes to this card?

Do you like what you see, or will you find something else?

Let us know in the comments below.