Being a co-brand card, redemption is actually done via AIR MILES not via BMO. This is where the relative strength of the AIR MILES program comes through to make the BMO AIR MILES World Elite MasterCard worthwhile for some people as they can earn even more AIR MILES on top of credit card spend via the vast amount of shopping partners that the program has. AIR MILES offers numerous redemption options but of course based on the name, the primary redemption option which most people dream about are flights. Reality is however that roughly only 10% of redemptions in the program are for actual flights. The remainder are for other travel related redemptions (hotels, car rentals, attraction tickets), merchandise or AIR MILES Cash. The majority of AIR MILES Flight redemptions are on Air Canada or WestJet however they also offer flights on American Airlines, United Airlines, Alaska Airlines, Lufthansa, Alitalia, Calm Air, Canada North and Central Mountain Air at their lowest redemption levels. Other airlines are available but cost more AIR MILES than what is published on the AIR MILES website. Redeeming AIR MILES Reward Miles for flights nets an average return of 11 to 15 cents per AIR MILE Reward Mile. If you look at what this card's base earn rate of 1 Reward Mile for every $10 means you'll achieve a rate of return of 1.1% to 1.5%.
AIR MILES also lets you redeem for lots of other travel options like hotels, car rentals, cruises and more where you pay with miles and then cash for taxes/fees. Hotels seem like a so-so deal but we have found some really good deals for car rentals. You can also redeem for gift certificates for travel providers like Greyhound, Marlin Travel and several others. Then you have non-travel redemptions and this is what AIR MILES seems to have become more famous for as of late. From merchandise to tickets for attractions there isn't much that you can't redeem for!