BMO Bank Review 2024 (2024)

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BMO Account Basics

Checking

BMO has three checking accounts available for its customers.

BMO Smart Advantage Checking. BMO’s most popular checking account, Smart Advantage, requires no monthly maintenance fees and a $25 minimum opening deposit. Paper statement fees are $3 each month, but you can opt for paperless statements and waive the fee. The account comes with a BMO Bank Debit Mastercard.

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

BMO Smart Advantage Checking

BMO Bank Review 2024 (1)

Offer*

$350 cash bonus*

Minimum Opening Deposit Requirement

$25

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$0

BMO Bank Review 2024 (2)

learn more BMO Bank Review 2024 (3)

For this & other offers on BMO Bank N.A's Website

$350 cash bonus*

$25

*Offer Details

*Get a $350 cash bonus when you open a new Smart Money Checking or Smart Advantage Checking account and have a cumulative total of $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening. Conditions apply. Available in the U.S. BMO Bank N.A. Member FDIC

BMO Smart Money Checking. This checking account comes with a $5 monthly fee, but that fee is waived for customers under age 25. There is a $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Because customers can only spend available funds in the account, there are no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees. Smart Money accounts, like Smart Advantage accounts, give you the option to opt out of paper statements and waive the $2 fee. A BMO Bank Debit Mastercard comes with the account.

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

BMO Smart Money Checking

BMO Bank Review 2024 (4)

Offer*

$350 cash bonus*

Minimum Opening Deposit Requirement

$25

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$5

$0 if you're under age 25

BMO Bank Review 2024 (5)

learn more BMO Bank Review 2024 (6)

For this & other offers on BMO Bank N.A's Website

$350 cash bonus*

$25

$5

$0 if you're under age 25

*Offer Details

*Get a $350 cash bonus when you open a new Smart Money Checking or Smart Advantage Checking account and have a cumulative total of $4,000 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening. Conditions apply. Available in the U.S. BMO Bank N.A. Member FDIC

BMO Relationship Checking. As BMO’s only interest-bearing checking account, Relationship Checking accounts require an initial $25 deposit and have a $25 monthly fee. The monthly fee can be waived by meeting any of these requirements:

  • Maintaining a minimum daily balance of $10,000 in this account
  • Maintaining a combined balance of $25,000 across BMO accounts
  • Being a client of BMO’s employee benefits program

All account balance tiers currently earn 0.01% APY but rates may vary based on location.

BMO Relationship Checking accounts come with a BMO Bank World Debit Mastercard. Other account benefits you qualify for depend on your quarterly combined balances across eligible BMO deposit and investment accounts.

FEATURED PARTNER OFFER

BMO Relationship Checking

BMO Bank Review 2024 (7)

Offer*

$500 cash bonus*

Minimum Opening Deposit Requirement

$25

Monthly Maintenance Fee

$25

To waive the monthly maintenance fee you must:
Have a minimum daily Ledger Balance in your account of $10,000 or more for the previous calendar month
OR Have a Monthly Combined Balance of $25,000 for the previous calendar month.

BMO Bank Review 2024 (8)

learn more BMO Bank Review 2024 (9)

For this & other offers on BMO Bank N.A's Website

$500 cash bonus*

$25

$25

To waive the monthly maintenance fee you must:
Have a minimum daily Ledger Balance in your account of $10,000 or more for the previous calendar month
OR Have a Monthly Combined Balance of $25,000 for the previous calendar month.

*Offer Details

*Get a $500 cash bonus when you open a new Relationship Checking account and have a cumulative total of $7,500 in qualifying direct deposits within 90 days of opening. Conditions apply. Available in the U.S. BMO Bank N.A. Member FDIC

Savings

The lone savings account option at BMO is the BMO Savings Builder Account. Opening this savings account requires a $25 minimum initial deposit. Unfortunately, the interest rate, at 0.01% APY, is below the national average rate for savings accounts and much less than you might find at online banks. Savings Builder accounts have no monthly maintenance fee.

Money Market

One way to earn a more competitive interest rate with BMO is through the bank’s BMO Relationship Plus Money Market account. You can open this account with a $25 minimum deposit, but you need to keep a $5,000 minimum daily ledger balance for the statement period to avoid the $10 monthly service fee.

Relationship Plus Money Market accounts pay 1.00% APY, but you can earn the following elevated rates by bundling the account with a BMO Relationship Checking account and maintaining a certain balance:

Account BalanceAPY

Less than $25,000

1.00%

$25,000 – $99,999.99

2.02%

$100,000 – $249,999.99

3.04%

$250,000 and above

3.56%

CDs

BMO Certificates of Deposit terms range from three to 60 months with special rates available on select terms. Standard CDs require a minimum deposit of $1,000.

For CDs under 12 months, interest is compounded daily and credited at maturity. For CDs of 12 months or greater, interest is compounded daily and credited to the CD quarterly.

CD rates vary based on location. Below you’ll find the rates for the New York City ZIP code 10001.

TermAPY

3 Months

0.05%

6 Months

0.05%

9 Months

4.90%

12 Months

4.90%

13 Months

4.90%

18 Months

4.90%

24 Months

4.40%

25 Months

4.40%

30 Months

4.30%

35 Months

4.30%

36 Months

4.30%

45 Months

4.30%

48 Months

4.30%

59 Months

4.30%

60 Months

4.30%

Distinguishing Features

Relationship benefits are a way for banks to offer loyalty perks to customers who have multiple accounts. BMO Relationship Checking accounts come with the additional benefit of mortgage and home equity line of credit (HELOC) discounts.

Access on the Go

BMO Bank offers consumers both in-person and digital banking solutions. With its acquisition of Bank of the West in early 2023, BMO now has over 1,000 BMO bank branches spread across 32 states. BMO customers also have access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs, including BMO ATMs and the Allpoint ATM Network.

For fans of banking on the go, BMO digital banking provides online and mobile account access almost anywhere in the world. Its mobile app is available for both iOS and Android and features helpful tools like:

  • Mobile check deposits
  • Mobile cash withdrawal at most BMO ATMs
  • Total Look account management
  • Apple Pay and Zelle integration
  • Bill pay

If online and mobile access isn’t your thing, there’s also a bank-by-phone option that allows you to use your phone for a variety of banking tasks.

BMO Fees

BMO Bank charges fees on select accounts. In some cases, service fees are waivable by meeting specific criteria each month. Depending on the account, fees may include:

  • Monthly service fees: $0 to $25
  • Overdraft fees: $15
  • Early withdrawal penalties: 90 to 545 days of interest on most CDs
  • Out-of-network ATM fees: $0 to $3
  • Paper statement fees: $3
  • Account closure fee (within 90 days of account opening): $50
  • Transaction limitation fees: $15

Who Is BMO Best For?

BMO is best for individuals who want full-service banking and live in one of the 32 states where the bank operates. While you can earn higher rates opening select accounts online, BMO’s rates are generally lower than you will find at top online banks. With a large branch footprint and fee-free ATM network, the bank’s most appealing features are in-person banking and customer support.

How To Open a Bank Account With BMO

You can open a BMO Bank account online, in person at one of its branches or by calling the customer service department at 888-340-2265. You must provide specific personal and financial information during the application process, including your mailing address, phone number, date of birth, Social Security number or ITIN, citizenship status and employment status. You must meet the account requirements mentioned to qualify for a bank account through BMO.

How BMO Bank Stacks Up

BMO is a solid option if you’re looking for a full-service bank, especially if you happen to live in a state with local branches. BMO is more competitive with its rates and offerings than several other big traditional banks. It also features online and digital tools that rival what’s offered by the top online banks. For example, its Mobile Cash feature allows you to withdraw money from BMO ATMs without using a debit card.

But this national bank has some pitfalls when compared to many online institutions. While it provides more accounts and services than most online banks, only its money market account offers a competitive rate. If capitalizing on the best savings account rates is important to you, make sure to compare rates outside of BMO Bank.

Overall, BMO offers enough benefits, accounts and services to make it an attractive banking option for most consumers. It’s an especially good bank if you plan to take advantage of services beyond just bank accounts.

BMO vs. Chase

Like BMO, Chase Bank offers a variety of bank accounts and services for almost every need. Chase does not offer a money market account, however. Neither bank can compete with online banks in terms of rates, although BMO offers competitive rates on select CD terms.

Chase has a larger footprint, with over 4,700 branches, but a smaller ATM network than BMO. Both are best for consumers with in-person banking needs.

Methodology

Forbes Advisor rates banks based on a variety of factors, which include fees, interest rates, ATM networks and other features. We assign separate ratings to financial institutions and their individual account offerings, such as checking accounts, savings accounts, money market accounts and certificates of deposit (CDs). We rate banks on a scale from one to five stars, with one star being the poorest rating and five stars being the best.

To learn more about our rating and review methodology and editorial process, read our guide on How Forbes Advisor Reviews Banks.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What does BMO stand for?

The BMO in BMO Bank stands for the Bank of Montreal, a nod to the bank’s beginnings in Canada in the early 1800s.

What does BMO Bank offer?

BMO Bank is a full-service bank with several account offerings, including checking, savings, money market and CD accounts. Other accounts and services include credit cards, retirement and investment accounts, mortgages, loans and business banking services.

Is BMO a reliable bank?

BMO is a well-established national bank with over 1,000 branches across 32 U.S. states. Deposits made to BMO accounts are FDIC-insured (FDIC certificate No. 16571) up to $250,000 per depositor, for each account ownership category, in the event of bank failure.

How much cash can I withdraw from BMO Bank?

BMO Bank’s maximum daily ATM withdrawal or cash advance limit is $1,000. The bank has a $5,000 maximum daily limit on point-of-sale transactions and payments to other accounts.

BMO Bank Review 2024 (2024)
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