BMO Harris Review 2019

BMO Harris Logo

3.9/5

BMO Harris offers a competitive yield on its money market account. The $5,000 minimum balance requirement is higher than some accounts, but if you have that much to deposit, it’s worth consideration.

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About BMO Harris

BMO Harris has more than 500 branches in eight states. Its customers have access to more than 43,000 ATMs. Its branches are in Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.

The Bank of Montreal is BMO Harris’ parent company, and BMO Financial Corp. is its U.S. holding company.

BMO Harris has its roots dating back to N.W. Harris & Co. (1882) and Samuel Marshall & Co., Exchange Brokers (1847).

In states outside of where it has its branches, BMO Harris’ money market account offers one of the highest yields available and great accessibility options, with both check-writing privileges and an ATM card.

BMO Harris has one of the most competitive money market accounts. While its minimum balance requirement ($5,000) is higher than some banks, it’s not the highest. The Platinum Money Market has an APY that’s a little more than 10 times the national average in states outside its footprint. With check-writing privileges, bill pay and an ATM card, this account offers access options that some other money market account don’t have.

 Pros

  • BMO Harris its own ATM network with more than 1,400 ATMs and partners with Allpoint.
  • One of the highest APYs available on its Platinum Money Market account.
  • Statement Savings account has only a $25 minimum requirement to open the account.
  • Can avoid monthly fee by keeping at least $100 in the Statement Savings account.

 Cons

  • Other banks have a lower minimum balance requirement for a high-yield account.
  • If you go below $5,000 in the Platinum Money Market account, you’ll receive an APY that’s around one-fifth of the national average.
  • BMO Harris has brick-and-mortar locations in only eight states.

BMO Harris Services

Savings Rating

3.2/5

The BMO Harris Statement Savings account is available online nationally. The account has a low minimum opening deposit amount of $25. You need a daily ledger balance of just $100 or more to waive the monthly maintenance fee. If you’re under 25 years old, the maintenance fee is also waived. These are the easiest ways to avoid the monthly maintenance fee. But the APY is only half the national average on all balances, so there are better options out there for savers.

 Pros

  • Statement Savings account has a minimum balance requirement of a $100 or more.
  • If you’re under 25 years old and the primary owner of a Statement Savings account, the $5 monthly maintenance fee is waived.
  • All balances earn the account’s top APY.

 Cons

  • All balances earn only half of the national average APY.
  • There are higher-yielding options available at other banks.
  • You’ll be charged a $50 fee if you close the Statement Savings account within 90 days of opening it.

Savings accounts available from other banks

MMAs Rating

4.3/5

The Platinum Money Market offers a top-tier APY at more than 10 times the national average. These APYs are offered nationally in states outside of Arizona, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin. The account offers accessibility features that some other money market accounts don’t, including check-writing privileges and an ATM card.

 Pros

  • No monthly maintenance fee on the Platinum Money Market account.
  • Platinum Money Market account has check-writing privileges.
  • You can make withdrawals from an ATM if you have the Platinum Money Market account.
  • You get a statement that includes check images.

 Cons

  • Balances under $5,000 earn only around a quarter of the national average APY.
  • There’s a $50 closing fee if the account is closed within 90 days of opening.
  • Minimum balance requirement of $5,000 is higher than some other accounts.
  • There is a $3 fee for transactions made on a non-BMO Harris ATM. Plus, the ATM operator may also charge a fee.
  • The Platinum Money Market account may have a lower APY in the states where it has branches.

MMAs available from other banks

CDs Rating

4.0/5

BMO Harris offers CDs across terms ranging from three months to five years. Yields vary depending on the market and are low compared with what’s offered by online banks. In some cases, however, it’s possible to earn a slightly higher yield through a CD special. The bank offers several types of CDs, including an add-on CD that allows account holders to make multiple deposits. CDs can be purchased online, over the phone or in a local branch.

 Pros

  • For all CDs, interest is compounded daily.
  • CDs are available across all standard terms.
  • A relatively low minimum deposit is required for most of the CDs.
  • CDs featured on the website are available nationwide.

 Cons

  • Interest is credited to accounts quarterly for CDs maturing in one year or more.
  • Interest is credited to accounts at maturity for CDs maturing in less than a year.
  • Yields may be lower depending on where you live.
  • Early withdrawal penalties are harsh for long-term CDs.

CDs available from other banks

2.25% APY
$500 MIN DEPOSIT
1.90% APY
$0 MIN DEPOSIT
2.45% APY
$2,000 MIN DEPOSIT
Bank Experience Rating

4.1/5

BMO Harris Bank pairs some of the best in-person banking features with useful digital banking functionality. BMO Harris Bank boasts a large ATM network. It offers more than 1,400 ATMs and partners with Allpoint so that you will have free access to your cash at tens of thousands of ATMs across the country. You will also have the option to do in-person banking at more than 590 branches. You will also have access to several digital money management features. The bank lets you link non-BMO bank accounts so that you can see your full financial picture under one portal. The bank also offers customers card controls. Not only can you turn your card on and off from the app, but you can set spending parameters on your card using the digital functionality. For example, you could restrict a card payment by merchant type. As a customer, you can contact someone at the bank’s call center 24/7.

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Checking Rating

3.0/5

The BMO Harris Premier Account offers interest on all balances greater than zero. The best rate is offered to those with a balance of $50,000 or more. The account can be opened online or in a branch with a $25 minimum deposit. A $30 monthly maintenance fee will be charged if the minimum daily ledger balance for the account falls below $25,000. The fee can be waived for those who link their accounts and carry a combined balance of $50,000 or who maintain a BMO Harris Financial Advisors Inc. investment account. Other non-interest-bearing options include the BMO Harris Smart Advantage which does not have a monthly fee and the BMO Harris Smart Money Account which does not charge overdraft fees but does come with a $5 monthly maintenance fee. Both can be opened with a $25 minimum deposit.

 Pros

  • BMO Harris Premier Account offers tiered interest rates for all balances greater than zero.
  • Low minimum deposit needed to open an account.
  • Account can be opened online.
  • $25 rebate monthly on ATM surcharge fees from other banks with Premier Account.

 Cons

  • $30 monthly maintenance fee charged if requirements not met.
  • $36 charged for each overdraft.

Checking accounts available from other banks