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BMO Bank Review 2024

Updated January 2, 2024
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At a glance

3.7
Rating: 3.7 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score
Caret Down

CDs

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Checking

Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

Savings

Rating: 3 stars out of 5

MMA

Rating: 2.8 stars out of 5

About Bankrate Score

Overview

BMO is best for customers who want an institution with a full suite of personal banking products, including deposit accounts, credit cards and loans. It's also a good fit for those who need retirement planning, business or commercial services, wealth management and investment services and advice.

Highlights

  • Free Checking
Compare offers
Info
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
5.10
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 2/21/2024
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
$0
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer:
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
4.60
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 2/21/2024
Rating: 5 stars out of 5
$0
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer: No account fees & earn up to $300 w/ direct deposit. Terms apply.
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
5.00
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 2/21/2024
Rating: 4.9 stars out of 5
$0
Min. balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer: Plus, no monthly fees and unlimited free external transfers

Overall

BMO’s products and services are geared toward a broad range of customers both in the U.S. and globally, from modest income earners to the wealthy. The bank maintains more than 1,000 branches, and many of its deposit accounts can also be opened online. While the bank offers a full suite of banking and loan products, yields on some of its deposit products are below average.

Pros

  • Checkmark

    BMO has a full suite of personal banking products and services.

  • Checkmark

    Customers have access to more than 40,000 fee-free ATMs nationwide.

  • Checkmark

    The bank has a global presence.

Cons

  • Some of BMO’s savings products have comparatively low yields.

  • APYs on some accounts are lower for customers who live in states that have branches.

BMO banking products

3.0
Rating: 3 stars out of 5
Bankrate Score

BMO savings overview

BMO’s Savings Builder account has no monthly maintenance fee, and the minimum opening deposit is just $25. The account can be opened online or in a branch. The bank gives a $5 reward for every month in the first year of opening the account that you save $200 or more. Fee-free access is provided to more than 40,000 BMO and Allpoint ATMs. But the APY is very low and it's easy to find much higher yields at other banks.

Pros

  • Checkmark

    The Savings Builder account has no monthly maintenance fee.

  • Checkmark

    The minimum opening deposit is a modest $25.

  • Checkmark

    The account can be opened online or in a branch.

  • Checkmark

    Savers get a $5 reward in any month they add at least $200 to the account during the first year it's opened.

Cons

  • The APY on the Savings Builder account is very low.

  • There’s a $50 fee if the account is closed within 90 days of opening.

  • See how rates for this account have changed over time. Interact with the trend lines to view APY by date.

    BMO
    APY
    APY
    Info
    National average APY
    How do we get this data?
    Info
Compare Offer
Info
Bank logo
Member FDIC
Savings Account
5.10
%
APY
APY
Info
As of 2/21/2024
Rating: 4.7 stars out of 5
Info
$0
Min balance for APY
View offer Arrow Right
Promoted offer:

Bank fees

Fee Charged?
Overdraft fee $15
Non-sufficient funds fee $0
Monthly maintenance fee $0
Out-of-network ATM fee $3
Excessive transaction fee $0
Account closing fee (if within 90 days of opening) $50
Paper statement fee $3 (waived for account holders older than 65)

About BMO

BMO is one of the largest banks in North America by assets. It is headquartered in Chicago. The Bank of Montreal is BMO’s parent company and BMO Financial Corp. is its U.S. holding company. BMO’s roots date to the mid-1800s. In all, BMO provides personal and commercial banking to more than 12 million customers globally.

Insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., it has more than 1,000 branches in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming.

In September 2022, the bank began a phased approach of updating its name and logo from “BMO Harris” to simply “BMO,” citing the fact that 4 out of 10 personal banking customers already leave off “Harris Bank” when describing their relationship with the bank.

In April 2023, BMO launched an online bank called BMO Alto. It offers a high-yield savings account and six terms of CDs that earn competitive yields. None of the accounts require a minimum balance.

Bank experience

BMO has a limited brick-and-mortar presence, but it offers mobile and online banking with all the digital tools needed to monitor and manage accounts. The bank's Total Look tool lets you manage all your accounts, even non-BMO accounts, in one place, create a budget and track your spending.

BMO also allows peer-to-peer payments with Zelle. The customer service line is open for general inquiries from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. CT on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT on weekends. However, lost cards can be reported at any time of day.  There is also an online customer support form.

As of this writing, BMO is offering a $250 cash bonus to those who open either a Smart Advantage or a Smart Money checking account and meet qualifying direct deposit requirements within the first 90 days. A $400 cash bonus is being offered to those who open a Relationship Checking account and meet qualifying direct deposit requirements within the first 90 days.

How does BMO compare to other banks?

BMO vs. Chase

Both BMO and Chase maintain bank branches — although Chase operates a much larger branch footprint that spans all 48 contiguous states, whereas BMO branches exist in only eight states. BMO provides access to more ATMs, however, since it’s part of the Allpoint network of over 40,000 ATMs. By comparison, Chase operates 16,000 ATMs. Both banks allow customers to open some accounts online.

As far as monthly maintenance fees, both BMO and Chase offer deposit accounts with either no such fees or ones that are easy to waive by meeting manageable minimum balance requirements. If you’re looking for competitive savings account rates, however, you’ll want to look elsewhere, since both banks’ savings accounts earn rock-bottom yields.

BMO offers competitive standard CD rates to customers who live in states where the bank doesn’t maintain branches; otherwise, its standard CD rates are very low. At Chase, standard CD rates are very low across the board. BMO also offers five promotional CDs earning competitive rates. Chase offers featured CDs that earn higher rates than its standard CDs when customers earn the relationship rates, but higher CD rates can still be found elsewhere.

BMO FAQs

Review methodology

With so many financial institutions to choose from, it can be hard to know who to trust. Bankrate’s ever-growing list of bank and credit union reviews is updated regularly. Our editorial team analyzes and reviews each institution across deposit products such as savings accounts, checking accounts, certificates of deposit (CDs) and money market accounts (MMAs). Banks are rated by important factors such as offered interest rates, fees, minimum balance requirements, access to funds and more.

We assign a score to each type of account and its features, weigh them carefully based on importance to account holders and determine an overall score. Read our full review methodology.