Updated April 6, 2022

BMO Harris Bank Review: Account Good for You?

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BMO Harris offers low fees and a large ATM network. But savings rates are low. However, the strong features can still make it a good bank for you. Read on.

BMO Harris Bank
BMO Harris Premier™ Account - $350 Cash Bonus

Overall Score

3.5

Savings

2.0

CD

4.0

Checking

4.0

Money Market

3.0

Customer Service

3.5

Mobile App

4.5
5-point scale (the higher, the better)

Pros and Cons

  • Free checking with eStatements
  • Large ATM network
  • Good financial tools
  • Limited branches
  • Low savings APY

Bottom Line

Midwest bank with options for low and high-balance customers

BMO Harris Bank Overview

BMO Harris is one of the oldest regional banks in the Midwest with almost a 200-year history. It's headquartered in Chicago and has over 500 branches. Though it's only located in 8 states, it has 43,000 fee-free ATMs throughout the US.[1]

They offer a variety of personal deposit products, including checking, savings, CDs, and IRAs.

We like that there's a free checking option for low-balance customers. And if you have more to save, you can get higher interest rates with its Premier Money Market or CD specials.

Keep reading to learn more about BMO Harris.

Pros & Cons

Pros:

  • Free checking option with no balance requirements
  • Only $25 to open checking accounts
  • Free access to over 43,000 Allpoint ATMs
  • Frequent cash bonuses for new customers
  • Good digital tools to help manage your finances

Cons:

  • Branches only in 8 states
  • $36 overdraft fees
  • Each overdraft transfer costs $10
  • Low savings interest rates

Smart Advantage Checking

This is the most popular BMO Harris checking account and for good reason. As long as you opt for eStatements, there's no monthly maintenance fee or minimum balance required for this account.[2]

Other features include:

  • Choose your debit card from several options
  • Get cash from ATMs with just your smartphone
  • Mobile check deposits, bill pay, and Zelle
  • Personalized support via chat, phone and in branch

Note that this account has a $36 overdraft fee. It applies if the account is overdrawn by more than $50.[3]

Smart Money Account

The Smart Money checking account is meant to be a safe account with no overdraft fees. It doesn't allow overdrafts - if you don't have the money, the transaction simply will not go through.

It has a $5 monthly service fee that cannot be waived. However, this account is free for young adults under 25 years old.[4]

Note: BMO also charges a $2 fee per month for paper statements. If you opt for eStatements, this fee can be waived.

Premier Account

This is the only BMO Harris checking account that earns interest. In exchange for interest and other perks, it requires a high balance in order to waive the hefty $25 monthly maintenance fee.[5]

Some other perks include:[6]

  • $25 monthly rebates on ATM fee surcharges by other banks
  • Free incoming wires
  • No annual rental fee for a 3"x5" Safe Deposit Box
  • Interest rate discounts on lending products

Compare Checking Account Promotions

Savings Builder Account

BMO Harris' Savings Building Account has $0 monthly fee and requires just $25 to open. However, like most national banks, the interest rate is pretty low.

But a pretty cool perk is that during the first year of the account, BMO Harris will reward you with an extra $5 for each month you save $200 or more.[7] This gives you the opportunity to earn an extra $60 for your savings.

Compare Savings Accounts

Premier Money Market

With just $25, you can open a Premier Money Market account. There is a $10 monthly service fee unless you maintain a monthly minimum balance of $10,000.

They may offer interest rate increases when you bundle it with a BMO Harris Premier Account Relationship Packages. The more money you deposit, the higher your interest rate can be.[8]

Compare Money Market Accounts

CDs

  • Standard CD: BMO Harris offers your standard CD with a variety of maturity dates and just a $1,000 opening deposit. Terms range from 3 months to 5 years.[9]

  • Add-on CD: With this CD, you can make additional deposits after you open the CD. You can deposit money as often as you like. The Add-on CD only comes in 1-year terms and requires a $1,000 opening deposit.

  • Special Rate CDs: BMO Harris also offers a variety of "special" CDs. You'll find higher interest rates and unique terms on these CDs. The largest difference, however, is the $5,000 minimum deposit requirement.

Is BMO Harris Bank Insured?
Yes — BMO Harris Bank is FDIC-insured. Your money is FDIC insured for up to $250,000 per depositor.

Compare CD Rates

IRAs

  • CDs: BMO Harris offers IRA CDs for those who want to take the conservative route with their retirement funds. With just $1,000, you can open a retirement CD. The terms range from 3 months to 5 years. The longer the maturity date that you choose and the more money you invest, the higher the interest rate BMO Harris will offer.[10]

  • IRA Premium Savers: This IRA allows you to make deposits as you can or even on an automated basis. You need $100 to open the account and you can make deposits as frequently or infrequently as you like. You can open the account as a traditional, ROTH, or SEP IRA.[11]

What Is the BMO Harris Routing Number?
The BMO Harris routing number is 071025661.You can also see it on the bottom of your personal checks. It's the number on the left-hand side, before your account number.

Banking Features

  • Total Look
    You can link your non-BMO Harris financial accounts. This gives you the chance to see your full financial picture in one place. You can view transactions, track spending, set up savings goals, create budgets, and more.[12]

  • Mobile Cash
    This features lets you withdraw cash from ATMs with just your smartphone. You don't need to bring your debit card.

  • Overdraft Funding
    If you link a BMO Harris checking and savings account, they will automatically transfer money from your savings to cover overdrafts. This can help you avoid hefty overdraft fees.

    BMO Harris does charge $10 per transfer (maximum one transfer fee per business day), but it's less than the $36 overdraft fee.[13]

  • Auto Save
    You set up the amount and frequency, and BMO Harris will automatically transfer into your savings account for you. It takes the thinking out of saving and helps you avoid spending the money before you have a chance to save it.

  • Large ATM network
    Aside from their own ATMs, BMO Harris is also in the AllPoint network, which has over 40,000 ATMs across the US. You can withdraw your money free of charge, even if you're not near a BMO Harris service area.

  • Card Monitor
    You can turn your debit card on and off at anytime within the app. Plus, you can control spending by setting restrictions by location, merchant type, and transaction amount.

Contacting BMO Harris Bank
You can reach BMO Harris Bank at 1-888-340-2265, 24 hours a day. They also offer the ability to send private messages via their Facebook and Twitter social media pages. You may also use their branch locator and set up an appointment in-person with a BMO Harris banker.

BMO Harris Downsides

  • Only in 8 states
    BMO Harris isn't a nationwide bank. Unless you live in Illinois, Wisconsin, Indiana, Arizona, Florida, Kansas, Missouri, or Minnesota, you won't be able to bank with BMO Harris.

  • Low savings rates
    As typical of national banks, BMO Harris' savings interest rates are pretty abysmal. Don't expect your money to grow much. But there are some CDs with decent rates if you're willing to lock up your funds for a certain term.

  • $50 to close your account
    BMO Harris charges this fee if you close your checking or savings account within the first 90 days of opening it. If you are unsure if the account will work for you, it may be better to wait until you are truly sure.[14]

How It Compares

Fifth Third Bank
Fifth Third is concentrated across the Midwest, South, and Southeast. There is no minimum balance required, no monthly service charge and no minimum deposit to open the traditional checking account, although you will need to fund it within 45 days.[15] They do have a vast network of 50,000 fee-free ATMs and offer online/mobile banking.

Wells Fargo
Wells Fargo is truly a national bank, with a presence in 37 states. They have a network of 12,000 ATMs and a variety of account options. Like BMO Harris, they offer interest-free checking accounts with easy ways to avoid the monthly maintenance fee. They also offer 24/7 phone customer service.

Bottom Line

BMO Harris Bank is a full-service bank with a variety of features and benefits to offer. If you're looking for basic checking and savings with low requirements, BMO Harris may offer just what you need.

But if you're looking for high interest rates, you may want to consider online only banks that have less overhead and can offer higher yields.

References

  1. ^ BMO Harris Bank Facts, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  2. ^ BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  3. ^ BMO Harris Smart Advantage Account Deposit Account Disclosure and Bank Fee Schedule, Retrieved 2/14/2022
  4. ^ BMO Harris Smart Money Account, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  5. ^ BMO Harris Premier Account, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  6. ^ BMO Harris Premier TM Account - Relationship Packages, Retrieved 2/14/2022
  7. ^ BMO Harris Bank. Savings Builder Account, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  8. ^ BMO Harris Bank. Premier Money Market, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  9. ^ BMO Harris Bank. Certificate of Deposit (CDs), Retrieved 2/13/2022
  10. ^ BMO Harris Bank. IRA Certificates of Deposit (CDs), Retrieved 2/13/2022
  11. ^ BMO Harris Bank. IRA Premium Savers, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  12. ^ BMO Harris Total Look - Add Accounts to Total Look, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  13. ^ BMO Harris Bank. Overdraft Services For Personal Checking Accounts, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  14. ^ BMO Harris Bank. Deposit Account Disclosure and Bank Fee Schedule, Retrieved 2/13/2022
  15. ^ Fifth Third Bank. Compare Checking Accounts, Retrieved 4/5/2022
Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $200 Bonus

Expires 7/20/2022
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $200 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account and set up direct deposit
  • Access to 16,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • Open your account online now
  • Available online nationwide except in Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. For branch locations, visit locator.chase.com.
  • Chase Overdraft Assist℠: $0 overdraft fee when you overdraw your account $50 or less*

*We won't charge an overdraft fee if you are overdrawn $50 or less at the end of the business day. Chase may pay, for a $34 fee, overdraft transactions at our discretion based on your account history, deposits and transaction amount. If you've enrolled in Debit Card Coverage, everyday debit card purchases like groceries, may be approved at our discretion when you don't have enough money in your account.

Citibank

Citi Priority Account - Up to $1,500 Cash Bonus

Expires 7/17/2022
  • Earn up to $1,500 cash bonus when you open a new account with required activities
  • Open a new eligible checking account in the Citi Priority Account during the offer period 1/5/22-7/17/22
  • Within 20 days of opening, deposit $50,000 in New-To Citibank funds between the new checking and savings accounts
  • Maintain a minimum balance of $50,000 in the checking account for an additional 60 consecutive calendar days from the 21st day
  • After all required activities are met, the cash bonus will be deposited to your account within 90 calendar days
CIT Bank
Member FDIC

Money Market Account - Get a Year of Amazon Prime

To get your year of Amazon Prime ($139 cash value):
  • Open a new Money Market account using promo code AMZN22.
  • Fund your account with $15,000 within 15 days.
  • Keep a minimum balance of $15,000 for 60 days.
After 60 days, if you've fulfilled the requirements, CIT will send you an email with your Prime membership code. Existing Amazon Prime members can use the one year of Amazon Prime to renew their membership for an additional year. Limit one Money Market promotion per account and per customer. Conditions apply. See advertiser website for details.
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

To get your $150 or $200 Bonus: What to do: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account (online, by phone or Discover App). Enter Offer Code CY222 when applying. Deposit into your account a total of at least $15,000 to earn a $150 Bonus or deposit a total of at least $25,000 to earn a $200 Bonus. Deposit must be posted to account within 30 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers or existing or prior customers with savings accounts that are co-branded, or affinity accounts provided by Discover. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 30 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is interest and subject to reporting on Form 1099-INT. Offer ends 06/15/2022, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

Expires 6/15/2022
TD Bank
Member FDIC

TD Beyond Checking - $300 Cash Bonus

Expires 10/31/2022
  • Earn $300 when you receive direct deposits totaling $2,500 or more within 60 days
  • Get more from your checking account. With TD Beyond Checking with Payback Plus, you'll earn interest and get reimbursed for non-TD ATM transactions, Rush Bill Payments and more.
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived when you receive monthly direct deposits of $5,000 or more, or maintain a minimum daily balance of $2,500, or a combined balance of $25,000 across eligible TD accounts.
  • TD fees waived at any ATM and non-TD fees reimbursed when you keep at least a $2,500 daily balance
  • Overdraft Payback - Get overdraft fees automatically reversed up to two times a year.
  • Get your money where it needs to go —fast— with Rush Bill Payments, Send Money with Zelle®, incoming wires and a reimbursement for one outgoing wire (domestic or international) per statement cycle.
  • TD checking accounts come with an instant-issue debit card. And, you can pay with confidence with Zero Liability protection and 24/7 fraud monitoring.
  • Monthly maintenance fee waived on one TD Simple Checking℠ account and any Savings and Money Market accounts. Plus, get free standard check orders, money orders, official bank checks and stop payments.

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