January 26, 2024

Is BMO a Good Bank?

Read more about BMO Bank
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Is BMO a good choice for your banking needs? Find out here.

BMO, one of the largest banks in North America, was founded in 1817 in Canada. They serve about 13 million customers worldwide.

They also have operations in the US and are headquartered in Chicago, Illinois. They have over 4 million customers across 32 states, 1,000+ branches, and more than 40,000 Allpoint® ATMs.

But are they good? What are BMO's banking products and services? Learn more and see if you should bank with BMO.

What does BMO stand for?
BMO means Bank of Montreal, which is also the name of its parent company based in Canada.

Is BMO a Good Bank?

BMO is a good option for folks who want to keep their bank accounts in one place. It is ideal for those who prefer banking with a traditional bank with a full suite of products and services and physical branch access.

Although the locations were concentrated in the Midwest, BMO has expanded in the West too.[1]

Online banks and credit unions might offer better rates if you're looking for higher returns. But if you don't mind an online-only platform, you can explore BMO Alto's high-yield savings and CDs.

Don't confuse BMO Digital Banking with BMO Alto! These are two separate online platforms where the former caters to BMO's standard retail bank offerings, while the latter provides access to BMO Alto accounts only.

Is BMO a Trusted Bank?

Yes, BMO is a trusted bank by millions in the States. They are committed to handling customers' money and personal information with integrity, ensuring the safety of their finances.

Additionally, BMO is an FDIC-member bank which means deposits are insured up to $250,000 per ownership category. This makes people feel secure because they are guaranteed to get their money back if the bank fails.

BMO Bank Accounts

BMO provides a wide range of products including savings, checking, money market, and CDs. Here's a rundown of their current offers:

BMO Smart Advantage Checking
This account has no minimum balance. You also get to waive the monthly fee when you opt for paperless statements. But, there is a $15 overdraft fee for overdrawing by more than $50.[2]

BMO Smart Money Checking
This account gives you peace of mind by not allowing overdrafts. But it comes with a $5 monthly fee that can't be waived unless you're under 25 years old.[3]

BMO Relationship Checking
You can earn interest and other perks with this account, but a high balance is needed to waive the $25 monthly maintenance fee. You do get benefits like rebates on ATM fees and interest rate discounts on lending products.[4]

BMO Savings Builder Account
This has $0 monthly fees and a $25 opening requirement. While the rate may be low, you can earn an extra $5 for each month you save $200 or more in the first year of opening the account.[5]

BMO Relationship Plus Money Market
Open with $25 and maintain a $5,000 daily balance to avoid a $10 monthly service fee.[6] Bundling it with a Relationship Checking Account can get you higher interest rates based on your quarterly combined balance. [7]

BMO Certificate of Deposits
BMO offers Standard CDs with varied maturity dates, an Add-on CD allowing additional deposits, and Special Rate CDs with odd terms and higher rates, all with a $1,000 minimum deposit requirement.[8]

Is BMO a Real Bank?
Yes, BMO Bank is a legitimate bank in the US (FDIC Cert #16571). It is based in Chicago, Illinois, and is owned by Bank of Montreal–the 8th-largest bank in North America by asset size.

BMO Alto

BMO Alto, the online banking division of BMO, offers deposit products with impressive rates. Currently, they have an online savings account and a CD: [9]

BMO Alto Online Savings Account
A high-yield savings account with no fees, no opening deposit, and no minimum balance.

BMO Alto Online Certificates of Deposit
These are standard CDs with very competitive APY. There are 6 terms available ranging from 6 to 60 months.

How to reach BMO Alto customer support?
To contact BMO Alto for assistance on your account, you can call 1-855-266-8100.

Remember that they are strictly online and can only be accessed through the BMO Alto website. So, you can't go to a BMO branch for support and services on your BMO Alto account.

Other BMO Bank Products and Services

BMO also offers other products and services such as loans, investment options, etc. Here's what they have:

  • IRA CDs
  • IRA Premium Savers savings account
  • Overdraft services
  • BMO Digital Banking
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto/Boat/RV Loans
  • Home Equity Lines of Credit and Loans
  • Student Loans
  • Personal Loans
  • Credit Builder Loan Program
  • Mortgages
  • BMO Smart Portfolio
  • Wealth Management

They also have BMO Premier Services which gives you access to better perks, including a dedicated banker and financial advisor, if you meet the combined deposit and investment requirement of at least $250,000.

How to contact BMO Bank?
If you need to reach BMO Bank customer support, you can call 1-888-340-2265. Use their branch locator if you need in-person assistance.

BMO Bank Fees and Charges

Unfortunately like most big banks, BMO has fees and charges on their products and services too. Here are some fees you might encounter with BMO: [10]

  • $5 - $25 monthly maintenance fees for some accounts
  • $15 overdraft fee
  • $3 out-of-network ATM fee
  • $15 transaction limitation fee
  • $50 account closing fee (if closed within 90 days of opening)
  • $3 paper statement fee
  • $30 outgoing domestic wires
  • $50 outgoing international wires

BMO Pros and Cons

If you're trying to decide whether to bank with BMO or otherwise, here's a quick look at their perks and pitfalls.

Pros:

  • Free checking option with no minimum balance
  • Low opening deposit requirement
  • High APY offers on savings and CDs via BMO Alto
  • Full suite of banking products and services
  • Access to over 1,000 branches and 40,000 ATMs nationwide

Cons:

  • Standard savings interest rate is low
  • High balance requirements to get relationship rates

Is BMO Reliable?
BMO's customer support line is available from 7am to 11pm Central Time from Monday to Friday, and 8am to 10pm on Saturdays and Sundays. But you can report lost or stolen cards anytime. For in-person assistance, BMO has over 1,000 branches nationwide to serve you.

What aspect of BMO banking services do you value the most?

Should You Open a BMO Account?

If you prefer big banks that are widely available nationwide and have a broad range of banking products and services, consider opening an account with BMO.

You might not get the highest rates on some of their savings products, but their BMO Alto offerings might be able to bridge that gap.

At the end of the day, the answer depends on your goals and how you want to manage your finances. If you want a comfortable banking experience, then a reputable bank like BMO might fit the bill.

How to Open a BMO Account

BMO lets you open an account with them conveniently online. Here's what you should do:

  1. Visit the official website of BMO Bank and go to your preferred account from the navigation tabs.
  2. Click on Open an Account and fill out the form by providing the necessary information.
  3. Submit and wait for confirmation.

You can also visit a branch if you prefer to open an account in person. Just make sure you have the necessary IDs and documents when you drop by.

Bottom Line

BMO is a good option if you prefer a traditional bank that serves as a one-stop shop for all your finance needs. Physical locations might not be available in all states, but they do offer online platforms for convenient banking.

Ultimately, you'd want to choose a bank that will fit your financial needs best. If you're looking for competitive rates, some online banks and credit unions might have better offers.

How would you rate your overall satisfaction with BMO's banking services?

References

Chase
Member FDIC

Chase Total Checking® - $300 Bonus

Expires 7/24/2024
  • New Chase checking customers enjoy a $300 bonus when you open a Chase Total Checking® account with qualifying activities
  • Access to more than 15,000 Chase ATMs and more than 4,700 branches
  • Chase Mobile® app - Manage your accounts, deposit checks, transfer money and more -- all from your device.
  • JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. Member FDIC
  • 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℠ - no overdraft fees if you're overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the business day or if you're overdrawn by more than $50 and bring your account balance to overdrawn by $50 or less at the end of the next business day*
Bank of America
Member FDIC

Bank of America Advantage Banking - $200 Bonus Offer

Expires 9/30/2024
  • The $200 bonus offer is an online only offer and must be opened through the Bank of America promotional page.
  • The offer is for new checking customers only.
  • Offer expires 9/30/2024.
  • To qualify, open a new eligible Bank of America Advantage Banking account through the promotional page and set up and receive qualifying direct deposits totaling $2,000 or more into that new eligible account within 90 days of account opening. Bank of America Advantage SafeBalance Banking® for Family Banking accounts are not eligible for this offer.
  • Once all requirements are met, Bank of America will attempt to pay bonus within 60 days.
  • Additional terms and conditions apply. See offer page for more details.
  • Bank of America, N.A. Member FDIC.
Discover Bank
Member FDIC

Discover® Online Savings - $200 Cash Bonus

Expires 9/12/2024

To qualify for Bonus: Apply for your first Discover Online Savings Account, enter Offer Code CY624 at application, 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. Qualifying deposit(s) may consist of multiple deposits and must post to Account within 45 days of account open date. Maximum bonus eligibility is $200.

What to know: Offer not valid for existing or prior Discover savings customers, including co-branded, or affinity accounts. Eligibility is based on primary account owner. Account must be open when bonus is credited. Bonus will be credited to the account within 60 days of the account qualifying for the bonus. Bonus is subject to tax reporting. Offer ends 09/12/2024, 11:59 PM ET. Offer may be modified or withdrawn without notice. See advertiser website for full details.

CIT Bank
Member FDIC

CIT Bank Platinum Savings - 5.00% APY

  • 5.00% APY with a balance of $5,000 or more
  • 0.25% APY with a balance of less than $5,000
  • $100 minimum opening deposit
  • No monthly maintenance fee
  • Member FDIC
Bluevine

Free Business Checking - Up to 2.0% APY

  • 2.0% APY on your balance up to $250,000 for customers that meet monthly eligibility requirements
  • $0 minimum opening deposit
  • $0 monthly service fee
Banking services provided by Coastal Community Bank, Member FDIC

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CreditDonkey is a bank comparison website. We publish data-driven analysis to help you save money & make savvy decisions.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed on this page are those of the author's alone, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any card issuer.

†Advertiser Disclosure: Many of the offers that appear on this site are from companies from which CreditDonkey receives compensation. This compensation may impact how and where products appear on this site (including, for example, the order in which they appear). CreditDonkey does not include all companies or all offers that may be available in the marketplace.

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