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BMO Alto CD Review

BMO Alto CD
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Kale Havervold
Feb. 29, 2024
4 min read
Kale Havervold
BMO Alto CD Summary
BMO Alto is the online-only banking option from BMO Bank. While this division only launched in 2023, BMO Bank has been around for over 200 years. BMO Alto offers multiple certificates of deposit (CDs), ranging from six months to five years. It has no fees or minimum deposit requirements and offers some of the best CD rates. The company provides 24/7 customer support over the phone, and opening an account online is easy.

Pros

  • No fees
  • No minimum deposit
  • High rates and multiple term options

Cons

  • No mobile app for BMO Alto
  • No in-person assistance or branch access

BMO Alto CD at a glance

9.2
Editorial score

Fees?

No fees other than an early withdrawal penalty
9.0

Security

FDIC-insured, two-factor authentication; website has SSL encryption
10.0

Customer service

24/7 customer support over the phone and a dedicated financial crimes unit
10.0

Online experience

Solid user experience with all features available online; rates are transparent
10.0

Mobile experience

None
7.0

BMO Alto CD BMO Alto CD Visit Site

Advantages Over Traditional Banks

BMO Alto offers individual and joint CD accounts with no minimum deposit requirements or fees. Some financial institutions charge monthly fees, and many banks require that you deposit large amounts to open a CD. These stipulations make it difficult for some people to invest, as not everyone has thousands to put in a CD immediately.

BMO Alto also provides very competitive interest rates beyond what most traditional banks offer. This offering is likely due to the lower operating costs and overheads it incurs as an online-only bank.

In addition to its CDs, BMO Alto provides an online savings account that has a leg up on offerings from traditional banks, thanks to its high rates, unlimited transfers, and lack of fees.

Digital Banking Services 

The BMO Alto online platform lets you manage your account on the go, track your earnings, and move money in and out of your account. 

There are two easy ways to move money in and out of BMO Alto. The first is to transfer funds to and from an external account you connected to BMO Alto. The other is to transfer from an external account using your BMO Alto routing number/account number.

Unfortunately, you can’t access BMO Alto accounts through BMO digital banking or the BMO app, so some features like mobile deposits aren’t available.

Traditional Banking Services

While it’s associated with BMO, which has hundreds of branches and offers dozens of services, BMO Alto doesn’t provide many traditional banking services. If you’re looking for branch access or ATMs, you’re out of luck.

BMO Alto offers an online-only savings account but no checking account. It also doesn't issue checks or debit cards, and there's no support for wire transfers or the Zelle digital payments network. However, if you're using a BMO Alto CD to park your money for a few months or years, the lack of traditional banking services may not be a big problem.

Interest Rates and Fees

BMO Alto offers several online-only CDs with various term lengths and annual percentage yields (APYs).

Six months12 months24 months36 months48 months60 months
APY5.50%5.15%4.75%4.60%4.60%4.60%

These rates are very competitive and among the best in the industry as of early 2024 — but keep in mind that rates are subject to change.

BMO Alto has no fees to open or maintain a CD account. However, there’s an early withdrawal penalty if you remove money from the CD before it matures. If the CD term is less than 11 months, you’re charged 90 days’ interest. For CD terms of 12 months or more, the penalty is 180 days’ interest.

Overall, these penalties are around the same as the industry standard. BMO Alto will waive the penalty fee if the account owner of the CD passes away or is declared legally incompetent.

Customer Service and Online Experience

BMO Alto is relatively new and has few reviews so far. Comments on Trustpilot are mixed — some users reported positive experiences, like accounts being easy to open, while others expressed frustration over support wait times and slow transfers.

The company offers 24/7 customer service over the phone at 855-266-8100. There are also plenty of support resources for the CD and savings accounts on the website. For example, an FAQ section answers questions about the company, the platform's security, using your account, and more. 

There's also a handy CD calculator to give you a closer look at what you could earn and PDFs explaining account terms and agreements.

The website’s interface is clear, straightforward, and intuitive. While it lacks some of the features of other online banking platforms, you won't get lost or be confused while using it, and it’s easy to navigate whether you’re on a computer or your phone.

Opening a CD account is easy and only takes a few minutes. You complete the process via a secure online form, providing your name, date of birth, contact info, citizenship, address, and Social Security or taxpayer identification number.

Mobile App

BMO Alto doesn’t have an app and is only accessible through the website.

Security 

The company takes your security seriously and uses Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) encryption on its website. SSL is a protocol for securing an internet connection between two devices, so you can be confident that information shared with the bank cannot be intercepted.

In addition, BMO Alto accounts support two-factor authentication (2FA), meaning two separate forms of identification are required to gain access. As well as your password, you’ll need to enter a code sent to your phone/email. This measure helps secure your account and makes it more difficult for others to gain access to it.

BMO Alto maintains strong internal controls such as firewalls to protect account information and frequently trains employees on security-related best practices. The BMO Financial Crimes Unit also manages security threats 24 hours a day.

Your CD account is insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC). This insurance protects accounts for up to $250,000 in case of a bank failure. If you have other U.S. accounts under the BMO brand, keep in mind that they’re not separately insured. All of your BMO accounts count towards the same $250,000 deposit insurance limit.

Summary

BMO Alto is a relatively new online-only banking solution offering some of the industry's best CD rates. It gives you 24/7 access to customer support, and the platform is easy to use on any device. Add on the fact that there are no fees or minimum deposit requirements, and you have a great option for CDs between six months and five years. 

BMO Alto CD BMO Alto CD Visit Site

Methodology

This review was created using information from the BMO Alto website, as well as reviews from Trustpilot.

Kale Havervold
Written by
Kale Havervold
Kale Haverold is a freelance writer with over 5 years of experience crafting articles about credit cards, loans, debt, and a raft of other personal finance topics. His work has been featured on Top10.com, BestMoney, Yahoo, Hardbacon, and Loans Canada. Kale’s easy-to-digest, research-driven articles stem from his passion to share knowledge that helps readers make informed financial decisions.
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