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BMO Harris Review

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BMO Harris
CR
Christian Rigg
Nov. 03, 20214 min read

BMO Harris summary

Formed through a merger between N.W. Harris and Co. (founded 1882) and the Bank of Montreal, BMO Harris is a veteran financial institute with physical agencies in eight US states. Extensive investments in online and mobile banking, however, means that anybody, anywhere can open an account and benefit from BMO Harris’s many features, like a 0.35% APY savings account and a highly flexible money-market account (MMA).

Pros

  • Zero-fee checking account
  • Flexible MMA with check and ATM withdrawals
  • Attractive high-interest MMA rates up to 0.35% APY
  • Special CD rates up to 1.30% APY
  • AllPoint ATM access to 55,000 ATMs across the country

Cons

  • High overdraft fees
  • Standard savings account APY a bit low at 0.05% APY
  • Low-balance MMA interest rates below national average

BMO Harris BMO Harris Visit BMO Harris

Advantages Over Traditional Banks

BMO Harris is a traditional brick-and-mortar bank that has heavily invested in their online and mobile banking experience. As such, even those who live outside the eight states with physical agencies can benefit from all of BMO Harris’s great features, including: 

  • No-fee checking account when you opt for digital statements.
  • No-fee savings account with a $100 minimum balance.
  • Competitive rates on Contracts of Deposit (CDs) up to 1.30%, almost 2.5x the national average at 55 months.
  • Branch access for those living in one of the eight states with physical branches.
  • Access to AllPoint ATMs, more than 55,000 locations worldwide.
  • MMA with check-writing and ATM withdrawal for easy access.

Cutting-Edge Banking Services 

BMO Harris’s extensive online and mobile banking functions make it easy to get a handle on your finances, control your cash flow, and keep your money and personal information secure. 

  • Bills: Receive and automatically pay e-bills, with on-time payment guarantee and 24-month history. 
  • Total Look offers an overview of all your accounts, even those from other institutions, to give you a smarter, more intuitive picture of your finances.
  • Zelle. Send money to friends and family in minutes, with just their mobile number or email address.
  • Reporting features for analyzing spending habits, to build a better budget.

Traditional Banking Services  

Birthed from the merger of two veteran financial institutions, BMO Harris offers a full range of traditional banking services:

  • 500 branches (mostly Midwestern) and AllPoint ATM network (55,000 zero-fee ATMs worldwide).
  • Multiple checking accounts, with great features like zero fees and rebates on out-of-network ATM fees.
  • Range of investment options, including IRAs, with dedicated wealth management agents
  • Multiple Mastercard credit cards available, including a no-fee Platinum Rewards card.
  • Mortgages, loans, and lines of credit.
  • Full range of business and commercial services, including accounts, credit cards, lending, business insights and direction, and special offers on services.

Interest Rates and Fees 

BMO Harris has a lot to offer for those looking to safely grow their money through savings accounts, MMAs,, and CDs. The different APYs and rates are listed below, and most of the fees are waivable. 

Account

APY

Monthly Fee
Checking Accounts0% - 0.10% $0 - $25

Statement Savings Account

0.05%$0 - $5)
Platinum Money Market0.05% - 0.35%$0
Certificates of Deposit0.05% - 0.75%$0

While monthly fees are reasonable and often avoidable, the overdraft fees are steep: $36 per transaction, up to four transactions per day, with an additional $7 fee for each day of overdraft beyond three consecutive business days. You can avoid these by connecting a savings account or line of credit for automatic coverage, at $10 per transaction, and by ensuring your account stays in good standing. . 

Customer Service 

BMO Harris customer service can be reached by phone from 8 am to 8 pm CST. Alternatively, you can also submit a query on their website at any time, and request to be contacted either by phone or by email.

While the website doesn’t have a dedicated FAQ or knowledge base, you can search for articles from the Contact Us page, and may find what you’re looking for. Most product and service pages also have a helpful FAQ section at the bottom of the page, and the Digital Banking section has very thorough dedicated FAQ and demo pages. 

Mobile App

As previously stated, BMO Harris offers online banking options for all everyday transactions, and has some fantastic tools for managing your finances: 

  • Smartphone ATM Access means you can still withdraw cash from an ATM, even if you’ve forgotten (or chosen to leave) your wallet at home.
  • Mobile check deposit makes it easy to deposit checks, even if you’re miles from the nearest branch. Just take a picture of both sides with your phone’s camera.
  • Apple Pay. Tap to pay with your smartphone or tablet with Apple Pay integration for up to eight BMO Harris bank cards.

Security

BMO Harris has built a number of security features into its online and mobile banking products. The mobile apps come with biometric security, so you can access your accounts using Fingerprint ID (Samsung), or Touch or Face ID (iPhone).

The dedicated Security Centre has lots of information on how to stay safe while banking online, and their guarantee is unequivocal: “We will reimburse you for unauthorized transactions to your personal banking accounts resulting from fraud through BMO Harris Online … [and] Mobile Banking.”

BMO Harris BMO Harris Visit BMO Harris

Summary

BMO Harris is a major financial institute with a full range of online and digital products, including online checking and savings accounts, MMAs and CDs, many of which offer very competitive interest rates. The online and digital banking apps provide a bevy of useful features, like bill payment and smartphone ATM access. 


CR
Written byChristian Rigg

Christian Rigg is a freelance writer who’s spilled ink on everything from finance and technology to data science. Born and raised in Canada, he currently lives in the south of France. He writes for BestMoney and enjoys helping readers make sense of the options on the market.‎

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  • author
    Julianna Jordan
    Sep 21, 2022
    I wouldn’t even give them a 1 star had…

    I wouldn’t even give them a 1 star had I been able to avoid it. BMO Harris has one of the worst customer service I have ever experienced. With constantly giving you the run around, and NO resolution. I work for a financial institution and they sandbag payoffs and request you to do their job for them and then tell you they can no longe help. Trying to speak to someone above the base customer service is next to impossible. They’re rude, they do not put the customer first, and doing anything with them is extremely difficult.

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  • author
    Believe
    Sep 18, 2022
    Horrible customer service

    Horrible customer service. They don't have the right information, don't listen to you and make you run around to serve their needs. After calling many of their customer service reps, issues are still not resolved. Horrible that they won't even listen to their customers.

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  • author
    MARC Z
    Sep 10, 2022
    Worst Customer Service of Big Banks

    90 - 120 minutes wait time for customer support by phone...up from 40 minutes 5 years ago...fees keep increasing and service keeps deteriorating...if you want to avoid stress and frustration in your life do yourself a favor and choose another bank. ANY OTHER BANK.

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  • author
    Dwana Gibbs
    Aug 27, 2022
    HOLD BMO HARRIS BANK ACCOUNTABLE FOR THEIR WRONGS

    1 STAR IS TOO MUCH AMERICA, On August 25th, 2022 at 4:28 p.m. I called BMO HARRIS since the Branch has NO control and the (800) RUNS the Bank! Explained my reason for calling as asked, when I stated BMO had corrupted my positive $0.00 account in good standing by giving for the fourth time in months. My money to a company that was not supposed to be paid. That actually had approved my REFUND of $63.29 which is on the way. Prior to BMO HARRIS putting me in a NEGATIVE Balance of $63.29 by giving funds to this company. From a card that was CLOSED over a month ago by a supervisor to help me protect my Bank account from future fraud. A card that IS INACTIVE and CUT UP! I had NO worries about any transactions being paid from this card. ONLY incoming pending deposits if any. I wanted to speak to a Supervisor, and the Representative HUNG UP IN MY FACE! I called back of course and waited for a callback when I did speak with the Escalation person. Again No empathy, No accountability from BMO Harris, Only SMUG Excuses Of How, and Why they were able to do this. I asked if my card is closed and cut up why were I not contacted prior, they responded they don't do that. Now with the overdraft of $63.29, I will not get a dime for it all is going to BMO Harris for their NEGLIGENCE of putting me in overdraft, by paying this company with funds I DID NOT HAVE AVAILABLE TO PAY ANYONE! Mind you when my account is empty I CAN NOT EVEN BUY A LOAF OF BREAD. I will not get one dime of money owed and honored by company in paying me. It seems America is HELPLESS at the ILL treatment and NEgligence of Our Banking Institutions THIS CYBER space Of every LAZY company turning all of our data financial info to computers. MISTAKES CARELESSNESS AND PROBLEMS are ONLY Going to become more FREQUENT and WORSE! I will be closing my account as soon as I am in the positive Next week and Moving my future MONEY to PAYPAL! which I should have done a long time ago when BMO HARRIS BANK started being SLOPPY UNRELIABLE and CARELESS With My Money! AMERICA DO NOT ACCEPT BRIBES TO OPEN ACCOUNTS. THEY DO NOT CARE! WILL NOT MAKE ANY effort to correct their mistakes! I am SO SAD, I AM Heartbroken not over $63.29, It IS NOTHING TO MOST BUT ON LIMITED INCOME IT MEANS FOOD AND MINOR THINGS WE DESPERATELY NEED! The fact that a multi-million dollar corporation can just Do This to people who Have NO means to hire an Attorney to fight For Them. That NO ONE CARES Enough To LISTEN TO THE PEOPLE! READ THESE REVIEWS! MANDATE BY LAW THAT BMO HARRIS AND OTHER INSTITUTIONS That are NEGliGENT LIKE THEME Be HELD ACCOUNTABLE FOR their WRONG DOING AND HORRIBLE TREATMENT OF THERE CUSTOMERS That Trusted Them With Their Livelihood! Their Income! There Savings! There Money! IT"S HEARTBREAKING!

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  • author
    TONY Cornejo
    Aug 04, 2022
    Crap bank with horrible customer…

    Crap bank with horrible customer service. They illegally hold checks and can’t stop the real fraud but they hold non fraudulent checks for weeks. How do you hold a check for fraud after y on ve already taken the funds from the issuers account? Stay away! Not even the person at your local branch will help you if you have a problem, just ask Ryan at the calumet Ave branch in Hammond Indiana if he bothers calling you back. Acts like he cares but he don’t

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  • author
    Tiffany
    Jul 28, 2022
    Do Not Use This Company

    This is the worst company I have ever had to deal with. They are unable to verify you even with ALL of your personal information!! Very unprofessional and I am so glad I sold my car and no longer have to deal with this company again!

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  • author
    Oscar Yip
    Jul 12, 2022
    Freeze your account to lock up your money plus the worst customer service

    Opened an account in April 2022. 3 days later my account was suddenly frozen by Kelsey Thompson from Fraud Dept. She requested 3 pieces of documents to prove my identity in order to un-freeze my account or it will be closed. I just moved to my new house and so I cannot provide the utility bill that she asked for. So, I agreed that she can close my account because of this. she sent a letter to me by post to confirm this decision a week later. However, 3 months passed and I can still see my frozen account sitting there without being closed. Everytime I called them (both Fraud dept and general BMO customer service) they still ask me to prove 3 forms of documents to un-freeze my account. I am very confused because you said you want to close my account. Why I still need to provide these documents now? They said if I don't provide the documents physically in a branch it will take a very long time to close it naturally. I don't have a branch in my state and of course I won't book a flight and hotel just fly to another State just to show them my documents. The worst thing is they started the whole issue from freezing my account, wanting to close it, not closing it and then requesting me to go to a branch to do nonsense. Even putting aside my account issue, every time I called them to explain my situation, all the customer representatives were so rude. They either never answered my call, promised to call back but never, or passed me to an irrelevant department that ends up wasting so much time. I didn't do anything wrong. The only mistake I made was to open an account with you in April. I didn't feel I was treated as a human honestly. I just want to say this is the worst banking experience I ever have in my life indeed.

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  • author
    Mark Haddad
    Jun 14, 2022
    Call their Fraud HOTLINE after your…

    Call their Fraud HOTLINE after your card gets hacked. Here is the number (262) 641-1998, call it! Let us know how many hundreds of times you had to call for them to actually pickup. Ive been callkmg for over 24 hours and they never answer. I had to contact the CFPB to report this as horrible customer service. I even contacted 2 branch managers and they cant get them to answer or call back either. In my opinion - banks that act in this manner should recieve a well deserved MASSIVE FINE. This is exactly what horrible customer service is all aboit and they still just dont give a sh!t... PATHETIC BANKING AT ITS WORSE! DO SOMETHING ALREADY

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  • author
    Otterlike
    May 16, 2022
    Deactivated my account...

    Deactivated my account since it wasn't being used for a couple of months... Then I have to make a new one and go to activate my card at a gas station. They transfer me and expect me to wait 40 minutes to ACTIVATE my card. Get more staff or don't transfer someone for no reason who entered all the information correctly! I wanted to swap banks for a better experience and now I'm choosing to let you guys "Cancel my account" by yourselves again because of this poor service.

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  • author
    Cory Johnson
    Mar 28, 2022
    worst online banking experience ever…

    worst online banking experience ever trying to access my car loan and they keep telling me i have wrong number i just want to know how much i have i owe on it so i can pay it off. I will never do any banking here again

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  • author
    AW
    Feb 08, 2022
    I was able to start an account online

    I was able to start an account online, which was awesome. I did have some issues at one point, because they charged me fees when it was supposed to be a free account. They did correct it, but still. I have not had an issue for the past year or so, though.

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  • author
    Julia
    Jan 10, 2022
    Terrible online functionality and customer experience

    Limited online functionality so have to call customer service each time and wait 30 minutes+ to speak with a rep who is helpless to do anything.

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  • author
    Michelle Bowman
    Dec 12, 2021
    Worst bank ever

    Worst bank ever. They froze my account or no reason! I can`t use my money since summer! I think this is a fraud. Do not use this bank!!!!!!!

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  • author
    Katie in NH
    Nov 22, 2021
    Worst bank I've ever used - by leaps and bounds!!

    I use BMO Harris only because the company bought Diner's Club from another bank a few years ago. I have banked with many entities, ranging from small credit unions to large, multinational banks, and just about everything in between. My work has required domestic and international travel for my entire 40 year career, so I've seen it all. Between my Amex and Diner's accounts, there isn't much a traveler would need, so I rely heavily on both and wouldn't think of getting rid of either. However, since BMO Harris took over Diner's, for me it's been nothing but trouble, hassle, absolutely horrendous - no, nonexistent - "customer service". I cannot say enough about how bad my experiences have been. The company forced closure of the old Diner's website, which was simple and intuitive, and provided easy, fast access to information and accounting tools, and changed it over so that Diner's account had to join the HORRIBLE BMO Harris site. The information needed to manage an account properly is almost hidden, and in my view, the site is incredibly un-intuitive and user-unfriendly. Evidently, you can't even change your personal information and contacts online; I tried by contacting them through their website but I was told that I would have to call them with the information. This is incredible - they are not only creating more work for themselves with this policy, but making more work for their customers, not to mention the ill will. Other normal online credit card management options are unavailable to Diner's users, also, it seems. The telephone reps, when I could get through, have been consistently uninterested in hearing my difficulties, offered seemingly pre-canned excuses, and have even been downright nasty at times - shockingly so! It's also my opinion that payments are slower to be credited with BMO than with any other bank I use. If not for the very nice Diners Club services provided to travelers (features that were made available long before BMO got its hooks into Diners), I would trash this account. I thank my stars I don't have to bank with BMO Harris in any other capacity, and one day, when my life requires less travel, it will give me great pleasure to terminate my BMO Harris account.

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  • author
    Sue
    Oct 08, 2021
    I LOVE BMO HARRIS BANK!

    I LOVE my bank, BMO HARRIS. I have been banking with them since 1992! ALMOST 30 years! And in that time, I have NEVER had a bad experience OR a bounced check! THAT, is why I've been banking there for nearly 30 years. Unlike most other banks, if you over draw, they will give you 1 day to cover the funds, thereby never charging you an overdraft fee as long as you do. As well, I had a 10 year, $10,000 line of equity with them that I paid off and never had 1 problem with. The customer service is always excellent and any money that I have ever deposited, has always been available immediately/almost immediately. Having said all of this, I must admit that I have to wonder about the financial responsibility of any of the complainers on here! The easiest bank EVER!!

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  • author
    OS
    Sep 02, 2021
    Had the worst banking experience of my…

    Had the worst banking experience of my life at the Chicago location. At this point, I am thinking of shaming them publicly with my recordings and or filing suit. Any lawyers reading this want to advise me on what to do?

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  • author
    Jive J.
    Jul 28, 2021
    Been with them for years and never had…

    Been with them for years and never had a problem, their sales reps are always there to listen and I feel safe keeping my account at BMO. Keep up the good work!

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  • author
    Lawrence Benzvidez
    Jun 28, 2021
    Frozen account and stolen funds

    Terrible bank, will freeze your account without any explanation and doesnt allow to withdraw funds. Please stay away from this bank ((((

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  • author
    BlaccMamba
    May 07, 2021
    Received great customer service at my…

    Received great customer service at my bank location. That's not the reason for the 3 start review. It takes FOREVER to send and receive a deposit with BMO Harris bank. It takes nearly 5 to 7 days to update on your account or external account. Also having issues purchasing crypto using my card. Think they don't want people purchasing crypto using there bank cards. Right now I'm looking for a card to do transfers and this one will not work. May have to close it soon..

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  • author
    Ily Em
    Mar 03, 2021
    Amazing Relationship Banker at 27th Ave Location Phoenix

    Shout out to the amazing Relationship Banker, Kyle DeVoe NMLS: 1765373 | Retail Relationship Banker | Deer Valley 19828 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85027. Kyle is not only helpful but he is proactive. I had a deposit issue at another branch. I contacted Kyle for assistance but was advised that I needed to contact that branch manager directly. Kyle provided me their contact info, but he also called the other branch manager directly. By the time I called the other branch manager was already aware of the issue and was taking steps to remedy! Thank you to both Kyle and Anthony.

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