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BMO Harris Review

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CR
Christian Rigg
May. 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

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.”

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.‎

BMO Harris
AverageReviews 7
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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!!

    ...

  • author
    Dsbg
    2 days ago
    Suspicious of theft.

    Doesn't complete money transfer, doesn't respond to my bank in Brazil, doesn't send MT103 for us to track our international transfer. They don't answer even to the broker who submitted the withdrawal request.

    ...

  • 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?

    ...

  • 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!

    ...

  • 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 ((((

    ...

  • 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..

    ...

  • 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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