BMO Harris Bank Review (2023)

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Founded over 130 years ago, BMO Harris Bank maintains over 500 brick-and-mortar locations across eight states. It features a host of online and mobile banking tools to fit a variety of banking needs.

In addition to traditional checking and savings accounts, BMO Harris offers personal loans, mortgages, retirement and investment accounts, wealth management services and business and commercial banking.

This review is focused on the personal banking options available at BMO Harris Bank. Here’s a closer look at what BMO Harris has to offer consumers and where they stand compared to other banking institutions.

Account Basics

Checking

BMO Harris has three checking accountsavailable for its customers.

Smart Advantage checking. BMO Harris’s most popular checking account, Smart Advantage, requiresno monthly maintenance fees and a$25 minimum opening deposit. Paper statement fees are $2 each month, but you can opt for paperless statements and waive the fee. The account comes with a BMO Harris Bank Debit Mastercard.

Smart Money checking. This checking account comes with a $5 monthly fee, but that fee is waived for customers under age 25. There is a $25 minimum opening deposit requirement. Because customers can only spend available funds in the account, there are no overdraft or non-sufficient fund fees. Smart Money accounts, like Smart Advantage accounts, give you the option to opt out of paper statements and waive the $2 fee. A BMO Harris Bank Debit Mastercard comes with the account.

Premier checking. As BMO Harris’ only interest-bearing checking account, Premier accounts require an initial $25 depositand have a$25 monthly fee. The monthly fee can be waived by meeting any of these requirements:

  • $10,000 minimum daily balance
  • $25,000 in combined BMO Harris accounts
  • A BMO Harris investment account

All account balances earn interest, but you’ll need to have at least $25,000 in your account to earn their top interest rate, currently 0.10% APY.

Premier checking accounts come with aBMO Harris Bank World Debit Mastercard. The account offers up to a $25 rebate monthly on out-of-network ATM fees.

Savings

The lone savings account option at BMO Harris is Statement Savings. Opening a savings account requires a $25 minimum opening deposit. Unfortunately, the interest rate, at 0.05%, is slightly below the national savings account averagerate, much less than you’ll find at online banks.

Statement Savings accounts do have a $5 monthly maintenance fee, which is waivable for account owners under age 25 or keeping a $100 minimum daily ledger balance for the month.

Money Market

One way to earn a competitive interest rate through BMO Harris is its Platinum Money Market account. You’ll need a $5,000 minimum opening deposit to open a money market account, but it has no ongoing balance requirements. Platinum accounts have no monthly maintenance fees, either. These accounts also come with check-writing privileges. Money market accounts, in general, can be a good spot tokeep an emergency fund.

Here’s a look at current rates for Platinum Money Market accounts. (See below for exceptions that apply to residents of Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin.)

Account BalanceAPY

Account Balance

APY

$5,000 - $999,999.99

0.95%

$1,000,000 or more

0.75%

CDs

BMO Harris offers Standard CDs and Add-On CDs. Interest earned is handled the same way with both account types. For CDs under 12 months, interest is compounded daily and is credited at maturity. For CDs of 12 months or greater, interest is compounded daily and is credited to the CD quarterly.

Standard CDs. BMO Harris Standard CDs feature terms from three to 60 months. There’s an option for one-month and two-month CDs for balances of at least $100,000. Its CDs have tiered fixed rates based on term length and account balance, with a minimum $1,000 balance requirement. BMO Harris occasionally offers special CD rates for specific term lengths.

Term$1,000 Minimum Balance$5,000 Minimum Balance$100,000 Minimum Balance

Term

$1,000 Minimum Balance

$5,000 Minimum Balance

$100,000 Minimum Balance

1 Month

N/A

N/A

0.05%

2 Months

N/A

N/A

0.05%

3 Months

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

6 Months

0.05%

0.40%

0.40%

9 Months

0.10%

0.40%

0.40%

12 Months

0.15%

0.50%

0.50%

18 Months

0.25%

0.50%

0.50%

24 Months

0.30%

0.60%

0.60%

30 Months

0.35%

0.60%

0.60%

36 Months

0.40%

0.60%

0.60%

48 Months

0.50%

0.60%

0.60%

60 Months

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

Add-On CDs. BMO Harris Add-On CDs allow customers to add more funds after opening a CD account. There’s only the option for a one-year CD term, which currently earns 0.30% APY. Add-On CDs only require a $1,000 minimum deposit.

With both CD options, there’s an early withdrawal fee of up to 545 days’ interest if you withdraw your CD balance before it reaches maturity.

Note: The above rates for Platinum Money Market accounts and Standard CDs only apply to accounts opened online and exclude residents in seven of the states with BMO Harris branches (Arizona, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri and Wisconsin). Below are rates for both account types for residents in those seven states.

BMO Harris Platinum MMA Rates (for residents of AZ, IL, IN, KS, MN, MO and WI)

Account BalanceAPY

Account Balance

APY

$5,000 – $24,999.99

0.05%

$25,000 – $49,999.99

0.10%

$50,000 – $249,999.99

0.15%

$250,000 – $1,000,000 +

0.25%

BMO Harris Standard CD Rates (for residents of AZ, IL, IN, KS, MN, MO and WI)

Term$1,000 Minimum Balance$5,000 Minimum Balance$100,000 Minimum Balance

Term

$1,000 Minimum Balance

$5,000 Minimum Balance

$100,000 Minimum Balance

1 Month

N/A

N/A

0.05%

2 Months

N/A

N/A

0.05%

3 Months

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

6 Months

0.05%

0.05%

0.05%

9 Months

0.10%

0.10%

0.10%

12 Months

0.15%

0.15%

0.15%

18 Months

0.25%

0.25%

0.25%

24 Months

0.30%

0.30%

0.30%

30 Months

0.35%

0.35%

0.35%

36 Months

0.40%

0.40%

0.40%

48 Months

0.50%

0.50%

0.50%

60 Months

0.70%

0.70%

0.70%

Distinguishing Features

Relationship benefits are a way for banks to offer loyalty perks for having multiple accounts. BMO Harris Premier Checking accounts come with the additional benefit of mortgage and home equity line of credit (HELOC) discounts.

Access on the Go

BMO Harris Bank offers consumers both in-person and digital banking solutions. There are over 500 local BMO Harris bank branches spread throughout the following states:

  • Illinois
  • Indiana
  • Arizona
  • Missouri
  • Minnesota
  • Kansas
  • Florida
  • Wisconsin

BMO Harris customers have access to over 40,000 fee-free ATMs, including BMO Harris ATMs and the Allpoint ATM Network.

For fans of banking on the go, BMO Harris digital banking provides customers with online and mobile account access almost anywhere in the world. Its mobile app is available for both iOS (rated 4.7 out of 5 at the App Store) and Android(rated 4.2 out of 5 on Google Play) and features helpful tools like:

  • Mobile check deposits
  • Mobile cash withdrawal at most BMO Harris ATMs
  • Total Look account management
  • Apple Pay and Zelle integration
  • Bill pay

If online and mobile access isn’t your thing, there’s also a bank by phone option available to BMO Harris customers, which allows you to use your phone for a variety of banking tasks.

Pros

  • Competitive rate on its money market account
  • Multiple checking account options
  • Large fee-free ATM network
  • Decent rates on CDs for a brick-and-mortar bank
  • No monthly fees or fees are waivable in most cases

Cons

  • Low savings rate
  • Local branches limited to eight states

How BMO Harris Bank Stacks Up

BMO Harris is a solid option if you’re looking for a full-service bank, especially if you happen to live in a state with local branches. BMO Harris is more competitive with its rates and offerings than several other big traditional banks. It also features online and digital tools that rival what’s offered by the top online banks. For example, its Mobile Cash feature allows you to withdraw money from BMO Harris ATMs without using a debit card.

But this national bank has some pitfalls when compared to many online institutions. While it provides more accounts and services than most online banks, only its money market account offers a competitive rate. If capitalizing on the best savings account rates is important to you, make sure to compare rates outside of BMO Harris Bank.

Overall, BMO Harris offers enough benefits, accounts and services to make it an attractive banking option for most consumers. It’s an especially good bank if you plan to take advantage of services beyond just bank accounts.

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