BMO Bank Review 2024

BMO Bank logo

BMO Bank

8.1 rating

Expert Take

In the eight states that BMO has physical locations, it has a lot to offer, including many locations and ATMs, numerous account options, and robust online services, making it a solid all-in-one banking option.


  • Solid presence in the Midwest
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Wide selection of account options and credit cards


  • Locations in just 8 states
  • Lots of fees, especially with overdrafts

Bonus Offers


Product Variety


Customer Experience


Interest-Bearing Accounts




Free ATM Access


BMO Bank logo

Learn More

at BMO Bank

BMO Bank is the American subsidiary of the Bank of Montreal. Headquartered in Chicago, the bank’s roots go back to 1882.

With over 57,000 employees, 1,890 physical branches, and access to more than 40,000 ATMs across the U.S., BMO is the 8th largest financial institution in the United States.

In this post, you’ll learn all about BMO’s best products and features to understand whether it’s right for you.

BMO Checking Accounts

All BMO checking accounts offer debit cards (with multiple options), check-writing, and online banking with bill pay.

Let’s take a look at what each specific account has to offer:

1. BMO Smart Money™ Account

The Smart Money™ Account is a solid entry-level checking account with a $5 monthly maintenance fee, which is waived if you’re under 25 years old.

You won’t pay any overdraft fees with the Smart Money™ Account, and it takes just $25 to open an account.

2. BMO Smart Advantage™ Account

The Smart Advantage™ is the bank’s most popular checking account and comes with all of the basic features that you might expect from a checking account, such as a free debit card, check writing, free in-network ATM access, and free Allpoint ATM network access.

There are no monthly fees if you elect paperless statements.

3. BMO Relationship Account

The Relationship Banking account is a premium, interest-bearing checking account.

There is a $25 monthly fee, which you can avoid by maintaining a $10,000 minimum daily balance, or a $25,000 minimum balance across combined accounts.

As of January 22, 2024, you can earn a 0.01% APY on your deposits.

Otherwise, fees on things like cashier’s checks, money orders, and paper statements are waived, and you’ll get a $25 rebate for non-BMO ATM surcharges each month.

BMO Logo


BMO : Personal Checking
Available nationwide

BMO Logo


BMO : Relationship Checking
Available nationwide


BMO Savings Accounts

1. BMO Alto Online Savings Account

BMO Alto Online Savings Account is an online high yield savings account that helps track your savings goals and earns a competitive interest rate at 5.10% APY.

There are no minimum balance requirements and it has a $0 minimum opening deposit.

You’ll also enjoy no monthly maintenance fees and receive unlimited transfers and withdrawals.

Learn more about the BMO Alto Online Savings Account

2. Savings Builder Account

Savings Builder is a starter savings account that helps track your savings goals and earns a bit of interest.

You may be eligible to earn $5 in monthly savings rewards if you grow your balance by $200 or more each month for the first year.

The account easily links with your BMO checking account, and you can set up automatic, recurring transfers between accounts.

The minimum initial deposit is $25, and the current APY is 0.01% for all account balances.

3. Relationship Plus Money Market Account

The Relationship Plus Money Market is the closest thing that BMO offers to a high-yield savings account (HYSA).

You can earn a base APY of 1.00%, and you’ll need a daily balance of at least $10,000 to waive the monthly maintenance fee.

If you also have a BMO Relationship Checking Account, the Relationship Plus Money Market account may be eligible to earn an additional rate of interest, with Relationship Package pricing.

You will need an initial deposit of at least $25.

BMO CDs (Certificates of Deposit)

BMO has a few different options when it comes to CD accounts:

1. Standard CD

The BMO Standard CD has a minimum deposit requirement of $1,000 and term lengths ranging from 3 to 60 months.

Interest rates are tiered, and the longer you commit your funds, the more money you can earn. The highest current APY is only available with the longest 60-month term.

2. CD Specials

BMO currently offers the following CD Specials, which offer much more competitive rates.

Product APY Min Deposit
BMO 13 Month CD Special5.00% APY$5,000
BMO 25 Month CD Special4.50% APY$5,000
BMO 35 Month CD Special4.50% APY$5,000
BMO 45 Month CD Special4.50% APY$5,000
BMO 59 Month CD Special4.50% APY$5,000

BMO Retirement & Investment Accounts

BMO offers options for both short-term and long-term retirement planning.

1. IRA Certificates of Deposit (CD)

For short-term retirement planning, BMO has a CD account that also functions like an IRA.

It essentially works the same way as a standard CD but with term lengths from 3 to 60 months. You’ll also need at least $1,000 to open an account.

2. IRA Premium Savers

Premium Savers IRA requires just $100 to open, and you can opt for a Traditional, Roth, or SEP IRA.

There’s no monthly fee, and you can make contributions at any pace, whether weekly, monthly, or lump sums.

BMO Credit Cards

Next, let’s take a look at BMO’s most popular credit cards:

1. Cash Back Mastercard

Cash Back is the bank’s entry-level cash rewards card that pays 5% on streaming, cable, and satellite, 3% cash back on groceries and gas, and 1% on any other purchases.

There’s no annual fee, and you’ll get a 12-month 0% APR on balance transfers after you sign up.

New card members can earn a $200 sign-up bonus by spending at least $2,000 in the first three months of account opening.

2. Platinum Mastercard

Platinum is a no-annual-fee card that’s best used for anyone looking to rebuild their credit or pay down the debt from a previous card.

You won’t see any cash back or rewards points here, but you can get a 0% APR on purchases or balance transfers for the first 15 months.

3. Platinum Rewards Mastercard

Platinum Rewards is a no-annual-fee rewards card that offers 25,000 bonus points if you spend $2,000 within the first three months of account opening.

There’s also a 10% points bonus on your enrollment anniversary every year, and balance transfers come with an intro APR of 0% for 12 months. The card pays two points per dollar spent on gas and groceries, up to $2,500 spent each quarter, and one point per dollar spent on everything else.

4. Premium Rewards Mastercard

Premium Rewards is BMO’s top-tier credit card that pays three points for every dollar spent on dining, hotels, and flights, up to $2,500 per quarter.

All other purchases earn one point per dollar, and you get a 15% point bonus added on every account anniversary.

This is the only BMO credit card with an annual fee ($79), though they waive it during your first year.

You can also earn 35,000 bonus points if you spend $5,000 in your first three months of account opening.

Premium Rewards also comes with no fees on foreign transactions, making it the best of the pack for frequent travelers.

BMO Bank Features

  • Over 1,890 Branches In 8 States: BMO operates local branches in 8 U.S. states — Arizona, California, Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Minnesota, and Wisconsin. These locations provide access to banking products and wealth management services with BMO Investment Services.
  • 1,300 BMO ATMs: BMO has 1,300 of its own, branded ATMs. It also has a partnership with Allpoint, giving account holders more than 40,000 fee-free options when they need to get some cash.
  • BMO Digital Banking: BMO offers a full-service online platform with all accounts. You can pay bills, manage your accounts with eStatements, and move money around for free with Zelle.
  • Mobile App: The BMO mobile app is available on both iOS and Android and is well-received on both platforms. The app currently holds a 4.6-star rating (out of 5) in the App Store and a 4.5-star rating (out of 5) in the Google Play Store.


The good thing about BMO is that the bank is pretty transparent about the fees it charges.

Each account page has a detailed list of fees you can expect to pay (rather than making you dig through the fine print to figure out what you’ll be charged, as is common with some large national banks).

Here’s a look at the most common fees that you’ll run into:

Monthly Maintenance Fees

Here’s a breakdown of the monthly maintenance fees that BMO charges (and how to avoid them):

Bank Account Type Fee Avoidable?
BMO Smart Advantage™ Checking $0 N/A
BMO Smart Money™ Checking $5/monthly Yes, if under 25 years old
BMO Relationship Account $25/monthly Yes, with qualifying activities
Relationship Plus MMA $10/monthly Yes, with min. $10,000 account balance

ATM Fees

BMO has a ton of options when it comes to free ATMs. If you do have to use an out-of-network ATM, the ATM fee is $3. BMO Relationship Checking account holders are reimbursed for out-of-network fees, up to $25 each month.

Overdraft Fees

Unless you’re a BMO Smart Money™ account holder, there’s a fee of $36 per overdraft.

This can add up in a hurry if you’re having a tough time settling your balance.

However, there’s one exception. If you overdraft $50 or less at the close of the business day the transaction is presented for payment, BMO won’t charge you a fee.

For additional overdraft protection, you can draw funds from a linked account or open up a line of credit, though both options come with fees of their own.

If you go with the credit option, it’s important to know that it comes with an 18% fixed APR and a $15 late payment fee.

With overdraft fees this high, it's uber-important to keep your account balance positive. If you slip up, call the bank and ask them to waive the fee. Overdraft fees are often refundable, especially if you're in good standing with the bank.

Paper Statement Fees

Most accounts come with a $3 fee for paper statements. You can avoid this fee by signing up for paperless statements in BMO Digital Banking.

Other Fees

Here are some additional fees you can expect to see across all accounts, with the exception of BMO Premier™ Checking:

  • Wire Transfers: Free for incoming, $30 for outgoing domestic ($50 international)
  • Check Images: $3 per request (waived if you enroll in paperless statements)
  • Cashier’s Checks: $10
  • Money Orders: $5

Getting Started

Signing up with BMO can be done in person, online, or over the phone.

To sign up online, all you need to do is enter your basic contact details, Social Security Number, and employment information.

Once you’re enrolled, you can sign up for BMO Digital Banking, which gets you access to all of the bank’s online and mobile banking services.

BMO Bank Promotions

BMO LogoBMO Personal Checking $250 May 3, 2024
  • Direct Deposit
BMO LogoBMO Business Checking up to $1000 April 30, 2024
  • Min Balance
BMO LogoBMO Relationship Checking $400 May 3, 2024
  • Direct Deposit
see all bonuses


BMO offers some useful tools to help you avoid phishing scams and other cybercrime.

Here are a few of the things that are in place to protect your money:

  • 128-bit minimum encryption
  • Online and Mobile Banking Guarantee: If an unauthorized transaction is made on your account, BMO will cover it
  • Secure Login
  • FDIC Insurance

Customer Service and Support

Overall, BMO seems to have a pretty good reputation for customer service. If you need help, the general customer service line is 1-888-340-2265.

As a customer, you can also pop into a local branch to sign up for an account or meet with a banker in person to discuss your banking

needs.BMO encourages customers to utilize online support tools, which include FAQs, an interactive troubleshooting survey, and a secure “Contact Us” form before calling.

Customer Reviews

BMO currently holds a rating of 1.4 out of 5 stars with Trustpilot. Most negative reviews are around customers experience with online or phone customer support issues.

The mobile app has high ratings of 4.8 out of 5 on the App Store and a 4.5 on the Google Play Store.

Always get professional service! It's hard to log in 1st time , but after that- I've had no issue's to complain about !
Jimbo Sfv Google Play Store

I had a fraud issue with some one getting into my account and they resolved it very quickly. I appreciate all their work on this issue.
Yolanda Robinson Google Play Store

Their customer service department t is clueless and have no idea about any of their products or procedures. expect to be on hold for days if you ever need anything.
Joe Rivard Trustpilot

Pros & Cons


  • A solid presence in the Midwest
  • User-friendly mobile app
  • Large ATM network
  • Wide selection of account options and credit cards


  • Lots of fees, especially with overdrafts
  • Locations in just 8 states
  • Low interest rates on most accounts

Alternatives to BMO Bank

Do you like what BMO offers, but don’t live in one of the states that it serves?

If so, you might want to look into a big national bank such as:

Alternatively, you could check out TD Bank, which is regionally located and smaller than the biggest national banks.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the most common questions that people are asking about BMO:

Is BMO a real bank?

Yes, BMO is a real bank, and it’s the 8th largest bank in the US in terms of total assets. Its parent company is the Bank of Montreal, which is the fourth-largest bank in Canada.

Is BMO FDIC insured?

Yes, as with all legit banks, your deposits with BMO are protected by FDIC insurance.

What is the best BMO savings account?

Statement Savings is the best option for those who just need a basic savings account.

Is BMO Bank Right For You?

The bottom line is that if you live in one of the eight states where BMO has a physical branch, BMO has a lot to offer.

Plenty of locations, tons of ATMs, numerous account options, and robust online services make this bank a solid all-in-one option.

You won’t get the fee-free banking experience of an online bank, and the interest rates leave a little to be desired.

However, if you value the presence of physical branches, you’ll still be better off than the microscopic rates that large national banks tend to offer.

That said, residents outside of BMO Bank’s service area are probably better off banking somewhere else. Without access to a local branch, there are more than a few online-only banks with more attractive perks, lower fees, and better interest rates.

Now that you know what to expect with BMO, the next step is up to you. Here’s to finding the best bank that suits your personal financial situation. Good luck!

Accounts are subject to approval. BMO Bank N.A. Member FDIC.

Minimum opening deposit of $25 is required for BMO personal checking and Savings Builder accounts. BMO Relationship Checking Account and Savings Builder are variable interest rate accounts. Interest rates and Annual Percentage Yields (APYs) may change daily after the account is open. For account and fee information or current interest rates and disclosures, visit

Accounts with zero balance may be closed.

$2 monthly fee for paper statements and $3 monthly fee for check images are waived when you select paperless statements in BMO Digital Banking.

Items that overdraw the account are returned and ATM/everyday debit card transactions are declined.

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