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BMO Harris Bank Review: Checking, Savings and CDs

June 5, 2019
Banking, Banks & Credit Unions
bmo-harris-bank-review-checking-savings-and-cds
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4.0 NerdWallet rating

Where BMO Harris Bank shines:

  • Checking account with low minimum deposit and no monthly fee.
  • Large ATM network.
  • Solid promotional CD rates.

Where BMO Harris Bank falls short:

  • Mediocre mobile app ratings.
  • Steep overdraft fees.

Where BMO Harris Bank shines:

  • Checking account with low minimum deposit and no monthly fee.
  • Large ATM network.
  • Solid promotional CD rates.

Where BMO Harris Bank falls short:

  • Mediocre mobile app ratings.
  • Steep overdraft fees.

Where BMO Harris Bank shines:

  • Checking account with low minimum deposit and no monthly fee.
  • Large ATM network.
  • Solid promotional CD rates.

Where BMO Harris Bank falls short:

  • Mediocre mobile app ratings.
  • Steep overdraft fees.

 

The bottom line

BMO Harris Bank National Association

at BMO Harris Bank National Association,

Member, FDIC

BMO Harris Bank is a U.S. subsidiary of Canada’s Bank of Montreal with U.S. headquarters in Chicago. The bank has good checking options, if you can avoid the pricey overdraft fees.

Best if: You’re looking for a basic checking account with a large ATM network.


Read on for details on the bank’s checking, savings, certificates of deposit, ATM reimbursements and more.

Checking: 4.5/5.0

BMO Harris offers Smart Advantage checking, an account with no monthly fees as long as you opt for e-statements instead of paper statements.

More upsides:

ATM Access: The checking account is part of the Allpoint ATM network, so you have access to more than 40,000 fee-free ATMs across the country.

Low minimum deposit: You need just $25 to open an account.

A downside:

No yield: Smart Advantage checking does not earn interest.

Savings: 3.0/5.0

You can open a Statement savings account for as little as $25.

Some drawbacks:

Monthly fee: There is a $5 monthly service charge. It is waived, however, if you keep a minimum balance of at least $100. There are other ways to waive the fee, including keeping a minimum of several thousand dollars in combined BMO accounts.

Low rates: Statement savings earns an unimpressive 0.05%. To compare, the national average savings rate is 0.09% APY.

» Looking for higher savings rates? Explore NerdWallet’s best high yield savings accounts.

How does BMO Harris Bank National Association compare?

BMO Harris Bank National Association

Statement Savings

NerdWallet Rating

at BMO Harris Bank National Association,

Member, FDIC

APY

0.05%

Monthly Fees

$5

Bonus features

N/A

Citizens Access

Online Savings Account

NerdWallet Rating

at Citizens Access,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.20%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Competitive APY

Barclays

Online Savings Account

NerdWallet Rating

at Barclays,

Member, FDIC

APY

2.10%

Monthly Fees

$0

Bonus features

No Monthly Fee

Competitive APY

Not for you? Read more bank reviews

Certificates of deposit: 4.5/5.0

BMO Harris offers CDs in a range of term lengths, from three months to five years.

Some upsides:

Strong short-term rates: BMO Harris has a 12-month standard CD that earns a competitive 2.65% APY. Rates may vary by location.

Special CDs: The bank also offers promotional CDs with attractive rates. There’s currently a 15-month CD that earns 2.55% APY.

Some downsides:

Minimum deposit: You’ll need at least $1,000 to open a standard BMO Harris CD and $5,000 to open a promotional CD.

Low longer-term rates: CDs with term lengths that are longer than a year earn subpar rates. A 5-year CD, for example, earns just 0.75% APY.

» Want to compare rates? See our list of best CDs this month.

Overdraft fees: 1.5/5.0

An upside:
Overdraft transfers:  You can set up a BMO Harris savings account as a backup to protect against overdrafts.

The downsides:

Overdraft transfer fees: There is a $10 overdraft transfer fee per day to use money from a backup account to prevent an overdraft.

Multiple overdraft fees: If you don’t have a backup, BMO Harris charges overdraft fees per transaction, up to four times a day. At $36 each, that means you could be charged $144 a day for overdrafts.

Consecutive day fees: If the account is negative for three consecutive business days, the bank will charge an additional $7 per business day while the balance is negative, up to $70.

Bank experience: 4.0/5.0

BMO Harris has about 600 branches in the U.S., mostly in the Midwest.

Some upsides:

Online savings tools: Want to see how much your savings will be worth in 10 years? Or how long it will take to save a million dollars? The bank has several calculators on its website to help you explore those goals.

Customer service: Representatives are available by phone 24/7. You can also reach customer service through online chat and Twitter.

A downside:

Mobile app ratings: The bank’s apps have mediocre ratings on iOS and Android platforms. Users often report glitches when trying to use the apps.

BMO Harris Bank National Association

at BMO Harris Bank National Association,

Member, FDIC

» Ready to take the next step? BMO Harris checking, savings and CDs are decent options — as long as you avoid the high checking overdraft fees. If you are looking for basic checking account with a good ATM network, this bank is worth a look.

 


Ratings methodology

NerdWallet’s overall ratings for banks and credit unions are weighted averages of several categories: checking, savings, certificates of deposit or credit union share certificates, bank experience and overdraft fees.

Factors we consider, depending on the category, include rates and fees, ATM and branch access, account features and limits, user-facing technology, customer service and innovation.

The stars represent ratings from poor (one star) to excellent (five stars). Ratings are rounded to the nearest half-star.

 

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