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Published June 16, 2022

BMO Bank of Montreal Full Review

The Bank of Montreal (BMO) offers a full lineup of personal and business accounts, lending products and investment services. But watch for fees and transaction limitations.

Many or all of the products featured here are from our partners who compensate us. This may influence which products we write about and where and how the product appears on a page. However, this does not influence our evaluations. Our opinions are our own.

BMO Bank at a glance

Bank of Montreal was founded in 1817 and is the eighth-largest bank in North America.

  • BMO account options
    Savings
    Chequing
    Visa and Mastercard credit cards
    Investing
  • Other BMO services
    Mortgages
    Loans and lines of credit
    Financial planning
    Insurance
    Business accounts and financing

Bank of Montreal overview

Bank of Montreal, or BMO, began as the Montreal Bank in 1817. Headquartered in Toronto, BMO is now one of Canada’s Big Six banks and the eighth largest bank in North America with over 12 million global customers. BMO’s more than 200 years in business shows: this financial institution offers a sizable sweep of products and services, including several types of bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, lines of credit, investment platforms and more.

BMO’s bank branches and ATMs can be found in every province and territory in the country, with the exception of Nunavut. It’s well-equipped for digital banking, too, with a robust online banking portal and well-reviewed mobile app.

Online banking capabilities at BMO

For those that prefer to manage their finances digitally, BMO’s website (www.bmo.com), online banking portal and mobile app are capable of performing a wealth of financial services and transactions. From a computer, tablet or mobile device, customers can send and receive money, pay bills, deposit cheques, manage accounts, schedule payments and more.

BMO’s well-received mobile app, which earns 4.3 and 4.6 out of 5 stars from Google Play and Apple App Store reviews respectively, is particularly noteworthy for those drawn to online banking.

BMO (Bank of Montreal)

Find the best Bank of Montreal credit cards and bank accounts to meet your needs

Is my money safe at BMO bank?

BMO customers are protected from losses incurred via unauthorized transactions, bank failure, fraud, and physical and cyber security threats.

Like many major Canadian financial institutions, the Bank of Montreal carries Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation (CDIC) insurance, which insures up to $100,000 of eligible deposits in the event that BMO goes bankrupt. Investor portfolios are covered by the Canadian Investor Protection Fund (CIPF), which protects funds in the event of insolvency.

BMO’s 100% Security Guarantee pledges to reimburse BMO customers for 100% of any losses incurred via unauthorized account transactions. However, you may be liable for account losses if you fail to comply with your BMO account service agreement, so read the fine print carefully before you sign up.

BMO’s Financial Crimes Unit further protects its customers with physical and cyber security technology designed to monitor and manage security threats around the clock. Free security software is also available for interested customers.

Bank of Montreal account types

BMO savings accounts

None of BMO’s personal savings accounts charge monthly fees.

  • Premium Rate Savings Account: low-interest savings account designed to be bundled with an existing BMO chequing account.
  • Smart Saver Account: standalone savings account with one free transfer between BMO accounts monthly.
  • Savings Builder Account: high-interest savings account that offers bonus interest when you meet certain goals.
  • Savings Amplifier Account: high-interest savings account with unlimited no-fee transfers between BMO accounts and no minimum balance requirements.
  • U.S. Dollar Premium Rate Savings Account: USD savings account that can be included in a BMO bank plan.

BMO chequing accounts

  • Practical: 12 transactions monthly for a $4 monthly fee.
  • Plus: 25 transactions monthly for a $10.95 monthly fee.
  • Performance: unlimited transactions and family account bundling options for $16.95 monthly.
  • AIR MILES: unlimited transactions plus the ability to earn Air Miles for $16.95 monthly.
  • Premium: unlimited transactions, worldwide ATM withdrawals and more for $30 monthly.

BMO offers special rates on its chequing accounts for kids, students, seniors, newcomers to Canada and members of the Indigenous and Canadian Defence Communities. All BMO chequing accounts offer unlimited Interac e-Transfers with the exception of the Practical account. Some accounts waive monthly fees for customers who maintain a set minimum balance.

BMO credit cards

BMO offers a wide variety of Visa and Mastercard credit cards in Canada, including:

BMO investing accounts

Other BMO services

  • Mortgages.
  • Loans and lines of credit.
  • Financial planning and wealth management.
  • Insurance.
  • Guaranteed Investment Certificates.
  • Bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, stocks and options.
  • Business bank accounts and financing options.
  • Corporate and non-personal accounts for associations, trusts, corporations, estates, investment clubs/partnerships and personal holding companies.

Bank of Montreal fees

Banking fees can vary based on the accounts you have and how you use them. Here are some of the common fees you may encounter using Bank of Montreal’s financial products and services:

Who Bank of Montreal is best for

Canadians who want to keep all their financial accounts in one place.

With its full complement of banking services for everyday customers and businesses alike, the Bank of Montreal is a practical choice for anyone who wants to keep their financial accounts in one place.

There isn’t much missing from BMO’s lineup of products and services — accounts, lending products, investment platforms, you name it. And consumers can easily manage their finances on the go courtesy of its online and mobile banking platforms.

Customers should be on the lookout for account fees, limited account transfers and transaction limitations.

Pros and Cons of BMO Bank

There’s plenty to like about BMO but no bank or credit union is without its drawbacks. Here’s what to consider before you open an account.

Pros of BMO Bank

  • Well-established financial institution with a long history.
  • Well-reviewed mobile app.
  • Big selection of personal and business accounts.
  • Impressive roster of credit cards.

Cons of BMO Bank

  • Monthly fees and transaction limitations on chequing accounts.
  • Transfer limitations on savings accounts.
  • Bank branches and BMO ATM networks don’t extend to Nunavut.

How BMO compares to other big banks

 BMO BankRBC BankTD Bank
Number of countries servedMore than 1029Global
Number of branches in CanadaMore than 900More than 1,200More than 1,000
Mobile app?YesYesYes
Are deposits insured?Yes, by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and Canadian Investor Protection Fund.Yes, by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation.Yes, by the Canada Deposit Insurance Corporation and Canadian Investor Protection Fund.

Bank of Montreal frequently asked questions

    • Is the Bank of Montreal Canadian?

      Yes. Bank of Montreal was Canada’s first bank and its operational head office is located in Toronto, Ontario.

    • How do I call BMO or contact someone at the bank?

      You can speak to a member of the bank’s customer care team in a few ways:

      • Call the BMO contact number: 1-877-225-5266.
      • Visit a bank branch during business hours to speak to a BMO representative in person.

About the Author

Shannon Terrell

Shannon Terrell is a lead writer and spokesperson for NerdWallet, where she writes about a variety of personal finance topics. Previously, she was a writer, editor and video host for financial comparison company, Finder. Shannon has appeared as a financial expert on CP24 and has been quoted in numerous publications, including Yahoo! Finance and Black Enterprise. She holds a bachelor’s degree in communications and English literature from the University of Toronto Mississauga. She’s also a published author whose work has been featured in academic journals from the University of Toronto. Shannon is based in Brampton, Ontario.

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